Uncommon Off-grid Survival: How to Get Electricity from Mud

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It is no secret that anything from EMP blast and natural phenomena to outright sabotage from inside the country can lead to large scale disruptions in the power grid.

You have at least a few electronic devices that you’ll need to operate until you have made a full adjustment to living without electricity. Regardless of whether you need to access data on the memory chip for your smart phone, health monitoring tools, or even a battery powered radio, you should know how to generate electricity using as many methods as possible.

Overall, generating electricity or other sources of power from mud may be a viable option.

GREEN ENERGY – Click Here to find out how you can build your own energy generator.

How Does Generating Power From Mud Differ From Earth Batteries?

How is this type of generator different from other devices made from similar materials? How a mud based electricity generator differs from an earth battery? Here are the main things to remember:

  • An Earth battery does not require salt or any other electrolyte. You can add salt to increase the amount of electricity produced. On the other hand, generating electricity with mud always requires the addition of salt.
  • To use an earth battery, you can take the soil from any location and it will still work. If you want to generate electricity using mud, you must make use of mud from areas rich in bacteria that do not rely on oxygen. Most people use mud found at the bottom of ponds or other areas that have been under fresh water for some time.
  • When generating electricity from mud, the bacteria responsible for making the electricity must have food. While waste or sewage can be used for this purpose, some bacteria may also require the addition of glucose or sugar. An earth battery does not require living organisms to generate or store electricity, so there is never a need to add food. At most, you will only need to add regular water from time to time in order to keep the soil slightly moist.

How Does Generating Power From Mud Differ From Using Electrolytes?

Even though generating power from mud requires salt, it does not work quite the same way as an electrolyte battery. The bacteria themselves charge up one side of the fuel cell as a part of their biological function.

On the other hand, an electrolyte battery works because molecules break down into ions when mixed with water. These ions gravitate to the different metals at different rates, which produces an electrical charge.

Over the years, many different methods have been used to generate electricity from electrolytes. If you are near the ocean, you won’t need much more than access to salt water and two different metal types that will serve as electrodes. With a few minor modifications, you can also make wet capacitors using similar materials.

If you are going to work with higher voltages, you might need to make this kind of capacitor both for storing electricity and making sure you can create and even discharge once the power is gathered in one location.

Alternatively, if you have pennies made 1983 or later, you will already have two perfectly good metals in the same coin for making an electrolyte battery. All you will need to do is sand off some of the copper from one side of each penny in order to expose the zinc.

Next, make a sandwich of cardboard disks dipped in salt water and add pennies between each set of disks. You can make approximately one volt of electricity for every penny you combine with the salt water and cardboard disks.

Should I Use the Mud Cell to Generate Electricity?

Overall, you will find that a mud cell generates relatively small amounts of electricity when compared to the size of the device. Something is better than nothing, so it will still take a lot of work to multiply that electricity and be able to use it even to produce the same voltage as you would get from a AAA battery.

You can most certainly try building a mud cell power generator to see how it works, and then try to adapt it to produce more power.

Here’s what you need to achieve to produce more electricity:

  • Find some way to get existing bacteria to boost their metabolism 200 – 300 times the current rate.
  • Get the bacteria to multiply faster.
  • To generate electricity, the bacteria actually form networks of conductive “bridges” or “wires” in the growing medium. At this time, it is not known if the bacteria themselves are producing the most optimal pattern for conducting electricity from one place to another. Changing the pattern may improve efficiency and it may also boost the amount of current produced by the generator.
  • Find a way to make the cells smaller: see if you can use a more liquefied mud cell, and then irrigate it with a steady flow of nutrient rich water. Provide some kind of growing film for the bacteria so they aren’t washed away each time the mud cell is bathed in water. Even though nanotechnologies may be outside of your available list of materials, they may one day be useful for making an optimized structure for the bacteria to live in and generate electricity across. This leads to a smaller footprint for each cell, as well as higher levels of efficiency.
  • Get equipment that will help you find out the answers to several questions: a microscope and access to white papers on nanotechnology, conductive material molecular structures, and other materials may be of use to you.

Basic Steps for Building a Mud Cell Energy Generator

To make a microbial fuel cell, start off by gathering the right kind of mud. Dig around in the bottom of a pond that has been around for a few years, and pull up some of the black mud at the bottom. This mud will be rich in the kind of bacteria that can be used to generate electricity.

Next, you will need some salt, water, agar, and PVC pipe. Mix the salt, water, and agar together, and then fill the pipe with them. Once the agar cools, it should be hard enough so that it will not spill out of the tube.

The agar acts as a repository for salt, which restores the ionic balance as electricity is drawn from the cell. You can also try cardboard dipped in salt water or other methods for making the salt bridge.

The microbial fuel cell requires two chambers that are connected by the agar filled PVC pipe. Make sure the seals connecting the chambers are waterproof, and that you can easily replace the salt bridge, so that you can refill or make changes to the ingredients in the other chambers as needed.

After you connect the containers with the salt bridge, fill one container part of the way with mud and insert an electrode. Since the electrode will need a fairly wide surface area, make one from regular wire, and then attach an aluminum mesh to it. Finish filling up the container.

Your next step will be to fill the remaining chamber with distilled water and salt. As with the first chamber, install an electrode and some wire.

You can also insert some air tubing that will be used to run an air pump that will aerate the solution in the water chamber.

If you want to increase the amount of air going into the chamber and ensure more stays in the water, try using an aquarium air stone. If you do not aerate the water in the second chamber, it will produce hydrogen gas.

Depending on the activity levels of the bacteria, you may notice a small amount of voltage immediately. It may still take days, or even weeks for the bacteria to rebuild their transport structure and produce more electricity.

Video first seen on CCS Microbial Fuel Cell

Are there any Other Uses for a Mud Cell?

Many inner city areas are soon to become areas where gas mains will explode and skyscrapers will tumble to the ground. Land with clean water and soil is rapidly becoming something that simply cannot be bought in an area with good weather conditions.

Aside from pointing to inevitable massive depopulation, it also means that if you want a homestead, you may have to settle for land that isn’t as clean or as safe as you would want it to be. This, in return, means that you will need some way to clean the soil. While mud batteries may not do much to generate electricity, they can do a great deal to increase the rate at which other bacteria remove toxins from the soil.

Therefore, if you are interested in owning a homestead, or know that you are already dealing with contaminated soil, you may want to experiment with these batteries to see if they will be of use to you.

Like many others, over the years, I have tossed around the idea of living completely free of electricity and electronic devices. While I have arrived at the sad conclusion these devices may be necessary for years to decades after a major crash, I still give a lot of thought to using as little electricity as possible. Since electricity is used for everything from cooking to home heating/cooling, this also means other fuel types must be considered.

Mud batteries can be used to generate hydrogen and biofuels. Typically, this process only requires carbon dioxide and sunlight. There is a good bit of research going on at this time to determine if this means of making butanol, a biofuel, can replace corn, beets, and other crops normally used for food.

Many people prefer cooking with electric stoves because they are safer, but just about everyone agrees that gas stoves produce better tasting food. You can build a gas stove to run on natural gas or methane, so don’t be surprised that this fuel is of immense interest to off gridders and preppers.

The bacteria that generate methane and natural gas also form similar structures within the growing medium that allow for the transport of electricity. As a result, even if you decide the mud battery is not a feasible option, you could check if the best bacteria for this method will also produce larger amounts of natural gas.

Aside from saving on soil depletion, this method may even be used one day to produce sugars suitable for addition in foods. In fact, bacteria are being used to make omega fatty acids that are added into organic milk. The bacteria strain may be different from the ones used to generate electricity, but never underestimate what mud and different methods for getting bacteria to produce various chemicals can do.

Right now, mainstream media continues to avoid covering topics like the Fukushima disaster, and other issues related to the leaking of nuclear materials into rivers and oceans. Virtually everyone points to other factors and blames them for the rises in cancer rates and other diseases that may well have an origin in hidden exposure to ionized radiation in the groundwater.

The same strains of bacteria used to generate electricity are also capable of removing uranium from ground water. If you are building a homestead near an area exposed to nuclear waste or materials, these bacteria may help. There may even be a way to develop a strain of bacteria that can be used to remove tritium from potable water supplies.

Once you begin exploring how electrically active bacteria work, it seems entirely possible this property can be used to remove tritium from non-radioactive water molecules.

In the case of making electricity from mud, the hydrogen generated by this process may be of more use as a fuel to power some other device that will deliver more electricity or some other useful form of power.

When it comes to generating electricity, cost, availability, and ease of assembly must always be your primary focus points. If you cannot generate enough electricity directly from any given application, see what else you can obtain that may be useful.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

References:

http://sciencing.com/making-electricity-salt-water-4883969.html

http://theconversation.com/mud-power-how-bacteria-can-turn-waste-into-electricity-3677

Considering having others join me and my wife

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  • Not positive this is something I want to do,  but entertaining ideas.

I have 22 acres in western North Carolina that’s absolutely PERFECT for off grid living!  I had 26 but sold 4 to a neighbor last week.

I am surrounded by 3 mountains to the rear and both sides and for any kind of EMP, blast of any kind, chemical warfare, whatever, I am well protected!

The rear of my property is National Forest Land and basically there’s just hundreds and hundreds of usable acres!!!

I have a very nice home and there is a year-round creek that splits the property long ways and runs 20 foot off the front porch of the house so starting with  this creek runs all the way down splits my 22 acres and keeps going.  

So as far back as you can imagine we have running water because we are located at the very very bottom and all the water that runs off the mountains feed this creek!

Even though I am in a subdivision (not like you are thinking)  I am still extremely secluded and very remote.

I am retired and financially stable but having financial assistance of some sort would never hurt as let’s just say I have more than enough money to cover all the bills but for any additional projects I lack resources.  Well I don’t so much slack as I would be apprehensive to use any of it because I have to live off of it for the rest of my life.

I have a pioneer 1000 UTV which can get you just about anywhere on the property as well as a dual sport motorcycle.

And I am 90% positive I will be buying a new Kabota mini excavator as there are just more uses that I can imagine but would come in real handy for digging and making hidden areas, protection embankments, just about anything you can think of as well as branching off the creek to put it in a pond.

Because the creek runs long ways there are just numerous sites somebody could pitch a tent or build a cabin right off the creek or one of the many waterfalls (small ones the tallest is about 5 foot) and in fact could use the trees that are here as the area has never been cleared and there are tons of mature hardwoods!

But I am 57 and I’m getting old and I’m losing energy and so I’m just talking out loud here.

I have been a prepper all my life but I’m not a crazy over the line prepped.  What’s the difference?  I don’t WANT it to happen I’m just prepared if it does  🙂

I have EVERYTHING that’s needed, every resource you can think of to say the land, water, year round game (Bear, turkey, wild hogs, you name it)  seclusion, natural protection, a respectable amount of stockpiled food, water purification, weapons and ammunition, gas, diesel and propane stockpile, multiple generators to feed the house and anything else,  chainsaw, will gas leaf blower, basically if you name it I probably have it!

What I need is some additional mind power and man power. The mind power to say which way to head now, what to do next, some creative thinking.  The manpower to pull it all off. And again, some financial assistance would not hurt!

I am NOT looking for free loaders, lazy pot smokers, people who just want a place to hang out for free..

Would prefer a family type, married with kids, as I would think there’s more stability there but I am not limited to that. I am wide open to anyone and everyone as long as you are stable, and by stable you know what I mean, of the mind not of your current circumstance!

 I’m extremely honest and I expect the same. You don’t need to hide your current condition from me. If you’re good people who are down and out and need some assistance this could be for you, who knows. I understand life has hurdles 🙂

But to reiterate, i’m not looking for people who think they can take it advantage of me. I’m very streetwise and it’s just not going to happen.

Don’t come thinking you’re going to figure out a way to gain my confidence and then start using me to live off of and giving you money that’s just not going to happen!

I’m looking for the following type people, whether they are single, married, boyfriend girlfriend, I don’t really care, as long as you fit this criteria.

You must have honesty and integrity I’m not interested in anything else.

You’re hard-working… but I’m not looking for slaves either!  I don’t want you sitting around all day, all week staring at the creek, watching the sun rise and set. At the same time, I don’t expect you to get up at sunrise and work yourself to death till nightfall!

Have a slight tendency to prefer more females than males as my wife could seriously use some girlfriends she’s feeling pent up.

Looking for someone who could earn some income and contribute, though I would not be looking for that immediately  if your circumstances didn’t allow you to. In other words if you’re down and out and just need a place until you can get on your feet and get a job that’s fine with me as long as there is an effort being made.

Now look, I haven’t really figured all this out so nothing is engraved in stone and I’m just talking out loud as I say. I’m really confused about the situation myself and I don’t really know how it’s going to play out.  

All I know is I’m open to all situations and to either one or multiple parties but the one thing that any one or many have to have is they ALL have to be basically “good people”.

I am all about utilizing the resources here and preparing for the end of the world however I’m NOT looking for any fanatics, people who want to do nothing but target shoot all day and talk about kicking someone’s ass! ( yes you can target shoot 🙂

I’m also open to just living off the land as a theory, in other words not worrying about whether or not the world is going to end and just having a commune type area where we could have some friends that turn into more like family 🙂

Just use your heads here. I’m not out looking for addicts or drunks or lazy homeless people. I’m looking for good people who either are kind of down and out and need a safe secure place that they can live and make this place their home or   people who are not down and out, have jobs and work but have been looking for this type dream and just don’t have the resources to pull it off and so this way we could combine our lives together.

You could continue to work and contribute financially and on your time off use the trees here and clear out a little site and build yourself a cabin by the creek!

You could have access to all my resources that you have dreamed of while not having to pay for it and be able to keep your jobs.

Not trying to be repetitive but again I don’t really know what I want and so I’m just open for almost anything as long as we are all dealing with good people.

Open to single moms with children, married couples, boyfriend girlfriend, I’m open to just about any situation.

Initially I will be VERY leery and reluctant about letting someone stay in my home.

I have no children and it’s just me and my wife so the entire upstairs is not being used.  I have two bedrooms and one full bath upstairs. One bedroom is absolutely gorgeous and has a king size bed, a big screen TV, a built-in fireplace, and is really something equal to a hotel honeymoon suite that is breathtaking.

The other bedroom has a queen size bed, a loft bed, and TV as well but it’s a regular size room and not what I would consider big.

MAYBE eventually if trust is earned I would MAYBE feel comfortable letting someone stay in it as they built the little mini home site off the creek but until that time and initially you would have to stay on the property and not in my home.

You would need a tent and sleeping bags but if you were so down and out you didn’t even have that I could lend you all of my outside gear which is very plentiful and will be all you need.

Because my wife has taken sick she is unable to do the normal duties of a housewife and I have been her full-time caretaker for over three years.

It’s very rough on me to be honest not having a housewife and so I’m even open up the possibility of having a full-time live-in person to replace her. That would be to say do grocery shopping, make dinner, clean dishes, do laundry, everything a normal housewife would do.

I end in saying again, I have many directions we could all head in right now this is the first up of seeing what we can all come up with!

Eventually it would be really nice if we had a half dozen or so families living here in our own little mini commune in Western North Carolina, where everybody loved and respected each other and there was total trust, no theft, and we could all live as one big family!

This is not “easy land”  to work with because as I say I’m surrounded by mountains.

Other than 50 foot or so of flat area around the creek you’re going up a mountain very fast!  I rent an excavator and put in 4 roads to the areas that were extremely incline and that helped a lot having access with a Honda UTV.

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Creative Ways to Prepare For Power Outages

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WhenYourFeelingPowerlessHelenCates1[1]It was the second time my power went out in one day. The first time was at two in the morning when a nearby fuse or transformer blew causing a power outage. Other than the backyard solar light glowing, the entire neighborhood was cast into darkness.

A few hours later, our power was restored and the bedside clock started blinking. The sun wasn’t up yet, but the house soon became alive with overhead lights, bacon on the stove, a hot shower, and the screech of my ironing board as I unfolded it and plugged in the iron.

After my husband left for work, the computer and TV abruptly flickered off on its own, and the room was silent again.

I sat in the dark and wondered at the cause of the outages and why I felt so helpless. For years I had been stocking up on candles, oil lanterns, and imagining life without electricity and instead of feeling prepared, I was paralyzed and rooted to my couch.

Although I had grown up for a season in a one room cabin without utilities or indoor plumbing, the bulk of my experience was volunteering for several years at an 1800’s living history museum.

Once or twice a week my family would put on our pioneer clothes, load up the car with supplies, and spend the day on the prairie cooking from a wood stove or open fire, sewing, reading books, and fanning our faces from the front porch.

We learned to appreciate the hard work involved in gardening, collecting firewood, and cooking and cleaning from scratch. With no electricity and running water, it was a sun up to sun down type of existence.

By the end of the day, we were anxious to return to the 21st Century. Walking into our modern day home we were greeted with air conditioning, plush furniture, computers, TV, fast food, the refrigerator, microwave, the faucet, and a toilet that flushed—it was pure luxury.

We endured the primitive lifestyle and 100 degree weather because we knew it was temporary. After an exhausting day on the farm, we’d reward ourselves by stopping off at the convenience store or drive-thru for an ice cold soda pop.

Preparing a quick dinner at home with ease, I was thankful for my generation. But at the same time, the bouncing back and forth into the 19th Century was a nudge to not take my privileges for granted.

Using history to empower the future

I gradually started making some changes at home. I wanted my kitchen functional like our ancestor’s had been. This meant no more decorations taking up needed shelf space because it looked cute, or placing all my dependency on an electrical cord.

I replaced the self-cleaning electric range for a gas stove and oven.

My high efficiency washing machine was traded in for a heavy duty top loader and I hung a clothes line.

When my new dishwasher broke, I reverted back to the old fashioned way of washing by hand.

I exchanged my Teflon skillets for heavy duty cast iron.

I continued using my automatic coffee machine, but kept the stove top percolator on standby.

No more reliance on electric can-openers, or noisy food processors. Although I loved my electric wheat grinder, I purchased a hand-crank just in case.

Imitating our ancestors who prepared for emergencies and the change of seasons, I too took advantage of the seasonal sales at the farmer’s market and grocery stores, stocking up on bulk and dry goods, canning my own soups and meat, and taking advantages of the holiday clearances.

Unplugging from dependency

As I faced my 2nd power outage that morning, I realized my helplessness was due to my dependency.

My entire day was planned by the instant gratification of electricity:

  • Flipping a switch for light
  • Stuffing the washing machine with dirty laundry
  • Checking the bank online to pay bills
  • Staying connected with family and friends through the Internet
  • Checking my online store
  • Vacuuming the floor
  • Catching the news on TV
  • Running my sewing machine
  • Recharging my Kindle Fire

…and now my day was shot.

But more debilitating was the unknown. Like every other power outage, I didn’t know when life would resume to normal.

Although I was inconvenienced that morning, I was equipped and capable of stepping back into the 1800’s.

The thought crossed my mind that if I could still experience helplessness even though I was prepared for the long term, I could only imagine the feelings of hopelessness for those who are inadequately prepared for the short term.

Taking charge in a power outage

What if in a worst case scenario, our power was off long term?

Living by the motto to not focus on the problem but to look for a solution, this is how I would approach my original itinerary.

  • Flipping a switch — I would open curtains and use natural light, take most activities outdoors, and after dark, we would use flashlights, candles and oil lanterns. Our ancestors went to bed early, and got up early.
  • Stuffing a washing machine — Clothes are easy to clean by soaking in a large bucket and hand scrubbing with a bar of soap. Hang to dry on a clothesline. Our ancestors didn’t own multiple outfits or shoes, nor did they bathe every day.
  • Checking bank online and paying bills Saving cash for emergencies is very important. Depending on how serious the power outage is, banking systems could be down, forcing us to prioritize what gets paid. Some options are to locate Internet access away from home, have a landline telephone as a back-up, or access the Internet through a smart phone. In a worst case scenario, there will be no access to online banks, credit cards, or savings accounts. Ideally, the best plan of action is to always be stocked up on food, water, supplies, and prescriptions for the long term. Our ancestors lived within their means and purchased with barter or cash.
  • Connecting with family and friends through Internet —Like many people, my relatives and friends are spread throughout the world. Being thrust into the “dark ages” will end my daily dosage of Facebook, and emails. This is why I’m taking advantage of the opportunity to educate others while I can. It is a great peace of mind to know that my family and friends were listening and prepared, if or when we lose all contact. Our ancestors connected through the mail, telegraph, word of mouth, getting to know their neighbors, and spending time with their family.
  • Checking my online store — A long term power shortage would create difficulties for my home based business. I would not be able to correspond online with customers, use my printer, and list merchandise. My best plan of action is to place my store on “vacation mode” if I had temporary access to the Internet. While waiting on power to be restored, I could use my time wisely by building inventory with what I had. Our ancestors took advantage of bad weather and off seasons, by catching up on mending and other demands.
  • Vacuuming the floor — I have carpeting, but there’s a plan. A good straw broom can do brisk wonders for a floor. Some of our ancestors had dirt floors.
  • Catching the news on TV — I own several solar and battery powered radios, and shortwave. For the holidays, we gave our relatives the wind-up, solar powered radios as gifts. Unless our ancestors had access to the newspaper, they were dependent on word of mouth.
  • Running my sewing machine — Although I love my sewing machines, I also enjoy sewing by hand. Unless our ancestors had money, very few owned a treadle sewing machine. A young girl was taught to sew by hand when she was old enough to hold a needle.
  • Recharging my Kindle Fire — Although I love reading from my digital book, as well as the instant gratification of purchasing and downloading, I knew early on to stock my book shelves with real books. With a massive power outage and no access to the Internet, it is important for my family to have immediate access to medical, veterinary, dental, gardening, plant identifications, old recipes, prepping, spiritual, and leisure books. Our ancestors spent time together sharing stories, reading together, and playing musical instruments.

When I read about massive power shortages in other places, the long gas lines, and the empty store shelves, I am reminded of how dependent our society has become.

My question is: Are you empowered enough to face a short or long term power shortage, or will you too be left feeling powerless?

 

Simple Faraday Cage

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A homemade Faraday cage that will protect life-saving and useful electronics from an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) event is something that every prepper should have. It doesn’t need to be fancy, or complicated. It doesn’t need to be an entire room. There are DIY simple faraday cage designs that can be built quickly, with supplies on hand, and then kept in your garage, basement, attic, or vehicle as storage containers for those sensitive machines that you want to protect.

Let’s discuss EMPs, and why we need to shield our equipment from them.

What is an EMP?

An EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) is a short burst of electromagnetic energy that is powerful enough to destroy electronic equipment. There are three major sources of these bursts. First is a very large solar flare from the Sun. Luckily large solar flares are not at all common and are very directional. So the likelihood of one big enough to affect us and aimed directly at Earth is pretty small, but still possible.

Second source of an EMP is from a nuclear warhead detonating on land. This would be a fairly contained EMP that radiates away from the warhead impact location. Though significant, the radiation effects of the nuclear warhead would be much more devastating than the EMP would be.

The third and scariest of the possible EMP options is a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP). This is where a nuclear warhead is detonated hundreds of miles above the Earth’s surface. There is little to no radiation affects from these blasts. But the EMP effect is massive to fragile electronics below, for a range of hundreds to thousands of miles depending on the size of the blast. One large HEMP could affect all of Europe.

Any of these three sources would seriously compromise our modern infrastructure by destroying electronics that run our grid, including power stations, sewage facilities, modern airplanes, and modern vehicles. If you want to get a general idea of what life would be like after such an attack, take a look at some of the books on the Prepper Fiction page.

Michael Faraday simple faraday cage inventor

What is a Faraday Cage?

A Faraday cage–also know as a Faraday shield–really isn’t that complicated. Named after the English scientist Michael Faraday, who invented them in 1836, a simple Faraday cage is just an enclosure made of a non-conductive material, that is then enclosed in a structure that is made of a conductive material. You could simply wrap a cardboard box in several layers of aluminum foil and make a aluminum foil Faraday cage. Or you could go really big and put cardboard boxes inside of a large metal shipping container to make a shipping container Faraday cage.

A Faraday shield could be small, enclosing only one item. Or, you could build a mid-sized one for each room. Maybe a larger one for your garage. Let’s take a look at three simple Faraday cage options.

3 Simple Faraday Cage Options

Metal Trash Can Faraday Cage

First let’s make a simple Faraday cage out of a standard metal trash can. I stopped by the local big box hardware store and bought a 31 gallon metal trash can and a slightly smaller 20 gallon plastic trash can. I made sure the height and diameter were similar, with the plastic can being just small enough to fit easily into the metal can with the metal lid fitting snugly. I had to do a little bit of prepper engineering by removing plastic handles so I could insert the whole plastic trash can inside the metal trash can. Both lids close correctly. It is really important to have a tight seal of the outside aluminum can.

I’ve seen several sites that use cardboard or carpet pieces to make similar Faraday cages. But I really think that the ease of a second plastic trash can is the way to go.

I made a Instructable that walks through the whole creation process.

Simple Faraday Cage

Instructable - Simple Faraday Cage
Click!

This will hold a lot of stuff and protect electronics from EMP. But will also a nice portable Faraday cage.


Ammo Can Faraday Cage

Second we can build an ammo can Faraday cage. One thing about the military is that they have some really cool containers that are made to last. I didn’t realize while I was in the Army but all of the important equipment like night vision goggles, special weapon sights and shoulder-fired anti-tank weapons had custom containers. They were made of aluminum with cut out foam inside to ensure things wouldn’t move. But now I know they were also pretty simple Faraday cages. Military ammo cans are inexpensive and easy to find.

Here are a few links to help you make your own:


Faraday Bags

Lastly Amazon has some pretty cool Faraday bags for sale. There are some inexpensive Faraday bags that basically look like really thick static bags which computer parts are shipped in. Also there is a really nice duffle bag that is specially lined to protect against EMP attacks.

Conclusion

Once you know how to make a simple Faraday cage, it really isn’t too hard to build your own. I think it would be great to see some that other people have built. Leave comments or send me an email and I will add them to this post.

If you found this article helpful/interesting, please Share it by clicking on the social media links. Thank you for helping us grow!

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Dangerous Threats You Haven’t Thought To Prepare For

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Dangerous Threats You Haven’t Thought To Prepare For For a person who is preparing for the basics of preparedness this article takes you down a path of the more terrifying threats we face. What are you truly preparing for. Though we all want to hit as many buckets with our preps as possible I think …

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North Korea’s Satellites May ALREADY Have EMP Weapon, Expert Warns; ‘We’re Blind And Defenseless’; ‘90 Percent Of Population’ Would Die

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North Korea's Satellites May ALREADY Have EMP Weapon, Expert Warns; ‘We’re Blind And Defenseless’; ‘90 Percent Of Population’ Would Die

It’s possible North Korea already has deployed an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon capable of killing 90 percent of the population, and it’s passing over the United States each day.

That’s what Peter Vincent Pry, the chief of staff for the Congressional EMP Commission, believes. Pry told Off The Grid Radio that North Korea has two satellites circling the globe that the U.S. knows little about.

“The threat we’re most concerned about is a nuclear EMP attack, and North Korea might well be able to do that right now,” Pry said.

An EMP weapon is a low-yield nuclear bomb that generates electromagnetic energy that would fry all electronics – including the power grid.

North Korea’s two satellites are called Kwangmyŏngsŏng (KMS)-3 and KMS-4.

“You almost never hear about this in the press,” Pry told  Off The Grid Radio. “(KMS-3) is still up there, and it passes over the United States in a South-polar trajectory. South-polar trajectories are significant because we don’t have any ballistic missile early-warning radars facing South. We don’t have any interceptors facing South. We’re blind and defenseless.”

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He added that KMS-3 is “at the optimum altitude for putting an EMP field down over all 48 contiguous United States.”

America’s defenses are set up to stop Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMS) fired over the North Pole, but not a satellite on a trajectory like KMS-3, Pry said.

“An electromagnetic pulse, a single weapon, detonated at that altitude would fry electronics, black out the electrical grid completely — not just temporarily but possibly forever,” Pry said.

“We, the Congressional EMP Commission, estimate that if we have a blackout that lasts one year — which an EMP attack could do — we would lose 90 percent of our population to starvation, disease and societal collapse,” Pry warned. “We’re an electronic civilization. We can’t survive without electronics.”

“There’s only enough food in the country for 30 days, and it begins to spoil in three days because the emergency generators in the big regional fuel warehouses only have enough fuel for three days,” Pry said. “So, in three days the food supply will start spoiling.”

Nuclear Plants a Concern, Too

Starvation would be just one of the horrors of an EMP apocalypse.

“The nuclear reactors — we’ve got 100 of them — would go Fukushima in seven days,” Pry said.

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Nuclear reactors are cooled by water moved by electric pumps. If the pumps shut down, the reactors overheat and cause steam explosions.

“In effect, it turns all those nuclear reactors and their cooling ponds into dirty bombs that would spread dangerous levels of radioactivity all over the country,” Pry said.

Additionally, in a long-term blackout gas and oil pipelines would explode and trigger massive firestorms that could engulf entire cities.

“We’re not set up for blackouts that last a week,” Pry said. “And we’re talking in a nuclear EMP attack a blackout that would last at least a year. … If you lose 90 percent of your population you’re never coming back. You can’t recover the grid when nine out of 10 people are dead. That’s what North Korea could do.”

Pry also noted that the strength of North Korea’s first nuclear bomb, tested in 2006, was consistent with the explosive force needed for an EMP superweapon. Such a weapon would only weigh around 100 pounds and could fit in a satellite.

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One Second After Review | episode 149

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One Second After Review | episode 149
One Second After Review | episode 149

One Second After Review | episode 149

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This week I review the audible version of One Second After by William Forstchen. After years of the book being recommended, I finally gave it a try. 

 

 

 

Topics

 

  • Shows realistic effects of an emp
  • Shows you some things that will work and what won’t after an emp
  • Gives you ideas of some things to do and how to govern
  • Priorities >smokes over food and insulin
  • Many characters not developed
  • The voice after was terrible at Southern accents
  • Could have used more survival info

 

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North Korea Prepping EMP Catastrophe Aimed At U.S. Homefront

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North Korea Prepping EMP Catastrophe Aimed At U.S. Homefront In 2012 I was playing a video game called Homefront. It was one of the best stories I have ever played. America was hit by a high altitude EMP attack by North Korea. They then launched a full scale attack on a crippled military and desperate …

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EMP Q&A: North Korea’s EMP Threat Explained

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The world we live in relies on electricity totally. The heating and cooling, the hospitals, and banks, the communications and transportation and even working land for food would go into chaos with only one killing EMP shot.

Humankind is working hard to make it possible, just take a look at North Korea. And before asking about Koreans’ capability to drop an EMP on US, remember the critics who mocked the Japanese before WW2.

History is prone to repeat itself. Prepare yourself in time to survive its lessons. Keep reading to discover how the North Korea’s EMP threat is explained.

This guide will help you survive more than an EMP!

A Threat Like No Other

Once people become aware of the threat posed by EMP, they naturally have questions about EMP preparedness. Actually, EMP is one of those subjects where the more you learn about it, the more questions you tend to have.

I was pleased to be invited back to PrepperCon 2017 to host EMP Survival Question & Answer Sessions again this year, on behalf of Survivopedia, and address some of these questions. Feel free to ask your own questions on EMP survival in a comment, and I’ll do my best to find the proper answer for each of them!

The types of EMP that present a threat to mankind are incredibly powerful pulses of energetic radio waves that can pass through the human body undetected, yet wreak devastation upon the systems mankind depends on to sustain life.

The electrical grid, fossil fuels, water, food, healthcare, banking, communications, internet and transportation are critical to our way of life. Even a temporary loss of any of these system is catastrophic.

When we consider how much these systems are interdependent, the loss of all of them at once would paralyze the nation to a degree which is difficult for most people to comprehend.

Why & How North Korea Can Drop an EMP On The US

Question: Is it possible that North Korea could pose a threat to the US?

I heard that they would need thermonuclear weapons, better missiles, bigger nukes or the ability to miniaturize them in order to be able to harm the USA.

Answer: Any country that has nuclear weapons and can orbit satellites has the technology and ability to carry out an EMP attack on the USA. I have noticed a great deal of ignorance on this subject in social media posts and blogs.

It does not take thermonuclear weapons, ICBMs or miniaturization to create a Nuclear High-Altitude EMP (HEMP). The USA created the first HEMP I am aware of with the Hardtack Yucca nuclear test. In that test, a small warhead was carried high enough to make use of the Compton Effect, resulting in a 1000-fold increase in EM field strength. The weapon does not have to be large, at most 10 kilotons, which is the size of tests North Korea has been carrying out.

To affect nearly the entire Lower 48 states with a single weapon, optimal height of burst would have to be 300-400 km, but still lower than the orbit of North Korean Satellites, which overfly the US. Dropping a nuclear weapon that would detonate lower in the atmosphere is certainly within the country’s capabilities.

The last two satellites have payloads sufficient to house a nuclear weapon. North Korea has committed a lot of resources to both satellite and nuclear programs. North Korea has also practiced launching missiles of cargo vessels just like Iran.

The US has few defenses to shoot down such an attack launched from international waters in the gulf coast unless we specifically station a carrier battlegroup there. Even a detonation at much lower altitude could affect a city or even an entire state.

North Korea’s latest test may have been a nearly 10 kiloton neutron bomb optimized for maximum gamma yield. This what we would refer to as a superEMP or enhanced radiation weapon. These points, taken together amount to quite a body of evidence that North Korea has been planning an EMP attack or to create the appearance of the ability of such an attack for over a decade.

Critics point to past failed launches, overlooking the fact that we also had failed launches early on and our first attempt to orbit a satellite also failed. They only need one to succeed. They also point to the fact that putting weapons in space is a breach of international law.

North Korea has a history of violating international law with abandon even when it has meant harsh sanctions so it puzzles me why anyone would see this as an obstacle. Miniaturization of nuclear weapons was not a serious obstacle to the US and was achieved within a couple of years even before we had microcomputers.

Critics mocking North Korea’s military capability sound very much like critics who mocked the Japanese before we engaged them in combat in WW2. History seems to be repeating itself.

Why Fixing the Grid Would Take Years of Survival

Questions: I heard it could take 3.5 years or longer to fix the grid. Don’t we have stockpiles of Large Power Transformers (LPT’s) that we could just swap out if they were damaged by an EMP? Why would it take so long to fix the grid?

Find out how to survive when the lights go out!

Answer: The 3.5 year number assumed that only the USA was affected, that the rest of the world was undamaged by cascading failure and that other nations would help us. In senate hearings, committees have the luxury of examining the question in a bubble.

In the real world, nations are highly interdependent and growing more so every year.  e.g. the loss of the US economy could bring down the world economy with it since the EU economy is closely tied to the US economy and without the US and EU, China would lose its consumer base.

Let’s say an EMP has knocked out the electrical grid and it is our job to fix our little part of it. We need a LPT (Large Power Transformer) to replace the one that was damaged by the EMP. An LPT at a power generating plant steps up voltage for transmission over long distances through transmission lines.

At the destination where the electrical energy will be consumed, another LPT then steps the voltage back down to a voltage that is useful to the destination city’s electrical grid, so we will suppose that our hometown needs a step-down LPT.

LPT’s are custom built, can weigh between 100 and 410 tons, can cost up to $10M each and take up to 2 years to build even in a fully functioning world. Considering the obstacles to obtaining a LPT in a post-EMP world demonstrates the difficulty of estimating how long it would take to get an EMP-ravaged grid running again with any degree of accuracy.

Ordering a New LPT After an EMP? Prepare to Wait!

Normally, we would create a request for proposals, evaluate the bids and award the contract to build our LPT. This will take longer with the phone system and computers down. The red tape would need to be sorted out somehow, and we would need to establish limited communications through radio operators.

The factory that would build our LPT would not be able to start production because they lack electric power to the run the factory, but we will imagine top priority is given to LPT factories and we are able to get power to build. Our order would normally sit in a queue, the factory would need incentive to rush our order past other orders just as urgent as ours.

The plant would want their $10M, but the world banking system could be paralyzed or even collapse. We might have to pay in gold or leaders might attempt to coerce cooperation.

The factory would have to get workers to leave their families in the middle of a protracted grid-down emergency. Even if it could, they wouldn’t work for funny money.

The workers would not be able to work without food, which could be a real problem because just-in-time inventory management virtually guarantees a food crisis. The world food system could collapse. But farmers would have no fuel to run giant tractors guided by GPS that also would not work.

Companies would likely have to pay workers in food.

A solar storm of this magnitude would also knock out satellites, meaning no satellite phones, communications satellites or GPS.

To build the needed LPTs, we would need vast stores of high grade electrical steel and copper which can account for more than half the cost of an LPT. The US produces no more than 20% of these raw materials annually.

Most LPT’s were built between 1954 and 1978. We would need to get the manufacturer copies of the schematics. While this might seem trivial with the aid of computers and telecom equipment, it would likely further delay replacement LPT’s.

Our LPT would probably be ready to ship between 6 months and 5 years after the order was placed. But even before the MHD EMP, special transport had to be arranged to ship a 410-ton After the MHD EMP there would not be enough fuel or functioning refineries. DoD would probably have to handle transport of the LPT, but most military bases are dependent on civilian power infrastructure.

The naval vessel transporting the LPT could run into bad weather or navigation problems because weather satellites would be down and GPS navigation inoperable.

With around 2,000 LPTs in service, the USA has more LPTs in service than any other nation, which also means the US grid has more major points of vulnerability than any other nation. The combined production capability of the entire world has never exceeded 600 units/year, even at its peak over 44 years ago.

The total combined LPT production of the whole planet has not exceeded 400 LPTs/year since 1973. It would take time to ramp that production back up.

Why to Fear the Power of Solar Storms Too

Question: How long could it take to recover from EMP caused by the sun?

Answer: The type of EMP that occurs due to solar activity can cause power surges in the electrical grid, overloading it and causing physical damage. This type of EMP is known as magnetohydrodynamic EMP (MHD EMP). Magnetohydrodynamics is the study of magnetic properties in electrically conductive fluids, like the hot, electrically conducting plasma the sun is comprised of.

Solar activity such as Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) can send a mass of solar energized particles toward the earth that can arrive in as little as a day, interacting with the earth’s magnetosphere and causing a geomagnetic storm. The result can be brilliant aurorae (Northern or Southern Lights), damaged satellites, disruption of radio communications and damage to the electrical grid.

Depending on the intensity and duration of the event, a MHD EMP event could affect an area as small as an Eastern state and the grid could be back up the same day. It is also possible that a severe MHD EMP could affect the entire planet.

Studies presented to the congressional EMP Commission estimated that the USA could have its grid back up in 1.5 – 3.5 years, but I am doubtful of this number. For starters, there is no manual on how to restart the grid. It has simply never been done. The electrical grid was slowly pieced together over more than 100 years. Fixing the grid will be delayed by a bit of a chicken – egg problem.

You can’t get the grid back up without Large Power Transformers (LPT’s) and you can’t build LPT’s without electricity, transportation, food, safe drinking water, security for the workers and their families and everyone who supports each of those systems, their families and so on.

Any way you look at it, recovery from a server MHD EMP event would be a process, not an event, and a long, non-linear process full of obstacles that we could not possibly predict, at that.

To Ground or not to Ground the Faraday Cage?

Question: I have heard conflicting answers. Should I ground my Faraday cage or not?

Answer: Yes … and no.

If your Faraday cage is the size of a refrigerator or smaller and is not wired with electric outlets and a breaker box like you have in your home, then, no, do not ground it. Grounding a small Faraday cage can do more harm than good.

You could think of it in terms that the ground could act like an EMP antenna, receiving the electromagnetic energy (radio waves) of the EMP, converting into power and possibly radiating into the space you are trying to shield.

If your Faraday cage is the size of a room or building or is wired for mains electricity (AC power), then yes, it should be properly grounded.

If You Still Have Questions About EMP Survival

EMP is one of the greatest threats mankind faces and I do not want you to leave your preparations on hold for lack of information. Please ask questions in the comments below or email them to us. Speak up, reach out and remember that imperfect preparations are better than none.

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This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia. 

Preppers University – Sign Up Now

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Preppers UniversityFounded by Lisa Bedford of The Survival Mom fame and prolific writer, Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper, Preppers University is a unique and interactive online school designed for a small group of highly focused students, willing to commit their time and energy to ensure their homes and families are prepared.

Preppers University Instructors

A really impressive list of instructors has been gathered to teach and be available for questions. Click through some of their web sites and look at the books that this group have authored. This is the best online resource I have seen to date!

Lisa Bedford, The Survival Mom: Lisa is the founder of The Survival Mom blog, an author, speaker, and will teach webinars throughout the course.


Daisy Luther is a prolific writer and author and is Co-Founder of Preppers University. Daisy’s expertise lies in the practical application of preparedness and common sense survival. She will be teaching webinars throughout the term.


Dr. Arthur T. Bradley is nationally known as an expert in EMP research. He has written numerous books, both fiction and non-fiction, and joins us to talk about EMP preparedness.


​Fernando Aguirre is better known to some as FerFAL, author, blogger, and survivor of Argentina’s economic decline and collapse. Fernando will join us to talk about realities of an economic collapse.


Jim Cobb is the author of 9 books related to survival and preparedness. He joins Prep U students to teach Suburban/Urban Survival and Security. Jim is a private investigator and is the lead consultant with Disaster Prep Consultants.


Mark “Merriwether” Vorderbruggen Ph.D. has been a forager all his life. Author of Idiot’s Guide to Foraging, he’ll be teaching how to harvest nature’s free food to supplement your food storage pantry.


Herbalist Cat Ellis shares her experience and expertise in a session focused on natural remedies for times when there is no doctor. Cat is a blogger, author, and hosts 2 podcasts.


Patrice Lewis, well-known columnist for World Net Daily, author, and blogger at Rural-Revolution will teach our Intensive students the realities of rural life. Our students will leave her session with a thorough understanding of the pros and cons of a rural homestead.


Cherie Norton is an NRA Firearms Instructor and an avid homesteader. She is a long-time advocate of the Second Amendment and will be presenting a webinar about keeping yourself safe through situational awareness.


Tammy Trayer is a freelance writer and author, radio show host and homesteader. She’ll talks to students about living of the grid, and surviving with no power.


Lisa Egan is a researcher and writer. She has a BS in Health Science. Lisa has worked as both a personal trainer and nutritionist. Her experiences help to give lots of information when she talks about bug out boot camps in her webinar.


Selco is the founder of SHTF School. Join him when he discuses what it’s really like to live in a war-torn country.


Steven Konkoly graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1993, receiving a bachelor of science in English literature. He is the best selling author of multiple books including the recently released Fractured State books. In his webinar, he’ll talks all about Pandemics.


A. American is the author of the Survivalist hit series. He is a prepper, survivalist and avid outdoors men with a wide knowledge of medicinal and edible plants.


Rick Austin is the author of Secret Garden of Survival. He is a researcher, farmer, and survivalist and will join us to teach you how to grow a plentiful and sustainable food supply that is camouflaged and hides in plain sight.


Brandon Smith is the founder and chief strategist behind the Alternative Market Project. He’ll join students in an informative webinar.


Tim Young is author of the bestselling book How to Make Money Homesteading, as well as many other books that can help people enjoy a more prepared and self-sufficient lifestyle.

Preppers University – Sign Up Now

Preppers University

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Does North Korea Have the Ability to Destroy Our Electrical Grid?

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When it comes to winning it is not always about the size or capability of a country’s army, but rather its willingness to use weapons of mass destruction. Like in any fight, it is often mindset that determines the outcome. Seeing how this country sometimes gives in or capitulate to demands that seem outrageous and […]

The post Does North Korea Have the Ability to Destroy Our Electrical Grid? appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

Without Electricity Most Of The Population Will Not Survive

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It really is incredible when you start to think deeply about our reliance upon electricity and the terrible disastrous consequences of being without it for a long period of time. Heck, even a relatively short period of time without electricity will likely result in people “losing it”… How long will it take without electricity until […]

North Korea: What The Media Isn’t Telling You

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Kim Jon Un

North Korea has been one of America’s enemies for years, but in recent weeks things have escalated to a new, dangerous level. The North Koreans are threatening to strike the United States, and the U.S. is reportedly considering a preemptive attack.

What should the United States do?

That’s the topic on this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio, as we talk to Peter Vincent Pry, who is chief of staff of the EMP Commission and who formerly served in the House Armed Services Committee and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Pry – who has co-written articles on the subject for The Wall Street Journal, The Hill and the Washington Times – says that what we’re hearing in the mainstream media isn’t the full picture. In fact, Pry says, North Korea is even more dangerous than we may realize.

Pry tells us:

  • Why we can’t necessarily believe what the experts tell us about North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capability.
  • Why North Korea could use an unconventional method to strike the U.S. with an EMP or traditional nuclear attack.
  • Why every American citizen should be concerned that North Korea has two satellites that regularly fly over the U.S.
  • Why we can’t trust the Chinese, who are responsible for more than 80 percent of North Korea’s imports and exports.

Finally, Pry gives us his thoughts on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

If you want to separate fact from fiction, then don’t miss this week’s show. You won’t hear any of it from the mainstream media!

 

Survival Composting: Can Human Excrement Be Used as Compost?

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If Society Falls, How Will You Feed Your Family? Here’s One Way …

After the movie, The Martian, a lot of people wonder — can human excrement really be used as compost?

Wow — ready for the answer?

 

Imagine what the world would look like after a devastating event on an apocalypse level.

The World After an Apocalypse — Can You Survive?

The apocalypse could be something like a major power grid failure, major war or some natural disaster that completely destroys the world as we know it. What some proclaim as “judgment day” coming from the hand of God and others consider just a probable event when unruly nations like North Korea are allowed to develop several nuclear weapons, an EMP caused by a nuclear explosion, a solar flare or some man made device is a very real possibility.

It is something the governments are preparing to deal with because there is such a high probability it will happen. There is no doubt that our power grid is in danger and that terrorists are dreaming up ways to try to take it down.

If an EMP takes place…

If a massive EMP happens, the world as we know it will crumble. It will take out the power grid, which will create a domino effect. Everything will fall apart. Businesses will collapse. The banking systems will be non-existent and the food supply chain will cease. Life is going to be much harder and you will be completely dependent on yourself.

Growing your own food will be a necessity. You won’t have the luxury of running to a grocery store when you need to put food on the table. It will have to come from your own crops. That is a lot of pressure. In today’s world, most people are not prepared to grow their own food. They don’t have the knowledge or the know-how. It is going to be a scary situation.

If you are familiar with gardening at all, you are probably well aware of the many, many products on the market to help your garden thrive. Fertilizers are regularly used by commercial farms and hobby gardeners. They help speed things along while ensuring plants are healthy. If your plants and the soil in which they grow don’t have the necessary nutrition, your garden is going to fail.

If Your Garden Fails – You Starve

Without backup foods and preps of course, and we’ve written previously on several of the best survival foods to be stockpiling today.

That should be a simple fact to understand, which is why you need to know about survival composting.

Compost is Organic Material with the Nutrients for Rich Soil

Compost is organic material added to the soil. Compost is rich in things like nitrogen and carbon. These components are what make soil rich and fertile. Fertile ground is what you need to make your garden grow. If your soil is healthy and full of nutrients, you won’t have a need for fertilizer.

Compost Attracts Worms

Compost attracts worms as well. Worms thrive in rich soil and make it even better. Their little tunnels help break up the soil, making it nice and loose for the sprawling roots of your plants. They also add their own fertilizer and organic material to the soil for the plants’ roots to feed on. It is a harmonious balance that every gardener strives for.

Why Compost?

Every time you grow something in soil, you are depleting the nutrients. Think of your soil as a bucket of water. Each time you grow a plant, you are taking out some of that water. Soon, it will be empty. Your soil will quickly be drained of the nutrients it needs to feed the plants. This is why it is so important you are constantly adding nutrients to the soil in the form of compost.

If you continue to plant, harvest, plant, harvest, you are going to deplete your soil. Practicing proper crop rotation is one way you can give the soil a rest. This is a practice that is very common in today’s world. Farmers will rotate fields each season. One season it is planted with something like corn or potatoes and the following year a cover crop, like clover or alfalfa is planted. The cover crops add nutrients back to the soil. The plant material sits in the fields over the growing season and winter, slowly breaking down and feeding the soil so it is ready to go the following year.

Unfortunately, in a grid down situation, that may not be possible. Every inch of ground you have available is an invaluable commodity. You need to grow as much food as possible on every bit of land available.

You can skip the downtime for a field by mixing in compost after a harvest. The compost cuts out that waiting period. You would harvest, add in your compost and allow it to sit in the ground over the winter months, eliminating the need to give your field a rest season. Your fields or garden bed are going to be ready for your seeds.

What is Compost Exactly?

Compost is really garbage. It is a lot of kitchen scraps that you wouldn’t eat. Things like potato peels, rinds, coffee grounds and so on. It can also be the parts of the fruits and vegetables you don’t eat like the tops of the carrots or the core of an apple. Newspaper and cardboard are also nice additions to a compost heap. Compost is comprised of organic material. Anything that can break down can be tossed in a compost pile. You would want to avoid things like plastic that don’t break down-at least not in the next five lifetimes.

Compost has fondly been dubbed Black Gold. It is a vital part of a healthy garden. After the kitchen waste has been given some time to break down, it turns into a dark loose material. It resembles a mixture of straw and dirt once it has gone through the break down process. This material is worked into the soil with a rototiller, hoe or just spread over the top and allowed to naturally work its way in.

Compost is not fertilizer. Compost feeds the soil. Fertilizer feeds the plants. If your soil is rich in nutrients, you don’t need the addition of chemical fertilizers. There is a reason organic gardening is so popular these days. The produce from an organic garden tastes better and is far better for you than produce grown with the help of some chemical fertilizer cooked up in a laboratory.

Now, when we say organic matter is what makes up a compost heap, we are also talking about waste i.e. poop. Every compost heap is benefited by the addition of poop. Yes, poop. Chicken poop and steer manure is so popular for use in gardens, it is sold by the bag at nearly every nursery and home store. You don’t have to pay for this excellent soil additive. You make your own everyday, right in your own home.

Yes, human waste is a fabulous addition to your compost heap that can mean the difference between having food on the table and starving. Before you turn up your nose, wait. There is plenty of evidence to back up the use of human waste in the garden.

Poop for Compost Heaps?

In today’s world, people are picky about the poop they use to fertilize their gardens. As mentioned earlier, chicken and steer are highly sought after. Feces is high in nitrogen. It will make your plants green and very leafy. As you get into composting, you are going to hear a lot about what NOT to compost. One of the things that is always heavily debated is the human waste addition to a compost heap.

Plenty of compost experts are going to tell you to never use human waste in your heap. There is a good reason for that. Human waste is full of parasites and bacteria that can make you incredibly sick. We know how important it is to wash our hands after taking care of business so we don’t spread disease. We know that poor sanitation can lead to a lot of nasty viruses and outbreaks of potentially fatal diseases.

So, why would we ever use human waste in a compost bin?

It’s free. It’s plentiful. And, it is a great way to recycle. After a world as we know it ending situation, compost is going to be a necessity and the one thing you are guaranteed to have available is human waste.

Safety of Human Waste in Compost Heaps

This is a topic that will get people really fired up. After movies like “The Martian” and a society that is more environmentally conscientious, recycling everything, including human waste, has become very trendy. It is something referred to as humanure. The bacteria and other pathogens found in human waste need a certain temperature to thrive. Think about the meat you cook for dinner. If you were to eat raw chicken or hamburger, there is a pretty good chance you could get sick. If you cook the meat to a certain temperature, the nasty viruses are killed and the meat is safe to eat. This concept applies to human waste as well.

Human waste needs to be heated in order to kill off the harmful organisms. This does not mean you cook up a poop stew. A compost heap provides all the heat needed to kill the harmful bacteria, viruses and other dangerous organisms that are in human waste.

The break down of organic material creates a reaction that quite literally cooks the manure and transforms it into the nutrient-rich compost that can make your garden flourish. In a recent test of the humanure system, Nance Klehm collected feces from 22 people. The people pooped in buckets and delivered it to Klehm. She dumped all of the waste material together and allowed it to sit in a compost heap for 11 months. It was given a stir and then tested again a year later. It was completely free of the bacteria and pathogens that typically contaminate human waste. It was completely safe once it went through the break down process, which we will cover in depth a bit later.

Composting Toilet

The composting toilet is a great way to get started with the humanure process. There are a number of different ways to create a composting toilet or you can spend a little extra cash and buy one that has everything you need. A composting toilet will catch all of the human waste. Every time a person uses the toilet, they add a layer of sawdust or woodchips. This helps contain any odor, covers up the business and starts the process of breaking down the waste to turn it into compost. Sawdust or wood chips are the best option for your composting toilet when it is in use in the house. Once you remove the basin/bucket or whatever you are using to catch the waste, you can add things like straw, grass clippings and etc…to the waste to help speed up the composting process. A composting toilet will not only save water, but it will give you an excellent additive for your garden. Imagine a world without plumbing, which is exactly what will happen after a massive EMP. People will still need to use the toilet. It just makes sense to put everything to good use!

Aerobic Composting of Human Waste

Aerobic composting is basically an open air compost heap. You will quite literally have a pile of poop in the yard or wherever you have designated your compost heap to be.

The waste from the composting toilet is dumped into the pile along with your kitchen and yard waste and allowed to ferment. You will need to use a pitch fork to “stir” the pile from time to time. In the very beginning of a compost heap, it will smell. Just avoid the area until the process gets moving along. The breakdown of organic material produces heat. The center of a compost heap can reach temperatures of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This is where you want your heap to be temperature wise for at least three weeks. You will often hear gardeners and expert composters talk about a heap and say it is too hot to be put into the soil. It is. It would actually scorch the soil if a cooking heap of compost was put into the soil. When a compost heap is “hot” you will get a very strong ammonia smell. Give it a good stir, wait a day or two and the smell will dissipate.

A hot compost pile is killing off those harmful pathogens and bacteria that are typically found in human waste. It is important you actually take the temperature of your compost heap. This is a critical step in the process of turning otherwise deadly human waste into a nutrient-rich material that will make your garden thrive.

Once the pathogens and bacteria are killed off, your heap cools down and you get this mellow process that slowly transforms the waste into an earthy, almost dirt-like substance.

Don’t Get the Compost Too Hot — Or You’ll Kill Good Microbes

It is possible for your compost heap to get too hot. If you have a lot of nitrogen-rich waste in your heap, things can really start cooking to the point the good microbes are killed off. If this happens, the breakdown process is interrupted and the heap will no longer be compost. It will be a very flammable alcohol. These hot heaps are fire hazards waiting to happen.

Human waste has got a bit of a bad reputation. When done right, it can be an invaluable tool to your survival garden. Check out the following books to learn more about survival composting with human waste.

 

Building Your Compost Bin

You can make your own outdoor aerobic compost heap with a few wooden pallets. Create an open U with the front being the open place. The pallets along the back and both sides will help keep the heap contained in one area. Ideally, you will want three bins so you always have a fresh batch of compost cooking. Once you have constructed your space for your heap, it is time to start adding your organic matter. There are some basics you will want to follows. Things to add to your heap include;

• Human waste

• Chicken, horse and other livestock waste

• Kitchen scraps

• Grass clippings

• Newspaper

• Cardboard

• Dead leaves, branches

• Cotton rags, scraps

• Ash from woodstove

• Sawdust (if using a composting toilet, you won’t need any extra)

• Wood chips

• Hay/straw

There are some things you will want to keep out of your compost heap. These are things that may introduce unwanted elements, like a noxious odor and unwanted parasites and diseases.

• Weeds or their seed heads

• Meat bones

• Milk products

• Plants that are diseased or full of pests like aphids

• Grease, lard or oil will attract flies, which brings maggots

• Black walnut leaves and branches are toxic

• Avoid adding wood chips that have been chemically treated

• Avoid any chemicals in general

You will be amazed at how quick your compost heap builds up. Once your pile has reached a certain height or you have been building it for about a month or two, it is time to leave it alone and let it do its thing. You can buy an actual compost heap thermometer at Home Depot or online. It is pretty quick and easy to check the temperature of your heap. Poke the thermometer in, wait for the dial to stop moving and you will know where you stand. If it is too hot, give the heap a good stir and spread it out. If nothing is happening, you need to add more waste to help get things cooking.

You will soon see how easy it is to compost and will appreciate what it does for your soil.

Why Survival Composting? Modern Day Society Could Crumble

Rather than the world moving toward an advanced and peaceful society, the fact is that the chaotic nature of unruly governments and religious extremists like Islamic Radicals mean that we will always have war, violence, disease and the possibility for a clash of civilizations. History is littered with these clashes and multiple societies have crumbled in the aftermath.

Only someone with their head in the sand would fail to realize that history has a bad habit of repeating itself. So whether our next clash is the result of the Biblical judgments of a Holy God, or because of the next major world war that some say is shaping up right now — or a combination of both to the shock of many — we need to be prepared with ways to support our family and possibly even help our neighborhoods and communities in the years ahead.

If stores ever close their doors suddenly, a lot of people simply are likely to die in the aftermath, not having seen the signs that danger was approaching. They won’t have food. They won’t have water. They won’t have any idea what to do to feed and protect themselves.

Food, Supplies, Plans, Knowledge … and Prayers Don’t Hurt

The right foods, supplies, plans, knowledge and a lot of those prayers for those who believe are going to make the difference for those who seek to be prepared.

 

Source : secretsofsurvival.com

 

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7 Things You Need To Survive An EMP

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Though stories have been pouring out for at least 5 years about the weakness of our power grid, we are still woefully unprepared. And one of the most effective ways our enemies could cripple our power grid is with an EMP (electromagnetic pulse). It would require a tremendous amount of energy, usually from a high-altitude […]

The post 7 Things You Need To Survive An EMP appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

The First 24 Hours

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The First 24 Hours Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! On this weeks episode of The Prepping Academy Forest and Kyle take a stab at the age old Prepper questions: when do I bug out and what happens in the first 24 hours. Let’s just say that you are in for a reality … Continue reading The First 24 Hours

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Local Civil Defense Needs To Be Revived

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By: Tom Chatham The ability to provide emergency assistance to the local population following an event is critical to preservation of law and order, not to mention life. The ability to keep the population calm in the face of mass destruction will make recovery much easier by freeing up valuable manpower for recovery efforts. The […]

“THANKS, OBAMA!” THE 44TH PRESIDENT’S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON SPACE WEATHER

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You’ve probably heard of something called a coronal mass ejection (CME), otherwise known as a massive solar flare, and you probably know it could be very bad for the United States if the we happened to be facing the sun when it impacts earth. A large CME has the potential to have devastating impacts on everything from our global positioning systems (GPS), satellite operations, space operations, aviation and even our power grids, knocking them offline in an instant and destroying critical power grid infrastructure. A CME is one of several extra-terrestrial events that could possibly impact earth that are collectively referred to as space weather. Although much less likely, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) can produce the same impacts, most commonly seen as a result of a nuclear explosion. In a world where international terrorism is a real threat, the possibility of an EMP weapon being used against the United States is a real concern. Experts agree that a direct impact from a large CME or a successful EMP attack is an existential threat to the United States that could instantly bring an end to our modern civilization.

 

A silhouette of the New Jersey.

 

On October 13, 2016, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order — Coordinating Efforts to Prepare the Nation for Space Weather Events that outlined the country’s contingency plan in the event such weather events lead to significant disruption to systems like the electrical power grid, satellite operations or aviation, stating “It is the policy of the United States to prepare for space weather events to minimize the extent of economic loss and human hardship.”

 

 

With this EO, President Obama ordered that the federal government takes steps insure that the national infrastructure is secure in the event of a space weather event. The National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan ( PDF ) was announced a few days later in conjunction with President Obama’s executive order, along with a PDF of The Implementation of the National Space Weather Action plan, complete with a White House official summary. The official pages aren’t up on WhiteHouse.gov, but here is the latest information I could find on those too.

 

 

After years of Congress knowing about the problem and failing to take action, I was pleased to learn that the President did what he could through the executive office to try and protect the critical infrastructure of our nation.  However it is still up to Congress to set aside the funds to follow through and take action in support of the specifics laid out in this order.

 

So what does this mean for me and every one of you concerned about national security and the protection of our extremely fragile power grid infrastructure? The phrase “Within 120 days of the date of this order…” is used repeatedly in this executive order. If you take a look at the calendar, we are at that point right now. I’ve read for years about how everyone knows this is a threat, yet no one is willing to take action. Well, the former President did what he could do in response to a lack of action by Congress and now it’s our turn. Call your United States Representatives and your United States Senators and ask them to take action on President Obama’s executive order to coordinate a national response and strengthen our national power grids against the possible catastrophic impacts of a massive CME or electromagnetic pulse attack. Find your US Representatives and your US Senators and urge them to take action on this very important initiative today.

 

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Prep Blog Review: Are You Prepared For An EMP Attack?

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As we all know, the U.S. power grid is in danger and one thing is for sure: when the power will go out, the economy, the defense infrastructure and more than that, our own safety and health will go down. The U.S. Government

In this situation, the only thing we can do is to prepare for that moment when the lights go down rather than wait and see what happens in the aftermath.

That’s why, for this week’s prep blog review I’ve gathered 5 useful articles for some off-grid scenarios.

  1. Gov’t Reports Warns: Power Grid In ‘Imminent Danger’

blackout-doe-report

“ The U.S. power grid is in constant danger of a cyberattack that could cause widespread blackouts and impact millions of citizens, according to a new 492-page report from the Department of Energy that warns if nothing is done to protect the system, the nation likely will suffer.

“The U.S. grid faces imminent danger from cyberattacks,” the report, released Jan. 6, states. “Widespread disruption of electric service because of a transmission failure initiated by a cyberattack at various points of entry could undermine U.S. lifeline networks, critical defense infrastructure, and much of the economy; it could also endanger the health and safety of millions of citizens.”

The report, titled “Transforming the Nation’s Energy System,” notes that the electric grid in the 48 contiguous states is comprised of 21,500 substations and about 700,000 miles of power lines.”

Read more on Off The Grid News.

  1. How to Protect Your Power System Against an EMP

electromagnetic-pulse“Hello my friend and welcome back! I received a letter from one of my readers who goes by the name of Dan.  What he wants to know is how he can protect his wind turbine and solar panels, as well as his electronics, from an EMP or another Carrington Event CME.  He also wants to know how deep his underground shelter needs to be to protect what he has there.  WOW!  That was a mouth full.  This is the subject of today’s post, so grab a cup of coffee my friend and have a seat while we visit.”

Read more on American Preppers Online.

  1. Living Off the Grid with Solar

“The moment you go off-grid, you rely entirely on a system that generates electrical energy and utilizes the same to support all your electrical solarappliances, either at home or on a business premise. For your system to be exclusively off-grid, it must have absolutely no link to the utility grid.

Going off-grid is possible, practical and beneficial to you in many ways. You will not have to pay utility bills and in the long run, you will save money! Other motivations include: environmental concerns and endeavoring to only use renewable energy; energy independence, you won’t have to rely on the blackout-prone utility; social values, which mean taking responsibility for your energy consumption effects; costs, when the distance to the grid is too big, your decision to go off grid becomes a lot cheaper.”

Read more on Ed That Matters.

  1. 7 Ways to Generate Power After a Disaster

7-ways-you-can-generate-power-after-a-disaster-wide-2

“Whether it’s a nuclear holocaust, a deadly plague, the perfect storm, or a large-scale terrorist attack, when a cataclysmic event goes down you can guarantee one thing: the power will go out. And while you don’t need electricity to be a hunter-gatherer for the rest of your life, if you want to help return human society to its former greatness—or just be able to have a James Bond movie marathon again—you’ll have to figure out how to generate your own power.”

Read more on Urban Survival Site.

  1. 15 Things You Think You Know About Faraday Cages But You Don’t

EMP

“This article takes into consideration only the effects of a nuclear EMP, not a solar flare. A solar flare would only affect any electronics connected to the grid.

Will a microwave work as a Faraday cage?

No. If an EMP strikes, you will notice that all your electronic devices that you stored in a microwave oven will be rendered useless. The microwave is not a Faraday cage.

Will a refrigerator work as a Faraday cage?

No, most refrigerators do not work as a Faraday cage. I tested mine, and it’s definitely not a Faraday cage.”

Read more on Ask A Prepper.

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This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia.

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Obama Leaves America Vulnerable to EMP Attack: Threatens “Banking, Fuel, Food Distribution”

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Obama Leaves America Vulnerable to EMP Attack: Threatens “Banking, Fuel, Food Distribution”

Barack Obama officially made his exit from the stage, but he left us with some major vulnerabilities – at a time when he stepped away from power with tensions at all time high with Russia.

Not only has the nation been left wide open to an EMP attack or other sophisticated barrage against our national defenses, but recent advances have left our leaders drastically unprepared for possible or even likely attack from a long line of potential adversaries.

Asymmetrical warfare on a global, electronic scale can and will play out in the years ahead – in fact, the design of the latest class of high tech weapons make sure that the next world war will be fought with EMP and

President Trump – and all presidents after him – will have to contend with this immediate and deadly threat. Even the best alliances – with Putin, with China, etc. – will not prevent rogue states or rogue groups from exacting horrible destruction.

Like it or not, our world is about as dangerous as it has ever been.

Interested in preparing for any type of disaster? CLICK HERE to learn how!

via WND:
The Obama administration, on the eve of its transfer of power, is about to impose new standards to protect the nation’s life-sustaining electric grid from solar storms.

However, … pointedly, it will not protect the vulnerable national grid from a man-made, high altitude, nuclear detonation that could create an electromagnetic pulse.

Such an EMP could have a catastrophic impact on the nation’s technology-based, life-sustaining critical infrastructures.

In an email to WND, William R. Graham, who was director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and science adviser to President Ronald Reagan, warned that the FERC has scheduled a ruling on Jan. 19 – the day before Donald Trump is sworn in… however, the FERC’s planned ruling “is likely to have far-ranging, seriously counterproductive national security implications,” according to Graham, who was chairman of the 2008 congressionally mandated EMP Commission.

The commission examined the impact of an EMP on the nation’s critical infrastructures that depend on the national grid system.

[…] Threatened are not only the nation’s power lines, but its banking, fuel supply and even food distribution systems… telecommunications,automated control systems, petroleum and natural gas, transportation, food and water delivery, emergency services and space systems.

[…] the United States is especially vulnerable since its critical interdependent infrastructures rely, more than most other nations, on electronic components… these critical interdependencies also create potential vulnerabilities and multiple, simultaneous disruptions and failures. An EMP event, whether natural or man-made, would cause “unprecedented cascading failures of major infrastructures,” Graham said.

Although the grid has not been hardened, the Pentagon has made great investment in advancing the offensive weaponry of the next generation of electromagnetic warfare.

The Department of Defense has just announced its latest electromagnetic pulse weapon – which is powerful and devastating enough to cripple electronics and grid installations across an entire major city.

The US Department of Defense is developing a powerful new weapon that could cripple an entire city without directly hurting anyone.

A recent solicitation from the Pentagon calls for a non-explosive electromagnetic pulse artillery shell capable of wiping out ‘a wide range of electronics, critical infrastructure, and computer-based systems.’

The non-kinetic system would first be incorporated into a 155mm projectile and later scaled down to enable the use of multiple shells, allowing for devastating electronic attacks that are delivered by standard munition but cause no physical damage.

And meanwhile, Russia has also been escalating its electromagnetic arsenal and other ‘checkmate’ weapons of choice that could hypothetically play out into a very brutal and short world war if things ever reached the brink.

 via Daily Mail:

Russia says it is working on a new range of laser, plasma and electromagnetic weapons as well as hypersonic missiles which would be able to hit a US aircraft carrier before the Pentagon even realised it had been fired.

The Kremlin’s Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov said yesterday: ‘Coming next are hypersonic weapons, which require the use of principally new materials and control systems that operate in a completely different medium, in plasma.’

A hypersonic weapon is a missile which travels at Mach 5 – five times the speed of sound – and it would enable the Russians to strike a target thousands of miles away within minutes.

China is in the game, too. The new generation of ICBM and ballistic missile has put the entire world under a new envelope of threat-and-defense.

The infrastructure of the 21st Century United States must be resilient against these attacks and crafty in their use, while maintaining the balance and respect for free speech that sets America apart from other regions of the world.
If President Trump takes good advise, he may properly address those issues.
People can also prepare individually and in their communities. Simple Faraday cages (How to Build a Faraday Cage to Protect Your Electronics) can protect from all but the worst EMP attacks; shielded paint can protect new and existing buildings and solar power systems can be protected as well – so rugged individuals and preppers can and will survive what most of the rest of civilization will not.
In the aftermath, these will also be the people re-establishing communications, aiding survivors, defending against attacks and, hopefully, rebuilding.

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Communication After an EMP

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Communication After an EMP Do you know how to communicate after an EMP? What kind of gear will you be needing? What will you use after the electronics in your location have mostly all gone down? Have any idea how to protect your electronics from a potential EMP? If you’re interested in finding out, today’s …

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Vehicle Prepping: Displacing The Control Module Of Your Car

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Vehcile Prepping

Do you have enough money set aside to pay for hundreds to thousands of dollars in vehicle computer repair and diagnostics?

Have you been watching the news and feel that either a terrorist group or a foreign country is right on the brink of launching an EMP strike right here in the United States?

Even without the usual concerns you take into account as a prepper, just a few computer chips can make it impossible for you to use your survival vehicle, nor to get to work and meet other vital transportation needs.

Replacing the PCM or Powertrain Control Module in your vehicle brings you one step closer to having reliable transportation regardless of what is going on in the world around you.

What is the PCM?

In most vehicles, the Powertrain Control Module is the key computer that controls just about every aspect of your vehicle’s performance. Its presence is designed to improve gas mileage and also make it easier for mechanics to detect oncoming system or part failure as well as find problems faster when they occur.

As with any other computer, however, they can be a serious headache to consumers because:

  • When they break down or produce false readings that prevent an otherwise functional car from operating. Replacing the computer can be very expensive and is usually beyond the ability of the vehicle owner. It also often requires a manufacturer licensed repair shop to reset the new computer so that it works correctly.
  • The PCM and other computer systems in the car are all susceptible to EMP strikes.
  • In more modern vehicles, the computers may be hacked by outsiders that can literally cause your vehicle to stop cold in traffic or accelerate to a dangerous level in order to cause a crash.
  • RFID chips equipped with GPS locators or wireless internet access elsewhere in the vehicle can make it easy for hackers, stalkers, and others to locate your vehicle. In some modern vehicles, these chips which may not reside in the actual PCM can cause your vehicle to become inoperable.

Portable Device Generator – Learn How To Build Your Own Energy Generator! 

The Basic Parts of the PCM

The ECU or Engine Control Unit

It controls the air to fuel ratio, idle speed, and ignition timing. Together with these functions, the ECU or related computers may also control firing order and valve timing.

In some vehicles, the ECU may also control ABS braking, skid control, traction monitoring, and cruise control. The ECU may also have some control over steering in newer vehicles with automated crash avoidance technologies.

The TCU or Transmission Control Unit

It’s mainly used in vehicles with automatic transmissions. This part of the PCM receives information from sensors that reveal the vehicle’s speed, the throttle position, and traction control monitoring. From this data, it determines which gear is best to use.

It also controls how the transmission shifts from one gear to the next. The TCU is also heavily involved in improving mileage.

The BCM or Body Control Module

This module is usually dedicated to other accessories found in the vehicle. Automatic seat belts, electronic lock doors, sun roof, anti-theft systems, the radio, electronic windows, and internal lights will all be controlled by this module. Some vehicles may have this module integrated with the ECU, while it is a separate computer in others.

Video first seen on DanielJaegerFilms.

In order to function, the PCM must send and receive information about what is going on in other parts of the vehicle. Much like your brain, the PCM has “sensors” that detect certain conditions and then relay the information directly back to the PCM, or to another module that reports back to the PCM.

As an analogy, your eyes detect the presence of a very narrow band of frequencies within the light spectrum. That information is sent via the optic nerve to your brain where it is interpreted so that you can “see”.

Once the PCM receives information from the sensors, it compares it to information organized in a table or database. If the value is outside the range set in the database, then the PCM “interprets” that something is wrong. If the data is inside the range, then it determines there are no problems in that part of the engine. Depending on the findings, the PCM will send one set of directions or another to other computer modules, that, in turn, control how the actual working parts of your vehicle perform.

As an extremely simplified example, a sensor located inside the cylinder might report when the spark plug has fired, as well as the estimated power of that spark. The PCM or an associated module should have already initiated the process which takes fuel from the gas tank, turns it into a mist, combines it with air, and then injects it into the cylinder.

As the explosion occurs inside the cylinder, another sensor might keep track of the heat delivered by the explosion, if there are leaks in the piston rings, and when the piston reaches its lowest point in the cylinder.

While all this information is coming in and being compared, the PCM will be dedicating some of its resources to repeating the same process in the next cylinder set in the firing order. If a fault occurs, other resources within the PCM will be used to let the driver know there is a problem by activating one or more lights on the dashboard.

That’s a lot of work for one tiny computer, isn’t it? While you can expect the sensors attached to the PCM to fail more often than the computer itself, they can cause it to send out wrong instructions, or, worse yet, cause the PCM to shut your vehicle down entirely. In the scenario listed above, here are some problems that can occur.

These problems can occur regardless of whether an EMP strikes. In addition, if an EMP occurs, damage to the computer chips or those found in the sensors can also generate false readings or no readings at all. Either way, your vehicle may not run, or be ruined because the computer will give directions that can cause the engine to seize up and fail.

  • If the plug is fouled or does not fire, that will be transmitted to the PCM. An error code will be generated that will cause the check engine light on your dashboard to light up.
  • If the sensors itself is failing and transmits that the plug is misfiring, it will also cause the PCM to generate a system fault.
  • If an EMP strike affects this or some other sensor that, in turn, damages part of the PCM, it may cause the cylinders to fire out of order. It may also reduce coolant flow (modern automobile computers send less coolant through a newly started or cold engine so that it heats up faster), which can cause the engine to overheat and seize up. If you think about all the things that can cause an engine to seize up or fail, chances are you will find at least on sensor that leads back to the PCM. Each of these sensors can very easily cause the engine to seize up via the PCM or other computers attached to it.

Perhaps off topic, but I am inclined to disagree with the view that a motor vehicle that is not running during an EMP and has the battery out should survive the blast. Others claim it is impossible for the computer to cause the engine or transmission to seize up and fail completely.

Remember, an EMP pulse can propagate without the benefit of a physical medium such as a wire or other direct connection. If your vehicle is near a power line or anything else that can conduct electricity, the computer can be ruined by the EMP. The safe distance from the power line will depend on the magnitude of the EMP and the capacity of the conducting medium.

In essence, the stronger the EMP, the further away your vehicle will have to be from transmission sources to remain safe. Do some research on wireless power transmission, a technology envisioned by Tesla and on the verge of changing how we receive electricity from centralized sources.

Free Energy Device – Learn How to Generate Your Free Electricity! 

What Does the PCM Do in Your Specific Vehicle?

Depending on the age, make, and model of your vehicle, the PCM may do relatively little, or it may replace important parts that were once mainstays in motor vehicles. As a general rule of thumb, the newer your vehicle is, the more integrated the PCM will be.

For example, almost all vehicles on the market right now still have camshafts (these determine when valves open and close). It is entirely possible, however, to see camshaft free vehicles widely available to consumers in the next 5 – 10 years. Instead of a camshaft (which you can fix or replace as needed), these newer vehicles use hydraulic pumps that are, in turn, controlled by the engine control unit (aka ECU).

Before you decide to remove the PCM, look at the shop manual that should be available through the manufacturer. This book should tell you exactly what the PCM does in your vehicle, all the other computers it connects to, and the sensors involved in the chain of information.

If you are in the market for a new or used vehicle that you might want to retrofit to get rid of the computers, it will help to have a look at the manufacturer’s shop manual. As you read through the shop manual, flow charts including the following information:

  • The name of each sensor, the module it reports to, and what it reports.
  • Other information that is reported to the same module from other sensors.
  • Where the module reports next in the chain. Keep following this chain until it goes directly back to one of the major parts of the PCM. Also note any side chains that may report to another module elsewhere in the system.
  • Continue following each line of the flow chart until you reach an actual component that does tangible work in the vehicle. For example, you will know you have completed the trail when you hit something that instructs a motor to turn, a valve to open, or a hydraulic pump to work.
  • If there are RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips or other ties not entirely related directly to engine performance, this is how you will find them.

Once you have made a complete chart of the sensors and modules within the vehicle, it will be easier to see how they all connect to each other. Bypassing one sensors may, in fact, entail bypassing several others so that the vehicle runs properly. If the PCM is highly integrated into the transmission and braking systems, you may have to do the entire overhaul at one time.

Alternatively, you may want to consult some open source vehicle retrofitting sites to see if there are workaround micro controllers that transmit information to the PCM even though the sensors and other parts no longer exist.

Make sure that your vehicle is safe to operate during the time period when one part of the PCM is present, but another is not. Fortunately, if your main concern is getting rid of automated remote shutoff RFIDs or other devices that can be used to control your vehicle remotely, bypassing them may not impact the overall functionality and safety of the vehicle.

Common Systems and Replacement Options

The Air to Fuel Ratio

If your vehicle has fuel injectors, then the air to fuel mixture will be controlled by some kind of computer. The only thing you can do, based on older technology, is to replace the fuel injectors with a carburetor.

If there is not enough space between the top of the engine and the hood, you may need to cut a hole in the hood to accommodate the added height of the carburetor.

Idle Speed

If you replace the fuel injector system, the carburetor will also control the idle speed. Unlike fuel injector systems, you will have full, easy control of the idle speed when using a carburetor. If the idle is too fast or too slow, just turn the idle adjustment screw.

In modern vehicles with PCMs, you cannot adjust the idle speed at all, and will have to take the vehicle to a mechanic that has the kind of computers onhand that can communicate with the PCM and make the necessary adjustments.

Ignition Timing

At the simplest, modern electronic ignition systems use sensors to monitor a magnet spinning on the distributor shaft. Transistors and other solid state devices (which you will recall are highly sensitive to EMPs) initiate high current flow through a coil, which then causes the spark plug to emit a spark. This whole process is controlled by the PCM or a related module.

You would need to install a mechanical based distributor in place of the electronic ignition system and then adjust the timing manually as needed. A mechanical distributor basically has a “cap and rotor” assembly on top of the distributor. The rotor has a piece of metal in the middle that accepts current from the distributor, and a small metal bit of metal on the outer edge. The cap has one metal bit for each spark plug that will be activated by the distributor.

As the rotor spins, the two pieces of metal meet and electricity from the distributor passes through the rotor, into the cap, down the spark plug wire, and into the spark plug. Once the metal on the rotor passes the metal point on the cap, no power is available for that spark plug until the metal on the rotor spins back into position.

Along with the distributor, you would also need to add a vacuum advance to the ignition system.

Firing Order

On a mechanical distributor system, the firing order is determined by the position of a gear which drives the distributor. This gear, in turn, is driven by the camshaft.

In order to avoid backfires or other symptoms of misfiring, the cables that connect the distributor to the spark plugs must be in the right order. If you do not have a repair manual that indicates the cylinder designations for each point on the distributor cap, and the firing order, you will have to find them manually.

Video first seen on  HOWSTUFFINMYCARWORKS.

Valve Timing

Modern camshaft systems use the ECU to control how much the exhaust and intake valves open as well as when they do so in the timing sequence.

Changing this system to remove the computer control will depend largely on how the camshaft is constructed and how the camshaft lobe is designed. Since different manufacturers use different methods for arriving at variable valve timing systems, you will need to look at the system for your car and take it from there.

ABS Braking

Basically, anti-lock braking systems use a sensor that detects when the wheel stops spinning, yet the vehicle itself keeps moving forward. Because locked wheels prevent steering, the first priority is to get the wheels turning again so that traction can be restored. Since most people slam the brakes when they feel the vehicle skid, they make the situation worse.

ABS systems automatically release the brakes and then re-apply them so that there is a balance between braking and traction control. You should be able to remove the sensors, and also the control module that connects to the pump that provides power assist while braking.

Just remember that you may need to do some additional work to restore full control between the brake pedal and the master cylinder.

Automatic Transmission Gear Switching

Even though you may remove the ECU, some parts of the TCU may still be looking for input from the ECU. As a result, you may also need to make some changes to the transmission so that it can run without input from a computer module. First, you can completely change the automatic transmission out for a manual one. This can be a difficult task, especially if you cannot find a compatible transmission.

Building one from the ground up would take access to metal working equipment, plus the experience required to build a fairly complicated system. Since you may also want to eliminate as many motors as possible in the vehicle, switching to a manual transmission may prove to be the best option.

Your other option may be to install an older style cable  that controls the transmission directly based on the position of the gas pedal.

Essentially, the transmission has a throttle valve that connects to the gas paddle via a cable. When you press on the gas, more pressure is exerted on the throttle valve. This, in turn, initiates changes in the hydraulic system within the transmission to engage or disengage different gears.

Electronic Windows

Have you ever shut the engine of your vehicle, and then realized that you needed to open or close the window?

If so, then you can readily understand what the rest of your vehicle will feel like when some part of the PCM is damaged or destroyed by an EMP. Without question, electronic windows are as dangerous as they are problematic to preppers that want a safe, reliable vehicle.

In order to change electronic windows for manual ones, you will need to find and install a window crank system that will fit inside the door compartment of your vehicle.

If the window system is deeply integrated into an anti-theft device which integrates with the PCM, you may have to disabled any number of sensors and auxiliary control modules so that the vehicle will start up and run properly.

Electronic Doors

You will more than likely need to change the lock on the door as well as install a manual lock system. This includes an internal door latch that will allow you to open the door from the inside.

Considering how dangerous electronic doors are if you happen to get locked inside, making this change should be a top priority even if you aren’t concerned about EMP proofing at this time. As with electronic windows, you may have to disable parts of the PCM or the BCM in order to get the vehicle to operate.

Steering System

Since most modern vehicles don’t have crash avoidance systems, the computer integration may be at about the same level as in the braking system. You may need to do without power steering, mainly because this is yet another motor that can be damaged by an EMP.

Are you going to let another year go by without doing something to EMP proof your car? In all probability, this will be the year I begin the process of rebuilding and retrofitting a more modern vehicle to one that will be EMP proof.

Free Electricity? Find Out How! Click Here! 

Please comment in the section below on this topic so that we can all be encouraged to be better and more confident preppers in the arena of transportation!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

References:

http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/01/technology/security/car-hack/

http://www.techradar.com/news/a-tv-sized-panel-on-your-wall-could-wirelessly-charge-all-your-gadgets

https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/how-to-adjust-your-carburetor-by-ed-ruelas

http://www.carparts.com/classroom/ignition.htm

http://jalopnik.com/how-variable-valve-timing-works-500056093

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/automatic-transmission12.htm

http://mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/9957/in-an-automatic-transmission-what-decides-to-change-gears

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/automatic-transmission13.htm

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How To Prepare Your Tractor For An EMP

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Tractor EMP Survival

If you are living on a homestead or farm, then I bet that a tractor will form a central part of your plans. As with other types of motor vehicles, tractors can also be destroyed by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP).

Invariably, if you have a newer tractor, or plan to buy one, you need to know which parts are most vulnerable, how to make repairs, and how to keep the tractor as safe as possible from EMP related damage.

Keep reading to get this knowledge. You will need it, for sure!

What About Buying an Older Model Tractor?

Many people concerned about EMPs ruining their automobile have decided to buy older cars that do not have computers in them. If you happen to be a fan of older cars and know their value and durability, then you may be led to believe that you can do the same thing with a tractor.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages you might encounter if you try to buy, and then fix up an older tractor.

  • Even though a tractor may not be used every day, the time that it is in operation puts a lot of wear and tear on the engine, transmission, and drive train. While some old tractors, may, in fact, run for several more decades without trouble, others may break down and require extensive repair at the worst possible moment. You may even find that restoring an older model tractor may cost as much as trying to convert a newer one for the sake of EMP proofing.
  • You will find it much harder to get spare or replacement parts. This problem may be offset if you have metal working tools and parts from compatible tractors built around the same time.
  • It will be very hard to obtain shop manuals and schematics that could be used to help you rebuild or maintain the tractor. Before a major crisis happens, you may need to do patent searches for individual parts and also see what kind of information the manufacturer is willing to give you.
  • On the positive side, if you find a tractor that runs well and has no computers or electronic parts in it, then you will have to do a lot less work to prepare it for an EMP. As long as you take the extra step of storing it safely, then it should run when most other motorized vehicles fail.

Video first seen on ACES – Fresh from the Field.

Get the Right Information, Skills, and Tools

Even though tractors are more rugged than most vehicles, they can still be ruined by improper maintenance or shoddy mechanical repair efforts. On the other side of the equation, if you are going to be truly self-sufficient, then being able to repair any tractor you own will be very important.

If you do not have the right skills, tools, or information, it is very likely that you won’t be able to use your tractor for very long after a major disaster let alone get restore it to working condition after an EMP.

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2 Vital Sources of Tractor Repair Information

  • The best source of information for making tractor repairs is the shop manual that should be available through the manufacturer of the tractor. The shop manual will list all the parts found in the tractor, as well as how to remove and replace them. It will also give you plenty of detailed diagrams so that you know how all the parts fit together. You may have to pay a bit extra for this manual, however it is well worth the cost.
  • Your next most important source of information is a notebook that you will keep that gives details about all maintenance, repairs, and changes you have made to the tractor. For example, if you decide to remove a particular computer system for the sake of EMP proofing, that information should be listed in the notebook.

You should also have detailed schematics and other notes so that you can make repairs to the revised system without causing problems. Never leave these details to memory. Even if you are a skilled mechanic, years, grease, time, and mechanical wear can change things to the point where you may no longer recognize what was done.

At the very least, detailed diagrams and notes about each changed system can help you retrace your steps and restore the tractor to working order.

Essential Tractor Repair and Maintenance Skills

Tractor engine Aside from being able to manage every system in the tractor, you will also need some additional skills if you are going to EMP proof the tractor and continue to use it in the revised form.

You will need the ability to search through patents in order to find older technologies that can be used to replace computer modules. You should also be able to look at different alternative designs and choose one that will meet your needs and still offer the best in terms of safety and efficiency.

Given the number of variations on tractor and automotive systems, you are sure to find dozens of designs that may work. Picking the best one, however, can take a good bit of skill.

Some computer systems may be difficult, if not impossible to replace with alternative technologies. As a result, you will need to have a good understanding of computerized automotive systems and how best to manage them. This includes knowing how to get to various sensors as well as how to replace any module that may require it.

Important Tools

Depending on the size of the tractor, you may be able to do some or all of the work using basic hand tools. This includes engine hoists and other equipment that will make it easier and safer to dismantle every part of the tractor.

There may also be some specialized tools that will be of immense use to you. Since many of these tools can be affected by an EMP, you should either focus on possible alternatives that run on water, or try to store them away in a Faraday Cage for later use.

  • Air driven tools. If you are working with an especially large tractor, these tools can make mechanical repair easier, safer, and faster. The air tank and hoses should all remain usable after an EMP attack. The compressor and associated gauges may not survive an EMP. You can try looking into trip hammer technologies as they were first invented in China to see if you can modify them to provide compressed air; and then use spring loaded levers and weights to help with determining air pressure within the tank.
  • Computer diagnostic systems. If you do not have the time or skills to convert key computer modules in the tractor to alternative forms, then you will need to make sure you can diagnose and replace computer parts that may be damaged by an EMP. Even if you can purchase a low cost hand held diagnostic unit, that may not be enough.

Consult the shop manual for your tractor to find out if any computer systems need to be reset by an external computer. If you find that an external computer is needed, see if you can find some way to obtain the necessary computer, or build something on your own that will do the job.

In this case, you can try Arduino controllers, and then make sure that you have the proper connectors and software languages required to communicate with the computers and sensors in the tractor.

Video first seen on Matthew Reimer

Know Which Parts are Most Vulnerable

Basically, anything on or in your tractor that conducts electricity can be damaged by an EMP. The amount of damage depends on:

  • the intensity of the pulse
  • how well or poorly the items conduct electricity
  • the ease of transmission from one point to another.

Even though your tractor may be located several miles away from an EMP strike site, power lines and other conductors may deliver the pulse to an area close enough to the tractor to do more damage than expected. Oddly enough, if the tractor is located further away from the power lines, it may be far less damaged.

That being said, the most vulnerable parts of the tractor are similar to the ones at most risk in any other automobile. The computers, wire harnesses, the alternator, motors, lights, and computer sensors can be ruined by even a relatively weak EMP.

Convert From Computers to Older Technologies

The ECU (Engine Control Unit) is one of the most important computers you will find in modern tractors and other automobiles. Basically, this computer alone controls:

  • the amount of air and fuel delivered to each cylinder
  • the speed at which the engine will idle while standing still. This part of the unit monitors the crankshaft position sensor, which plays a key role in setting other aspects of the engine’s timing.
  • spark timing
  • valve timing
  • adjustments to water flow through the engine based on whether it is cold or warm (this helps with fuel efficiency).

There are also other computer modules for controlling the transmission, braking systems, lights, and any safety features that the tractor might have. To some extent, all of these computers require at least some input from other computers in the system.

They are all connected by the CAN (Controller Area Network). Usually, this module does not have its own microprocessor. Rather, it simply allows all of the other processors and controllers to communicate with each other.

That being said, depending on the tractor model and computers involved, you may also need to do some additional work to modify the CAN before the tractor will work properly. If you start modifying one system, you can expect to have to bypass other systems or adjust the other computer so that it does not prevent the tractor from running.

Modern tractor computers come with programming that is very difficult to hack and alter. To add insult to injury, many of these programs are protected by copyright law. While these laws may not concern you much in the post crisis world, breaking them now can lead to criminal prosecution.

The whole issue of computerized control modules in modern tractors is a serious problem for people now, and will be an even bigger problem in the post crisis world.

Rather than focus on changing or adjusting the computers that come with the tractor, you can look for open source programs that will do the same job. At the very least, if there are some computer modules and sensors that you cannot do away with, you will still be able to use any spares you have after an EMP occurs.

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Is it Possible to Turn the Tractor into a Faraday Cage?

The answer to this question depends largely on:

  • how many electrically conducting attachments you have on the main body of the tractor
  • whether or not you can put a viable and sufficient insulator between these parts and the rest of the tractor. For example, if you have a grapple rake attached to the tractor, the connection points would have to be shielded in such a way that electricity cannot travel between the accessory and the rest of the tractor.

If the attachment is controlled in part by the tractor’s computer, you would also have to convert that system to a fully manual one. Preferably, these manual linkages would also need some kind of non-conductive spacer so that the EMP pulse does not travel into the rest of the tractor.

For the most part, it won’t be practical or possible to put the entire tractor in a Faraday Cage. On the other hand, you might be able to reduce the amount of modification needed by localizing all vulnerable parts to a shielded area of the tractor.

The most difficult parts will be the fuel line that extends from the engine to the fuel tank, and also the brake lines for each of the wheels. It may be possible to locate polymers that can be used as insulators, as well as other materials that can replace metal parts that would compromise the rest of the tractor.

Keep Spare Parts You Cannot Convert in a Faraday Cage

It is fair to say that if you have the time, money, and skills, you can more than likely convert any tractor so that it no longer uses any kind of computerized system. If you are on a budget or don’t have much time to complete so many tasks, this process can take months or even years to complete.

In the meantime, if society collapses or an EMP occurs, you will still need a functional tractor. At the very least, until you have fully EMP proofed the tractor, it makes sense to keep spare computer systems and diagnostic tools in a Faraday Cage. You should also keep extra wires, fuses, motors, and anything else that might be ruined easily by an EMP.

Video first seen on Big Family Homestead

These days, when people think of computers, lightweight tablets, cell phones, and other portable devices come to mind. By contrast, a combination of tractor computers, motors, wiring, tools, and other devices can easily weight several hundred pounds and take up quite a lot of space. This is actually one of the few places where I would recommend building a separate, building sized Faraday Cage to house all of the spare parts.

This building should be located underground and easy enough to get to from any underground bunker that you might decide to build. If you build the shelter more than 10 feet underground, there will also be some natural protection from the effects of an EMP.

As an added bonus, even a shallower depth will also protect you and the equipment from additional ground nuclear blasts that might follow a nuclear explosion that set off the EMP.

Use Cutting Edge Technology to Make Your Own Tractor Parts

Did you know that 3D printers are rapidly becoming very popular with people that want to build all kinds of devices? This includes motor housings, engine parts, and many other devices that would normally take complicated and expensive equipment.

If you do some research, you may be able to find a number of polymers and other compounds that can be turned into spare tractor parts using a 3D printer. If you are going to put other equipment in a Faraday Cage, this kind of printer and a computer to run it may be worth it.

Aside from making tractor parts, you may also be able to develop or purchase templates that can be used for other parts of your homestead.

Keep the Tractor in a Safe Location

Depending on where your farm or homestead is located, there is a good chance that you will not be using the tractor every single day. If you have winter seasons or other times when a tractor is not needed, the best thing to do is store it in a Faraday Cage.

An underground location would be ideal, however above ground shelters will also work as long as they are built correctly. Similar to other automobiles, it does not make much sense to keep a tractor if you can’t bring it out to the fields and use it for its intended purpose.

The best thing you can do is return the tractor to a safe location after you are done with it, and then hope that an EMP does not strike while you are using the tractor.

Simple Things that Might Minimize EMP Effects

In these difficult times, having a working tractor does not mean you have enough money or other resources to do everything needed for EMP proofing. If you cannot afford major modifications or a dedicated Faraday Cage for storage, here are some inexpensive things that might be of use:

  • Antennas tend to be some of the best and most overlooked conductors of an EMP pulse. Radios, remote control systems that feed into cell phone apps, and many other devices in the tractor may have antennas that will spell disaster during an EMP. Even if these antennas are tied to computer modules, it may be possible to remove the antennas without losing the basic functionality of the tractor. Without these devices, you may need to do more work manually, however it will be worth it if you can reduce the risk of the entire tractor being ruined by an EMP.
  • If you are near a power transmission substation, or very close to where the EMP struck, there isn’t much you can do to prevent damage to a tractor running in the field. That being said, if you are further away from the EMP, staying away from power lines or other large sized conductors might just reduce the amount of energy that gets to the tractor. In this scenario, it can mean the difference between computer parts being destroyed only, or those parts plus vital motors and wiring harnesses.
  • Always remove the battery and other sources of free flowing electricity from the tractor when you are done using it for the day. Do not just rely on shutting the engine because there may be any number of computer parts or systems that draw tiny amounts of current even when the tractor is off. Anything that draws power can also increase the risk of damage from an EMP.
  • If at all possible, it will also help to find out if any of the computers or sensors have power supplies that are independent of the main battery. These parts truly should be replaced at all cost because they present the most overlooked, and therefore greatest danger when it comes to prepping tractors for an EMP.
  • Pay attention to world news and global terror forecasts. When it comes right down to it, figuring out when or if a hostile group is going to launch an EMP attack is not an easy task. If you make a good guess and take the time to shield your tractor, then you will be ahead of the game.
  • Find, and follow a reliable space weather forecasting service. In all probability, an EMP may still more likely come from a solar flare or some other space related event. As such, a space weather forecasting service can be very valuable to you. If you hear that a large scale solar flare is expected to pass close to the Earth, this might be a good time to avoid running the tractor. Needless to say, if you want to minimize the number of times you disconnect the battery, these times might be suitable occasions.

Some New Technologies to Consider

Preppers aren’t the only people interested in finding as many useful and inexpensive ways as possible to reduce the effects of an EMP.

Here are some new technologies that may be of use at some point in the future.

Even if these specific materials cannot be used in a tractor application at this time, it may be possible for you and others to develop something that will shield tractors from EMPs.

  • Conductive Paints – Right now, these paints can be used in buildings to shield from all kinds of radio, microwave, and related electromagnetic frequencies. Work with an electrician that specializes in tractors or automobile electronics so that you can ground any kind of conductive paint safely. It is very important to realize that tractors and other vehicles are something like a huge circuit board. If you disrupt grounding points, it can cause shorts and other problems. At best, you may be lucky to come out of it with little more than some ruined parts. At worst, it can cost your life.
  • EMP Proof Concrete – If there is one innovation that promises to reduce or eliminate the risks posed by EMPs, a spray on form of concrete might just do the job. Although EMP Proof Concrete is not yet available to consumers, it is at the manufacturing stage and may become available in a few years.
  • Flexible Conductive Composites – these compounds are similar to the carbon and nickel layers used in paints and concretes. At some point in the near future, any one of these may make a viable spray coating that can be used to protect your tractor from an EMP blast.

No matter whether you purchase a new or used tractor, it is likely to be a large monetary investment.

If you are concerned about an EMP ruining your tractor, there are some things you can do to reduce the damage or prevent it. As with other automobiles, you will find that the best answers will also cost a bit of money and time.

At the very least, if you are determined to modify a newer tractor so that it does not have computer modules, take the time to learn everything you can about maintaining the tractor. This will help you to keep the tractor in good working order regardless of whether an EMP hits or society collapses for some other reason.

Slash your energy bills with this DIY Home Energy System!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

References: 

https://www.wired.com/2015/02/new-high-tech-farm-equipment-nightmare-farmers/

http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/news/protecting-technological-infrastructure-with-emp-proof-conductive-concrete/ 

http://readynutrition.com/resources/company-creates-emp-proof-wallpaper_29102015/

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Emergency Communications: Nationwide Blackout, EMP, or Solar Flare “We’ve lost contact … with everyone.”

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Emergency Communications: Nationwide Blackout, EMP, or Solar Flare “We’ve lost contact … with everyone.”

Alternative communication system during disaster: your safest bet to surviving a power outage.

Lately, there have been many natural disasters in the US and other countries. In fact, at the current rate of things, there’s going to be an increase in disasters like tropical storms, earthquakes, and even volcano eruptions.

Besides, there are other potential threats too, such as the much discussed and warned about solar eruptions (solar flares that occur on the Sun) that can paralyze our entire global system of communications by frying satellites and communications infrastructure on the ground. In fact, that’s what all these natural disasters can lead to: power loss, no phone service, and no internet.

Risk of EMP to Communications Networks, Fragile Power Grid

Finally, there is the risk of EMP (electro-magnetic pulse attack from a terrorist group or rogue government like Iran or North Korea). North Korea has made enough threats, haven’t they? They have tested enough rockets that anyone with a pulse should realize that an EMP is a possibility that we may see in the next few years, whether that’s from North Korea or a terrorist group that North Korea or another U.S. enemy has sold a nuclear weapon to. (For information on protecting sensitive equipment from an EMP with a “Faraday Cage“)

A Nationwide Blackout is a Real Threat

In such a scenario, survival includes having the best alternative communication system for disasters. In this article we will look at several alternative ways to stay powered and a handful of ways to remain in communication with your loved ones.

But before we discuss exactly what these alternatives consist of, let’s take a look at:

What damages can actually occur to the communications network?

Understanding this part will tell you exactly why dealing with this subject is important when preparing for emergency survival.

Material damage

The network system is likely to fail when the lines of communication are damaged at their most basic level. For instance, a hurricane can actually break the cables and a solar flare can incur magnetic waves that disrupt and permanently damage equipment in orbit over the earth and our sensitive infrastructure on the earth’s surface. The result? No phone, radio, TV, or internet service anywhere!

This sort of disruption is pretty hard to deal with because repairing the infrastructure is expensive and would involve multiple agencies and people. Besides, it takes a lot of time to make the repairs if only a single cell tower goes down and the disaster has been so extensive that a repair team can’t even get access to it. And if it’s about fiber-optic cables, the situation isn’t any better: fiber optic cables run underground and you can’t possibly know where the problem is without digging them up almost completely.

So the real problems begin when there’s no easy way of access to the damaged equipment or when there’s no crew left (or simply no crew reachable) to make the necessary repairs.


RELATED : How to Build a Faraday Cage to Protect Your Electronics


System overload

If there are still some ways of communication available to the general public, you can bet these are the ones that everyone will use. It’s normal that in a state of emergency people will try to reach their loved ones by phoning them or contacting them via social networks, etc. That’s coupled of course with the networks being bogged down by mass amounts of photos and video uploads of whatever disaster or catastrophic event that has taken place. Finally, those who need medical help, police, or fire departments will also flood the lines.

All that communication clogs up networks, causing a network overload and therefore a complete loss of signal altogether. When that happens, the whole system may go down completely for a period of time (or permanently, depending on the severity of the disaster).

What happens if you can’t communicate via the usual ways?

If you’re a loner of sorts, you may not have put a whole lot of weight on keeping in touch with the modern world. But not being able to connect means:

You wouldn’t be able to contact emergency services.

No ambulance would come for you.

No police response to save your life if you were attacked.

You wouldn’t get any news of what’s happening on a larger scale.

You wouldn’t know if the disaster has affected other parts of the globe.

You wouldn’t know whether help is coming or if things are getting better.

You would have no news of your people and your people would have no news of you.

False rumors could spread like wildfire between communities … leading to any number of consequences.

There would be a general sense of confusion and uncertainty.

Catastrophic Disasters and Rogue Groups

Finally, any rogue groups who happen to live and operate in a geographical region could take advantage of the situation and attack locals, some even attempting to seize power, seizing control of fuel stations, supermarkets, supply warehouses, armories, etc.

Basically, no means of communication equals no information and no official control, which would determine an increase in criminal acts of all kinds.

Are there measures being taken already?

Of course, we’re not the first people who’ve thought about what would happen to communications in emergency situations and how we would deal with that. That’s why prevention measures have been already considered and the authorities have sought to:

Increase network diversity

That can be done by:

Using various network connections.

Employing different technologies.

Having various physical pathways.

Constantly checking the security of this equipment.

Making sure that the information conveyed is the same through each different network connection.

The different networks used are:

Dark fiber paths.

Fiber-optic cables.

Wireless networks that use millimeter wave technologies.

You can also take this into account, and have various means of communication at your disposal.

Create arranged networks

This will happen in the event when the previous networks we’ve talked about fail or become overloaded. It’s important to have fast communication especially in the areas that are more affected by the disaster. That can be done with a few wireless systems that are placed inside some sort of vehicle and activated inside the problem zone. These are called COWs and they stand for Cellular on Wheels. The advantages of these systems are:

The immediate response from authorities.

Ability to communicate fast with people in the affected area.

Increased control over the situation.

Focus and organization of efforts at the core of the problem.

Opportunity to search for volunteers.


RELATED : How To Make a Foxhole Radio


What can you do?

This is the focal point of this article, because while it’s good to have confidence in the authorities, you can’t solely rely on them to solve all your problems. As such, you have to prepare yourself with some sort of alternative system that you can use if a disaster strikes. But before that, make sure: You have an appropriate copper land line that doesn’t need power to function.

You have access to a backup generator or way to generate electricity for up to several hours (several days would be preferable).

You have another type of phone that can work with batteries.

Always keep your phone charged and also have a charger that will work in a car or truck’s cigarette lighter.

Stash spare batteries that aren’t passed their expiration date.

Keep these batteries in different locations and periodically check to see if they still… replace those that expire.

Keep other gadgets charged and ready to go, like your laptop.

Have at least one USB cable ready to be used in case you can charge your smartphone from your laptop or a car cigarette lighter that has a usb port instead of a typical cigarette lighter port.

Buy an emergency radio that doesn’t need power to work. Hand-crank radios, for example, are a great choice because you don’t need to have a stash of operating batteries, nor will you need connection to solar panels. It is still good to have a battery powered radio on hand though as back-up, just in case the hand-crank radio fails.

Use your car charger sparing for charging your gadgets. Your car charger will only work as long as your car has energy stored in the battery. Letting your car idle will recharge it’s battery, but do that sparingly so as not to deplete your fuel.

These are the things you’re advised to do in case there’s a breach in the communications network. But what you shouldn’t do can be even more important than the things you have to do, because otherwise, you might put yourself or other people in danger. So:

Try not to overload the network by making unnecessary phone calls. Some people need the line free to call the police or an ambulance.

Don’t call if you have the option to text or use the Internet to get in touch with family.

Don’t use up phone batteries on useless things like listening to music to keep you entertained. A good idea would be to even turn it off altogether when you’re not using it.

Don’t use the redial option constantly, since that leads to an overload of the communication system.

Don’t use the emergency line if all you want is new updates.

 

How can you make gadgets work?

Having a substitute communication system in place also relates to having new ways to power your gadgets. The main ways you can do that are: Generators These are more expensive, but they can power up your entire house. They’re better for a disaster that doesn’t last too long, and apart from giving you a good way to get in touch with the real world, they can provide running water and heat — though honestly, using a generator to power a heater or air conditioning unit for that matter is a bad idea. Your generator will quickly go through fuel. The better direction to take is to either layer up your clothing to keep warm or create shade and good ventilation to stay cool.

In the end, try to ration the way in which you use your backup generators, and to prioritize your needs. Batteries The marvel of technology, batteries can activate different sorts of gadgets, as well as chargers to keep them up and running at all times. For instance, it’s always a good idea to have a battery-activated radio on hand in order to hear the relevant news and get updates on the emergency status.

Try to have a stash of batteries spread around your house, in your car or even at your workplace. You never know when and where trouble hits.

Another solution is to invest some money in buying a marine deep cycle 12-volt battery. This sort of battery has a price ranging from $50 to $200, but it can provide a couple of hundred recharge cycles for power consuming motors of various vehicles. Imagine how well that would work for a measly smartphone and a radio — you could get more than enough power to see you through an average-length emergency situation. Solar panels If you need an option that you can use for months at a time, solar panels do the job. Even battery powered chargers will run out of battery power at some point, and your stash may end too. So you need something to recharge them with smartly, and this is where solar panels come in. You can even recharge your marine deep cycle 12-volt battery with this sort of solar panel, or you can use it on other stuff like your charger or a radio. Because there are solar panel radios too, you know.

Besides, solar panels work to provide electricity for your whole house if you reside in a sunny region and you have big enough panels, or can at least provide sufficient energy to recharge basic gadgets like a phone, radio, GPS, and laptop.

The downsides regard the fact that they need sunshine to work, and some of them can’t wholly recharge your stuff, but they’re definitely an option to consider.

What are the real alternatives?

After taking all that into account, let’s look at some real substitutes for your basic means of communication. The truth of the matter is that even if you have a smartphone or a laptop with enough batteries to work or enough electricity provided by a backup generator or solar panels, these ways of connecting might become useless.

That might happen if the communication networks fall at a higher level, and in this case, an emergency communication system is required. Granted, it costs a bit more than your average phone but it gets the job done because it saves you a lot of hassle. Since it can convey info without delay and without interruptions or jams, it’s a lifesaver in a crisis situation. Besides, the best such systems are easy to operate even if you haven’t read all their instructions and you can also receive feedback from authorities.

So the things you can really use are: Radio waves

Of course, you would need a radio to do the trick first. And for that radio, you would also need batteries, or you could choose an emergency radio that can be recharged with included solar panels or by a hand crank.

Apart from the short wave signals that can be used to convey messages at a large scale, the weather band is also a good frequency to follow. That will give you constant updates and new, reliable information from the authorities.

But the best thing to have is a two-way radio, which you can use to communicate with your loved ones every day if they have the same system. Satellites Because satellites orbit the Earth above its atmosphere and aren’t affected by most disasters which occur on the surface of our planet, they’re the safest bet when it comes to keeping the lines of communication open. In fact, when a catastrophic earthquake rocked Haiti in 2010, satellites saved the day.

So to be prepared for a catastrophic emergency, you can invest in communications systems that use the following:

– Geostationary Satellite Systems (GEO).

– Low Earth Orbit Satellites (LEO).

GEO are employed for various services like voice or even videos, and they’re generally appropriate for public warnings during disasters. LEO are satellites that convey information at a lower speed and are easily used in almost every emergency if you have a satellite unit.

These devices come in different sizes, but only two of them can be owned by private individuals:

Satellite phones. They’re pretty cheap and easy to operate. They’re fast and you can communicate with other people, getting timely feedback.

Satellite car systems. If you need to talk while moving and get information faster even in the form of videos, you’ll need something bigger. These systems fit in a car, from where they’re handled and they’re of course more expensive.


RELATED : TOTAL BLACKOUT: HOW TO TELL IF AN EMP HAS HAPPENED


What’s the plan?

These are the main things you can use during a disaster from the point of view of communication, but it’s always a good idea to have a plan in check. That’s especially important when you’ll be trying to connect with friends and family. You want your efforts and plans to synchronize so you can easily communicate. Besides, if you have kids, having and rehearsing various emergency/ disaster plans will likewise make things run smoothly.

The main steps you should take are:

Get the necessary alerts. Everyone in your family should have access to a means of receiving information regarding possible emergencies in your area. Whether Internet, TV or radio, you need something to get alerts.

Make sure you all have the important contact info. Besides making sure all family members know each other’s phone numbers, emails, and social accounts, you should know emergency numbers for the Police, Ambulance, and Fire Department.

Work out a strategy. There are various disasters your region is more prone to. For example, some people live in an area mostly affected by tornados, while others are more concerned about earthquakes. Outline an escape route if something like this happens, and establish a pre-set meeting place in case you can’t talk to each other in the meantime.

Improve your survival skills. It’s also good to learn as much distress signals as you can, but the universal way requires giving out help signals in batches of three. It can be anything from 3 piles of rocks in the forest or 3 loud whistles. Making an “X” sign in a vast open space acts like an international help too.

Keep in touch with each other. … but only as necessary; don’t overload the network or unnecessarily use up phone batteries.

Make rehearsals Things can change, so it’s important to rehearse your plan and take into account new factors, ideas or situations that influence the original strategy.

After discussing all these forms of communication, the conclusion is that you always need to be prepared.

Modern technology might not always be our ally, and if it turns against us we should be ready to get back to the basics. Having the necessary tools is a great help, so make sure your emergency backpack includes the basic things for your communication needs in case of a disaster.


Source : secretsofsurvival.com

 

The post Emergency Communications: Nationwide Blackout, EMP, or Solar Flare “We’ve lost contact … with everyone.” appeared first on .

Unconventional Bug Out Vehicle Options

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What is a Bug Out Vehicle? When the SHTF (shit hits the fan) or TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) happens, there are several ways to respond. You could panic and die like a meek sheep. You could “bug in” at your already prepped (and secure) home. Or you could “bug out” of the place you currently live and head to a predetermined safe place. If you choose the “bug out” option, then you will need a vehicle that can haul your family–and any supplies you need for the journey–to your desired destination. THIS is a “Bug Out Vehicle.”

There is no perfect overall bug out vehicle, but there are many different options. Base your choice on your budget, where you’ll be running from, your bug out destination, how many people you’ll be transporting, and how much stuff you’ll be carrying with you. The unconventional bug out vehicle is our focus in this post. But before we get to those, let’s mention the standard ones.

Standard Bug Out Vehicle

I’ve seen some really cool DIY bug out vehicles:

All of these standard bug out vehicles have pros and cons. There are many sites that cover them. You can click on some of the links above to get more information.


Unconventional Bug Out Vehicle

Regardless of what SHTF event happens, if you don’t get out of town fast all of the major roads are going to be jammed. Because of this, let’s look at some unconventional bug out vehicle options that don’t involve roads.

Bug Out Railroad Vehicle

When the roads are jam-packed, the fastest land routes between cities will probably be the railroads. I don’t mean train travel, but rather a custom-made railroad vehicle. Imagine a bicycle that can be easily put on and pulled off the tracks, or a small cart zipping down the track as quickly as possible. There is a huge web-like railroad infrastructure criss-crossing the whole country. Wherever you’re going, you can probably get close by taking a railway. Plan your route ahead of time with this Interactive Railroad Map.

The first time I heard of the railroad bug out vehicle option was when I read about a bug out railroad bike; a mountain bike that had a small frame like a boat outrigger on the side of it, and a guide on the front wheel to keep you from having to steer. I’ve seen frames made out of aluminum tubes (and even PVC pipes) attached to different types of bicycles. Talk about a cheap bug out vehicle. A railroad bike may be the best bug out transportation to get if you’re on a tight budget. Here is a nice two seater one. And here’s a link to a guy who fabricates rail wheels.

A quick search on YouTube will result in several options. Here is a cool rail bike made with PVC:

 
But if you don’t feel like pedaling, you might prefer a bug out railroad cart instead. These are custom made platforms with rail wheels and typically a lawn mower engine on the back to propel it. The down side to these is that they do not typically have standard wheels on them, so you are confined to the railroad tracks, which could be problematic if you see trouble (or a train) coming toward you.

Here is a YouTube video of a cool rail cart:

 
Now if you are not interested in building a bug out vehicle for yourself, why not see if you can find a bug out vehicle kits to attach to one of your existing vehicles. I’ve seen maintenance trucks with a special guide on the front and back. Here is a video of a homemade golf cart on a railroad.

 
It sure would be awesome if you could get guides like this to fit on a Polaris RZR!!

Polaris RZR


Bug Out Powered Paraglider

I’ve always wanted to learn how to fly a powered paraglider, but I live in a big city (Houston) where there really isn’t a place to do this without going down to the coast, which is about an hour’s drive. Not a very practical bug out option for me. But if I lived in a less crowded area (and wasn’t worried about transporting a family) I’d be all over this. A powered paraglider would be a sweet bug out vehicle for one or two people. You could clip a small bug out bag on the front of your body and fly above everyone else on your way out of Dodge. I’m sure you could figure out some interesting bug out vehicle accessories for this. They would need to be small and light.

Here are a couple YouTube videos to get you excited:

 

 


Bug Out Rowboat

Bug Out Ocean Rowboat - truly an unconventional bug out vehicle

So what if you lived along the coastline or near a large river? Large waterways could be great escape routes. Have you ever heard of an ocean rowboat? Talk about a legit survival vessel. There are people who use them to row all the way across the Atlantic Ocean, from one continent to another. Now this isn’t exactly for everyone, but say you lived and worked in New York and your family was off the coast in South Carolina. Could you imagine trying to get to them by taking the roads through Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC? You would be torn apart by politicians! 🙂

Take a boat, instead. Move it from storage to the water under the darkness of night and head out to sea. These vessels have a small sleeping compartment in the back. They have plenty of airtight storage space, and they are easy to maneuver. I know what you’re thinking. Why not a high powered motorboat or a comfortable sailboat? Think of this setup as your own personal post-apocalyptic gym.

Here are some links so you can find out more information:

If your plan is to bug out in the event of societal collapse, you should put plenty of thought into the type of bug out vehicle you need. What is your budget? What kind of terrain will you encounter between the place you’re leaving and your bug out destination? How many people will you need to move from here to there? And how much supply stash will you need to carry? After taking all of that into account, a standard bug out vehicle may not be your best choice. You might need to think outside the box and give an unconventional bug out transportation option a try.

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EMP Survival: 3 Ways To Build A Faraday Cage

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DIY Faraday Cage

Storing a few key electronics that would be of use in a protracted power grid failure will ensure that you’ll still receive information, communicate and carry out other critical functions in the event of an HEMP. It’s common knowledge that a Faraday cage is the safest way to protect them.

Faraday cages shield their contents from electromagnetic energy. If you have ever had a magnetic resonance imaging or you have been inside one, though you may not have even noticed.

How hard is it to build this device by yourself? Read this article to see three simple Faraday cage designs you can build at home!

A HEMP is a multi-pulse of strong electromagnetic fields generated when a nuclear weapon is detonated high in the atmosphere which could cripple the power grid of a city, or even the entire lower 48 states if more than one weapon is used, or a weapon is detonated at sufficient altitude.

Faraday cages are not necessary to protect most electronics from the type of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) caused by solar storms (magnetohydrodynamic EMP.) To protect most electronics from that EMP, you just need to make sure that your equipment is not connected to the grid and then have a renewable energy source to power it without the electrical grid.

I hosted a series of EMP Q&A sessions at PrepperCon 2016 for Survivopedia and a lot of people asked questions this subject there too. Given the importance of EMP preparedness, I would like to get as many questions answered as possible.

Faraday Cage Construction

One common thread throughout many readers’ questions is that there is conflicting information online about Faraday cages. While building a Faraday cage does not have to be a complicated endeavor (if you keep it small and simple with no penetrations in the shielded envelope), there are some gaps in the public sector knowledge on the subject and quite a bit of conflicting information online.

Faraday cages are EM (electromagnetic) shielding and must be properly designed and implemented or they can cause more harm than good by acting like an EMP antenna instead of an EMP shield.

How to Build a Faraday Cage

Building a Faraday cage can be very simple. Here are a couple of designs to build by yourself:

1. Aluminum Pressure Cooker Faraday Cage

Line an aluminum pressure cooker with a large heavy duty freezer bag. You’re done! Equipment goes in the bag. Secure the lid and you are good to go.

This cage is compact and an aluminum pressure cooker provides more shielding than any other object you are likely to have in your home that I can think of.

I like this cage because it is very simple and provides so much shielding that it should protect the contents against even a super EMP weapon even if sky zero was close by. Second hand stores such as Good Will, Salvation Army or Deseret Industries are great places to find an aluminum pressure cooker cheap.

Pressure cookers are also very useful multipurpose survival items long after a nuclear HEMP or should you experience some other catastrophe as opposed to HEMP:

  • Pressure canning: Pressure can food to store until the next growing season or future years.
  • Sterilization: Sterilize bandages, sutures and instruments for medical procedures.
  • Cooking: Loosen the lid and use a pressure cooker as a stock pot to create stews. Stews preserve more nutrients and caloric content than grilling foods and having fats and oils that are difficult to replace under survival conditions drip into your cooking fire.
  • Distillation of water: You can make a number still designs with a pressure cooker and some designs using pressure cookers are more efficient than with a simple stock pot if you store a little copper tubing and a collection vessel will be cooled.

2. Locking Lid Trash Can/Faraday Bag Faraday Cage

I like this build and use it often. Faraday Cage

It is easy to access the contents and they can store quite a bit depending on the size of trash you can get.

Step 1: Line a new locking lid, galvanized steel trash can with a tight-fitting lid, like the rodent-resistant cans made by Behren’s (often used to store feed or protect the contents form animals) lined with a rubberized, waterproof pack liner or dry bag.

Step 2:  Line the pack liner or dry bag with a large Faraday Bag. The pack liner or dry bag is a non-conductive layer which will insulate the Faraday bag from the conductive trash can and provide an added measure of waterproofing and dustproofing in case this is an outdoor Faraday cage or in case indoors becomes outdoors in the course of a catastrophe.

General preparedness will serve you better than the reality TV negative stereotype of preparing for a single calamity to the exclusion of all others. You should be able to find waterproof pack liners or dry bags any place that sells military surplus or sporting goods.

Step 3: Line the pack liner or dry bag with an XL Faraday Bag and place the gear you want to protect inside the Faraday Bag. The Faraday bag provides about 45 dB of shielding by itself, protects the contents from water and provides a non-conductive layer to insulate the contents of the bag from the conductive layers so lining it with another layer of non-conductor is not necessary.

Alternating layers of conductor/non-conductor is more effective than a single layer of the same thickness. Alternating conductive and non-conductive layers prevents the Faraday cage from re-radiating EM energy into the space you are trying to protect. Good Faraday bags such as the one I recommended incorporate alternating conductive and non-conductive layers.

Step 4: Button everything up tight. Zip up the Faraday Bag. Tie a goose neck in the pack liner or fold and buckle it, depending on the type of bag. Place the lid on the trash can, making sure that it seals tightly all the way around and raise the locking bail/handle. You’re done!

3. Ammo Can/Static Bag Faraday Cage

People use ammo cans every day and most survivalists have plenty of them knocking around. They are also frequently used to house battery systems and radios, so it sure would be handy if they could count on them to protect their radio equipment from EMP.

This would add a whole new dimension to some popular product lines so I’ll give them a few pointers. This is a slightly more involved, but still relatively simple build, if you have a few tools on hand.

tools-and-supplies

Step 1: Remove the rubber gasket from the lid of the ammo can. It is held in place by 4 metal tabs. Use a hooked tool (like the one you see in the picture above) to remove it.

If you do not remove it, the rubber gasket is not conductive and will impede the free flow of electrons through the shielded envelope, re-radiating EMP into the interior you are trying to protect.

non-conductive-rubber-gasket

Step 2: Remove paint along all surfaces of both the lid and body of the ammo can where the lid will mate to the body of the ammo can and where you will install a conductive gasket to replace the non-conductive rubber gasket.

I used a rotary tool, some diamond coated bits and a small sanding drum. The corners are the most time consuming but it didn’t take long.

non-conductive-rubber-gasket-pulled-from-ammo-can-lid-paint-removed-from-now-conductive-mating-surfaces

Step 3: Repaint mating surfaces with conductive paint if desired. If you don’t want to go to the expense, don’t. Government agencies and police departments pay big money for rugged Faraday cages installed in vehicles and the mating surfaces are unpainted and have no conductive paint or coatings so I am going to skip this step in my build.

Step 4: Install a conductive gasket. If you don’t want to go to the expense of buying conductive gasket material, you can just layer aluminum foil or sheeting and cut it to the shape you desire.

making-a-conductive-gasket

conductive-tinfoil-gasket-cut-to-size

installing-the-conductive-tinfoil-gasket

While a little harder to procure and more costly, a conductive metal gasket would be more durable and a nice touch.

conductive-gasket-installed-under-gasket-retention-tabs

Maybe I’ll build some ammo can Faraday cages for radio and battery kits with conductive gaskets but since most of you will use tin foil, I will demonstrate the technique in this build.

I used about 24 layers of heavy duty tin foil. If you use thicker foil sheeting, you will use fewer layers. I used a box cutter and a ruler the first time, but a pair of tin snips or multipurpose shears made future jobs a lot easier.

If you cut or bend the gasket and it doesn’t go in beautifully, you can either redo it or just patch it with some tin foil. The electrons won’t care, but you might. It may not hold up for as many opening/closing cycles of you patch it and you should check the gasket every time you close it.

The cage will be just fine as long as there are not any gaps greater than ¼” in any direction. If you use an adhesive, be sure that the adhesive is a conductive adhesive, or just don’t use adhesive if you use tinfoil. A tinfoil gasket will stay in place without adhesive thanks to the tabs that held the rubber gasket in place.

Step 5: Line the ammo can with a non-conductive layer such as a small pack liner or a 2-ply zippered-seal freezer bag to protect your gear from the conductive shielded layer.

If you have the space, this could in turn be lined with a Faraday bag, but for tight builds like radio kits, you may have to shave down some pieces a millimeter or so in order to nest the kit inside the non-conductive layer and still fit the assembly inside the ammo can, so you may not have enough extra room to line it with a Faraday bag.

now-conductive-mating-surfaces-tools-used

Step 6: Seal it up tight. Close up the lining and lock the lid down, making sure that there are no gaps greater than ¼”. Pay special attention to the tinfoil gasket.

finished-ammo-can-faraday-cage

There you go!

Three easy Faraday cage builds are available at once!

A Note on Grounding

You may have noticed that these small, simple cages are not grounded. That is intentional. For a simple cage like this, built by a novice, grounding would cause more problems that it would solve. There is no need to ground a simple cage like this and it will do its job without being grounded.

There are some applications where Faraday cages should be grounded, so I am not saying never ground.

Large cages that could have their integrity damaged by lightning, and cages that have penetrations in the shielded envelope or which run mains power inside may indeed benefit from grounding, but those are more complicated builds well beyond the scope of this article.

After studying what our enemies, leaders and strategists have said on the subject and exactly what it would take to get the job done, for many years now, it is a wonder and blessing that we haven’t had an HEMP attack occur already.

Please do not waste the opportunity to protect yourself against this threat!

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Be aware that protecting some basic electronics will make a huge difference for you after a nuclear HEMP attack. If you still have questions about your specific situation, please ask in the comments below!

This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.

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20 Quick and Cheap Ways to Prep for an EMP

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20 Quick and Cheap Ways to Prep for an EMP If you haven’t experienced the effects of an EMP, it’s hard to believe that it could be a real threat to our way of life. Our planet has made extremely rapid progress in technology and thus, we have generations of people who have become truly … Continue reading 20 Quick and Cheap Ways to Prep for an EMP

The post 20 Quick and Cheap Ways to Prep for an EMP appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Testing Faraday Bags

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Do Faraday bags work?  I purchased some Faraday bags to protect a batch of handheld electronics.  Faraday bags are designed to block radio wave transmissions and act as an insulator to protect against electronic currents.  Federal agencies and local law enforcement officers use them to protect information and […]

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Prep Blog Review: About Living Off-grid

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Living Off grid

People today have become overly dependent on energy and this is the main reason why starting living off-grid seems difficult. But it is not. Think about the fact that people lived before the grid even existed.

As we all know, an EMP attack is a disaster most of us are preparing for. When our electricity driven society will suddenly fall, how long will you survive?

From today’s Prep Blog Review you will find out how it is like to live off-grid for 37 years, how to build a faraday cage or how to build your off-grid cooking stove.

  1. Confessions Off A Man Who Lived 37 Years Off-grid

Living Off Grid

“Imagine if you can, a homestead nestled deep in the forest, fronting a beautiful lake. Oh sure… that sounds dreamy and might be reality for a lucky few.

But now let’s take it a step further. The homestead sits on the shore of a remote, pristine lake which is located 100 miles in the wilderness.

No roads, no trails, no neighbors. Only forest, water, animals and silence. Float plane is the only way in and out. When the float plane drops you off, accelerates down the lake, lifts off the surface and becomes a speck on the horizon, you then realize your last physical connection with humanity just left.

Standing on the dock, you have the overwhelming sense you are the only person left on the planet. Exciting!”

Read more on Ask A Prepper.

  1. The Smokeless & Easy-To-Build Off-Grid Cooking Stove

Off grid stove

“Outdoor cooking is a major part of my off-grid experience, and so a reliable outdoor stove was a must-have. And with many options of wood-burning stoves out there, fuel-efficiency and minimal smoke were at the top of my list.

After much research, the rocket stove because our outdoor stove of choice. In this article, I will share with you the concept of the rocket stove, how we built two of them, and its advantages and disadvantages.

A wood-burning smokeless stove sounds impossible, right? Let me explain it this way. Smoke is un-burned fuel. The rocket stove makes use of all the fuel. Everything gets burned in the combustion chamber before leaving the chimney. This concept is also seen in the Dakota fire pit.

The rocket stove, when fired up, sounds similar to that of a rocket taking off – hence, its name.”

Read more on Off The Grid News.

  1. How To Build A Faraday Cage To Protect Your Electronics

Faraday cage “One of the things that gives us the most troubled sleep of all is the risk of, and outcomes from, an EMP attack on the US.  In case you’re not fully up to speed on this draconian danger, we discuss EMP attacks – what they are, how fearsome their impacts would be, and how easy they are to stage – in several articles here.

Our sense is that the danger of an EMP event is steadily increasing.  To be blunt, the world is becoming an increasingly unfriendly place, and with growing sophistication of both nuclear weapons and their associated delivery systems (ie missiles) by both North Korea and Iran (as well as other countries that aren’t being quite so public about their actions) and some threats that translate quite clearly to ‘if we need to, we’ll use an EMP device to bring your country to its knees’, the thought of an EMP attack is far from impossible to countenance.

At the same time, our lives continue to become more and more dependent on electronics for everything we do.”

Read more on Backdoor Prepper.

  1. 10 Widespread Disaster That Could Happen At Any Time

Disasters

“When preparing for a widespread disaster, it’s helpful to have a specific type of disaster in mind. Envisioning a particular survival scenario helps you to be more focused and think of preparations that might not have occurred to you otherwise.

How would a pandemic play out in your town? Or a terrorist attack? Or an economic collapse? What specifically would happen to your community, and how would it affect you and your family? And based on that, are there any other preparations you could make to ensure your family’s safety?

As you can see, mentally walking yourself through various types of disasters will help you to be more prepared. With that in mind, here is a list of the 10 most likely widespread disasters. You should seriously consider the possibility of experiencing these events. I’m not saying you should obsess over them–don’t spend your life in fear–but you should do your best to be ready for them.”

Read more on Urban Survival Site.

  1. Starting Your Off-grid Living With Solar Power

starting-your-off-grid-living-with-solar-power

“Harnessing the sun’s power has become a popular trend in the last ten years and we now have a large array of options for powering our homes using solar power.

Living off the grid requires a lot of work and innovation in order to reach a certain level of self-sufficiency. Things get easier if you are able to harness the power of the sun and use it for all your needs.

From passive cooling to batch solar water heaters, everything is now available when it comes to DIY solar power projects.

People are beginning to understand that solar power is not as complicated as certain individuals would want you to believe.

This is a technology that has become extremely accessible in our modern times and you just need a few basic skills in order to make your own project.”

Read more on Prepper’s Will.

You can generate power and keep your loved ones safe with the right power generator. You can choose your right now.

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This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia.

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Cosmic Weather Executive Order: What Does It Mean?

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Cosmic Weather Executive Order

Does the government know something that we don’t about what is going to happen to our power grid?

The latest executive order on cosmic weather certainly has some folks in the survival community scratching their heads. Do you know why? Because it doesn’t help you much, but leaves you survive on your own.

President Obama says he recognizes that naturally occurring EMP’s “could disable large portions of the electrical power grid, resulting in cascading failures that would affect key services such as water supply, healthcare, and transportation.

First off, understand that the type of EMP caused by cosmic weather would only affect equipment connected to the power grid, land lines or other very long conductors, so it would not affect your car … until you need to buy gasoline or you phone … until you need to connect to the internet or a cell tower.

What we are most concerned about with this type of EMP is damage to the infrastructure that we all depend on, specifically the large transformers in the power grid which are custom built (mostly overseas) and have lead times measured in years.

Why only address naturally-occurring EMP and not nuclear high-altitude EMP?

I think the answer to that is simply that existing executive orders, COG (Continuity of Government) and NIPP (National Infrastructure Protection Plan) already cover protection of key infrastructure in the event of acts of war or terror attacks, so that train has already left the station – no power or budget to grab or rights to infringe upon there.

Why is important, other than that your internet will be down and credit and bank cards won’t work, is that a severe space weather event could knock out the US power grid and reshape the balance of power in the world.

Russia claims its grid is hardened against EMP and China runs major EMP-response exercises. Every former superpower is making preparations in case of EMP attack and virtually all substantial enemies of the US either are in the process of developing or already have EMP weapons.

The US has EMP weapons programs and we have upgraded a few key segments of our communications infrastructure, so it is clear that our leadership is aware of the threat EMP poses, but we haven’t funded any significant national preparation.

Scientists have been beating politicians over the heads with EMP scenarios for decades now, but they don’t seem to care much about it.

Why hasn’t the US already made preparations in case of EMP?

According to Dr. Peter Pry, a member of the congressional EMP Commission and executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, the power industry is afraid of over-regulation.

That is why it is using its considerable power to lobby against any EMP preparation and crank out junk science a la “lead is good for you because it occurs naturally,” “smoking is not harmful to your health,” and “we would starve without GMO foods and high fructose corn syrup” only this time it’s “EMP only affects the power grid in movies.”

Don’t let the fact that the rest of the world is united on the matter that the EMP is a threat fool you. Here in the USA, we reserve the right to be ignorant and listen to K Street lobbyists and the best scientists they can buy instead of our best scientific minds.

Warning have yielded both grassroots and congressional efforts, such as the Shield Act, which have been blocked at every turn by the power lobby for well over a decade now. This opened the door for Barrack Obama, who claims not to need congress because he has a phone and a pen, to step in an issue the executive order.

In October of last year, the White House published the 2015 National Space Weather Plan, which sets two goals: to improve our detection capabilities (warn us a few hours before the EMP), and to strengthen our capability to respond to the needs of the people after an EMP has damaged the grid.

Why not a comprehensive EMP plan to harden the grid against both types of EMP?

Because existing executive orders already cover EMP of the nuclear high-altitude variety under war and terrorism, so there wasn’t any additional power or funding to grab.

At a glance, the plan seems like perhaps a step in the right direction, but dig deeper and its more social programs and less privacy, thinly disguised as a preparedness plan. About the only thing that could make this plan worse is if it was truly this president’s best effort to protect the nation from EMP.

Cosmic weather

Why am I not excited about the government finally creating a plan to deal with EMP, even if it is only naturally-occurring EMP?

  • The Obama regime used this as pretext to violate privacy rights by making GPS constellation data publicly available.
  • Obama’s plans for EMP preparedness don’t mean boo unless they are funded and they will not be funded without congress. Simply passing an executive order does not change that. Most of page 2 of the White House plan is basically a disclaimer that the plan is not a budget document and that funds to carry out the plan would granted through the budget process. An effective POTUS does not simply throw out an idea and then blame congress for not approving funds that don’t exist to implement a plan when there was already another, better plan on the table.
  • Instead of the one-time investment of $2 billion to fix the problem and harden the US electrical again against BOTH kinds of EMP that the Shield Act asks for, it would invest in capability to warn us a few hours ahead of an EMP and then attempt to put Humpty Dumpty back together again after our large transformers have melted. This is a reactive, “social aspirin and Band-aid” patch job that invests in social programs instead of a proactive permanent fix for the chronic problem.
  • No funding for joint DOD – FEMA Training Exercises. Instead he directs the heads of agencies to work together “consistent with their ongoing activities” referring to the 2015 National Space Weather Action Plan.

Somebody needs to tell the White House that it won’t matter if people have health insurance if they are going to be without electricity for up to 4 years. Maybe that is a length of time they can get their heads around.

The US has been operating in an utter leadership vacuum for nearly two terms now, arguably much, much longer. We could permanently fix the EMP threat to our grid for about what we spend on climate change research in a year.

The US could have long ago joined the growing list of nations making earnest preparations against EMP, but is not course our benevolent leader has chosen.

The FEMA – DOD turf war is going to cost untold millions of lives in a severely damaging EMP

Hurricane Katrina was a minor event when compared to losing the US electrical grid for years, but it serves as an example of the consequences of the FEMA – DOD turf war. The states tried to handle the disaster themselves to capture Federal funding and everyone had to sit on their hands until they asked for help.

But by then, they had trouble even contacting the Federal Government to ask for help, so precious time was lost, which translated to lives lost. Then the Federal government sends in FEMA, who sealed off the disaster area and takes its shot at the prize budget money.

The military still couldn’t do anything until they were asked. FEMA ended up running around like a chicken with its head cut off because it was also outclassed by the scope of the event, losing more time and lives until FEMA finally asks for DOD.

Why did the DOD need to be involved in Katrina and will they inevitably need to be involved in a large-scale EMP?

Because FEMA has thousands of employees where DOD has millions. FEMA can call subcontractors and pay them to deliver trailers or loads of supplies. DOD can coordinate colossal airlifts and entire fleets of ships. We cannot handle an emergency of this magnitude without the DOD, so FEMA needs to get let that sink in now, BEFORE an EMP.

The FEMA budget is not going to matter. FEMA is going to go down in history as crewing the Titanic in this scenario and the post-EMP agency that replaces FEMA will not resemble the pre-EMP FEMA, that is, if the USA even still exists as such after China lays down the terms for the replacement of our large transformers.

What would a competent leader would have done

  • Fund NASA and the National Foundation of Sciences Studies that would debunk the junk science funded by the power industry lobby.
  • Educate the public about the threat.
  • Pass the Shield Act and harden the grid against space weather and nuclear EMP alike instead of an unfunded plan followed by an executive order.
  • Get the DOD and FEMA working and training together before the catastrophe and give them funding to do it instead of just telling the directors to work together “consistent with their ongoing activities.”

So what does Obama’s executive order on cosmic weather mean for you?

It means that, as usual, you are largely on your own. The only preparations that you can count on are ones you have made yourself and with those you trust in your local community. This may actually be better for you than being lied to that your government has everything under control.

You are better off preparing independently as opposed to believing that Uncle Sam, or someone else, is going to bail you out.

Be prepared! Get your power generator. Click the banner below to grab this offer and pay in installments for the right power generator for your EMP survival!

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This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia. 

References:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/10/13/executive-order-coordinating-efforts-prepare-nation-space-weather-events

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How to Build a Faraday Cage to Protect Your Electronics

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How to Build a Faraday Cage to Protect Your Electronics

One of the things that gives us the most troubled sleep of all is the risk of, and outcomes from, an EMP attack on the US.  In case you’re not fully up to speed on this draconian danger, we discuss EMP attacks – what they are, how fearsome their impacts would be, and how easy they are to stage – in several articles here.

Our sense is that the danger of an EMP event is steadily increasing.  To be blunt, the world is becoming an increasingly unfriendly place, and with growing sophistication of both nuclear weapons and their associated delivery systems (ie missiles) by both North Korea and Iran (as well as other countries that aren’t being quite so public about their actions) and some threats that translate quite clearly to ‘if we need to, we’ll use an EMP device to bring your country to its knees’, the thought of an EMP attack is far from impossible to countenance.  At the same time, our lives continue to become more and more dependent on electronics for everything we do.

We are increasingly of the opinion that it is prudent to maintain a spare set of essential electronic items in a protective Faraday cage so that if/when an EMP occurs, you have a backup set of equipment to turn to.

One consideration when planning for this.  There is no point in keeping backup equipment that relies on other equipment or services owned/operated by other people/organizations, unless you are certain that these other parties will also be able to continue to provide services after an EMP.  For example, what is the point of having a backup cell phone if all the cell towers and network infrastructure by the wireless companies is fried by EMP, and also if the cell phones owned by most of your contacts are also fried!

So, with that as introduction, let’s continue…..

As you may already know, and as our other linked articles explain, an EMP attack destroys electronics by creating high voltage surges in them.  These high voltage surges are induced by electromagnetic radiation – a fancy way of saying ‘radio waves and similar type things’.  Because the voltage is induced by electromagnetic radiation, there is no need for electronic objects to be connected to anything – they wirelessly ‘receive’ these voltage surges, whether they want to or not, the same way that radios receive radio waves, televisions receive broadcast tv signals and cell phones receive phone calls.

Worst of all, perhaps, switching off your devices doesn’t protect them from these voltage surges.  You can unplug your devices and take the batteries out, but they are still at risk of being ‘fried’ by the electromagnetic radiation caused by an EMP device.

Note that while EMP effects are a problem to your at-home electronics, solar flares and storms are not a problem, assuming your electronics are not plugged into utility power (or possibly internet connections).  Unplugged, and battery operated, devices will not be affected by the different type of EMF radiation generated in a solar storm.

Back to EMP risks and counter-measures.  There are several ways to protect your electronics.  Some are impractical, at least for us, because they involve a redesign and ‘hardening’ of the electronic items when they are designed and built.

Others are impractical for other reasons, such as burying our electronics at least 10 ft underground.

The easiest approach for most of us would be to select items we wanted to protect and save for use after an EMP, and place those items inside a special type of container, known as a Faraday Cage.  This device is named after the English scientist Michael Faraday, the discoverer of electromagnetic fields, and deemed the inventor of these protective containers, back in 1836, although in truth it was Benjamin Franklin who first observed the properties of such containers, in 1755.

If you think about it, there’s something slightly strange about using a device first observed 260 years ago, to protect against a modern type of risk only developed 60 years ago.  But progress is a funny thing, right?

What is a Faraday Cage

The chances are you may have already experienced the protective effects of a Faraday cage, and without even realizing what was going on.  If you’ve ever been on a plane that was struck by lightning, the reason you lived to tell the tale – and the reason the plane wasn’t destroyed – is because the entire plane acts as a super Faraday cage, protecting itself and its contents.

A Faraday cage is simply an electrically conductive metal container that completely surrounds its contents.  When electromagnetic radiation reaches the container/cage, it has two choices for what it does next – it can either travel through the container, and thereby exposing the contents inside to its damaging effects, or it can travel around the outside of the container on its conductive exterior.

It is ‘easier’ for the radiation to travel on the conductive exterior, and indeed, the conductive exterior works so as to in effect compel the radiation to take this route rather than to go inside, through, and outside the container again.

So, think of a nice old-fashioned metal biscuit tin with a close-fitting lid.  Instant Faraday cage!  Any type of metal container, of most reasonable shapes and sizes, will work perfectly well as a Faraday cage.

Tight mesh metal screens have sometimes been used as radio frequency shielding too.  We don’t recommend this approach because the wave-length of the energies released by an EMP tend to be shorter, and therefore might be small enough to ‘fit through’ the holes in the mesh.  Plus, unless you have excellent electrical connections at each node where the screen mesh running in one direction intersects with the screen mesh running at sort of right angles to it, you’ll end up with invisible gaps in your radiation blocking.  Best to play it safe and stick to solid metal.

As implied by the comment on screens and their lesser effectiveness, nothing is an absolute in this world, and a Faraday cage – even made out of thick 100% copper, won’t necessarily eliminate 100% of all the radiation.  A little bit might still ‘leak’ through into the inside.  But a well constructed Faraday cage will reduce the radiation inside itself to perhaps one millionth or less of the level of the radiation outside the container, and that is probably sufficient reduction (the technical term is ‘attenuation’) as to reduce the radiation level from a dangerous level that risks the integrity of your devices to a trivial level that poses no threat to them.

Faraday Cage Construction 1 – The Need for a Total Metal Enclosure

Don’t think that a container that has metal on some of its surrounding surfaces – maybe even as many as five of the six sides of a cube shape – will protect its contents.  A typical example of that would be some sort of metal container with a plastic lid.

Such a shape is not a cage at all – rather it could become a ‘wave guide’ which might funnel radiation through it and maybe even concentrate it in some essentially unpredictable manner.

The container needs to have as close to complete metal coverage as possible.  Small holes are okay, but the electromagnetic radiation can travel through holes and other cuts and slits in the container.  The bigger the hole, the more radiation that can go through it, exactly as you’d think if designing a container to block out light (which is also electromagnetic radiation) or to be waterproof.

So don’t, for example, go to Harbor Freight and buy a ‘stainless steel tool chest’ that actually only has some very thin pieces of stainless steel in the center of some of the tool chest’s sides, and plenty of plastic elsewhere.  It might be a great way to carry tools, but it is not useful as a Faraday Cage.

Faraday Cage Construction 2 – The Need for Good Electrical Joins

So maybe you’ve ended up with an enclosure that is metal on all sides.  That’s good, but there’s more to it than that.  Are all the sides connected to each other electrically?  If they are not, you again have a wave guide or possibly a radiation ‘concentrator’ rather than some sort of blocking cage, and might end up with worse outcomes than without an enclosure at all.

Make sure there is no varnish or other ‘invisible’ insulation on each of the metal surfaces.  And have good connections on all sides, as much as possible, so that the shortest physical distance from any point to any other point on the enclosure is also the same as the shortest electrical distance.  As soon as you start to require the radiation to go ‘the long way around’, you start to tempt it to take ‘a shortcut’ through the container rather than around it.

In simple terms, if you have a cube type shape, that means that each of the six sides of the cube should be physically and electrically connected to other sides of the cube on each of its four edges.  A ‘press fit’ is acceptable only if the two surfaces are each clean and not corroded (both dirt and corrosion are usually insulators rather than conductors).  You’ll of course have welded or soldered joins on most of the sides of the enclosure, with just its ‘lid’ being openable in some form, and you need to be sure that all four edges of the lid provide a positive seal and electrical connection.

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An Essential but Usually Overlooked Requirement with Metal Tape

Now for an important consideration.  If you are sealing some sort of container, you probably know or can guess that you should use a metal foil type of tape to seal the container with.  Okay, but there’s a trick that many people don’t think through.  The typical adhesive on generic metal foil tape acts as an insulator.  It insulates the tape from whatever you are taping it onto, and also insulates the tape from itself (if you have tape overlapping itself).  This makes the metal foil tape close to useless.

Be sure to get tape that has conductive adhesive on it.  Needless to say, Amazon is your friend, and offers a wide range of different types of metal foil tape with conductive adhesive on it, as you can see from the link.  Better still, the material isn’t very expensive.

Do You Need to Ground Your Faraday Cage?

This is one of the most widely misunderstood aspects of Faraday Cage design and construction.  Faraday cages do not need to be grounded, indeed, as best we vaguely remember our advanced college physics classes, they should not be grounded.

You’ll see many prepper sites that say you should ground a Faraday Cage, but they either don’t say why, or say ‘to bleed off the charge’, or perhaps work on the semi-stated assumption that you ground other electrical things for safety and so, therefore, you should also ground a Faraday Cage.  This is all wrong.  Faraday Cages do not accumulate charge.  They simply allow a charge to pass from one side of them to the other, without passing ‘through’ the inside of the cage.

That process also points to why you should not ground a Faraday Cage.  If you ground the cage, it is no longer an isolated part of normal space that just so happens to be better conducting than the space inside it.  Now it has become an antenna of sorts, and even can be considered as a ‘magnet’ for the radiation.  Think of the process like a lightning rod – a lightning rod actually works by attracting lightning – it ‘pulls’ the lightning to itself rather than allowing the lightning to semi-randomly choose anywhere else to land.  The last thing you want is to change from a neutral Faraday cage to an active receiver of the radiation!  Instead of the EMF passing around your object, it now goes onto the object and travels along it and down to the ground.

Like all antennas, a grounded Faraday cage ceases to be a conductive material and instead starts to become a resonating material with inductive and capacitive properties, with some parts of its length having high resistance (impedance) and thereby potentially defeating the major concept of the cage – its ability to more effectively transfer EMF around its exterior rather than through its middle.  It will be itself absorbing and re-radiating some of the EMF it is now ‘receiving’ and conducting, and while we’re not exactly sure, we fear some of that transmission may be into itself and whatever is inside.

Think of it this way.  Planes get struck by lightning dozens of times every day, but nothing happens to them because the planes are essentially Faraday cages.  The lightning strikes the plane, travels around/through it, and then keeps on going.  But imagine if the plane had a big long antenna trailing off the end of it, all the way down to where it was dragging along the ground.  Now the plane has changed from being an electrically neutral thing that the lightning doesn’t ‘see’ or expend energy on, and instead becomes a huge big ‘magnet’ that draws lightning from miles around to it.

‘Nuff said?  Don’t ground your cage.  Not only don’t deliberately ground it, but also keep it away from any ‘accidental’ grounds – for example, don’t have it resting on solid earth or attached to any metal beams that might lead to the ground, and – whatever you do – please don’t have any electric wiring feeding into it!

Insulating the Contents from the Cage Walls

Something we often see overlooked in articles about Faraday cages is the need to insulate the contents from the cage walls.  When the cage is actually ‘doing its job’, those walls – both inside and outside the cage – are going to be alive with energy, and that energy will be eager to find anything and everything to flow into and fill.

If you think about what would happen if you had the contents actually touching the walls, there’s a chance you’d end up creating an electrical path through the cage that would be easier or almost as easy for the radiation to travel along as it is for the radiation to go around the outside of the cage.  The last thing you want to do is to encourage the radiation to come into your cage and move around.

We suggest you simply line the inside of your cage with thin foam – perhaps 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick.  That’s all you need to do – have some sort of light simply stand-off that keeps your electronics off the walls of the container.

Testing Your Faraday Cage

There are several ways you can test your Faraday Cage once you’ve constructed it.  Go somewhere with a very strong cell phone signal (such as right next to a nearby cell tower) and confirm you’ve all the bars on your phone showing max strength.

Put your phone in the cage and try calling it.  If you hear it ring, you know you’ve got a problem.

Next, place a call from your phone to someone else, then put the phone in the cage and close it up.  Does that cut off your call?  If it doesn’t, you again know you’ve got problems.

Try this with the phone and cage oriented in different directions (and with the phone either vertical or horizontal inside), in case radiation can get in one way but not another way.

Another test is to check for electrical continuity all the way around the cage.  With an ohm meter, set it on its lowest/most sensitive ohm scale and first calibrate it to zero ohms.  Then stick the probes on random parts of the cage, and ensure that everywhere you place the probes, you’re getting under a 1 ohm resistance reading.  Test a range of combinations from any side to any other side.

Those are the two easiest types of test to do.  Happily, there’s not really much of a trick to building a cage, and so there’s every good chance your cage will pass these tests.

Summary

Build yourself a Faraday cage – perhaps out of plumbing ductwork type thin metal sheeting that is easy to work and not too ridiculously heavy.  Follow the design considerations discussed above – perfect electrical and physical seal, nothing touching inside, outside not grounded, and you should have an effective way of protecting an essential set of spare electronic devices for WTSHTF.

Interested in improving your EMP survival skills? CLICK HERE to find out more!

 

Source : codegreenprep.com

 

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Moving Your Computer Off Grid

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Moving Your Computer Off-Grid

More than a few preppers feel that as long as they can provide food, shelter, water, and basic medical needs for themselves and their families, nothing more is required. Other preppers may feel that self defense, power generation, education, and machine repair are skills that will be required in the post crisis world.

Sadly, many preppers and also off-gridders tend to ignore or underestimate the need to have a computer that can be used to help make it easier to survive.

In all likelihood, these are also the people most likely to have serious problems in the post crisis world because they do not have a computer available to help meet a range of goals.

Computers and Prepping Can Get Along

A computer cannot hunt a deer for you, boil water, or make a pair of shoes, obviously. On the other hand, any computer with a connection to the internet can help you find out how to do these things and much more. When you find good information, it is also very easy to store those files on your computer so that you can read them and work with them whenever you want.

And if you are in a situation where internet access is still available, you can use your computer to contact friends and loved ones as well as people that might be able to help you get through a crisis. Then you can certainly relate to the quandary of many preppers that are finding out it is becoming impossible to make or obtain raw materials that would be needed in a major crisis scenario.

On the other side of the equation, many of the items you need for basic prepping can still be purchased online. All you really need is a prepaid debit card and an internet connection so that you can find websites where you can place your orders. Not only will you be able to get the supplies you need, you will also have a much wider selection of other goods to choose from.

Regardless of whether you are interested in the best quality gun cleaning kits, need a certain type of fishing reel, or need good quality vintage hand tools, you can find them all online. In fact, even if you are disabled, you may be able to find customized materials and tools that have been modified to meet your needs.

Most people don’t realize just how important it is to network with preppers from diverse geographic regions and make plans for bugging out that include those friends and connections. Consider what would happen if an earthquake or hurricane strikes your area.

If you only have friends and family in a local, or small area, chances are everyone will be affected. If you have friends in other states that might be able to offer temporary shelter or help you make a new start, then you will be well ahead of the game.

In these times and beyond, both money and barter systems are vital for exchanging needed goods and services. A computer is very important for expanding your trade and marketing options. It is also very important for securing alternative currencies that may play a vital role in remaining solvent in the face of currency collapse.

Most people would be truly amazed at how easy it is for the average consumer to secure foreign currencies, keep a good supply of them, and even use them as down and dirty form of currency trading or flipping.

The Tough Choice on the Best Device(s)

Off grid devices

Obsolete devices may still be very useful because certain older technologies are easier to work with and may be safer than newer devices that are routinely overclocked or are based on unstable hardware platforms.

If you are interested in newer devices, here are some categories, brands, and models that you can start off with for each category of device:

Desktops

If you are primarily interested in a conventional desktop computer, my own experience leads me to believe the best option is to build the computer yourself so that you know exactly what parts are being used and how best to optimize the BIOS (this is where you can determine how fast the computer will run, whether or not the system can boot from a USB drive, and other aspects of basic operation) settings.

Since modern computer chips tend to run hot, it is very important to provide plenty of ventilation and cooling options inside the case. If your CPU and motherboard kit come with sub-par heat conducting gel, do not hesitate to find the best on the market.  It is also very useful to add extra fans and other cooling devices right inside the case.

Always remember, the cooler you can keep the chips during operation, the lower your chances of erratic freeze-ups or even ruining the chips.

Insofar as other vital parts such as hard drives, CD/DVD drives, and video cards, it truly depends on your personal tastes.

You will need a dedicated video card to gain access to these specialized chips that will reduce wear on the CPU and enhance computer performance at the same time. Be sure to study gamer forums and video editing forums to find out which video cards work best with specific CPU and motherboard combinations. A bad fit between these parts can truly be a disaster.

Memory cards (RAM) are yet another tricky, yet vital area of the computer that you will need to think about. This is also one area where only the best will do. It is better to go with the fastest cards that the motherboard will take, and also from the best rated vendor.

Laptops

Unlike desktop computers, you will have far less control over what parts are found inside the case. Before purchasing a laptop, be sure to find out the model number of the CPU and motherboard. From there, you will need to look up the chipsets to find out what the optimal clock speeds are.

I have seen more than one laptop burn up at around the 1 year mark because a sub-part mother board with a slower timing chip was paired with a faster CPU. Since most buyers do not ask about the motherboard model, there was no way for them to find out that they basically had an overclocked system that was going to fail very quickly.

Overall, I can safely say that I don’t recommend spending 3 – 4 times as much money on a laptop when I can choose a much cheaper tablet and optimize it with less intensive apps. The only advantage a laptop might have over an off grid tablet is that it is easier to customize the programs.

Tablets

An unlocked tablet will give you just about everything you need for basic document access and communicating with others. You can also choose apps that will enable you to create your own apps and carry out other more complex tasks.

Tablets also have the advantage of taking far less  power than a desktop or laptop computer. They can easily be recharged on a portable solar pack, and it is also fairly easy to bypass the battery.

Insofar as brand names, I tend to favor Lenovo, but have also found Alldaymall tablets to work well. The Alldaymall tablets are also a good bit cheaper, so you can purchase more of them and put them in your bug out bag as well as other locations.

Smart Phones

When it comes to a comfortable viewing experience combined with relatively low power usage, larger tablets will work much better than smart phones. That being said, in a “something is better than nothing” or a vital tool for your EDC, few things can rival a good quality unlocked smart phone.

While I recommend a 10” tablet for bug out gear, a 5” smart phone is truly  more than enough for EDC. Not only a phone this size fit easily into a purse or backpack, it is even easier to power than a larger tablet.

They also work well for reading a range of documents and will give you a good sized window for viewing videos. You can also hook up a folding keyboard and be able to carry out a number of tasks that would be difficult using the screen keyboard.

The Challenge on Providing a Steady Source of Power

Today, the vast majority of computers have sub par power supplies that make them more susceptible than ever to fluctuations in power coming into the system.

As our electric grid continues to crumble, rolling blackouts, brownouts, and line voltage fluctuations caused by excess usage during peak hours will shorten the life cycle of many computers. If you are generating your own power, it is just as important to make sure you know how to keep the current going into your computer as steady as possible.

There are some things you can do now, as well as consider when building a power system that will help you get the most out of every computer that you own. CLICK HERE to subscribe to Survivopedia’s newsletter and get the free report on how to take your computer off grid.

Understanding the Impact of Utilization

No discussion about preparing your computer hardware for off gridding would be complete without at least touching on the resource cost involved in each program that you run on the system. For example, if you have a simple word processor program with no fancy graphics, it will take up far less processor and memory resources than one that has funny critters dancing around all over the place.

Apps that automatically play videos or programs that automatically play music also shorten the hardware life of your computer. Therefore, when it comes to choosing the best computer for your off grid or prepping needs, it is always important to study benchmark tests and hardware longevity tests under certain loads.

Once again, you will find some of the best and most accurate information in the gaming forums.

Important Parts to Keep On hand

For each device in your EDC, bug out bag, or other location, there are some important parts that can help double or even triple the useful lifespan of your computer. Even if you lose some functionality, the main parts should still work for 2 – 3 decades on desktop units, and up to 10 years on laptops, tablets, and smart phones.

  • Start off by buying all of your devices brand new and with the maximum warranty available. If something breaks down during the warranty period, let the manufacturer or repair center take care of the problem.
  • Buy at least 3 to 5 non-functioning devices that are compatible with the make and model of each device. Usually, you can pick these units up for around 10 to 20% of the cost of a brand new device. You can choose different manufacturers as long as the parts are fully interchangeable with your device. You will use these devices to learn how to make repairs, and also for spare parts if something breaks down on your main device.
  • Since RAM chips take the most abuse on any computer system, keep a few spare ones on hand.
  • Have at least one extra power supply for desktop units. Unlike other parts of the system, you should never open up the case on the power supply unless you have a good bit of experience working with electronic devices. Never forget that the capacitors inside these power supplies may not be fully discharged, and that touching them or a live circuit can cause death or severe injury.
  • Keep at least 2 USB hubs handy that also have the capacity to power any device you hook up to them. When connecting devices to the USB ports on your computer, try to never at least one pair of ports.

What Happens When the Battery Dies?

If you have been thinking about using a smart phone or tablet as a place to store important survival information, you may hesitate because you know that the battery can easily be ruined by over charging, or that it will wear out sooner rather than later.

While some devices will continue to work while the battery is “charging”, others will not. If you have a device that will not work while charging, you will need to remove the battery and apply current directly to the device.

In this scenario, you must know how to keep the voltage and amperage as stable as possible before they reach the device. You can make your own controllers for this purpose then hook them up to solar panels or anything else that you will be using as a power source.

Just remember that you power controller may also need to go safely from AC to DC current as well as match the voltage and amperage needs of the device. If you aren’t sure how much power to provide for laptops, tablets, or smart phones, just go by what the battery is rated for.

Video first seen on PrepareForTheUnexpected.

Basic Toolkit

It will not be of much use to have plenty of parts on hand, and then no way to install them or make good use of them. Here are the most essential tools you will need for building computers or making repairs:

  • chip extractors for chips that are installed in sockets
  • high heat conducting gel
  • anti static grounding strap
  • precision and larger size screwdriver kit
  • magnifying glass
  • low wattage solder iron, solder, and flux suitable for computer parts
  • desoldering bulb
  • pliers and wrenches
  • wire cutters
  • anti-static bags and mats for placing boards on while you are working
  • multi meter, port testers, and digital logic probe

If you become especially proficient at scavenging and rebuilding electronics parts, it may be to your advantage to include a copper board etching kit. You can use these to make new circuit boards in a time of need.

Scavenging and Repair Skills

If you take good care of your devices, they may last for several years without need for repair. Once they break down, however, you will need to put your toolkit and stored parts to use. Here are some basic scavenging and repair skills that you can use to fix your own devices, or trade as service with others:

  • understand hardware part numbers so that you know which parts are compatible across different manufacturers
  • be able to solder and desolder chips or other parts without damaging the parts
  • know how to diagnose problems and figure out the best way to solve them
  • how to recognize which parts (example what a melted down chip looks like) need to be replaced or repaired
  • how to use software diagnostics, driver programs,  and BIOS programs to resolve problems
  • how to find viable parts in a junk yard or other locations where discarded electronics may be found.

Video first seen on The Off Grid Family.

Where to Get More Information and Training

Overall, you will find it easiest and cheapest to build and test your skills on desktop computers. If you go to a flea market or do some research online, you can easily pick up dozens of obsolete motherboards, CPUs, power supplies, and just about anything else for a few dollars.

Start off by trying to build a complete and functioning system. This will give you plenty of practice with identifying basic parts and help you overcome any hesitance you may have in working with computer parts.

While you are exploring these parts, take a course on basic electronics and then one on computer hardware. You can also find plenty of good books on this subject. In total, you should spend about 4 months on this part of your skill development.

Once you master desktop computers, you can go ahead and choose the parts for, and build your own system. If you do not want to build a desktop unit, then go ahead and start working on building your stockpile of laptops, tablets, and smart phones.

You can always practice your skills on non-working units as well as get to know more about working with smaller devices that require a good bit more patience and care.  If you develop a particular interest in these smaller devices, it will be to your advantage to take courses on how to repair them.

Without a question, the first time you bypass a battery during a major crisis or repair a failing laptop monitor you will see why these skills are every bit as important as anything else you may be learning and practicing for a time of need.

EMPCover1

This Article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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Siphoning Gasoline from Newer Vehicles without Damaging Them

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Siphoning Gasoline From Newer Vehicles Without Damaging Them via Preparedness Advice

The other day I received this e-mail on siphoning gas from cars:

“While doing some maintenance work on my gasoline powered electrical generator, the thought struck me that back in the old days, and in case of an emergency, one could always siphon gasoline out of their car’s gasoline tank and use it to run things like generators. However, that seems to be not the case nowadays. I tried inserting a conventional siphon hose into my tank but it “bottomed-out” on some obstruction before it touched any gasoline. I looked under the hood of my car (2001 Toyota Highlander) for a place where I could tie into my fuel line. I found none.

A cursory examination of the bottom of my fuel tank revealed no drain plug. So, I went to a local auto parts store and asked the folks if they had anything to siphon or pump fuel from the tank on any modern car or pickup truck. They had no suggestions.”

In the past, I can remember when we used to siphon gas out our cars to fuel our lawn mowers or other small engines. Siphoning gas out of the older vehicles was easy, but when was the last time you tried to siphon gas out of a car? It has been years since I have tried. In a real disaster, like an EMP strike, obtaining gas from damaged vehicles may be necessary to keep older vehicles running.  This got me to wondering how to siphon gas from the new cars.

NOTE: Wondering if any vehicles will still be operating after an EMP? Be sure to read my note at the bottom of this article. If you’ve read One Second After, you may be surprised by my findings.

A little research into modern-day siphoning, revealed that all new cars have an anti-rollover valve on all the openings into a gas tank. These valves also act as a siphon prevention system, which is the reason why nearly all the siphon devices and pumps sold these days are useless. However, there is a way to do it without damaging the vehicle if you have the right tools. Most gas thieves today simply drill a hole in the gas tank, take what they can, and let the rest run out on the ground. But there is another way.

The anti-rollover valve is a ball or butterfly valve. This leaves enough room for gas to flow through the fueling tube into the tank, but if the car flips over and gas begins to flow the other direction, the ball moves to the inlet and blocks the gas from escaping or the butterfly flap closes.

siphoning

Small pumps like this one will make siphoning gas a lot quicker.

The trick to siphoning gas without damaging the vehicle is to use a small diameter, stiff hose like the ¼-inch hose that runs to your refrigerator icemaker. Cut the end at a sharp angle and spin, or “corkscrew”, the hose as you insert it. It may take you a few tries to master this.  Now, siphoning gas through this small tube by gravity is slow and can take up to eight minutes for a gallon of gas. If you can find a small hose with a hand pump like this one, it can go much faster.

You may want to carry a larger hose for vehicles that will accept it. Just remember that stealing gas in illegal and should be avoided.

pc-iceberg

ABOUT THOSE VEHICLES…

Most every reader of One Second After is convinced that virtually every vehicle on the road will suddenly stall and be incapacitated forever. Dr. Arthur T. Bradley, NASA electronic engineer and author of Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms, disagrees. He says there are so many variables that will affect whether or not the electromagnetic surge will damage vehicles that he believes only 30% or so will be damaged. The rest may experience a slight glitch and then resume running. This doesn’t mean transportation will be a piece of cake in a post-EMP world. With millions of vehicles stranded on every type of road, bridge, and tunnel imaginable, transportation would still be difficult.

This article updated 10-24-16.

The post Siphoning Gasoline from Newer Vehicles without Damaging Them appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

Prep Blog Review: How To Generate Power Off-Grid

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Generate Power Off-grid

America’s power grid is ancient and in an advanced state of decay. The modern technology allows us to adopt a more eco-friendly attitude regarding energy and also to save money and become more independent and self-sustained.

After an EMP, you will have to know how to use natural resources – sun, wind, water, wood – to produce your own electricity. So, why not starting preparing right now?

For this week’s Prep Blog Review I’ve gathered some useful posts on this topic.

  1. How Future Technology Impacts Energy Saving

“The technology of the future that will allow for a more eco-friendly relationship with our environment is rapidly approaching. In order to better understand the impact of these technologies, we have outlined them into two distinct areas: saving at home, and saving on the road.

It was reported that there has been a 44% increase in primary energy consumption across the globe over the past 16 years (statista.com). As such, we are not likely going to make a drastic departure from our behavior of having high-powered homes and frequent use of transportation.

These technologies will allow us to curb energy usage without having to alter our accustomed style of living.”

Energy Technology

Read more on Save On Energy.

  1. Reasons Why Every Household Must Have A Backup Generator

black-out-300x200“In the recent past, we’ve witnessed extreme weather-related calamities that have caused immense destruction regarding property damage and loss of human lives.

Scientists are warning that massive disasters are not only currently occurring at an increased rate but also increasing in magnitude. To ensure your family stays safe all the time, you must invest in a good electric generator.

An electric generator, other than supporting your lighting systems, will support important appliances in your home, among very many other functions. Loss of electric power brings about many difficulties to homes, more so, households with persons with disabilities.

A generator provides an exceptional way of cautioning your family members against sudden lose electricity.”

Read more on Dave’s Homestead.

  1. Do You Know Why Your Emergency Generator Won’t Start in the Winter?Power Generator

“So, you’ve been diligent about starting your generator on a regular basis, you’ve kept fuel stabilizer in the tank, and then one cold winter day you go out to fire up your generator and it just won’t start.

You might be wondering what you did wrong so let me take a minute and explain what might be going on.

During the 8 plus years that our family lived off the grid our only source of electricity was a generator. Starting certain types of generators in the winter can be a real bear at times.”

Read more on Preppers Illustrated.

  1. Which Batteries Are Best for Survival Situation?

“When it comes to most survival situations, batteries are often overlooked. Too many people assume that all they need to do is make sure their battery operated survival gear is ready to go with new alkaline batteries and that they have a fresh pack of spares. This is an unfortunate assumption!

There are five primary battery sizes in the United States: D, C, AA, AAA and 9 volt. Most batteries fall into three categories: alkaline, lithium and nickel.”

Batteries

Read more on Ask a Prepper.

  1. Relax and Enjoy the Next Power Outage

power-outage“For the past few years, Survival Life has shared valuable information with readers on how to prepare for and survive a major power grid collapse.

The number of power outages continues to grow, and people shake their fingers at the government and say, “Shame, shame”—blaming elected or appointed government officials—for not fixing the shaky electrical grid.

Those experiencing loss of electrical power are quick to condemn utility companies for not preventing these outages, but this may not be warranted.

The federal and state governments have known about these risks for decades, but they are slow to act. Utility companies can’t afford to rip out and replace expensive power lines, substations, and power generation plants.”

Read more on Survival Life.

EMPCover1

This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia.

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EMP Survival: Is Your Home Ready For The Blackout?

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EMP Survival

Any prepper knows “the rule of three”, but I bet most of them think about applying it only in a bug out situation. Well, let me tell you what I think: in case of an EMP, you need a safe and warm shelter, clean water to drink, and also proper meals to preserve your energy and temper for the hard times to come.

Now that you know that, think about how your home would resist to an EMP blast. Would you have enough heat and food, and would your OPSEC be the same when left in the dark?

Let’s address these questions below, and find that answers that might save you and your family in case of an EMP!

How Do You Know it Was an EMP Strike?

There is at least one way to get an easy answer. All you need to determine whether you are experiencing a regular power outage or an EMP are only three transistor AM/FM/ Shortwave radios.

Using three transistor AM/FM/Shortwave radios, an improvised Faraday cage and a simple SOP, you can determine whether you are experiencing a simple blackout or an EMP and if it is an EMP, whether it is geomagnetic or nuclear in nature.

There are a few steps to take in order to find out the answer, and you’ll find them detailed in our article Total Blackout: How To Tell If An EMP Has Happened.

Can I have a Faraday Home, Please? And a Garage, Too!

Most preppers already know that the basic EMP proof tool to protect your electric and electronic devices is a Faraday cage. They’ll definitely use it

Since a box is still not enough to protect everything that might get broken by an EMP (solar panels included), here comes the question about EMP-proofing bigger spaces and even a whole building.

Yes, it’s doable, but there is much more to take into account than having proper materials for the job.

“Quonset Huts have a steel skin, and steel is a conductor, so they must provide some shielding against EMP. Almost 200,000 of the buildings were manufactured for WWII, some are still in use by the military to this day and many others are still knocking around as surplus, so maybe this could be an inexpensive way to build a shielded home or retreat or some sort. But the subject of EMP is complex, and a building is a major investment. For most people, it would be a considerable waste of resources to erect a building that did not serve its intended purpose.”

Some people would think about turning a Quonset Hut into an EMP-shielded house, like the reader whose question was posted above, but, as our writer Cache Valley Prepper thinks, with this question the devil is in the details.

If you decide to give it a try, read his article about how to turn your Quonset Hut into an EMP-shielded home before renting a crane.

EMP Proof CarAs for your car, there is such thing as EMP proofing. If you decide to create a viable EMP proof car and you have the time, money, and patience to make the car roadworthy, then you can truly start your search for pre-’80’s cars in the local scrap and junk yards. You’ll find the hints to follow in our article EMP Survival: The Essential List For Your Car’s Top Systems.

Think twice when buying a new vehicle, as most of the new cars are vulnerable to an EMP strike. We have a list that might help you, if you read our article about Top 10 Vehicles For Your EMP Survival.

The last but not the least – your energy stockpile. Start small to build big: get pocket-sized solar power solutions first, then man-portable solar energy means, and finally, think about larger alternative energy solutions. Find a guide to help you out through the process in this article about building your energy stockpile.

Heating & Cooling

When talking about alternative sources of heating, there is much more to explain than one single article might cover. You could start your research reading this Survivopedia article on heating without electricity and follow the links within, then build small heating devices like this candle heater that our writer Carmela Tyrell has made.

Don’t give up cooking just because the power grid is down! Read our article about how to cook without electricity for the basics about cooking off-grid, and you can switch to unconventional methods like cooking on your car’s engine. Theresa Crouse wrote an article that you shouldn’t miss about how to use your car for cooking, which also includes a few recipes to try on the road. Literally.

We almost have winter at the door, so the first thought about in case of a blackout is losing the primary source of heat. This is common sense in October, but you would think the other way in July: you need cooling for you, and at least a part of your food too.

As EMP-proofing your air-conditioner might not be an easy project, you will probably turn to other cooling devices, as these low cost 5 projects you can DIY.

Water

You think your running water won’t be affected in case of an EMP, but you might be deadly wrong. Tall buildings reliant on most types of booster pumps will lose water pressure past the bottom floors. Buildings with rooftop tanks have water until the tanks run dry.

Entire cities will lose water pressure forcing boil-water advisories into effect for any water that does make to you or that you manage to scrounge up. But without electricity, most households will be unable to boil water. Remember that the NE US blackout of 2003 left millions of Michigan residents without any water.

This is the moment you turn to your water reserves. Reusing grey water is a back-up, but remember that most of the systems require a power source to work properly. This is one of the aspects to take into account sooner than that, when you start building your energy stockpile.

Defense

Considering the current trend of integrating microelectronics technology into everything that we have in our home, including security devices and firearms (especially those integrating lasers), an EMP will likely change the elements of your defense. Then what should you do? The answer is also a two-parter.

Part 1: Train without technology before you train with technology, which means among others:

  • Learn to use a map and compass first, and then a GPS.
  • Learn to shoot with open sights first, then with a red dot.
  • Learn to shoot in low light with tritium night sights first, then with night vision.

Part 2: Go through your SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) from a post-HEMP paradigm. Walk through them step by step from imagining what would go wrong if a HEMP had occurred. It might mean

  • swapping a battery powered keypad lock for a mechanical one,
  • “down-grading” from an LED lamp assembly in your Surefire tactical flashlight to an incandescent lamp,
  • selecting an ASP baton over a Taser or practicing using a secondary technique after your primary fails, just like you practice failure-to-fire drills when you learn to defend yourself with a side arm.

Turn to off-grid home defense methods, like traps, defensive bushes or spooky pets that will keep the intruders out.

Our power grid is old and vulnerable, and a long term blackout – whatever its cause would be – could easily change our world in the worst possible way one can imagine. Prepare yourself and prepare your home for an EMP, and then you could survive any type of disaster!

EMPCover2This article has been written by John Gilmore for Survivopedia.

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10 Ways To Harness Wind Power

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10 Ways To Harness Wind Power

Even though our society may be on the verge of collapse, the increased interest in wind power has resulted in some amazing new designs. Rather than build a wind turbine using conventional blade patterns, you can take advantage of these designs and generate more electricity with less effort.

No matter whether you are going to remain in your current location, build a homestead, or bug out to a prepper community, each of these designs can be built by individuals and small groups.

Modify the Blade Shape to Reduce Drag

Many people choose wind power over solar because it is easier to build a functional wind turbine from junk materials. It is also easier to maintain wind turbines and replace parts as needed. As you may be aware, solar panels require rare earth metals, and have electronic circuitry that can wear and be ruined easily.

A number of studies also reveal that generating power from the wind is more efficient at both the consumer and commercial power generation levels.

On the other hand, if you use a conventional blade system, you may run into several problems that reduce efficiency and create a situation where you may not be able to generate enough electricity to meet your needs.

Just because the blades on a conventional turbine move when the wind blows, that does not mean they are working as efficiently as possible. Depending on the shape of the blade, one of three things can happen:

  • If the blade is shaped just right for the wind speed and direction, there will be minimal drag on the blades, and no wind will get past without being converted into lift. As a general rule of thumb, thin, curved blades work better than wider ones.
  • If the wind speed is too fast for the blade shape, too much drag will be created. The faster the blade spins, the more disruption in air current there will be around the blade. Essentially, a blade that may only be 2 feet across and 10 feet long will repel the wind as if the blade were 4 or 5 feet across and 15 – 20 feet longer.

By changing the curve of the blade to match faster wind speeds, the drag will be reduced so that more wind moves towards the blades.

  • If the wind speed is too slow, wind that could be used to turn the blades will simply pass through instead of being used. Typically, blades that are curved for high speed winds will not work well in lower speed winds because there are no disrupted wind currents or a blade to capture the wind and harness it to lift the blades.

Some of these problems can be reduced by making changes to the blade shape. For example, the “Whale Power” blade design was developed after observing that Humpback Whales also have a problem with managing drag and stalling depending on the angle they move their fins at.

In order to get better lift at more severe fin angles, humpback whales have small, rounded nodules, or tubercles on their fins that help reduce drag while providing more surface area at the same time.

The “Whale Power” blade design basically has a wavy edge on the blade that does the same thing. Wind tunnel tests reveal that these blades can be used at wind speeds up to 40% lower than conventional blades.

Considering the number of polymers and other lightweight materials on the market these days, it is entirely possible for preppers to make their own wavy blade systems rather than wait for them to become available for sale to consumers.

Needless to say, if you already have a wind turbine and can gain access to the blades. Cutting a few waves into the edge might make it more efficient. In the video bellow you will find an interesting comparison between a humpback whale and a wind turbine.

Video first seen on WIRED.

Wind Lenses Redirect Wind Back to Conventional Blade Designs

Of all the innovations in wind turbines, the Wind Lens from Japan is one of my favorites. Basically, the lens uses 3 to 5 narrow blades with a circular band that goes all the way around the blades. The band, or “lens” is oriented so that wind escaping from the blades gets directed back to them. It is estimated that this simple innovation leads to 3 times the power output.

Here are some other advantages to building a Wind Lens:

  • Smaller blade systems will produce power from lower wind speeds.
  • Conventional wind turbines can be very noisy. If you live near one, the noise can make you feel very sick. The Wind Lens produces much less sound, and therefore can be installed in cities or other areas where you may not be able to put up a conventional wind turbine.
  • Unlike conventional wind turbines, it is very easy to keep birds from flying into the blades. Just put a net or cage around the lens and the birds will not be able to reach it. Even if you are only building a small wind turbine for personal use on a homestead, protecting birds that are part of the food chain you rely on will be very important.
  • Since the wind lens is more efficient than conventional systems, you may be able to mount them on a smaller tower, or even a rooftop. While the wind lens may not work as well as some other systems at ground level, you can still utilize smaller lenses to capture weaker air flow at lower levels.

This is especially important to consider if you cannot climb extensively, or have concerns about maintaining wind turbines mounted on taller towers.

If you have a wind turbine in operation right now, or plan on building one, you may want to see about putting a lens around it to see if you also notice an improvement in efficiency. Here is an example.

Video first seen on metal01234567890.

Capture Wind From All Directions

Another problem with conventional wind turbines is that they only work at optimal levels when the wind hits them from a specific direction. If the wind turbine is caught in a downdraft, or the wind comes in gusts, the blades may turn slower, or not at all.

The QR5, or Quiet Revolution 5, makes use of helical blades that are mounted on a vertical axis. No matter what direction the wind is coming form, these ultra curved blades will capture it and cause the turbine to spin.

Even though the helical wind turbines have been around for some time, they are mostly still used for generating commercial electricity in the UK.

You can still study the basic shape and see about building the basic blade shape for home use. As with many new designs, you will probably find that polymers or light metals will be the most useful.

Video first seen on Rubén Gutiérrez

2 Vertical Turbine Designs

When you feel a breeze or wind moving through, you may be led to think that horizontal wind capture systems will work best. Unfortunately, the vast majority of horizontal systems present an “obstacle” to the wind instead of working with it to produce the greatest amount of power.

Even though vertical wind turbines still have some drag, they are far more efficient at capturing the wind and also making the most use of it. Here are 2 designs that you may want to consider for your power generating needs:

Windspire – unlike several other wind turbines discussed in this article, the Windspire is available for home use in the United States. It is an industry leader that is capturing attention because of it’s small size and capacity to generate electricity with wind speeds as low as 12 mph.

Aside from that, the Windspire is so quiet, it can be installed just about anywhere. No matter whether you live in a city, town, or miles away from other people, this wind turbine is quiet enough to put right next to buildings without causing health problems associated with excess sound.

The Windspire is basically a cylinder shaped turbine with two vertical rails connected to a central axis. Aerofoils connect from the axis to the two vertical rails, plus two circles at the top and bottom. If you purchase one directly from the manufacturer, it will be made of metal alloys and special coated surfaces.

Surprisingly, these turbines are must sturdier than they look. They can withstand wind speeds up to 105 miles per hour. Since they have already been installed in many different climates across the nation and around the world, it is also safe to say they can easily tolerate a wide range of temperature and moisture conditions.

If you are going to spend money on a pre-manufactured turbine, or get financing for one, you will find that the Windspire is efficient enough and tested enough to be worth the extra expense.

Video first seen on www.windspireenergy.com

WePower – This wind turbine looks a little like the Windspire in the sense that the system is mounted on a vertical axis. The main difference is that instead of narrow vertical bars and aerofoils extending from the axis, WePower has curved blades mounted between two disks. It is well suited to city and town settings, and can also be used in less populated settings.

WePower is quieter than many other wind turbines on the market, and it is also safe for birds and other flying creatures. As an added bonus, if you purchase a unit from the manufacturer, it comes set up with everything you need to connect it to the commercial energy grid.

If you are interested in making money on wind power by producing your own electricity, this system may be one of the best on the market for your needs.

Even though WePower is also growing in popularity with off gridders, do not forget that it is only guaranteed to last for 20 years (according to the manufacturer). If you are interested in long term disaster prepping, this system may work for some time, but you may have to replace it sooner than later.

That being said, if you take the time to learn how it works, then you may also find ways to make your own models or repair existing equipment.

Video first seen on WePOWER

Tesla Turbines

When I made my first Tesla Turbine, I found that it worked best with running water. With improvements in materials and inlet design, the Tesla Turbine also works very well with air. Here are a few advantages to using a Tesla Turbine as a wind turbine:

  • Virtually indestructible – unlike other turbines, the Tesla Turbine has very little internal friction that would wear out bearings and other parts.
  • You can build Tesla Turbines of all sizes from many different materials.
  • You will not need a motor for generating electricity. Just add some magnets to one disk and then put a coil of wire nearby. Aside from being cheaper, you will never need to worry about replacing a motor.
  • Depending on how you build the air inlet, the Tesla Turbine can be used in both high and low speed winds. Just remember that the inlet system will look something like a funnel in the sense that it will be larger in the capture area, and then get to a smaller size near the turbine in order to concentrate the wind as much as possible.
  • Of all the wind turbines listed in this article, the Tesla Turbine is one of two that can be used in an indoor setting. These turbines are very quiet and do not require poles for mounting. You can run them from drafts coming in from a window, or mount them on the roof much as you would an antenna. Because of their small size, capacity to be used at near ground level, and lack of noise, it should be possible to use them in cities as well as other areas where conventional wind turbines are not allowed.

Since the moving parts of the Tesla Turbine are housed in a casing, you will also never have to worry about birds or other animals getting sucked into the blades. Just be sure to put a screen over the wind collector so that animals don’t get sucked into it.

  • As you may recall, Tesla Turbines also release “exhaust” in the form of whatever propelled them (air or water) exiting the center region. You can easily build a tube to catch this exhaust and then feed it right back into the turbine intake for greater efficiency.
  • In most cases, people working with Tesla Turbines have too much spinning to deal with as opposed to too little!

Oscillating Membranes

It is fair to say that if you are going to generate enough electricity for a homestead, or even a conventional household, it will take some time and money to build or purchase large enough devices. Even if you decide to build Tesla Turbine units, it can take some time to get all the modules built.

That all being said, if you are in an emergency situation and need to scavenge in order to generate small amounts of power, a device that uses oscillating membranes, or Wind Belt may be of use.

Basically, the Wind Belt makes use of a thin strip of material mounted in such a way that the material will vibrate if a breeze passes it. As the material vibrates or “oscillates”, it pushes magnets up and down located on each side of the belt. These magnets pass through coils of magnets as they move, which generates electricity.

Systems like this are being used in third world countries to provide lighting and other basic needs in rural areas where other systems are not available. The Wind Belt will power LED lights, and can also be used to charge small batteries. They cost as little as $5.00 to build and will work with wind speeds as low as 10 mph.

You can build your own Wind Belt to see how they work, and then store away the materials to make more devices as needed.

If you have little more than a magnet, a few coils of wire, and an old VCR tape, you can make a Wind Belt. Thus, they are ideal for both short term and long term crisis situations for powering low drain devices. Since they can run on breezes from a window, and will not harm birds or other animals, they can be used just about anywhere. Unfortunately, larger sized devices may be a bit noisy.

You can easily build a Wind Belt, and also innovate on the design to produce more electricity. For example, you can try using a frame that will accommodate multiple strips, or membranes. From there, simply connect more magnets and coils, then combine their power.

You can also experiment with different membrane lengths to come up with more optimal sizes. Something that would be about the size of a small car radiator may just give you enough power to run small camping equipment gear.

Video first seen on Vic Aguilar aka UpBeatnik

Nautilus Shell Wind Turbines

There is no such thing as a device that generates absolutely no noise while it is running. Unfortunately, advancements in wind power have often been halted because conventional wind turbines make so much noise.

Even though there have been many innovations that reduce sound to a level where wind turbines can be used in cities and towns, few match the quietness of nautilus style shell turbines. These designs are also far more efficient than conventional turbines and easily match or exceed other designs listed in this article.

Nautilus style wind turbines were invented in Holland by a company called The Archimedes. As you may be aware, the common Nautilus shell creates a perfect spiral that is found in just about every part of nature.

When it comes to capturing wind power, this design has very little drag and will spin in even slight breezes. Regardless of where the wind is coming from, it moves easily along the curved blades and causes them to spin. The shell system can also be mounted in such a way that it will turn and bend in order to capture wind from every direction with ease.

Unlike other systems, this design does not require motors or computers to find the optimal direction. It moves much like a wind vane and easily finds the optimal direction for generating power.

 

Video first seen on Windvoordeel

Vortex Bladeless Wind Turbine

If you understand how a Dyson Vacuum Cleaner with a wind tunnel works, then you have the basics of how the Vortex Bladeless Wind Turbine works. Basically, this is a vertical wind turbine that captures wind that moves along a spiral path, or vortex until it reaches the bottom.

No matter what direction the wind comes in from, it is optimized by the spiral so that it is just right for spinning the motor at the bottom. Since the vortex column also tilts with the wind, the shaking motion helps optimize the wind power.

Even though this wind turbine works well as designed, you might want to try using it to drive a Tesla Turbine instead. This will give you all the advantages of concentrating and optimizing the wind flow and also the benefits of not needing a motor to generate electricity.

You may also want to use the vortex wind turbine with oscillating membranes or other devices that can replace the motor assembly.

Video first seen on Vortex Bladeless

Nano or Tiny Wind Turbine

Consider that tiny drops of rain in enough quantity can create a flood, while snowflakes can create blizzard and piles of snow that reach several feet in height. No matter how small some things may be, they can amount to huge things if assembled correctly. Nano Wind Turbines take that basic idea and apply it to capturing wind.

Basically the “Nano Vent Skin” is a fabric made up of tiny turbines that look similar to the QR 5. As these tiny turbines spin, they generate small amounts of electricity that can be pooled together to run all kinds of devices.

Perhaps best of all, a breeze from cars passing by, or just about anything else will set these tiny turbines in motion. The fabric can be mounted on window shades, building walls, or even to your own clothes. If you are interested in wind turbines that operate primarily at ground level, this design or modifications of it may be the ones you will be best served by focusing on.

As innovative as this design is, you will not find it available for sale to consumers. In addition, nano technologies are still very much in their infancy. That being said, if you study the orientation of the wind turbines and their axis carefully, you may be able to build a grid of 1” turbines that will generate electricity with ease.

Instead of using a QR5 helical design, you may also want to try the Nautilus shell design to see if it improves efficiency.

Video first seen on aotegui

A Note About Power Storage

It should be noted that no power generation system is truly complete unless you can store the power and produce an even flow of current. While these topics are beyond the scope of this article, do not forget to keep up to date on innovations such as the cotton battery and other systems that may work better and last longer than rechargeable batteries currently on the market.

If you can find a battery system that you can build for yourself from scavenged parts, or with a minimal amount of effort, you should also know how to integrate those batteries into a more conventional system.

If you have been thinking for using wind power for emergency and long term survival needs, you may also be spending most of your time learning how to optimize, build, and maintain conventional wind turbine systems.

As you can see, focusing on these old, outdated systems will more than likely require building systems that are at least twice the size, break down easier, and will not last as long as some of the newer innovations emerging in this field.

Take some time now to look at some of the vertical, helical, and shell designs to see which ones will best suit your needs. At the very least, you can try building small models to see if they offer an advantage to something you may have been planning to build or buy.

In an upcoming EMP disaster, knowledge is power. Click the banner bellow to find out more about how to build your own survival sources of electricity and much more!

EMPCover1

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

References:

http://www.alternative-energy-tutorials.com/energy-articles/wind-turbine-blade-design.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQexzNg_e9A

http://www.windspireenergy.com/

http://sierrasolarsystems.com/WePower.html

https://www.freeonplate.com/how-to-build-cheap-windbelt-generator-using-vhs-tape/

http://www.iflscience.com/technology/new-bladeless-wind-turbine-looks-asparagus/

http://nanoventskin.blogspot.ro/

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The Basic Study Guide For Your EMP Survival

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survivopedia-study-guide-for-emp-survival

EMP is an important hazard to prepare for. It has the potential to disrupt critical infrastructure we depend on to sustain life, causing cascading effects of long duration over great areas.

EMP is not the only emergency that mankind should prepare for, but it is one of a handful of hazards that virtually everyone is enormously exposed to.

There is so much to do, and so little time. It’s easy to see why some of our readers ask themselves where to start from. 

“I am very overwhelmed with trying to start prepping, especially for an EMP. I have studies what kind of food and seed to stock up on. I’ve read all the different scenarios that could cause an EMP survival situation. I just do not know how or where to start.”

David, from Ohio

Here’s where I’ll point you in the right direction!

Why Most Preppers Fail to Adequately Prepare for EMP

Most preppers do not make emergency preparations out of fear for some singular threat to the exclusion of all others as the negative “Doomsday Prepper” Hollywood-media stereotype would suggest, so there is no need to point out to most of you that EMP survival should be one aspect of a more comprehensive emergency plan.

Unfortunately, I have noticed that many otherwise responsible preppers are deficient in their EMP preparedness. I was curious as to why people would procrastinate EMP survival preparations in favor of preparing for smaller threats that they were less exposed to. Reasons varied, but here are some of the most common that I found:

  • Do not understand EMP well enough to get started.
  • Don’t know what to do.
  • Are unsure if EMP is really a threat at all.
  • Have read conflicting information and are not sure which to believe.
  • Don’t know how much it will cost.
  • Seems daunting.
  • Not convenient. There are easier things that can be done in other areas.

The trend was easy to spot. A general lack of understanding of EMP caused people move on to other tasks. I understand. EMP is a technical topic and the prospect of studying it is not appealing to everyone. The cure for this deficiency is also readily apparent.

If these people truly understood the magnitude of their exposure to EMP and what to do to fix it, I suspect that they would have chosen to prepare. People tend to think they fail because they lack willpower, when they usually really fail before they get to a test of will.

Where these survivalists actually failed was in their failure to sufficiently dedicate themselves to their cause. In this case, they failed to understand the risk (EMP) and their exposure to that risk. Had they really understood, EMP preparedness would been the natural thing to do. Preparing would be a mere function of their vision as opposed to a test of willpower.

As the issue of being unsure which information on EMP is correct and which is incorrect, sufficient study would eventually sort that out, but I’ll point you in the right direction so you don’t waste your time.

Basic Overview of EMP

If EMP is a new topic for you or you just want to start over at the beginning, this section will help you get your head around the subject. So here are a few sources you should start your study from.

National Geographic Video: Electronic Armageddon

You can watch it on YouTube or buy the DVD. If you are a visual learner, this video is a start.

Video first seen on High Frontier.

FutureScience, LLC has a page called A Basic Introduction to Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse which is a great article on the type of EMP that is caused by a high-altitude nuclear detonation.

The Need to Prepare for EMP

This section will help you commit yourself to the cause of preparing for EMP a little like the films in an old-school driver’s education class that showed you brains on the highway. If they watch enough of those, even teenagers will drive more carefully … at least for a while. So don’t forget to periodically re-commit yourself if you begin to lose motivation.

“One Second After” and “One Year After”

one-afterWilliam H. Forstchen wrote the NY Times Best Seller “One Second After”, which is a fictional one.

Forstchen wrote this novel to help ordinary people better understand the threat of EMP and what it would be like to experience a nuclear HEMP.

The book is a fictional account of a town’s struggles in the wake of a nuclear HEMP, and how the community overcomes many of the obstacle we might face in such a scenario.

The book was very well received and “One Year After” is the next book in the series. These books are help readers put EMP in context and demonstrate what could happen if we do nothing.

EMPact America Website and Newsletter

EMPact America is an organization attempting to enact legislation to harden USA’s critical infrastructure against EMP. EMPact America’s website has an article titled, “What Is Electromagnetic Pulse?” that gives a good overview of EMP. The EMPact America website and newsletter also have a great deal of information on the need to prepare for EMP.

Apocalypse Unknown and Electric Armageddon

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry has led the fight to strengthen critical US infrastructure after being handed the torch from Dr. William R. Graham, the USA’s foremost expert on the subject of EMP.

“Apocalypse Unknown” details this fight against government bureaucracy and the powerful energy lobby, which is afraid of additional regulation and resisting any attempt to harden the electrical grid. This is every bit as big a battle against junk science as oil companies’ argument that lead is good for you and big tobacco arguing that smoking is not harmful to health.

For a  deeper understanding of EMP, there is another book of the same author – Electric Armageddon

EMP Commission Reports

Congress created two EMP commissions to assess the threat of EMP to the nation’s critical infrastructure. The reports of these commissions are helpful in understanding this threat. Here’s the link to EMP Commission Reports on EMPact America Website, in case you want to read it.

US Government Accountability Office Critical Infrastructure Protection Report

This report from GAO on US critical infrastructure highlights the fact that only certain portions of government have any protection from EMP. Your elected officials feel that government communications infrastructure is critical, but it is not critical to keep the infrastructure running that keeps you alive.

MIL-STD-188-125-2

HEMP Protection for Ground-Based C41 Facilities Performing Critical, Time-Urgent Missions Part 1 Fixed Facilities. This spec is useful in understanding and constructing Electromagnetic shielding.

Don White’s Books on EMP

Don White is writing a detailed series on EMP preparedness and is three books in so far. Some readers may find them a little dry, but if you are interested in good information on how to protect homes or solar installations, they are full of important information.

don-white

EMP Articles at Survivopedia by Cache Valley Prepper

I have written a number of useful articles for Survivopedia spanning a number of EMP-related topics, such as: how to tell if an EMP has happened and what type of EMP it is, vehicles, buildings, solar installations, weapons, and more.

The search brought of a couple of article on other topics that you can skip past, but the average prepper should find them useful and technically accurate. CLICK HERE to find the EMP articles by Cache Valley Prepper on Survivopedia website.

The Darkest Days – How to Survive an EMP Attack to the Grid

The last but not the least, there is “The Darkest Days” – Survivopedia’s EMP survival guide that packs secrets few preppers know, borrowed from the resilient Amish, to survive in the coming days.

Here’s one of the reviews that you could easily find about our EMP survival guide:

Video first seen on Survival Guide.

Is there any other good source of information about EMP preparedness that we missed? Do you have any tricks to share about surviving a blackout? Are you still looking for a better way to prepare for this disaster scenario?

EMPCover2This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.

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The Best Way Home: SHTF Route Planning

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Imagine it’s 1:15 on a Thursday afternoon. You and some friends at work have recently returned from lunch and you are settling back into work. As you are going about your daily responsibilities, the Emergency Broadcast System starts to blare over a coworker’s radio. Normally you would ignore this, but you also get an Emergency alert message on your smart phone. Funny, you could swear you had disabled those, but is says that there has been a terrorist attack in Los Angeles and urges calm and promises more information soon. You start walking out of your office towards the break-room and notice everyone crowded around the TV when the power goes out. Looking down, you notice your phone isn’t working either.

Making for the nearest window, you notice that vehicles on the road have stopped, seemingly right in their tracks. Could this be an EMP? Not wanting to overreact, you take the stairs and walk out to the parking lot. You try your key fob but that doesn’t work either so you use your key. A quick check of the ignition and you realize your car isn’t going anywhere either. Slowly your co-workers validate the same with their cars and you start looking at the possibility that you will could have to walk back home. Unfortunately for you, you work 72 miles away from home.

It’s one of the more common problems us preppers try to figure out. What is the best way home as quickly and safely as possible when SHTF and you are far away? I had a reader ask me the following question:

My husband works 75 miles from home. My greatest fear is that disaster or SHTF will happen while he is at work. I would like to start planning for how he might get home, but don’t know how to begin figuring out what is the best route. Most posts (here and elsewhere) on the subject are about get home bags and what equipment to have with you, but not so much about planning the actual route, other than to stay off major highways. Would like to hear the pros and cons of sticking to roadways, crossing private property, what type of maps to consult, etc. – Zendelle

I always appreciate questions from our readers and I will try to give my thoughts about this subject as I have considered this myself. So without any further ado…

What is the best way home during a SHTF event?

There are so many factors that come into play when you are talking about a situation like this. How far away are you? What is the weather like? What region will you be traveling through? Are you in an urban environment or rural? What type of shape are you in? Do you have other people, like children you have to consider? Are your two youngest in school or daycare? What type of clothing and footwear are you wearing? What time of day are you starting out?

Each person is unique and our situations are also unique so there are no firm and set rules for anything but I have given this some thought. At one point in my life I commuted 90 minutes each way to work. It was 77 miles’ door to door and getting home in that type of scenario I mentioned above would be no picnic for anyone. To be really prepared, you have to imagine walking home in the heat of summer or the bitter cold of winter.

For this hypothetical, we will assume that there really has been some type of national catastrophe. Maybe an EMP attack from a rogue nation or terrorist cell has disrupted all modern electrical appliances. Virtually everything electric has shut down and you have precious little time, a couple of days tops to make it back home to your family before the chaos really starts.

To be really prepared, you have to imagine walking home in the heat of summer or the bitter cold of winter.

Before you take the first step: What gear do you need to consider?

I know our reader mentioned that most people only talk about Get Home Bags when this topic comes up but it is worth spending a few sentences here on how best to equip yourself before this even happens.

  • Get Home Bag – Having a get home bag in your car will be an important step in the right direction so to speak. I won’t get into what you should pack in your get home bag, but we do cover all of that in several articles on the subject. You can read our post about putting together your Get Home Bag.
  • Proper Footwear – Flip flops belong at the pool people! My children are guilty of this too, but if you are forced to walk home, what are you going to wish you had on your feet? Sturdy footwear like hiking boots or at least good athletic shoes should be one consideration.
  • Dress for the elements – Dress like you will be spending all day outside not sitting in a cubicle. Regardless of the season, have appropriate clothing on that will protect you from the elements, especially if you are going to be further than an hour’s walking time from home.
  • Food/Water/Shelter – You should have at a minimum, a container that will hold water, a way to filter water, some form of emergency shelter and food. You don’t need a four course meal to survive, but something to keep your energy up. Think power bars or protein bars. Survival rations work too and won’t go bad in the car.
  • Protection – Do you have some protection from two-legged animals? I always have a personal firearm, but Tasers and bear spray are options too that are better than nothing.
  • Maps – And the knowledge of how to read them. These can be simple street maps, you don’t have to have topo maps of the entire region. You can grab the road atlas out of your car before you head out.

Planning your route and alternate route home.

For the commuter who drives to work, I would imagine that each of you have already mapped out the most efficient route to your place of business that you use virtually every single day. We get into a routine because we found a way that works. It’s usually the most direct, fastest way to get where you need to go. I even go into autopilot some days on the weekend and start driving my work route even when I am not going that direction. These habits can be a good thing in one respect.

London Map

each of you have already mapped out the most efficient route to your place of business that you use virtually every single day

Commuters who use trains or buses follow a similar route. The trains go into central spokes normally that would mimic a commute via car. None of us should really worry about the normal route we take back home as long as we know the roads we would take if public or personal transportation was down. With few exceptions, the highway system is going to be the quickest way we can get back to our home city. Highways level out hills and go around natural obstacles. However, what if the route you normally follow has been blocked? What if you travel through less savory parts of town that you wouldn’t normally want to be walking down the street?

Identify your primary, secondary and tertiary routes home – In my case, working 77 miles from home, I was likely looking at 2 to 3 days of hiking to make it back assuming I did not encounter anything that made me need to alter my course. Most of my commute was interstate highway so I would have simply followed that route. However, if that didn’t work out, I could cut back on a smaller highway that would have taken me on a much more rural track to the South back home.

Depending on how people were reacting you could run into rioting or looting in some areas. I would have been walking on the highway through several major population centers that might be best avoided. I don’t think I would ever cut across someone’s property unless there were strong benefits and low risks that I perceived from doing so. Going cross-country, without the benefit of a road can slow you down and may even bring on injury more quickly as you could have to navigate natural obstacles like streams, dense underbrush, rocks, etc. The last thing you want to do is injure your self and make walking more difficult or even impossible while you try to shave 20 minutes off your trip.

Having more than one route back home can help you avoid dangerous areas.

Having more than one route back home can help you avoid dangerous areas.

Rather than having a specific route I am taking, I would consult the maps I store in my car to decide which ways I would alternate if needed. I would go to the south of the major urban areas if I sensed any danger but I would still be staying on paved roads that were common thoroughfares.

Pros and Cons of various routes

In the example above, does your normal route take you through urban areas you would rather avoid? Has the disaster already started to make people act irrationally? I think that most of us even in the scenario I described above will be able to count on average people thinking that nothing is wrong. The power will come back on because it always does. Food will still be available and there will still be items on store shelves. You should be home way ahead of any actual panic, but sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry with your route. I don’t think anyone would be barricading streets the first or even third day after the lights go out.

Are you carrying three days’ worth of water on your or are their sources you can tap into along the way. Assuming you have cash on hand you will likely be able to purchase it from stores who are likely still in operation as the Normalcy bias takes over for most.

What factors do the weather play?

Adverse weather could seriously impede your progress. Walking in snow or ice or even extreme heat would sap your energy and could cause injuries. You first have to plan for those extremes if they are common to your area.

If you are facing a walk home and you live in the deserts of the Southwest, you could be forced to walk only at night when the temperatures are cooler and find shade to rest during the day. You understand the weather factors that could influence a trip like this so you have to plan accordingly.

For most of us, walking home is not incredibly difficult with a decent fitness level and some simple preparation. We may never be forced to use our get home bags, but it makes sense to prepare now like we do. You will be more able to react quickly and make the right decisions if you do.

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6 Power Grid Problems That Should Terrify You

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6 Power Grid Problems That Should Terrify You

The American culture survives on a lifeline of electrical wires. This power grid crisscrosses the country, bringing electricity to homes, offices, factories, warehouses, farms, traffic lights and even campgrounds. Pretty much everywhere you go, you can count on being able to plug in and have electricity to use.

It’s a good thing we have the grid, as we use it extensively. Pretty much everything we use today requires electricity in one form or another. Our homes, places of businesses, entertainment and shopping are all made possible by electronic devices. Those devices do everything from pump our gas to heat our homes. They bring us information through the Internet and entertainment through our televisions. They keep our food from spoiling and cook it when we’re ready to eat. Without electricity, we could do little that we do today.

Granted, there are non-electrical means of doing many things that we depend on for electricity. Carpenters built homes before having electric power tools. Homemakers cooked food for their families without the array of electric appliances that we use today. Businesses were able to run without computers. But that was years ago. Today, we are dependent on those thin wires, carrying much-needed electricity into our homes and businesses.

It’s clear that damage to the power grid, whether the work of enemies or due to some natural disaster, would be disastrous to our country. According to the report of the congressionally funded EMP Commission, loss of the power grid for one year would result in the death of nine out of every 10 Americans.

Here are six reasons all of us should be concerned about the power grid:

1. The age of the grid.

Our electrical grid is old. Originally designed to last 50 years, many parts have already surpassed that. There are even parts that are about 100 years old. Yet little is being done to replace the aged parts. This has resulted in the American Society of Civil Engineers giving the power grid a D+ for reliability.

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6 Power Grid Problems That Should Terrify You

Image source: NASA

Part of the problem is financial. Currently, the grid needs an estimated trillion dollars worth of repairs and upgrades. Power companies, many of which run on a narrow margin, say they can’t afford to replace aged equipment, so they keep patching it up and using it. This is especially true of the companies who own the oldest equipment.

The other part is governmental. Everything from installing a new power pole to building a nuclear power plant requires an enormous amount of red tape. A wide number of government agencies have their finger in the pie, making the job all that much more complex.

2. Increased blackouts.

According to statistics gathered by the Department of Energy, major blackouts are on the upswing. Incredibly, over the past two decades, blackouts impacting at least 50,000 customers have increased 124 percent, according to DOE data. This is mostly the result of our aging grid; with equipment staying online longer than its programmed life, chances of problems increase.

But we’re not just talking about power plants here. Much of the thousands of miles of wiring that makes up the grid is old, too. The weather takes its toll. Pretty much every major storm leaves people without power, and work crews rushing to make repairs. However, in recent years, those repairs have been larger and have taken longer to accomplish.

3. The war on electricity.

6 Power Grid Problems That Should Terrify You

Image source: Pixabay.com

Most people have heard of President Obama’s war on coal – which Hillary Clinton supports — but the liberal war on power is much older than that. For decades, they’ve been waging a war on nuclear power, claiming that it is dangerous and that it pollutes.

While both of those are true, the reality of it is nowhere near the hype that is used to demonize nuclear power. In fact, it is one of the cleanest forms of power we have. It is also one of the cheapest sources of electrical power there is, mostly due to the fact that there is almost no “fuel” consumed for the huge amount of power that a nuclear power plant can produce.

Yet government agencies, particularly the EPA, have been holding up the works on building new nuclear power plants.

The war on coal compounds this, working to take away our most plentiful means of electrical power production.

4. Risk of an EMP or solar storm.

One of the biggest dangers our power grid faces today is that of an EMP attack or solar storm. A high-altitude EMP, created by a nuclear device exploded 300 miles over the center of the country, could kill the entire grid, as well as destroying the vast majority of our electronics. Almost nothing has been done to prepare for this threat. Additionally, a major solar storm – such as the 1859 one that took out telegraph machines – could wipe out the power grid.

Both North Korea and Iran have publically stated a desire to destroy the United States. North Korea has nuclear bombs and is working hard at improving their missile technology.

Either of these countries, both of which are enemies, could destroy the United States with one EMP explosion, launched from a cargo ship in the Gulf of Mexico. Even with missile technology as simple as the SCUD missile, which dates back to the German V2 rocket at the end of World War II, a large part of the country’s grid could be put out of commission. With two to three simultaneous attacks, using these simple missiles, the entire country would go dark.

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We have no defenses against an EMP – or protection against a solar storm. Some parts of the military are protected, but not even the government is properly protected, let alone the rest of us.

The transformers within the power grid are custom built for each substation, meaning that there is no inventory of replacements. If several are taken out, it could take months to replace them.

5. Possibility of cyber-warfare.

6 Power Grid Problems That Should Terrify You

Image source: Pixabay.com

Every day our power grid is “tickled” by foreign hackers, attempting to infiltrate and find ways of taking control and cutting off our power. The cutting edge of cyber-warfare is in China, with Russia close behind. Our defenses against cyber-attack are weak, something you can be sure our enemies know.

It is believed at the highest levels of our intelligence community that China could shut down our power grid at any time. This has already been done in other countries; one example was when Russia shut down the grid in the Ukraine. If they can do it, you can be sure that China can, as well. They started the idea of cyber-warfare.

6. Direct terrorist attacks against the grid.

It wouldn’t take anything as sophisticated as cyber-warfare or an EMP to take down the grid. In 2014, an attack was conducted on a power substation in San Jose, California. While the perpetrators were never caught, many think this was a practice run for a direct terrorist attack.

In fact, taking out as few as nine critical substations in the country could destroy the entire grid, according to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) report. While the locations of those particular substations are a tightly held secret, our enemies certainly are trying to learn where they are.

What is your reaction? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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What To Do If An EMP Strikes While You Are At Work

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A high altitude EMP (electromagnetic pulse) is something that has not happened before (yet) by way of a purpose-built weapon designed to emphasize the natural occurring byproduct of a nuclear explosion – a pulse of energy that in theory will destroy much of the electronics infrastructure within its explosive ‘line of sight’. The devastating EMP […]

10 Last Minute Things to Do Before TEOTWAWKI

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Last Minute TEOTWAWKI (1)If you are watching the news and following events you know that the country could be in major crisis with very little notice. The average citizen in Venezuela had little time to prepare for the collapse of their economy, and the author of this book lived through Argentina’s multiple collapses and can give you tips for preparing and surviving.

An economic collapse, an EMP, war — these worst case scenarios are part of the reason we all prep, so that we can handle the unexpected. But suppose you have a few hours notice? What are the 10 last minute things that are most important?

Here’s a list of my suggestions:

1. Contact your friends and family and let them know what is happening. Get the kids out of school, get home from work, in other words get your group together in one location.
2. If you are bugging out to a stocked retreat, load the car, fuel up, gather extra gas cans, and leave now. You can complete the rest of this list en route and when you arrive. Before you leave, make sure you have a destination. You do not want to become a refugee.
3. Make a last minute trip to the grocery store. Buy items that you are short of, but at the very least, grab useful items like batteries, candles, matches and all the canned meats you can carry. Grab any other other last minute supplies you need. Don’t forget extra fuel. Be sure to store it in proper containers for safety.
4. Check your prescriptions and go to the pharmacy and get any refills you can. While there, stock up on the over-the-counter medications your family typically needs.
5. Check your water supplies. Are all containers filled and in good condition? If you have a waterBOB, fill it now,and have 2 on hand if you have 2 bathtubs. If you don’t have a waterBOB, fill your bathtub and all extra containers that you have on hand. Locate your water filters and make sure they are ready to use.
6. If it appears the power will go out, get your generators or other sources of off-grid power ready. It should be done even if you will be using kerosene lanterns, a propane cooker, or anything else that doesn’t rely on generator power. You may need that generator in the middle of the night, so test it and have it ready to go at a moment’s notice.
7. If you have a freezer full of food, implement your plan to preserve it. If this is going to take some time, wrapping your freezer in blankets can help keep your food frozen for a longer period. If you own a Yeti cooler, as your freezer begins to warm up, keep as much meat as possible in the Yeti. This will buy you at least a couple of days before it must be cooked.
8. If the weather is cold and you will lose heat, get your blankets, sleeping bags and cold weather clothes ready. If it is hot, make sure that your group is dressed appropriately for the weather and has plenty of water to drink and battery-operated fans to help avoid heat-stroke.
9. Make sure that your first aid and medical supplies are easily accessible. This medical kit is especially well-equipped.
10. Implement your security plan.

These 10 last minute things can be accomplished in a short period of time if you do a bit of pre-planning. For instance, if you are familiar with the layout of your nearest grocery store and where the important items are, you may be able to gather things up quickly.

If you have more than one vehicle and multiple drivers, you’ll be able to simultaneously pick up the kids, get the cars gassed up, run by the grocery store, and be on the road quickly. Be prepared to act fast and without hesitation. If you are wrong and nothing happens, you won’t have lost much and you will have had a good drill.
Howard

UPDATED on July 27, 2016.

The post 10 Last Minute Things to Do Before TEOTWAWKI appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

EMP: Electromagnetic Pulse (Part One)

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By Bobby Akart, six-time bestselling author and founder of Freedom Preppers

Albert Einstein once wrote, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

I believe that Einstein envisioned a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world without  power. In poll after poll, one of the threats that concerns preppers is the use  of a nuclear-delivered electromagnetic pulse weapon to cause a grid-down  scenario. There are many bad actors on the international stage. Each one is capable of wreaking havoc in the United States by shutting down our power grid  and enjoying the resulting chaos.

What is an electromagnetic pulse?

Let’s get technical, so bear with me for a moment.

An electromagnetic pulse—EMP, is an intense burst of electromagnetic energy caused by an abrupt, rapid acceleration of charged particles, usually electrons. An EMP can contain elements of energy over a large part of the electromagnetic spectrum, from very-low-frequency radio, to ultraviolet, wavelengths.

A typical example is a lightning strike that produces a localized EMP. As the lightning makes contact, it can direct a large electrical current in nearby wires. A single current surge can damage sensitive electronic circuitry, such as wires and connection contained in computers and ancillary equipment.

By definition, an explosion results from the very rapid release of a large amount of energy within a limited space. This definition applies to a lightning strike, a conventional explosive like dynamite, as well as for a nuclear detonation. However, the energy produced by any one of these explosions results from different means. Understand that all explosions are relative. The effects of the shock wave are directly proportional to the amount of electromagnetic energy associated with the detonation. Its force and effect depend on the quantity of energy associated with the explosion.

Which brings us to the principal differences between conventional weapons and a nuclear EMP is the powerful electrical currents created by the blast. For that reason, the effectiveness of the conventional bomb and a nuclear EMP differ because the target is vastly different. Conventional weapons seek out hard targets—a surface burst. Nuclear EMPs seek out a high-altitude location above the Earth’s surface—an air burst.

What’s the difference between a nuclear delivered EMP and an electromagnetic pulse caused by a Coronal Mass Ejection?

The simple answer is that a Coronal Mass Ejection originates from the Sun when enormous quantities of solar energized paritlces envelope Earth and causes a disruption in the Earth’s magnetosphere. These energized particles are an EMP. In part two of this discussion, which will be published in a week, we will
discuss solar flares and CMEs in depth.

Regardless of the source of an electromagnetic pulse, the impact upon our nation could be catastrophic. Recently, the constant barrage of cyber intrusions into the public and private sector have captured the news headlines, but it is time to refocus on the threat an EMP poses for our nation’s critical infrastructure.

Senator Ron Johnson, of Wisconsin, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, began hearings in the summer of 2015 on the threat of an EMP detonation over the United States.

The witnesses included, among others; James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence, Joseph McClelland, Director of the Office of Energy Infrastructure Security at FERC, and Christopher Currie, Director of Homeland Security and Justice with the Government Accountability Office. Their conclusion: The threat is real, and the need for the U.S. to prepare for this eventuality is critical. Chairman Johnson, in his opening remarks, stated that although the issue of EMP has been on the government radar for years, it has largely gone ignored. He pointed out the fact that not one of the suggestions put forward by the congressionally mandated EMP Commission, formed in 2002, has been put in place.

The science behind an electromagnetic pulse might be considered complicated and frightening to some. An EMP event can occur either naturally, (through solar flares, as discussed above) or artificially, as the result of a high-altitude nuclear explosion. The high-energy particles from such an explosion would cascade down to Earth, interacting with the planet’s magnetic field and destroying the electronic systems below. The resulting pulse of energy could destroy millions of transformers in America’s power grid, as the pulse travelled along transformer lines.

The possibility of man-made EMP events has grown in relation to the technological sophistication of America’s adversaries. It is a widely known fact, that both Russia and China already have this capability, and both countries have carried out serious work relating to the generation of EMP in recent years, as part of their respective military modernization programs.

Now, America’s enemies like Iran and North Korea may not be that far behind. Iran, for example, is known to have simulated a nuclear EMP attack several years ago, using short-range missiles launched from a freighter. In 2015, the Iranians fired a medium-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. North Korea, meanwhile, has acquired the blueprints to build an EMP warhead. In July of 2013, a North Korean freighter made it all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, through the Panama Canal, carrying two nuclear-capable missiles in the ship’s hold.

All of these countries have successfully orbited a number of satellites that could potentially evade U.S. early warning radars. The Strategic Defense Initiative, or Star Wars, as former President Ronald Reagan once called it, was widely panned as bizarre by political opponents and the mainstream media. Today,
satellites carrying nuclear warheads are at the ideal altitude to generate an EMP across the entire continental US. Perhaps, President Reagan was right.

Scientists concur that such an attack, if it occurred, would have devastating consequences. A nuclear warhead detonated three hundred miles above St. Louis, Missouri, could collapse the entire nation’s power grid. According to the EMP Commission, the recovery time from such a nationwide EMP event might be anywhere from one to ten years. In the meantime, ninety percent of Americans would likely
die from starvation, disease, or societal collapse.

Are the threats to our critical infrastructure from an EMP attack and Cyber Warfare mutually exclusive?

Not necessarily. North Korea’s recent nuclear test and dictator Kim Jong Un’s claim that he has a hydrogen bomb, has shifted focus away from the cyber threat and onto EMP once again. Although the focus of attention has shifted, at least temporarily, away from cyber threats, the North Korean nuclear threat is just another dimension of the threat from cyber warfare.

Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea have all adopted an asymmetric warfare capability. Cyber warfare is not limited to computer viruses and hacking but is a combined-arms operation that includes the coordinated use of physical sabotage and an EMP attack. Our enemies consider a high-altitude nuclear EMP attack as the ultimate weapon. North Korea’s recent low-yield nuclear test, and its claim that it has a hydrogen bomb, are confirmation of the Congressional EMP Commission’s findings that North Korea is attempting to acquire a super-EMP weapon —a low-yield hydrogen bomb.

There are solutions, and the clarion bell has been rung. Our nation’s leaders have a duty to protect the homeland.

What if the preppers are right?

Further, if the threat is real, and most preppers acknowledge that it is, how do you prepare?

Where do you begin in formulating a Preparedness Plan? An entire preparedness guide, hundreds of pages long, may still not adequately cover the elements of a comprehensive preparedness plan. The numerous disaster preparedness guides, blogs, and professional videos are all excellent resources. But where do you start?

Essentially, it all boils down to: Beans, Band-Aids & Bullets

Well, of course there is much more to developing a preparedness plan than the big three, but all preparedness experts know these are the basics. Many preppers are well organized and rely heavily upon checklists. We urge you to review the following link to a FREE PDF DOWNLOAD of an extensive preparedness checklist. Preppers constantly update their checklists to insure they didn’t overlook anything. You will as well.

As you review the following, keep in mind certain basic principles when preparing your plan.

The survival rule of threes: You can only live three minutes without air; three hours without shelter in extreme conditions; three days without water; and three weeks without food. This helps you prioritize your preps for a post collapse survival situation.

The prepper rule of redundancy: Three is two, two is one, and one is none. When your prepper supplies run out, you can’t drive down to Wal-Mart and restock.

Building your prepper supplies to an acceptable level for long term survival requires baby steps. Thus, survival planning starts with the perfect trinity of prepping—beans, band-aids and bullets. Clearly, an oversimplification of what a preparedness plan entails, but it is a pretty good reflection of what you better have covered. This is a well known expression within the prepper community as it outlines the essentials that you will need in the event of TEOTWAWKI—the end of the world as we know it.

In summary, beans will include your prepper supplies, the items in your prepper pantry and water. Band-aids will refer to all things medical. Bullets represent the weapons and ammunition necessary to protect yourself, your family and your preps.

I wrote EMP: Electromagnetic Pulse to be a primer on the threats we face as a nation from an attack delivered by an Electromagnetic Pulse weapon. This book is intended to raise awareness of the threat, and provide the reader with preparedness solutions. EMP: Electromagnetic Pulse will also help you answer the question:

What if?

EMP: A threat from above to America’s soft underbelly below.

The clock is ticking. One second after. One year after.
~ by Bobby Akart, Contributing writer to the American Preppers Network and GaltStrike. He is the Amazon Top 100 Author of his best-selling

The Boston Brahmin Series and the Prepping for Tomorrow series.

Bobby is the best-selling author of the epic series of novels entitled The Boston Brahmin Series. Political suspense collides with post-apocalyptic thriller fiction as nine Bostonians whose lineage dates back to
the American Revolution navigate the societal and economic collapse of America. Can The Loyal Nine save the republic while protecting the interests of their mysterious benefactors — The Boston Brahmin? Learn more at  www.TheBostonBrahmin.com.

He has also written the Prepping for Tomorrow series, which has achieved three #1 bestsellers in twenty-nine non-fiction genres on Amazon. His attention to detail and impeccable research is critically acclaimed. Visit www.BobbyAkart.com to learn more.

Because you never know when the day before … is the day before.
Prepare for tomorrow.

For more information, visit  BobbyAkart.com

Follow him on Twitter: @FreedomPreppers and @BobbyAkart

Follow him on Facebook: FreedomPreppers and BobbyAkart

Listen to his weekly radio program – Prepping for Tomorrow – on Prepper Broadcasting.com

The post EMP: Electromagnetic Pulse (Part One) appeared first on American Preppers Network.

The EMP Threat: Nuclear and Man-Made

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The EMP Threat: Nuclear and Man-Made Bobby Akart “Prepping For Tomorrow” On this week’s episode of the Prepping for Tomorrow program, Bestselling Author Bobby Akart, will begin a two part series on the threats our nation faces from an EMP: Electromagnetic Pulse. Bobby’s poignant analysis of the EMP threat has achieved #1 Bestseller rankings on Amazon … Continue reading The EMP Threat: Nuclear and Man-Made

The post The EMP Threat: Nuclear and Man-Made appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

WALT BROWNING: Post-Apocalyptic Author

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WALT BROWNING: Post-Apocalyptic Author Bobby Akart “Prepping For Tomorrow” On this  episode of the Prepping for Tomorrow program with Author Bobby Akart, critically acclaimed post-apocalyptic author, Walt Browning, will be his special guest. As preppers, we hunger for knowledge and often seek out post-apocalyptic fiction as a source. We try to imagine ourselves in a … Continue reading WALT BROWNING: Post-Apocalyptic Author

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EMP and CME are a Threat We Need to Take Seriously.

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EMP and CMEThis morning I found an interesting article in today’s news that I feel we should pay attention to in planning our prepping.  US intel intercepts memo showing Iran wants to attack grid with EMP weapon… So today I decided to address the subject of EMP and CME. It has been some time since we posted any information on this subject.  Recently I have noticed that it has dropped out of the news.

As of yet I have not seen the government take an concrete action to mitigate the effects of and EMP attack or a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) event

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP), also sometimes called a transient electromagnetic disturbance, is a short burst of electromagnetic energy.  These can be caused by natural or manmade events

Examples of natural EMP and CME would be

  • Lightning electromagnetic pulse (LEMP). This would only be confined to the area of the strike.  Other than a direct hit this would not normally present a threat to a preppers electronics.
  • Electrostatic discharge (ESD), is a result of two charged objects coming into close proximity or even contact. This is static electricity.
  • Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), sometimes called CMP. This is a energy burst released by a solar storm on the surface of the sun.  They occur frequently although the majority misses the earth.  However the strength of them varies greatly and we have not been hit with a really strong one since the Carrington Event in 1859.  Depending on its strength, a CME may or may not fry electronics.

Examples of manmade EMP that would affect us

  • Nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NEMP), as a result of a nuclear explosion. One variant of this is the high altitude nuclear EMP (HEMP).  A one megaton nuclear explosion detonated 300 hundred miles above the center of the United States would take out the power grid in every state but Hawaii and Alaska.
  • Non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NNEMP) weapons. These types of weapons are being developed by our government and others.

The big issue with both CME and EMP is these events may destroy the large power transformers in the power grid. This would render the grid useless. We don’t make nor store these large transformers here in the United States. Replacing them after an EMP/CME event will take a huge effort by the remainder of the world, including China.  Some studies published by the US Government suggest that in the worst case event up to 90% of the population would be dead in one year.

Here are some articles that may help you prepare for EMP and CME

Now I have attempted to find the best information on EMP and CME, and have found that few experts really agree on the effects.  I think that the only ones who actually have a good idea of what could happen is the US military and they are not saying.  So my suggestion is to protect your electronics as well as you can, but be prepared to function without them for some time.

Howard

The post EMP and CME are a Threat We Need to Take Seriously. appeared first on Preparedness Advice Blog.

The State Of The Union, 7 Days After An EMP

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The State Of The Union, 7 Days After An EMP

Image source: Pixabay.com

Determining the specific ramifications after something like a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse weapon (EMP) attack, or even a Carrington Event-style coronal mass ejection (CME) is kind of a guessing game at this point.

However, one thing we do know is that some of the most horrifying effects of an EMP disaster will occur about a week after our grid gets fried. That’s why I’ve decided to take a visualized journey into what the US might look like, seven days after an EMP — and let’s just say that the state of the union will be a bleak one.

Darkness

If you live in a city or suburban area, then it’s no secret that when you look into the sky on a cloudless evening, you’re basically seeing a fraction of the stars that someone from, say, an Arizona desert might be viewing. The reason is that the cumulative artificial lighting from your surrounding area – the light pollution — is blocking out the stars. In a city (and other somewhat densely populated zones), you can walk around at night without a flashlight, because the area is practically bathed in artificial light.

(Listen to Off The Grid Radio’s show about a Carrington-type sun event, here.) 

After an EMP, however, everything will go as dark as a lifeless desert or wilderness mountainside. Since at this point, people will be running out of battery juice for their flashlights, cloud-covered evenings will be pitch black.

This might not necessarily be such a bad thing, if you’re planning on running your bugout operation under the cover of complete and total darkness.

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But the absence of light won’t be the only “darkness.”

There will be a cognitive, communicative darkness sweeping from sea to shining sea, especially since the methods that we’ve depended upon to exchange information will have been gutted

  • Emergency services will not be able to coordinate or exchange information.
  • The Internet infrastructure in the US will have been completely destroyed.
  • Telephones and cell towers will have been fried.
  • Radio and TV stations will have been destroyed.
  • Even ham radio operators (that have not hardened their systems to EMP) will have nothing but electronically damaged gear.

Most people will have no clue what happened (because let’s face it, most people aren’t aware of these types of threats). It will be a complete and total information blackout and a true time of total darkness in the US after an EMP takes its hefty toll.

Desperation

The State Of The Union, 7 Days After An EMP

Image source: Pixabay.com

If anything, this type of information blackout will become cause for a nationwide sense of desperation. The US is primarily an info-based society, because we currently enjoy the ability to share information and to communicate globally with ease. In a way, that’s what makes this modern digital era such a time, which has been ripe with opportunities.

However, we’ve become extremely dependent on easily accessible information via electronic means, and almost totally independent on word-of-mouth sources (the likes of which were the norm during pre-modern times).

Confusion soon becomes desperation, because not only will people become very concerned that the state of things has not improved within a seven-day timeframe, but they also will have no ability to obtain information as to what exactly is going on. The effects of this will be extremely psychologically destructive. And at the same time, we will have a snowball-effect problem in the works …

  1. EMP strike renders the grid inoperable.
  2. Grid electricity is required to pump gasoline through pipelines and into tractor trailer trucks and locomotives (the primary movers of goods in the US).
  3. Supply chains will stop because tractor trailer trucks and locomotives are no longer going anywhere, due to fossil fuels becoming inaccessible at local pumps.
  4. A complete shortage of consumer goods will occur, since companies can no longer get their goods from distribution centers to retail/grocery stores.

Also within days of the EMP strike, it will become quickly apparent that law enforcement can no longer communicate effectively, thereby disabling their ability to maintain law and order. Looting will likely ensue shortly thereafter.

In addition, dangerous and disruptive aftershocks of this crisis will being to occur on a national scale. For instance, all across the US, flooding, fires and town-leveling explosions will begin to erupt without warning. Not only will many homes and businesses burn to the ground due to the initial electromagnetic wave that causes smaller scale electrical fires, but when entire utility substations begin to leak millions of gallons of flammable-toxic liquids, this will result in major cataclysms.

Get Off-Grid With Wind Power!

But regardless of proximity to massive ecological disasters and multi-kiloton gasoline blasts, there will be hundreds of millions of personal crises occurring. After seven days of people not having been able to use their credit/debit cards to make transactions, nationwide looting in even rural areas will become commonplace.

There will be a temporary run on the banks, but since cash isn’t nearly as common these days, most people will be forced to resort to theft and bartering in order to feed themselves and their loved ones.

Disorder

Through the culmination of depleted consumer grocery/retail goods, the widespread coordination breakdown and manpower deficiencies of emergency services, and a total information blackout of communication, including the blanket of darkness at night, the state of the union at seven days after an EMP would, in essence, be one of nationwide disorder.

The US would begin its descent into an epidemic of anarchy.

The State Of The Union, 7 Days After An EMP

Image source: Pixabay.com

At this point, not only would the federal, state and local government be rendered practically useless, but even if they were able to maintain a certain level of solvency, they wouldn’t have the ability to communicate with the population at large.

Virtually everyone, regardless of wealth status, creed, race or gender, will have no possible way of accessing their electronically held funds … and because of the relative newness of the crisis, most people will not yet have thought to adopt the barter system to slow the nation’s economic hemorrhaging.

One week after an EMP, each household and individual will have to provide for and protect themselves, carrying the tremendous weight of the same fundamental responsibilities and capacities that the national law enforcement, military, civil government, and US economic system had been carrying only a week ago.  And since everyone now will have become hopelessly impoverished, having most likely burned through the contents of their pantries at this point, then the US population at large will have reached a maximum state of confusion and desperation … as it takes its final dive into utter chaos.

A Crisis of Confusion

In a way, it isn’t a forgone conclusion to suspect that FEMA will not have to round up a single person to check in at their nationwide franchises. No, most people will probably elect to check themselves in for a free meal and “secure” lodging.  Martial law would be the next step.

Yet in such a crisis, there will be a good bit of hope for those of us who have adequately prepared ourselves in advance. Not only will we have the cover of darkness shielding our escape to the backwoods, but confusion tends to obfuscate the movements and actions of the tactically wise and strategically sound. And so, in the event of an EMP, I would like to say…

On that darkened day of calamity, you fellow vigilant Off The Gridders: I wish you and all of your loved ones a safe, speedy bugout and a flourishing homestead thereafter.

What would you add to this picture of an America, post-EMP? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

What Items Do You Or Would You Store In Your Own Faraday Cage?

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Some of you (including me) know of the vulnerability that we face with regards to the risk of ‘natural’ or ‘man-made’ EMP (electromagnetic pulse), which has the potential to destroy our electronic components and electronic infrastructure – and maybe even bring down the grid. As a precaution, some of you (including me) may stash some […]

Grid Down Prepping

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Written by John D on The Prepper Journal.

It’s no longer a matter of settling for canned food for dinner. If we are forced to live through a grid down scenario, it’s whether or not you’ll have any food at all. It’s about dealing with starving people, who, in their desperation, will try to forcefully take what you have.

The post Grid Down Prepping appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Preparedness Advantages of Holding on to Your Older Vehicle

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pickup

By Jeremiah Johnson – Ready Nutrition

ReadyNutrition Readers, I’m the last person on earth who would ever advocate going out and buying a brand-new vehicle from a showroom floor.  For any of you who may be selling automobiles, this is no insult to you or your products.  This article is meant to point out the advantages to “recycling” that older vehicle you have, and making an old thing into something new.  This has to do with a preparatory and survival mentality, not about saving dollars.  It has to do with things that may help you when you need them after the SHTF.

We have already seen and read a myriad of articles on the Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP), and the susceptibility of newer-model cars and trucks to the pulse, due to the reliance of the vehicles on complex circuitry and integrated computer systems.  OK, so you have an old 1973 Ford pickup truck, and it’s on it’s last legs.  It is a five speed and doesn’t utilize any of the ultramodern component parts just mentioned; however, the engine is not what it used to be.

Before you scrap it, I want to bring before you the possibility of doing a complete engine overhaul on the vehicle.  Understand if this avenue is pursued, you need the services of a competent mechanic…one who you can totally trust and rely on.  What an engine overhaul entails is detailed, but not complicated.  You will put out some money on this one, however, it may turn out to be a goldmine for you.  The pragmatic, non-preparatory reason is that if the engine is completely fixed and placed into reliable working order, the money you would have sunk into a new vehicle is completely eliminated.

The engine overhaul is just as it sounds: taking your vehicle’s engine completely apart, cleaning the parts that are serviceable, and replacing any parts with new ones as needed.  You can spend several thousand dollars on this, and once again, this will vary with your factors of the vehicle’s condition, availability of parts, and what not.  A good mechanic will do this and certify your vehicle after completion for an additional hundred thousand miles.  Then what?

Well, you’ve eliminated a car payment, as we mentioned.  Your older model should be well within the limits of being protected from an EMP, as mentioned, as it does not hold all of the modern hardware.  There are some other factors worth considering as well.  Remember those “black boxes” installed in the vehicles after 2012/2013 and (some firms) even earlier?  Well, that “secret agent” inside of your engine that tracks your every move with the vehicle is then eliminated.

In some states (Montana is one of them) if your vehicle is a certain age, you can apply for a “permanent” tag that will eliminate the yearly fee of their sticker on your license plate.  In addition, an older model may not be subject to the same emissions requirements as a new one, eliminating the needs for inspection, compliance, and funds expended.  Also, your insurance may even be reduced if you present paperwork showing that your vehicle has been improved in this manner.

Camouflage is another issue.  Your “beater” of a pickup truck doesn’t attract as much attention, both pre and post-SHTF.  It is less likely to be stolen or interfered with (interior looted, etc.)  Another thing is its simplicity.  The good mechanic will be able to advise you on what extra parts to obtain, pertaining to those that frequently wear out.  If the engine is simple, it is usually simple to repair it.  Of course there are other factors to weigh in, such as if it’s a gas guzzler, but here again, the mechanic can help you out in the initial assessment and can tell you whether or not the engine overhaul will significantly improve the gas mileage you’ve been getting.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that you may have “tailor made” this vehicle to serve your needs, such as weapons racks or tool brackets and boxes.  You are familiar with it, and know its limitations when you’re driving it…what it can and cannot do.  Think of how it was when you picked up the vehicle new.  You’ll be taking it back in the direction of that capability.  You won’t have to start out on a brand-new slate; it’s almost akin to having a surgery that will extend your life, and in this case it is the life of your vehicle.

Consider the engine overhaul on that early-model vehicle, and you’ll save money in the long run, and keep that anonymity that you so desperately desire as a prepper and survivalist.  The key is the good mechanic.  When all is finished, you’ll have something that will not look pretty on the outside as a new vehicle but you’ll have restored an asset that you need.  You will have invested in something that you know inside and out…capabilities and limits.  Then you can capitalize on this, and rely upon it again to suit your needs.  Happy motoring, and find that good mechanic!  JJ out!

About the author:

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

 

 

Filed under: How To Prepare, Prepping

7 Reasons to Protect Your Devices Against Electromagnetic Pulse

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protect electronics from electromagnetic pulse

Definition: Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP): A burst of electromagnetic radiation that can damage electrical and electronic devices, observed as a byproduct of a nuclear explosion.

EMP risk

Could an atmospheric nuclear explosion in just the right place over the U.S. cause massive damage from the ensuing EMP pulse? Absolutely, the evidence is strong that potential EMP effects would be wide-ranging and would be very difficult from which to recover. When many people first learn of this potential, devastating disaster, they often wonder if there’s any use in protecting electronics from electromagnetic pulse — electronics that, if they remained undamaged — could provide an enormous survival advantage.

DIY PROJECT: Learn about making a homemade Faraday container with these instructions. These types of containers are known to protect electronic equipment.

A great read about these effects is the Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack (2008), a report to the U.S. Congress. It’s more readable than you might think.

EMP Report

EMP Report

The EMP Commission, as it has come to be known, used historical and experimental data to analyze expected damage in all aspects of modern society. For the most part, the EMP causes damage by inducing strong, damaging electrical currents in wires and unprotected electronic components.

But as time goes on, I’m more and more convinced that doomsday scenarios of an EMP attack on the U.S. that totally destroys all electronics and takes down our whole electrical grid are popular because they’re easy. The scenarios are “easy” because if you assume all electronics are fried by the EMP, you don’t have to worry about reconstituting our electronics-dependent civilization. However, there are a lot of reasons to believe that while an EMP attack would cause significant damage, it is not an automatic “extinction-level event,” and we actually have some control over our destiny.

Let’s define our discussion: All of us have electronic devices upon which we save important information: phone numbers, addresses, business transactions, documents, photos, etc. Whether it’s a smartphone, a computer, ebook reader, a flash drive, or a digital camera, all of our devices have some level of vulnerability to damage from a strong electromagnetic pulse. Modern vehicles and appliances have all become electronics-dependent as well. But vulnerability does not automatically doom the device; your behavior can reduce the vulnerability.

Reality check

The potential launch of a nuclear-tipped missile into the atmosphere above the U.S., which would be the most effective way to generate a damaging EMP, has been on the radar of our military for many years. In particular, after their embarrassing inability to make a significant impact on the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 our military services and Department of Homeland Security have paid greater attention to asymmetrical threats against the Homeland:

  • Some military command, control, and communications systems have been “hardened” against EMP effects since the Cold War days.
  • Our military services regularly plan for and practice supporting state and local governments in disasters, known as “DSCA,” or “Defense Support of Civil Authorities.”
  • The Navy and Coast Guard actively watch for unusual cargo ship behavior, as this is one platform from which an EMP-causing ballistic missile could be fired close to the U.S. mainland.
  • The Navy and Air Force routinely launch interceptors to investigate unusual aircraft approaching U.S. airspace.
  • While not generally publicized, the U.S. has anti-missile defense systems fielded by the Army, Navy, and Air Force. National Missile Defense is alive and well in the U.S.
  • The National Operations Center in Washington D.C. has near-instantaneous and simultaneous communications with the emergency management “Warning Points” in all 50 states. A missile warning can be transmitted in seconds, allowing critical infrastructure like power grids and communications networks to shut down and limit damage to EMP-vulnerable components.
  • Federal, state, and local emergency management officials can now use the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to alert the public to take specific actions like shutting down communications devices, stopping industrial processes like water and fuel pipeline systems, and urging people to exit potentially hazardous areas like elevators. Warning messages can be customized based on the facts of the situation.

EMP characteristics

The strength of the EMP pulse of energy is dependent on distance, sort of like a flash from a fireworks display: close up, the flash can be powerful and almost blinding, but from several miles away the light is weaker, less bright. Similar to light, the pulse affects things within its’ line-of-sight, meaning that in many cases terrain and built-up urban areas will create “shadow” areas unaffected by the pulse. So some people will receive a strong pulse, which could damage their electronics; others will be in the shadow and their electronics will probably be OK.

So what’s the point of protecting electronics?

If such a disastrous event would occur, what would be the point of protecting our electronics? After all, so many of them are used in very trivial ways. Even so, there are several very important reasons to take the time and effort necessary to keep them safe from the effects of EMP. They can hold vast amounts of information, the equivalent of thousands of books. Although we all love our books for reference and entertainment, when my Kindle holds over 230 books (and each of my kids has their own Kindle with nearly the same number), it’s impossible to say that hard copies are always better.

Here are just a few more reasons why protecting electronics from EMP is rational:

  1. Survival information — If you haven’t yet downloaded and stored large quantities of information related to survival, do it now. Many of these resources are completely free. (Check out this list right here on Survival Mom.) Store medical and first aid information on an old laptop, old smartphones, and ebook readers, such as a Kindle. Download books about herbal remedies, food preservation, and off grid living.
  2. Educational resources — Once the dust has settled, and life may never return to “normal” again, it will be up to parents and others in the community to provide an education for children. Homeschooling will almost certainly be required. Download classic literature, non-fiction books related to science, nature, history, and government. Ambleside Online, a free homeschool curriculum, has excellent lists of books, many of which are completely free as ebooks.
  3. Entertainment — Your kids reliance on electronics, and even your own, may be a total waste of time, but in a worst case scenario in which your family’s lifestyle changes dramatically, overnight, sources of entertainment could prove to be life-saving. Anything with stored movies, TV shows, music, and recorded books will help relieve stress and provide an important distraction.
  4. Keep historical information intact — Family photos and videos, geneological records, local history, U.S. History, the U.S. Constitution — these will all provide a touchstone to the past. In the book A Canticle for Leibowitz, after a cataclysmic event that destroys virtually all civilization, only a very few written records survive. One is a single scrap of paper, a portion of an old grocery list! Those who survive in a post-EMP world, however long the grid failure lasts, will want and need more than that in order to preserve and continue civilization as well as their heritage.
  5. Provide resources for spiritual renewal — Whether or not one is a church goer, a world that suddenly becomes a very scary, and likely very violent, will require inner strength. Copies of the Bible and other books of inspiration can easily be stored on ebook readers, computers, and smartphones.
  6. Tactical advantages — Having information and the ability to communicate via ham radio or walkie-talkies will give survivors, whether an individual or a group, an advantage over those who do not have those abilities.
  7. Earn money — With a vast amount of information, the ability to communicate and relay messages, provide entertainment and spiritual support, you’ll have the tools to earn an income and/or barter for products and services you need most.

What’s the point in protecting electronics from EMP?
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Carefully building one or more Faraday containers and then taking pains to protect individual electronic items is hardly a fool’s errand with all these advantages those devices provide.

Actions you can take to protect your electronics from EMP

The safest place for your electronics during an EMP is inside a metal box, (steel is a better conductor than aluminum), commonly referred to as a “Faraday Cage.” Metal tool boxes, file cabinets, even aluminum foil can shield your device from EMP.

The important thing is to makes sure the container is sealed by closing all openings, and is free of wiring that protrudes through the side of the container. The container receives the EMP pulse and conducts it around the outside, protecting the contents of the container from the EMP pulse. A quick test to check that your container is doing its job is to put a cellular phone inside and close it up; then call the phone with another phone. If you hear it ring inside the container, the container isn’t effective as a Faraday Cage. If it doesn’t ring, you can have some confidence that it will afford some level of protection for electronics kept inside.

An old metal first aid box makes a decent Faraday Cage

An old metal first aid box makes a decent Faraday Cage

At home and around the office, the next best defense for your electronics is to connect all power supplies to quality surge protectors. If the EMP pulse isn’t strong enough to kill your connected electronics immediately, they still may be vulnerable to the expected electrical current surge. The surge suppressor may or may not help, but it is an inexpensive additional protection.

One last protective measure is to have a whole-house lightning arrestor installed in your electrical panel. The part is less than $100, but it should be installed by an electrician. It absorbs a current surge, such as that from a nearby lightning strike. Not a 100% solution, but every level of protection you add tips the scales in your favor.

Surge Suppressor

Invest in quality surge suppressors

The Cloud

Another reason to protect your electronics is that we have learned to back up and protect data outside of our devices. The ubiquitous “Cloud” backs up a great deal of our data, just in the course of life. I’ve noticed that my Windows 10 laptop steers me into using their “OneDrive” cloud-based storage by default, requiring me to consciously choose to store documents on my laptop if I disagree. Smartphones often use their data providers’ backup systems, another “Cloud” variant. So in addition to being able to restore your contact list when you drop your phone in the toilet, in many cases a good part of your data is backed up by your carrier.

READ MORE: The Cloud isn’t just for worst-case-scenario data storage but for dozens of other, everyday survival applications. Read more here.

Professional data centers are well-protected against electrical hazards, and backup protocols regularly create off-line copies for disaster recovery. Protect your devices so you can make use of the backups that probably will survive. Having your stored information on more than one device is an inexpensive way to provide this protection yourself.

A last thought

We are raising an entire generation that was brought up with home computers, tablet devices, and smartphones. In many cases, your teenager is much more tech-savvy as to these devices that you are. Can you imagine the loss and disorientation they are going to feel when their world of connectivity is heavily damaged by an EMP? If for no other reason, protect your devices for the next generation.

Read more about life after EMP

More information here on this blog

protect electronics from electromagnetic pulse

Prep Blog Review: 5 New Items On The EMP Agenda

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PBR28may2016

Do you know what the Government and Big Corporations say about the danger of an EMP? When was the last time you researched blackout survival? Do you think we should keep a lookout on solar flares or man made nukes?

Most of us preppers have surpassed the newbies status when it comes to EMP. We know about the threats to the grid, have some pretty detailed scenarios about what might happen after a strike, and some guidelines on how to act.

But how prepared are we, really? All these and more in this week’s prep blog review.

1. Government, Industry Studying Threat of Nuclear EMP Attack on Electric Grid

emp threat

“American power companies are studying ways to protect electric grids against a high-altitude nuclear blast and other directed energy attacks that could severely disrupt electricity transmission, an industry representative told a Senate hearing Wednesday.

Scott Aaronson, managing director for cyber and infrastructure security at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), stated in testimony that a consortium of U.S. electric companies is working with the Energy Department to study how to protect power grids from a nuclear blast-produced electromagnetic pulse attack or solar flares that could damage transformers and other electric components and shut down power for millions of Americans.”

Read more on Free Beacon.

2. You Will Not Survive an EMP Strike Without This

emp threat

 “More than 180 Americans have left America for Syria to join ISIS. These are born and raised American citizens. And at some point, they will come back! But don’t worry. These peace-loving American patriots will settle back into their homes and mind their own business. Right!

During the international Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC, even Barack Hussein Obama warned that the prospect of ISIS getting a hold of a nuclear bomb is one of the most serious threats faced by the world. He said it was clear that “these mad men” would use such a device to kill as many people as they could.”

Read more on Ask a Prepper.

3. Officials Worry US ‘Falling Behind’ In Race to Prepare for Electromagnetic Pulse Attacks

emp threat

“Electromagnetic pulses and violent space weather outbursts might seem like national security threats straight out of science fiction. But the House Homeland Security Committee wants to ensure federal agencies are doing their best to prepare for them.

During an Oversight and Management Efficiency subcommittee hearing Tuesday, legislators reviewed the possible ramifications that a man-made EMP weapon, detonated nuclear device or even space weather phenomena could have on the nation’s power grid. While seemingly remote, the threats drew comparisons to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

While unlikely, being unprepared could mean loss of life and could be devastating to the nation’s telecommunications and power grid, lawmakers said. One report estimates the potential cost of a large-scale solar storm, emanating from a large release of energy by the sun, could exceed $2 trillion and leave large portions of the population without power for months or longer.

“Investigations determined the attack on Pearl Harbor was possible, not probable,” said Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga. “Same thing for 9/11.”

Read more on Next Gov.

4. The Question Is Not ”IF” But ”WHEN”: How The World Would Look Like When The Grid Goes Down  

grid down

“Have you ever thought about how fragile the US power grid is? And how would you survive if the power grid went down? What would be like in the dark? Have you ever wondered ’’what would we do if the lights went out’’? Who could have foreseen the 9/11 come? The difference between 9/11 and what I am about to tell you is that we know that this is going to happen; the question is not ’’would it happen?” but ”when is going to happen’’? If this happens the consequences would be a million times worse than 9/11.”

Read more on Bio Prepper.

5. EMP Prepping: What To Do After Blackout

emp

“We’ve already discussed how you can prepare yourself for an EMP before it happens, so now we’re going to cover what happens after the lights go out.

An electromagnetic pulse is different than the aftermath of a tornado, hurricane, tsunami or wild fire because in those disasters, the lights will come back on and eventually an emergency crew will help the people who weren’t prepared.”

Read more and on Survival Hax.

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This article has been written by Brenda E. Walsh for Survivopedia

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Off-Grid Mechanics: 8 Steps That You Need To Know

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Survivopedia Off-grid Mechanics

What kind of vehicles and equipment do you use every day? What would you use instead in a SHTF world without the power grid?

When modern equipment won’t work anymore, the prepared have a plan in place. They know that with a little ingenuity and some elbow grease, they can get the job done. But a willingness to work won’t get you very far if you don’t have a pile of materials to work with.

Using What You Have

Modern-day preppers can learn a lot from the Depression era mentality of saving. I know that I have!

My Grandpa never threw anything away. When we first moved back to the family property, I thought his old junk pile was an eyesore. Tires. Old tractors. Tons of screws, bolts, and who knows what else. It was a huge pile of junk.

In today’s use it and toss it society, I simply couldn’t fathom why in the world my Grandpa kept this junk. I was embarrassed by it. I wanted to scoop it all up and take it to the dump. Thankfully, we couldn’t afford to do that.

Because over the years since we’ve been back, I’ve realized the true value of that junk pile. We’ve taken parts from equipment of old to fix what is broken. We’ve used scrap metal and junk to fill a need and solve problems around the homestead. And we’ve saved a lot of money.

That junk pile? I no longer view it as junk. I think of it as our insurance. You see—when the day comes that we can’t just go buy something, we’ll have a leg-up. We’ll have stuff to work with.

So if you don’t have a junk pile of your own, I’d recommend you start one. If you have property, just gather your junk in a remote corner. If you don’t, you’ll have to think creatively.

Can you save extra nuts and bolts in a drawer in the garage? Can you partner with a country friend to create a joint pile? Can you devote a closet to accumulating odds and ends?

As odd as it may seem to save junk, recycling and reusing becomes crucial when the modern economy is gone. You simply won’t be able to go buy what you need. You’ll have to use what you have.

1. Make a List!

What kind of automated systems are you running right now? Since each of us have a different lifestyle and processes, we won’t all need the exact same things.

To figure out what you need, you have to make a list. Grab a piece of paper and write down all of the systems you’re currently using that run on electricity and modern machinery. Here’s some common ones to get you thinking:

  • Milking machines
  • Automated sprinklers for the garden
  • Tractor for plowing the field
  • Rototillers for the garden
  • Irrigation systems
  • Lights
  • Food storage (fridge and freezer)
  • Laundry care
  • Cooking
  • Personal vehicles to get from place to place
  • Heating a greenhouse to grow food year round

You’ll probably have more to add. Most of us are very dependent on modern innovations in today’s life. Now that you have your list, it’s time to start thinking through SHTF scenarios. Let’s work through a couple together:

Milking the Animals

How would you milk your cows if you had no power?

If you only have a couple of cows, you’ll probably be able to switch to hand milking. You might even get away with switching to once a day milking depending on how much milk your ladies are giving.

milking

But, what if you have a whole herd and depended on a milker? What powers your machine milker? Do you know how your vacuum pump works? How will you clean the pieces if you don’t have running water?

Learn everything you can about the mechanics behind the automated systems you use every day. Read the manual. Study how the pieces work together. The more familiar you are with the parts and pieces, the more likely you’ll be able to repair it when the time comes. You’ll also know what sorts of extra parts to start stock piling.

Vehicles

When vehicles first came out, they were fairly simple machines. Most people could handle their own repairs. With today’s chips, computers, and complexity, that’s no longer the case.

These detailed systems often require specialized tools and scanning software to repair. There isn’t much you can do yourself without a large amount of mechanical knowledge. You might want to consider having an older vehicle around, just because it’s easier to work on.

They’re also more likely to run after an EMP. Here’s a great Survivopedia post on the best vehicles for an EMP event.

No matter what you’re driving, it’s essential that you start learning to repair it. If your car is broken, do some basic troubleshooting yourself. Every time you do this, you’re improving your mechanical ability.

If you take your car to the mechanic, learn all you can. Ask to see the broken part and where it was in your vehicle. You’ll learn more about your car, and start building a relationship with someone local with a mechanically minded skill-set. Or you can chose to grow animals for transportation.

Growing Food

You can’t just plop a variety of seeds in the ground and expect to magically grow enough food to feed yourself and your family for the entire year.  There’s a lot of work between planting and harvesting. Many people rely on automated systems to do a portion of this work. From tractors to electricity or automatic watering systems, food production hasn’t escaped modern marvels.

Take a look at what you’re currently doing for food production. Do you run a rototiller over the ground each year? If so, it’s time to think about switching to a no-till method of gardening.

In this method, you prepare your soil initially before planting. Then you cover it with a thick layer of mulch.  When it’s time to plant, you gently remove some of the mulch, and bury your seeds.

As your plants grow, the mulch holds in water, which is essential in a crisis situation. You continue to add compost and mulch to your garden. But, instead of digging the new stuff in, you just top-dress it by adding layer upon layer up on top.

This same method works in the field as well, though on a larger scale. Instead of a plow to prep the field for planting, you’d use a harrow. The impact on the land is a lot less, as harrows pierce the ground instead of turning it over.

Harrows are also more energy efficient since you can plant at the same time. That means only one trip around the field is needed instead of multiple.

Large Equipment

If your farm equipment fails, do you have a backup plan? Some people keep horses around, but horses aren’t the only animal that can work a field. Dexter cattle have been called a tri-purpose cow because they’re good for meat, milk, and work.

You’ll probably need to do some innovating to get your equipment to pull by animal instead of machine. Harnesses will be essential to keep your animal safe while working.

You can look for older equipment now, while you still have the benefit of used marketplaces. Horse drawn machinery are often cheaper than their modern counterparts, and  they’re also easier to work on.

Video first seen on jamminjamy.

Watering

It’s not only the planting of the field that you should think about, it’s also the watering. Water typically runs on a pump. If you don’t have power, you’ll lose the accessibility of water. Gravity fed systems are one solution.

Look for an elevated area on your property where you can collect rainwater.

If you prepare a large container with a hose connector and a plug down low, you’ll be set to use the water. When it’s time to water, hook a hose up to the container. Gravity will force the water through the hose to where you need it. Just be sure to put the plug back on your system when you’re finished.

You can also build a series of wooden troughs to carry water from a waterfall or creek if you have one on your property. This one requires a little more mechanical know-how, as you’ll have to ensure your angles are correct. Otherwise the water won’t flow.

Harvest Time

To harvest your plants without machinery, you’ll need to learn how it was done in the past. If you’re growing your own wheat, instead of a combine you’ll need a scythe to cut it. You’ll also need to think through the threshing.

Only you know exactly what you’ll need to switch your automated systems over to manual ones. You’ll definitely need to have raw materials and tools on hand to keep your systems in good repair. But what can you do right now to start this process?

2. Stock Up on Printed Resources

There are plenty of books and details online that walk you through the systems you need. Now is the perfect time to stock up on printed research materials. After all, you won’t be able to do a whole lot of surfing the internet after the SHTF.

You won’t be able to learn everything in one sitting. That’s why having printed material is so beneficial. When you need it, you’ll be able to pull it out and learn on the go.

3. Develop a Repair or Reuse Mindset

When something breaks, it’s so easy to throw it away and buy another one. But, that attitude won’t get you very far in a crisis. Starting today, take time to learn about what’s broken.

If it’s something you were going to throw away anyways, you have nothing to lose. Examine the parts. See if you can pinpoint what failed. Then take it apart and see how everything fits together.

You might discover it was something simple that you can fix. If not, you gained valuable experience in troubleshooting and disassembly. Those skills will be crucial in the future.

Instead of throwing away things that break, see if you can come up with a more innovative solution. Can you pull the components and save them for an upcoming project? Can you hang onto the gears?

You might not have the space to save everything. That’s why it’s essential to have your list. What items will you use the most to keep your needed systems up and running?

4. Develop Your Creativity and Innovation

Instead of going out and buying something new, think creatively. Is there any other way to do what you need to do? Can you reuse something, or build a DIY model?

This will put your creative thinking skills to work. You’ll start thinking outside of the box. But just coming up with ideas isn’t enough. Innovation is the ability to put those skills to use to solve a problem.

5. Improve Your Mechanical Mind

Some people are naturally gifted in the area of mechanics. They’re tinkerers, always working on something. Others don’t have this natural ability.  But, everyone can learn. If you’re not mechanically inclined, start asking questions. Watch what others do. Learn from them.

6. Carry Tools

You never know when you might need a screwdriver or a knife. If you aren’t currently carrying a multi-tool, start.

Put a basic repair kit in your car, and know how to use the tools in it. If you leave your vehicle in an emergency, you’ll be able to grab a couple of tools. Those may make the difference between you making it home or not.

saws

7. Invest in Hand Tools

You’ll also want to build a solid supply of hand tools around your homestead. Think beyond the screwdriver and hammer. How would you cut firewood without a chainsaw? Pick up a hand saw that you can use if you need to.

8. Learn the Basics

While you can’t learn everything there is to know, you can learn a little about a lot of things. Here are some things to study that’ll help you be better prepared:

Every bit of knowledge and hands on mechanical experience you gain will help make you stronger in the future.

What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to off-grid mechanics? What systems would you have to replace? Could you survive off-grid, living the life our ancestors lived? Click on the banner below to find out more about their way of living and use their secrets for your survival.

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This article has been written by Lisa Tanner for Survivopedia.

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How to Survive Without Electricity

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How to Survive Without Electricity We’ve become so reliant on electricity that many of us wouldn’t know how to survive without it. Electricity powers everything we do- cooking, bathing, cleaning, staying updated on the news, staying cool, etc. If you’ve ever been without power for more than a few days, then you know how inconvenient …

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DHS Not Prepared For A Power Grid Attack?

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DHS Not Prepared For A Power Grid Attack?

Image source: Pixabay.com

A recent government report claimed that the Department of Homeland Security has made major strides to protect the power grid from a crippling attack, but that report runs counter to sworn testimony in front of Congress and to what experts say is really the case.

In fact, DHS appears ill-prepared to protect the United States from an attack on the power grid that could leave Americans without electricity for weeks, if not months. So says this week’s guest, Peter Vincent Pry, one of the nation’s foremost experts on threats to the grid. He is the author of the new book, Blackout Wars, the executive director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security, and he also served on the EMP Commission.

Pry tells us:

ν Why any steps DHS has taken to protect America pale in comparison to what needs to be done.
ν What the Obama administration has done, and not done, to address the country’s grid vulnerabilities.
ν How the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), part of the Department of Energy, has made America more susceptible to a power grid attack.
ν Which state might be the safest to live in during an EMP attack on America or even during a solar storm.

In the interview – which is part 1 of a two-part series – Pry also explains how the power grid can be protected on a local level, without help from Washington, D.C.

Don’t miss this week’s show if you’re concerned about America’s future and the threat to the electric grid!

5 Nanoseconds To Lights Out

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The E1 pulse of a high altitude nuclear EMP (electromagnetic pulse) will bring modern civilization to its knees in about 5 nanoseconds. That’s 0.000000005 seconds. To put that in perspective, that’s 60 million times faster than ‘the blink of an eye’. Lights Out. The effects of an EMP will go far beyond just the the […]

Blackout: Cripple A Nation!

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Bblackout

Preppers know that today’s civilization is too dependent on electricity.  Most can manage a power outage of a few hours or even one or two days.  And, if things become too inconvenient, those affected by the power outage can just get in their vehicle and drive to a part of the city or state that is not experiencing a power outage.

But what if a whole nation goes down?

That scenario usually comes up when you think of an earth directed solar flare or EMP.  Now, with cyber terrorism becoming a big possibility, many realize that our high-tech world can have some serious issues when an enemy wants to access our grid through an internet or network connection.

This was the topic of a NatGeo documentary called American Blackout.  You can read my review and watch it – click here.

But I didn’t realize that there was an English counterpart to American Blackout.  I mean English as in across the pond…  A friend of mine told me about the British documentary the other day.  It is called….wait for it…. Britain Blackout.

The documentary follows the same premise as  American Blackout, it just might be a little darker.  But as you can imagine, it comes with looting, rioting, people making bad decisions, blaming the government and even a “self-sufficient” guy.  ***Warning*** – There is a lot of bad language in the British version.

The lessons are always the same:

You need water!Store it! Have filters and ways to purify! Know how to use them!  For more info. on water, check out the water tag cloud on Prepper Website.

You need food! – Start with canned food for your pantry.  Then, go to longer term food storage.  Know how to cook without your microwave or electric stove!

Have backup power! – Having something like a Solar Charger Zzero small solar battery backup is smart. You can also go with a battery/solar powered radio.  You might want to even make your own battery backup system.  If you were to add a solar panel, you would be in good shape!  Check out the solar tag cloud on Prepper  Website.

Have redundancies and backups!  – Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket.  One guy gets robbed and all his food is taken. He starts to make some bad choices after that.

Have a way to defend yourself! – Aren’t you glad you live in the USA?  Check out the firearms and defense tag cloud on Prepper Website – here, here and here.

Don’t panic and make good choices!  Repeat after me…  the government is not going to save you!  Check out the Situational Awareness and Gray Man tag cloud (and here) on Prepper  Website.

Check out Britain Blackout and tell me what you think below!

 

 

Peace,
Todd

Vehicle Discussion Continued

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Yesterdays discussion brought up a couple of points worth addressing:

@5:41, Mine is way lower towing capacity than that. Having one that did 5k might be worth looking into.

@5:46, An interesting idea though shipping vehicles is really just not that expensive. Like $300-400ish. Every 2 years that wouldn’t be a deal maker. Or maybe have a friend (ideally a cute one;) drive one and get a free trip.

Meister- An SUV and a truck are beyond my budget. I could probably have a truck and a car by the end of summer but an SUV and a truck would be another 6 months.

@730- EMP is not high on my list of concerns but if I can address it as a second order effect of an existing plan I try to do so. Honestly most of the old vehicle reasoning is economic as I can not afford to have a fairly new daily driver and a truck (paying cash anyway which is how I do vehicles). 

Generally truck vs Suburban or Bronco- I would lean truck as one with a camper shell is more versatile. However I have (window shopping) seen some old suburbans with no miles for not a lot of cash.

Diesel vs Gas- I would have to think more about this but I am leaning gas. First it would not complicate my logistics and second the ambiguity of those old Chevy (and also Ford) small block V8’s is a big part of why I want to go that way. Down the road I may add a diesel vehicle to the stash, especially if I had a tractor or big generator or something that also ran on it.

Thoughts?

Would Taxes Survive a SHTF Event?

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shtf taxes

As I look at the various disaster scenarios that people are preparing for, I see some common themes come forth. One of the most common I see is that the federal government will disappear in any major, nationwide catastrophe.

It almost seems to be wishful thinking, as if people are hoping that a serious enough disaster will occur so that we have to go back to the Constitution and start over, building a new government to go with our reborn nation.

While there is a certain attractiveness in the idea of getting rid of our bloated federal government and its myriad regulations, I don’t have a whole lot of hope in that happening. In fact, I’d have to say that I’ve got some bad news in that regard. The government would go on, regardless of what happens to the rest of us.

Governments are parasites and like any other parasite, they’ll allow their host to die, while ensuring that they themselves survive. Our government is so firmly entrenched, with well over two million federal government employees on the public payroll, there is little chance that they will all just go away, let alone the almost 22 million total government employees in our country, when you take into consideration, local, state and county employees too.

The fact of the matter is, we need our government, even though we may not need everything it does. The basic government functions are critical to us surviving as a nation and provide services that we all need to have, in order to live and work together. Granted, there are many government organizations which do nothing more than create more and more regulations, destroying businesses and making life difficult for us all, but they aren’t the whole government. There are actual useful functions that the government fulfills.

Even in the recent crashes of national economies, we haven’t seen any governments close their doors. Greece, Cyprus and Argentina governments all continued working, even while large portions of their populations were out of work, losing their homes and having trouble putting food on the table.

What to Expect?

With the world’s governments becoming more and more liberal, and being driven to become more liberal by organizations like the Bilderberg Group, we can expect the prevailing liberal attitude that governments create jobs, not businesses to continue. Even though there is no proof to back up that claim, the idea of large central governments is central to the progressive liberal ideology and the one-world government they want to create.

This means that any future calamities, especially financial collapses of countries monetary systems, may lead to a number of austerity measures levied upon the population of those countries, but it won’t lead to any reduction of government. If anything, it will lead to an increase in government spending, which means an increase in taxes.

There are only three ways in which governments can receive money to operate on.

  • The first and most common is taxes. From time immemorial, kings and princes levied taxes on their peasants, so that they could build their castles and fight their wars. Modern governments have merely made their taxing of the common folk, who they still look at as peasants, more sophisticated and the waste of that tax money more prolific.
  • The second way that governments receive money is to borrow it. In a very real sense, the world is owned by a handful of bankers, chief amongst which is the Rothschild family, the world’s only trillionairs. These bankers own the majority of the world’s Federal Reserve banks, producing money which they loan to governments and individuals. They own the world in that everyone ultimately borrows from them, having to pay that money back with interest.
  • Finally, governments can receive money by creating it out of thin air. That’s actually the whole purpose of the Federal Reserve. By eliminating the gold and/or silver standard for money and replacing it with a Federal Reserve, governments give themselves the ability to create money from nothing. This is a large part of how our government has made up for the budgetary shortfall, as well as prop up the stock market, preventing it from crashing.

Quantitative easing, the technical term for creating money out of thin air, is actually a rather elaborate means of stealing from the people. Every time the government releases more money into the economy, it reduces the value of all existing money a minuscule amount. But the cumulative effect of that is a reduction of the money’s value to the point that in 100 years (1912 to 2012) the value of the dollar was reduced 98%.

So with these three methods as being the only ways that our government can receive revenue, there’s absolutely no reason to believe that they will stop collecting taxes, when and if a SHTF event were to happen. In fact, even a TEOTWAWKI event would be unable to stop the collection of taxes.

That’s not to say that it will always be easy for the government to collect those taxes, but if there is one place where governments are willing to do the hard things, it’s in collecting taxes. They will find a way.

It’s clear from the examples of recent history, that the government would continue to collect taxes through a financial collapse. In fact, it’s clear that taxes would skyrocket in such a case, as well as the government literally stealing money out of people’s bank accounts. Other governments have done it and there’s really no reason to think that our government is any more honest than any of them are.

The one situation which could cause some serious problems for the government, as far as tax collection is concerned, would be the loss of the electrical grid. Actually, loss of the electric grid by an EMP would be even worse. The vast majority of our nation’s wealth, including personal wealth, doesn’t exist in printed money or even gold bars; it only exists on a computer’s memory.

Unless the banking system and the government have a much better backup system than I believe they do, with computers and records that are immune to an EMP, such an event would destroy the vast majority of the nation’s wealth. The only money which would still exist is that which is printed, a small fraction of our total cumulative national wealth.

It would be difficult to collect taxes in such a case, as the records needed for collecting them would disappear, along with everything else. But that’s not to say that the government would forego collecting taxes. They’d collect them, even if it meant sending IRS agents door-to-door collecting whatever they could.

If anything, taxes would become more draconian under such a system than they are now. IRS agents would insist on payment in cash and if the people didn’t have cash, they would take whatever they had, selling it for cash. People could easily lose their homes, their businesses and their very means of survival under such a system; and there would be little to no recourse that they could use to regain what the government takes from them.

So, to answer the question I posed in the title of this article, yes, taxes would survive a SHTF event. Even in cases where not much else would survive, we could count on taxes surviving. As the old saying goes, “There’s two things you can be sure of in this life, death and taxes.”

A few people might manage to escape the attention of the IRS agents in such a case. Specifically, those who managed to escape to a prepared survival retreat would be hidden from the many eyes of the IRS… at least for a while. But you can be sure that even those people would be found eventually and the IRS would seek to extract their pound of flesh, with interest.

new EMP01

This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

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Nuclear EMP Components E1, E2, E3, and what they mean…

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An EMP – a nuclear electromagnetic pulse is a burst of electromagnetic radiation from a nuclear explosion. A nuclear weapon that is detonated hundreds of kilometers above the earth will produce an EMP which will produce damaging and likely catastrophic current and voltage surges to electrical / electronic equipment and systems. While exploring the possibilities […]

Make a Faraday Cage For Just a Few Dollars

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There are many potential disasters to prepare for, but perhaps the one that deserves the most preparation is an EMP (electromagnetic pulse). If you’ve done any previous research on prepping for disasters, then you’ve undoubtedly at least heard of EMP’s, and for good reason. An EMP attack would […]

The post Make a Faraday Cage For Just a Few Dollars appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

What is your TEOTWAWKI?

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What is your TEOTWAWKI?
Bobby Akart “Prepping for Tomorrow

3-17-16 teotwawkiOn this week’s special episode of the Prepping for Tomorrow program, Author Bobby Akart takes the mic and discusses a topic sure to stir some conversation: WHAT IS YOUR TEOTWAWKI?

The End Of The World As We Know It.
It DOES NOT MEAN the end of the world. This is why we prep. The threats that we face are many. As preppers we want to survive TEOTWAWKI. The collapse events vary in degree, but your preparedness plan should prepare for the worst.

3-17-16 TEOTWAWKI-500x350Whether fantasy, or reality, we all have collapse events that we prepare for. Those who are not preppers still have their collapse event. TEOTWAWKI could be loss of a job for which they maintain a rainy day fund. It could be damage to their home from storms, fire or vandals, for which they carry insurance. For the weakest among us, TEOTWAWKI could mean a zit on their chin before a big date for which they have no makeup concealer.
So WHAT IS YOUR TEOTWAWKI?
In our annual poll on FreedomPreppers.com, the results were as follows:
(1) Economic Collapse
(2) EMP, natural and man-made
(3) Pandemic, BioTerror
(4) Cyber Attack
(5) Natural Disaster
(6) Near Earth Objects
(7) Nuclear War
Is this fear mongering? Is it too conspiratorial? Some say fear is a great motivator. Whatever it takes to lead more people to a preparedness lifestyle, then I am all for it.
Visit Bobby Akart website HERE! 
Join us for “Prepping For Tomorrow” “LIVE SHOW” every Thursday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

Listen to this broadcast or download “What is your TEOTWAWKI?” in player below!

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Archived shows Prepping For Tomorrow at bottom of THIS PAGE!

The post What is your TEOTWAWKI? appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.

EMP Survival: Power For Your Oxygen Concentrator

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Oxygen concentrator

Unless you actually rely on medical devices, you might not realize how important for your survival some of them are. In particular, if you don’t have any major breathing problems, or they are largely under control, you may not give much thought at all to oxygen concentrators.

Until you need them… That’s the moment you realize you should have read and learned more about them. Including how to supply power to them in case of a major emergency in which conventional electricity may not be available for days or longer.

That’s the article you need to read to get this knowledge!

How Much Power Do Concentrators Take?

The amount of electricity required for each unit depends largely on the size of the compressor and the manufacturer ratings. In most cases, the devices will run on batteries, however there is also considerable variance on how efficient the unit is and how much oxygen it can actually produce.

As a general guide, older, home oxygen concentrator units required about as much electricity as refrigerator. Modern devices might take as little as a low wattage microwave, while others may still require quite a bit more.

There a few things to be aware of before buying a concentrator for survival needs, and here are some of them:

  • Amperage required by the device
  • Voltage output from the emergency battery pack
  • How long the concentrator will run on the battery pack at different oxygen output amounts
  • How long the batteries are expected to last and what they are made from

How Many Batteries You Need to Buy

When it comes to buying batteries, most people will buy one for charging and another for using any given device, but this is not always the best route to take, because not having enough batteries for charging and powering can spell disaster.

Buying more batteries than needed can take up excess space and also create a situation where rechargeable batteries are not used at optimal loads and rotations. At the very least, consider the following:

  • Find out how long a fully charged battery will power the concentrator at its highest setting. Take that number of hours and divide by 2 (just in case you cannot fully charge a battery up before it has to be rotated back into service.) In this example, let us say that a fully charged battery will last 12 hours at full charge. Instead of buying just 2 batteries, you would purchase four for use during a single day.
  • Next, determine how much power you can generate each day, and how much of it can be used for charging up the concentrator batteries. If it takes 8 hours to fully charge a single battery, then you should be able to charge 1 – 3 batteries per day. Add that number of batteries to the ones that you expect to use in a day. In this example, you would need 3 batteries for charging plus 4 for regular use; meaning that you would need 7 batteries.
  • Finally, it is also very important to consider long term wear and tear on the batteries. Even if you purchase batteries that can be deep cycled 1000 times, they may become useless in 3 – 5 years. In this particular example, add at least 3 batteries in case some of them go bad. Just be sure that you also plan on rotating them into the system so that the internal parts remain active and do not corrode or become destroyed by lack of use.

What Is the Best Way to Power an Oxygen Concentrator Off Grid?

Many people wrongfully assume that power for critical medical devices such as concentrators can come from any source, and think they can just put up a few windmills and solar panels, and then expect that combination to produce enough power.

When must run a concentrator around the clock or charge up batteries to run that concentrator, there is no such thing as waiting for the sun to come back out or for a wind to kick up. What you need is a reliable system of renewable energy that will never run out, and will not be dependent on the vagaries of the weather.

Here are a few systems that might work, but remember that you will need access to a number of resource that may take some time and effort to develop. While you can still get started with solar and wind power, do not overlook these systems.

Above Ground and Underground Water Wheels

If you are fortunate enough to live near a stream or river, there is no reason why you cannot set up a water wheel and generating motor. Take the time now to calculate the rate of flow of water and also the size of the wheel that you will need to generate the necessary amount of current.

As may be expected, if you live in colder climates where rivers and streams routinely freeze, you will need to see if the lower levels of water will remain fluid enough to push the wheel.

Today, far too many people place water wheels where they can be partially seen above the water level instead of taking the time to immerse them near the center of the water flow. While it takes considerably more work to build a fully immersed wheel that will still turn, it is well worth the effort in colder climates.

If water never freezes in your local area, then it may still be safe to build a more conventional water wheel.

Underground Water Pipe Systems

When it comes to new innovations in using water for generating electricity, underground water pipes are truly some of the best and most innovative. As long as you have a constant source of water flowing through these pipes, water wheels placed within the pipes can be used to generate electricity.

Many people do not think about this option because they do not live near a pond, stream, or other source of water that can be used for underground irrigation. That being said, even extremely dry or cold regions have all kinds of underground streams and rivers that can be tapped for this purpose.

As long as you know where they run through your land, you might drill down to their level and install both pipes and suitable equipment for generating electricity: you won’t have to worry about freezing temperatures, there will be very few, if any ways for the equipment to be stolen.

This system does have some drawbacks if you are in an earthquake zone or any other area where shifting underground geographies can crush the pipes.

Sink Drain Power Generation

As long as you have water, you will also have electricity with this system. Basically, all you need to do is install mini water wheels in the outgoing pipe drains of your home. They can be cleanable as garbage disposals, and other drain systems.

Even though there are no devices of this type on the market, you should be able to make your own. Unlike a number of other power generation systems, this one can work for you in a city setting as long as municipal water continues to flow through the tap.

Just remember that if you have to rely on this system for generating electricity, the source of the water must be energy neutral. For example, you will need either a ram pump to draw water from a pond, or even an Archimedes screw from some other surface body of water. If you are fortunate enough to have an artesian well, then you will be one step ahead.

How Reliable Are Oxygen Concentrators and Can They Be Repaired?

The most vulnerable part of the concentrator is the compressor that draws air into the unit and then packs it into a smaller amount of space before pushing it into the chamber housing the zeolite crystals. As with many other things, modern compressors are not as well built as older ones.

If you can, carefully study the compressor systems in different concentrators, and then find out if there are working vintage models that can be substituted into the system. Even though you may have to adapt some of the fittings, it is well worth the effort. Being able to replace the compressor can easily extend the life of the concentrator from just a year or two to well over a decade without much need for other kinds of repair.

It can be said that concentrator reliability also comes down to good maintenance and being aware of the kinds of problems that can occur. When it comes to survival scenarios, fuses and IC circuits will always be a problem if an EMP occurs. Since many of these circuits control the opening and closing of purely mechanical valves, it may be possible to use gravity based levers or pulley systems to manually open an close the valves at proper intervals.

In Classical Greece, there was a “robot” that was able to mix proper concentrations of wine and water without using any kind of electricity, and if you do some experimenting, you can find a way to achieve this goal.

If you do not want to ruin a perfectly good concentrator, buy an old one that is no longer functional. You will learn plenty about how the system works, as well as how to improvise and develop work arounds for areas that might be weak points during a survival scenario.

What to Do When the Concentrator Stops Working

If you already have concentrator or have seen one in use for any length of time, then you already know that there are times when they will fail. As with any other machine, there are simple causes for these failures as well as more complex ones. Here are a range of problems that you may encounter as well as how to deal with them:

  • If the concentrator is running, but you do not feel air coming out, one or more airline tubes may be kinked. Depending on how the air tubing leaves the unit, there may also be a kink behind the unit where you won’t always see it right away. Make sure that you can easily get around every part of the concentrator so that you can locate any loose or crimped tubes.
  • The concentrator goes offline and refuses to start. Any number of problems may cause the unit to stop or refuse to start at all. If you are running the unit on batteries, you can start off by making sure that the battery has enough power and that it is hooked up properly. Some manufacturers also provide trouble shooting guides that will help you determine other simple things that may be causing the fault.
  • If the unit fails after all of the simple things have been eliminated, there may be a blown fuse inside the unit, or the compressor may have failed. This type of repair can be complicated. Unless you actually know how to repair a concentrator, or have enough background in electronics, you should not try to do this during a crisis situation. That being said, there is no harm in getting the schematics for the model concentrator that you own and making sure that you know how to handle a range of problems. While this process will take time and effort to learn, it will be worth your while. In a crisis, there may be no such thing as a qualified repair person to help put your concentrator back into service. If you do not feel confident about delving into repairing these devices, then make it a point to find friends among your neighbors that might be able to help you in time of need. If you are in a survivor community, there is sure to be at least one or two people that can do this job on your behalf.

Do you know enough now to make an oxygen concentrator work for you? Use the comment form below to share you thoughts and ask your question about these lifesaving devices!

CLICK HERE to read more on surviving an EMP with a disability!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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‘Harden The Grid’ Before It’s Taken Down By An EMP, Cruz Warns

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‘Harden The Grid’ Before It’s Taken Down By An EMP, Cruz Warns

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The government of North Korea has the capability to use an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon to knock out America’s power grid, presidential candidate and US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said during the GOP debate February 6.

His comments came when he was asked how he would respond, if he were president, to North Korea test launching a nuclear weapon.

The Latest Solar Generators Are 4 Times More Powerful Than Previous Ones!

“North Korea wants to launch a satellite, and one of the greatest risks of the satellite is they would place a nuclear device in the satellite,” Cruz said. “It would orbit around the Earth, and as it got over the United States they would detonate that nuclear weapon and set of what’s called an EMP, or electromagnetic pulse, which could take down the entire electrical grid on the Eastern seaboard, potentially killing millions.”

The exchange was referencing North Korea’s launch of a rocket that its government claimed carried a satellite into space on February 7. The rocket launch came just a month after the North Koreans claimed to have tested a hydrogen bomb.

“We need to harden the grid to defend ourselves, and we need missile defense to protect ourselves against North Korea,” Cruz said.

Related:

Ben Carson Warns Of Downed Grid: ‘Can You Imagine The Chaos?’

Are You Prepared For Blackouts This Winter? Read More Here.

Is A Power Grid Attack Imminent?

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Late last year a cyberattack took down a large segment of the Ukrainian power grid, marking the first time that hackers anywhere in the world accomplished such a feat. Days later, in early January, North Korea claimed it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, an action that could put it one step closer to launching an EMP.

Is a cyberattack or EMP attack on the American power grid next? That’s the subject of this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio as we talk to grid expert Peter Pry, the author of the new book Blackout Wars and the executive director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security.

Pry, who also served on the EMP Commission and the House Armed Services Committee, says a cyberattack or EMP attack could take down the grid for weeks or months. He also tells us:

  • Why he believes North Korea may be telling the truth – and why American intelligence may be wrong.
  • How a hydrogen bomb would make an EMP even more dangerous – and how North Korea already has the capability to deliver it.
  • Why the attack on the Ukrainian grid should worry Americans, and how hackers half the world away could take down the U.S. grid, with no notice.
  • What we can do to prepare for an attack on the grid.

If the grid were down for one year, Pry says, upwards of 90 percent of the population would die from starvation, lack of medical supplies and unrest.

Pry also shares his thoughts on the White House’s Space Weather Action Plan, and he tells us how we can pressure Congress to protect the grid. If you’re concerned about America’s future and the power grid, then this is one show you don’t want to miss!

EMP… Lights Out!

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EMP… Lights Out!
DJ Cooper “Surviving Dystopia

EMPMost of us have heard of this thing called the EMP, but what exactly is it?  E.M.P. is short forElectro Magnetic Pulse, in essence a surge of electricity capable of frying modern electronics.

nuclear_power_01There is some history behind the EMP, it was discovered as a side effect of nuclear detonation.  However, that is not the only thing that can produce an EMP and modern electronics are not the only thing possibly effected.  In 1859 a solar storm, also known as the Carrington Event produced one of the largest geomagnetic storms ever recorded.  A coronal mass ejection also known as a CME hit earth’s magnetosphere producing this geomagnetic storm which also had the E.M.P. effect.  This was so large that U.S. telegraph operators reported sparks leaping from their equipment some were bad enough to set fires.

nuclear blast125x231An EMP can also be produced by detonating a nuclear explosion at extremely high altitudes, when striking the upper atmosphere the intial gamma ray burst creates high energy electrons that become trapped in the earth’s magnetic field generating a pulse of electromagnetic energy.  An EMP was discovered as a side effect of the Starfish Prime nuclear test on July 9, 1962.  All it took was a 1.5 Megaton bomb that blew up street lights and tv sets in Hawaii 1,000 miles away, even destroying a number of satellites including the Telstar I.

The findings of the EMP commission report of 2008 clearly shows we are indeed vulnerable to an EMP attack.  If something similar happened today with all the high tech equipment that maintains and runs even our most basic of services the world would come to a screeching halt.  Our power grid is seriously in need of upgrade and even our vehicles today have susceptible computers that keep them running.  Power, internet, phones all would disappear.  Your water would cease to flow and even the trucks that bring food to your local stores might cease to run.

Join me as we discuss EMP issues and find out how you can win a copy of Ted Koppel’s book titled Lights Out that is an excellent example of what might happen in this country if the power grid was to fail.
Up Next Week: Protecting your preps
Surviving Dystopia Get The Book HERE!

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The post EMP… Lights Out! appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Best Binoculars For Survival Purposes

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Owning a pair of binoculars for survival in a TEOTWAWKI scenario is not only meant to make every day life easier for you, but it could also save your life. Most binoculars are very precise and will let you spot from afar all sorts of dangers that might be coming your way, leaving you with enough time to react. It could also be used for hunting (spotting wild game), guarding your property or simply scouting new territory. So no matter the scenario, binoculars would be always welcome. A good pair of binoculars (and a bit more expensive one) will work fine even in low light or moon light. There are plenty of companies on the market that have specialized in making quality products and are well-known for it, like Olympus, Pentax, Steiner, Brunton, Carson, Zeiss, Leica, Nikon and more. There are plenty of counterfeit products (coming mostly from China) that cost far less but are worth less than the plastic they’re made up from, so stay away from such devices.

To fully understand the importance of such a device we must comprehend what it is and how it works. There various types of binoculars for survival on the market and they come in a great variation of shape and size, but in principle they are all the same:  they’re comprised of two telescopes that are linked together by an adjustable mechanism. The most important factor you have to consider when buying your own binoculars is a sequence similar to, for example, 9×35. These numbers are giving you a lot of information on the capacity of the product, as the number before X (9 in this case) is the magnification factor. A 9X binoculars means that the image will appear to be 9 times closer than it actually is. The number following X (35 in our case) is a specification of the front lens, which is responsible for the light intake capacity. The greater the light intake capacity, the clearer the image is going to be.  So the bigger the number following X is, the more suited the binocular will be for lower light conditions. The RBI (the relative brightness index) is responsible for image brightness. It’s determined by a simple mathematical equation. First we need to figure out the exit pupil in our case, for the 9X35 mode we used as an example. The exit pupil is 35 / 9 = 4 (roughly). The RBI is the square of the exit pupil: 4 x 4 = 16. It’s commonly known that the best binoculars for low lighting conditions are those that hold an RBI bigger than 25, so our example wouldn’t do so well outside proper lighting conditions.

Lens coatings are responsible for light transmission; they’re purposes is to prevent hazardous light reflection and to deliver a clear and focused image. There’s single coating, or a single layer of antireflective coating (Coated), the whole lens to lens surface is coated (Fully Coated), some surfaces have multiple layers of coating (Multi-Coated) and last but not least, all surfaces are covered in multiple antireflective coating layers (Fully Multi-Coated).  Now that we covered the basics, let’s see some of the best binoculars for survival scenario.

 

The Olympus Outback 10×21 RC 1

This particular model by Olympus is one of the best binoculars you can find if you consider the quality / price ratio. It’s only about $125, and it’s not much if you consider its capabilities. Its field performance is simply outstanding, as it can produce superior imagines to those of binoculars that are twice as big or pricy. It has great sharpness and definition thanks to its high quality roof prism, which is made out of a very high quality optical glass. But like most 10x devices, it requires a steady hand for maximum efficiency, because it also magnifies movement. If you’re interested in buying or finding out more, you can click here.

The Carson Raven RV-826

The Raven RV-826 is real bargain and possibly the best deal for budget preppers. It’s an 8×26 binocular that despite its tiny size, (4.5 x 4.25 inches and 10oz) it delivers quite a clear and steady image. It’s perfect for hikers who simply want to observe their distant surrounding or for people that are out nature watching. It will allow a steady and focused image without making your presence known to the animals you’re watching. These tiny binoculars are really tough and resistant; they come with a waterproof housing that is just impenetrable. And as a bonus, you also get a microfiber cloth for lens cleaning. If the Raven RV-826 is the right tool for you, know that it’s no more expensive than $79 and that you can find it here.

The Brunton Eterna Compact 10×25

The Eterna Compact 10×25 by Brunto is worth mentioning because of its image clarity and focus despite its tiny frame. Despite its small carcass, it’s pretty heavy, weighing in at 1lb 1oz. The excessive weight seems to justify if you consider the toughnes of the Eterna Compact 10×25. It has neoprene lens covers that are easily removed (even if you’re wearing gloves), it has a padded neck strap and a very efficient and functional focusing dial. What sets it apart from regular, cheaper binoculars is the adjustable diopter setting for each eye that allows precision focusing for maximum clarity. It’s not a cheap device (it costs about $360), but it’s precise, well built and durable. Those that are interested, click here.

There are many options, and the prices vary from tens to hundreds of dollars. What you ultimately buy is entirely up to you. Just know that for survival purposes you don’t need the latest and greatest, so you don’t have to necessarily spend a lot of money. You can find good binoculars even on a tight budget that, if need be, we’ll undoubtedly provide you with an advantage in a SHTF scenario.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

The post Best Binoculars For Survival Purposes appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Prep Blog Review: How Would You Survive An EMP?

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Prep blog reviewIt’s a question all of us preppers have asked ourselves many times. It might actually be the first question that triggered our need to start prepping now, rather than wait and see what happens in the aftermath.

With that in mind, we gathered 5 articles that will come in useful in any off-grid scenario, but especially after an EMP takes down our grid.

1. How To Live Without Electricity – Part II

Blackout“We are a generation that was born on innovation and in a short period of time we became addicted to all the electronic devices that are part of our daily lives.

The Internet, the cell phones and our personal computer are all devices that control us and we can’t function properly without them. All these devices rely on a common denominator – electricity. When the flow of electricity suddenly stops, our normal existence will stop as well and we will have to adapt to a new world, a world without electricity.”

Read more on Prepper’s Will.

2. A Sobering Taste Of Grid Down

“On Tuesday Nov. 17, a massive hurricane-force windstorm slammed the Inland Northwest, notably northeast Washington and the Idaho panhandle. Hundreds of trees came down. Thousands of branches littered streets and intersections. Roofs flew off or were smashed by falling trees. Three people died. Power poles – not just lines, but poles – snapped like matchwood. Electricity across the two largest cities in the area – Spokane and Coeur d’Alene – as well as most of the outlying region, was down for anywhere from a few hours to 10 days.

To compound the misery, temperatures dropped into the high teens at night and low 30s during the day. With so many people utterly dependent on electricity for heating, cooking, lighting, medical care, sanitation and every other facet of comfortable life, results ranged from wretched to tragic.”

Read more on WND.

3. Simple survival tips for using a map and compass

compass“After all, the sun was out, the day was nice, the trail is clear, the scenery beautiful and you stuck the map and compass in the pack somewhere. It was hard to get to, so you didn’t check it.

And, the point was to get out in the woods and relax, and who can unwind when you have to fool around with land navigation tasks? Besides, you’re well prepared, with survival knife, a survival kit, tarp  and…all that stuff.”

Read more on Survival Common Sense.

4. 7 Secrets for Burning Sticks in the Rain

Fire“Mother Nature is neutral. She does not care if you’re able to survive what she throws at you. That’s her nature… uncaring, unpredictable, wild and beautiful.

I love a rainy night. But, come on! When I started this article, it had rained 16 out of the last 17 days in Georgia. Figuratively and literally, we were soaked to the bone. Nothing outside was dry… tinder, kindling, and fuel were saturated… perfect weather for some survival training.

You can’t control Mother Nature, but you can learn skills to survive her storms. I recently wrote about three skills that forgive your shortcomings in Core Temperature Control. All three are important. But if you could only work on one of these skills, I would recommend fire craft.”

Read more on Survival Sherpa.

5. Abandoned Cars: Survival Salvage Ideas

EMP car“I have known an unusual collection of people who can’t always tell me where they have been or what they have done without them saying, “If I tell ya, I’ll have to kill ya.” My standard line is if you have to even break one of my finger nails it’s too much information.

Most of us have read about EMP and or Grid Down situations which could leave many people not where they want to be when the lights go out.”

Read more on The Prepper Journal.

newEMP_2

This article has been written by Brenda E. Walsh for Survivopedia.

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33 Items An EMP or CME Will Not Affect

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By: Tom Chatham The threat of a massive CME or human initiated EMP that takes down most of the electrical devices we depend on has become more of a threat to modern survival than ever before. Modern man has become so dependant on technology that the loss of it can have sudden and catastrophic consequences […]

105 Ways Your Life Will Change After TEOTWAWKI

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Preppers talk a lot about the end of the world as we know it, but what does that actually mean? Movies and TV shows almost never provide a realistic view of life after a worldwide disaster (for example, all the mowed lawns in The Walking Dead). To adequately […]

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White House Now Preparing For Apocalyptic EMP Blast That Could End Human Civilization

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EMP blast

By L.J. Devon – Natural News

(NaturalNews) Space weather scientists are shouting out and warning the world like never before. Earth has never been this susceptible to an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that could blast from the heavens above and end human civilization as we know it. The apocalyptic news even has the White House prepping. The federal government of the United States recently announced preparations to protect against a possible EMP blast.

The repercussions of the devastating solar flares would be catastrophic, taking out energy grids for months, rendering cell phones, electronic payment, and internet communication useless. The fragile $2.6 trillion economy would dissolve and everything would go dark as the desperate, unprepared masses fall into a panic.

As GPS systems shut down, people will be clueless about their location, looking around dumbfounded and afraid. GPS-dependent oil drilling would come to a halt. Train networks would stop transport. As high frequency radio communication went out, aviation would become null and void.

Continue reading at Natural News: White House now preparing for apocalyptic EMP blast that could end human civilization

Filed under: Disaster Scenerios, Prepping

The Best Survival Flashlights That Money Can Buy

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A very important piece in serious prepper’s survival kit is the flashlight. No one should go without one. If SHTF at some point or another, any old flashlight will do if survival flashlight is not in reach, but nothing can compete with a professional, state of the art lightning gadget that’s been designed specifically for such occasions. These survival flashlights are superior to a normal flashlight in both battery life and durability. Most of them come with new and improved LED lighting systems and extremely powerful batteries (rechargeable batteries) that will outlast regular flashlights; there’s is hardly any competition there. Because they’re meant for usage in extreme situations, they are built to be extremely tough and robust: they’ll withstand shocks, they’re waterproof and (most of them are) and will deteriorate slowly (if at all) even in extreme climates. And the term “survival” applies in more ways than you can imagine; because they’re so sturdy and tough, made up from strong alloys, they can be used as a self defense clubs in case you’ll be forced to protect yourself.

One hit over the head and, ironically, it’s lights out! There’s great variety on the market in the survival flashlight department; products vary in shape, sizes, type of battery (primary or rechargeable), lightning filters and sequences etc. I’m about to show you some of those that I actually got to use and could be an asset to anybody in distress.

 

Olight M22 Warrior

This particular flashlight is still, in my opinion, the best option out there for those who are on a tight budget. It’s the best if you consider the price / quality ratio, considering you can buy it for about $50. It’s 5.7 inches long (1.6 in diameter) and it weighs 5.15oz. The M22 Warrior‘s body is made up from a very durable aluminum which is also used in aircraft manufacture. It used the latest and greatest in LED technology (Cree XM-L2 LED), which can put out about 950 lumens; this is more than enough to give you visibility coverage of about 1000 feet. It has a adjustable brightness level that works on 3 settings and a strobe mode for signaling your position or disorienting attackers. The mode selection and strobe can be turned on / off through a selector unit built into the head of the flashlight. There’s another switch located at the opposite side which controls brightness, but also the auto strobe mode, for quick access. The power source is optional:  you can use 2x CR123A batteries units or 1x 18650 battery. At the lowest setting (20 lumens) you get 30 hours of battery time and 1 hour at its highest setting (950 lumens).

 

SureFire E2D Defender

The SureFire E2D Defender is probably the best self-defense oriented flashlight that I got my hands on. If it’s a white weapon you want that can also light the way from time to time, look no further. It has a crenellated front bezel and tail, all to make it more menacing at to give more angles and edges that can be used in a combat situation. It’s probably the toughest survival flashlight on the market and will take quite a bit of striking force to actually break it; you most probably won’t. If you hit hard and precisely enough, it will stop any attacker in its tracks, be it man or animal. We got the self-defense part covered and we can all agree the SureFire E2D Defender is force to be reckoned with. If you expect it to be less efficient as a flashlight than it is as a weapon, you’d be wrong because it’s actually pretty good. It has a 2 settings mode: the full power mode will have it working at 200 lumens and will deplete the battery in about 2 hours. The ultra power-saving mode will get it down to 5 lumens, but it will keep battery life for up to 76 hours. It measure 5.4 inches in length and it weighs about 3.7oz.

 

Fenix HL22

This is a very good choice for those who are looking for a large yet lightweight flashlight, that’s easy to use and carry around. It’s 2.5 inches long, 1.6 inches in diameter and despite its size, it weighs about 1.6oz without battery. It has 3 adjustable brightness settings and it also has an SOS lightning mode, which is perfect for signaling for help. At its highest setting of 120 lumens it will deplete the battery in about an hour and a half. But if you let it run on power saving mode, its setting of 3 lumens will keep the battery lasting for about 55 hours. And all this can be achieved with a simple AA battery. The power saving mode of 3 lumens is not bright enough for visibility over long distances; you’ll only be able to walk without tripping over anything in the dark.

Choosing your personal flashlight is no easy thing and you should do it by the book. Consider the possibilities, scout the market thoroughly and make the right decision. Of course you can have more than one, just to play it safe. When comes to survival flashlights, the prices may vary from $15 to even $400.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

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