Walking on Sunshine: Natural Health!

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Walking on Sunshine: Natural Health!

Walking on Sunshine: Natural Health!
Lynna “A Preppers Path ” Audio player below!

Hey all you preppers out there the sun is shining at least up here in the wilds of the north. Temperatures are climbing and the golden rays of sunshine are flooding the landscape. A perfect time to get outside and enjoy. It’s easy enough to fill a page with all the positives of sunshine. However, are you aware how important the sun is for our bodies.

Continue reading Walking on Sunshine: Natural Health! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

10 things you should know about the sun to survive!

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10 things you should know about the sun to survive!

10 things you should know about the sun to survive!

For an average Earthman, the Sun is the source of life. But if you find yourself stuck in the desert, you will soon start thinking the opposite. Although it takes light from the Sun 8 minutes to reach our planet, it is still powerful enough to cause some serious health issues.According to professional travel guides at Aussie Writings, you have to be extremely careful before you go for the real desert adventure.

Continue reading 10 things you should know about the sun to survive! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Getting Started With Solar Cooking

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How long can you go without craving a hot, homemade meal, if you have been eating only cold rations and snacks?  If you’ve ever been without power for more than just a couple of days, eating cold ravioli or tuna out of the can gets really old, really fast. Most survival minded people realize, better than most, that it doesn’t take much to disrupt the flow of electricity we depend on for cooking. A natural disaster or freak weather event can turn the most modern home into a survivalist camp within a few hours. Electricity can also be interrupted by man-made crises, such as civil unrest, terrorism, or an EMP, making that hot meal a rare treat.

A popular slogan among survivalists and preppers is, “Always have a back-up to your back-up.”  When it comes to cooking, what is your back-up to your back-up? Do you have more than one way of cooking a hot meal when the power is down?

Getting Started With Solar Cooking via The Survival Mom

One simple addition to your emergency preparedness is a solar oven. It’s a great way to get started cooking off the grid, and is something everyone, not just preppers, should have on hand.

As long as the sun is shining and the sky is relatively clear, a solar oven can serve up a delicious pot of rice and beans and brownies for dessert without requiring any fuel. In fact, its dependence on the sun as its only source of fuel, is the reason every home should have a solar cooker. Solar cooking is an unbeatable back-up for making sure there’s a hot meal on the table three times a day. It’s also a sure-fire way to have hot water on hand for sanitation purposes and to purify water.

There Is Something New Under The Sun

Solar cooking and using the sun to preserve food has been around for hundreds of years, but only in modern times has the use of solar cookers become widespread both in the survival community and among communities around the world with unreliable electrical power. Its advantages are obvious.


9 Reasons why your home should have a solar cooker
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  • There is no need to store additional fuel.
  • Sunshine is free, unlike propane, butane, gas, and other fuels.
  • It’s possible to store several months’ worth of food, but storing all the fuel you might need isn’t as easy.
  • Once paid for, or built, if you’re the DIY type, there are no other expenses involved and maintenance is simple.
  • There are no dangerous fumes or safety issues to worry about.
  • A solar cooker can be used for every type of cooking, except frying.
  • Food never burns in a solar cooker.
  • During hot, summer months, the use of a solar cooker helps keep the kitchen, and the cook cool.
  • Over time and with frequent use, the use of a solar oven will save money on the electric bill.

A Solar Cooker For Every Home

A solar cooker is a must-have as a back-up method for cooking food. It is the single most self-reliant way to cook food and heat water, and has the additional advantage of being a DIY project if there’s a handyman (or woman) in the family.

Commercially produced solar cookers, such as the All-American Sun Oven, are perfect for the prepper who is too busy for even one more DIY project. The Solavore is another reliable brand that has been reviewed here. Depending on the brand you choose, these stoves have consistent quality construction, are designed to reach temperatures for the quickest possible cooking results, and have features for enhanced usability, such as interior thermometers, large reflecting panels (optional on the Solavore), and a weather resistant design.

However, some of these ovens carry a price tag of $300 or more and can be large and bulky. In a Get-Out-Of-Dodge scenario, there might not be room for my Sun Oven in the back of our Tahoe, and if I ever had to cook for more than my family of four, it might be too small. That’s one of the limitations of a store-bought solar cooker. You’re stuck with a standard size that may be too small, and your budget may not allow for a second cooker.

On the other hand, a DIY solar cooker can be customized to your specific needs. One friend used a large ice chest on wheels for her solar oven. She could wheel it to any location in the backyard and she chose a size that could accommodate as many as four baking dishes. Another ingenious DIY plan that can be found on the internet uses a 5 gallon bucket and a reflective sunshade. Total cost?  Not much more than ten bucks, if that. The advantage of many DIY solar cookers is that they can be dismantled for convenient transport, and all of them require materials that are already in most garages. Plans for homemade solar cookers can be found on dozens of websites and demonstration videos abound on YouTube.

The DIY solar cooker comes with a few disadvantages. If the design doesn’t maximize the amount of sunlight available, you may end up with nothing more than a hot silver box sitting out in your yard. I recommend testing and tweaking any DIY design until it consistently reaches 350 degrees or more. Reliable temperatures will help you plan mealtimes and insure that foods reach temperatures that will deter any bacterial growth. Another issue with the DIY cooker is its durability. If a slight breeze knocks over your cooker and pot of beans, you’ll know you need to fine-tune the design for added stability.

Getting Started With Solar Cooking

Regardless of which solar cooker you settle on, some foods are easiest for getting started.  Be sure to keep a log of foods you cook, time of day you begin cooking, and the length of cooking time required. This log will be a huge help to you as you branch out and begin cooking a wider variety of foods.

  • Hard boiled eggs. Place eggs on a dark colored towel or inside a dark pot inside your cooker.  After 20 minutes, check one egg for doneness. Solar cooked hard boiled eggs will be softer than those cooked in a pot of boiling water.
  • Rice is either cooked or it’s not. It’s probably the easiest food to experiment with when you’re new to solar cooking. Combine rice and water in a covered pot. Check for doneness after 25 minutes. A package of Rice-a-Roni works just as well for your experimentation.
  • Yes, brownies! Mix up a batch of your favorite store-bought or homemade recipe, pour it into a dark, greased pan and place it in your solar cooker. Use the baking times recommended by your recipe, test for doneness, and leave in for additional minutes if required. I’ve found that solar-baked brownies are usually finished in the same amount of time as oven-baked.
  • Heat water in your solar cooker to pasteurize it. Check the temperature of water after 30 minutes. At 149 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius), all germs, viruses, and parasites are killed. This information, along with your solar cooker, could be one more way to insure safe drinking water in an emergency and provide sterilized water for medical and first aid purposes.

Like any new skill, the only way to learn how to cook with a solar oven is to just do it. For most dishes, allow at least an extra 30 minutes to your cooking time.

Top Ten Tips For Solar Cooking

  1. Solar cooking isn’t an exact science. It requires a bit of trial and at least a few errors to determine the correct cooking time for any food.
  2. Always use dark pots and pans with any solar cooker. These basic and inexpensive Granite Ware pots work very well. If you must use a light colored or shiny baking dish, cover it with a dark colored hand towel.
  3. Thin metal baking dishes work best in a solar cooker. They will heat up more quickly and lessen the amount of cooking time needed. Again, Granite Ware is a good example of these.
  4. A thermometer is a must-have for a solar cooker.
  5. Allow your solar cooker to pre-heat for 15-20 minutes. Pre-heating will shorten the cooking time a bit.  Just be aware that the interior of your cooker will be hot, so be sure to use pot-holders.
  6. Always use a baking dish with a lid for all your solar cooking. The lid retains important heat and moisture. There’s no need for a lid if you’re baking. Pies, brownies, cookies, cakes, and bread won’t require a lid.
  7. If you’re cooking meat, make sure the interior of the oven reaches at least 180 degrees. Again, a thermometer is a must to insure food safety and predictable cooking times. This thermometer is small and inexpensive.
  8. Use the ‘slow-cooker’ method when you’ll be gone all day. Place the solar oven so that it faces directly south. Pop in your baking dish, close the lid, and by dinner time, you’ll have a hot, delicious meal waiting for you.
  9. Moisture will likely collect inside the cooker during the cooking process. Wipe the inside dry before storing it.
  10. Turn your solar cooker into a food dehydrator by propping open the oven door by a half inch or so. This allows moisture to escape while the interior of the cooker retains heat.

If you’re new to solar cooking, prepare to be amazed.  There’s nothing quite like placing a baking dish in a box out in the sun and coming back later to a fully cooked and delicious meal.  A prolonged power outage doesn’t mean the end to hot, nutritious meals when you have a solar cooker as a back-up.

 

Getting Started With Solar Cooking via The Survival Mom

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Are You Prepped For A Kill Shot?

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This Could Have Been Bad – Solar Kill Shot

I sent this Solar Flare information out to email subscribers Monday morning. If you are interested in receiving future email from Prepper Website, you can register here.

I noticed a curious title on Suspicious Observers latest video and took a few minutes to watch it.

Ben mentioned that the Sun let off an X class solar flare that was “Titanic” and if it was pointed towards Earth, would have been a kill shot.  He said, “it would have had me sending you to the store for supplies if it had come this way.” 

 

It had me thinking about how I would respond if the solar flare would have been pointed our way.  What would you do?

For more see – Prepper Lessons From The Movies: “Where Have All The People Gone?” 1974

 

Not Doom Porn

 

The thing with Ben and Suspicious Observers is that he is not a doom porn seller.  He is not sensational.  In fact, when I see articles and reports about big space weather or natural disasters, I usually head over to his Youtube channel.  Like recently when people were worried about all the earthquakes around Yellowstone.  Instead of panicking, I headed over to his channel because I knew he would tell it like it is.

Suspicious Observers does have an APP that I highly recommend.  The Disaster Prediction APP (for Android, for iOS), sends out alerts.  So if the big one comes, you’ll know ahead of time!  It is only $2.99.  You should buy it! Below is a video on how to use the APP.

 

 

I’ve also shared out alerts from SO on the Prepper Website Facebook Group.  If you’re not a member, request to join.  I hope to keep it a “cordial” place where we can talk about preparedness and self-reliance and learn from each other.

It’s not in the scope of this article to get you prepped for a solar flare.  All preparedness should begin with a plan.  If you don’t have one, start with a book that lays it out for you.  One book that is HUGE and covers many of the topics you need to consider is the Prepper’s Blueprint by Tess Pennington. If you haven’t looked into that one, I recommend you do

 

For more see – Blackout: Cripple a Nation!

For those of you interested in Biblical Prophecy, keep reading…

If not, have a great week! Stay Prepped and Aware!
Peace,
Todd

 

Since We’re Talking About TEOTWAKI Stuff!

 

Many of you know that I am a Christian and a pastor.  It has been said that prophecy makes up anywhere from 21 – 27% of the Bible.  It is a significant amount and something we should pay attention to.

One thing that I try to stay aware of is what is happening in the Middle East, especially Israel.  Many people don’t know that riots have been going on there.  I’ve only seen it on Twitter. One of my church members said he has also heard it on NPR.  But what is going on there is lacking coverage from the mainstream media, of course!

 

One person I know who is always going to talk about Israel is John Haller.  His weekly Prophecy Updates discuss a lot of stuff that is currently relevant.  I used to always link to his videos on Prepper Church, but I was just getting too busy to try to maintain all of it.  But I do listen to his updates every week.  This week, he discusses Jerusalem and what is going on in greater detail.  I think it is significant enough to link here. 

 

 

Ironically enough, in the first 2 minutes, he discusses an article in WIRED magazine that discusses the risk of Cyberwar and our electrical grid going down.  I tracked down the article, because I usually don’t read WIRED, and linked it here for you.

The world is crazy!  I don’t understand people who don’t see the need to prep, now more so than ever.  

Have a great week!

Stay Prepped and Aware!
Peace,
Todd

 

 

Cooking with the Sun and the 12th Planet

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Cooking with the Sun and the 12th Planet Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! On this episode episode in player below Forrest and Kyle welcome Paul Munsen, President of Sun Ovens, to the show. For the past 28 years SUN OVENS has been proudly made in the U.S. They believe in free … Continue reading Cooking with the Sun and the 12th Planet

The post Cooking with the Sun and the 12th Planet appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

1 In 8 Chance Of A Grid-Crippling Solar Storm In The Next Decade?

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1 In 8 Chance Of A Grid-Crippling Solar Storm In The Next Decade?

Image source: NASA

Jan. 5, 2017

January offers us a time for reflection and prediction. For centuries, people looked to the stars for signs of what is to come, and winter offers many opportunities for stargazing.

As we begin a new year, perhaps it is wise to consider not only the beauty of the sky but also the destructive power it holds.

Astronomers pay particularly close attention to solar flares, which are sudden, intense and rapid variations in the sun’s brightness. These fairly common occurrences happen when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere suddenly releases.

A solar flare contains high-energy photons and particles that are equivalent to millions of 100-megaton hydrogen bombs exploding at once. While regular solar flares are not a danger to Earth, extreme events, or solar storms, could be catastrophic to our way of life.

Are You Prepared For A Long-Term Blackout? Get Backup Electricity Today!

In fact, according to a study published in the journal Space Weather in 2012, there is a 12 percent chance (or, one in eight chance) that Earth will experience a catastrophic solar event within the next decade. This “megaflare” could disrupt or destroy modern technology, causing trillions of dollars’ worth of damage from which it could take many years to recover.

Space physicist Pete Riley made the prediction in the study by examining historical data and then making comparisons between the sizes and occurrences of solar flares.

Scientists have discovered that the sun goes through 11-year cycles of activity. During the solar maximum phase, the sun is covered with sunspots, and huge magnetic whirlwinds frequently erupt from its surface. Although it is rare, sometimes these flares burst away from the sun, sending massive amounts of charged particles into space.

1 In 8 Chance Of A Grid-Crippling Solar Storm In The Next Decade?

Image source: Wikipedia

The last recorded megaflare occurred in September 1859. Known as the Carrington Event, this enormous solar flare is named for astronomer Richard Carrington, who recorded his observations of the huge solar storm.

Carrington observed an enormous flare erupt from the sun’s surface that sent a particle stream toward Earth at a rate that exceeded 4 million miles per hour. These highly charged particles created breathtaking lights, or auroras, that were visible as far south as the Caribbean.

The New York Times in 1859 reported that New Yorkers gathered to watch “the heavens … arrayed in a drapery more gorgeous than they have been for years.”

Although the lights were indeed beautiful, the Carrington Event caused all kinds of disruption to 19th century communication systems. Telegraph stations caught on fire, and communication outages occurred on a scale never seen before.

In 1989, a geomagnetic storm – not as powerful as the Carrington Event — caused Canada’s Hydro-Quebec power grid to fail, leaving millions of people without power for up to nine hours. A similar storm today would have much more technology to disrupt, and the results would be catastrophic.

Be Prepared: Get The Ultimate In Portable Backup Power!

A megastorm on the scale of the Carrington Event could damage or destroy electrical power grids, disrupt GPS satellites and put a stop to Internet and radio communication.

According to a 2008 report from the National Research Council (NRC), a Carrington-like event could cost up to $2 trillion of damage within a year, and full recovery could take up to a decade.

The NRC report stated that, in addition to communication disruption, the event would adversely affect all aspects of modern life, including transportation, financial systems, government services. In turn, the distribution of water, food and medications would be halted.

In the conclusion of his 2012 report, Riley maintained that it is his hope that his prediction would be useful in building an “infrastructure that can withstand such an event.”

“Since the event occurred only 150 years ago, it is a constant reminder that a similar event could reoccur any day,” Riley wrote.

As we begin a New Year, it would be well if we took his advice.

Do you believe America is prepared for a Carrington-type event? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Are You Prepared For Extended Blackouts? Read More Here.

BREAKING: G2-Level Solar Storm Slamming Earth; ‘Transformer Damage’ Possible, NOAA Says

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BREAKING: G2-Level Solar Storm Slamming Earth; ‘Transformer Damage’ Possible, NOAA Says

Image source: NASA

BOULDER, Colorado – A moderate to strong geomagnetic solar storm began slamming Earth Tuesday and could last another couple of days, with transformer damage and power grid fluctuations possible, according to NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

The storm is a G2 “moderate” storm on NOAA’s 5-level space weather scale, although NOAA warned that periods of G3 “strong” activity could occur.

According to the scale, a G2 storm can cause “weak power grid fluctuations” and if it lasts long enough, “transformer damage.” Additionally, “high-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms.” A G3 storm can mean that “voltage corrections may be required,” with “false alarms triggered on some protection devices.”

In 1859, a geomagnetic storm that would now be categorized as a G5 hit earth, taking out telegraph systems, which were the most advanced technology of the time. NOAA’s space weather scale says a G5 – if it hit Earth – could lead to the “complete collapse” of the power grid.

Are You Prepared For A Downed Grid? Get Backup Electricity Today!

Under the current storm, auroras may be seen as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington state.

In July 2012, an 1859-type solar storm known as a coronal mass ejection nearly hit Earth.

“Analysts believe that a direct hit by an extreme CME such as the one that missed Earth in July 2012 could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket,” a NASA news report read. “Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps.”

Additionally, “the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina. Multi-ton transformers damaged by such a storm might take years to repair.”

Said Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado, “In my view the July 2012 storm was in all respects at least as strong as the 1859 Carrington event. The only difference is, it missed.”

Do you think America’s power grid is ready for an 1859-type event? Share your thoughts in the section below: 

Are You Prepared For Extended Blackouts? Read More Here.

If A Solar Storm Strikes The Power Grid, THESE STATES Are Where You Might Be Safe

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If A Solar Storm Take Out The Power Grid, THESE STATES Are Where You Want To Live

Image source: NASA

 

Many homesteaders have heard of the Carrington Event of 1859.

This massive solar storm struck the very early wired telegraph grid, and was so intense that in some places, telegraph operators reported they could send messages even with their batteries disconnected. The event produced auroras that were seen close to the equator and illuminated the night sky so bright that Americans could read their newspapers on their porch.

This historical storm that pummeled the Earth was caused by a coronal mass ejection striking the magnetosphere, and remains to this day one of the largest electromagnetic storms on record.

Of course, in 1859, unless you were a telegraph operator getting zapped by poorly grounded or isolated instruments, or were dependent on a message getting through in a hurry, an electromagnetic storm wasn’t a big deal. In fact, it was more of a cultural novelty, as people who had never seen the Northern Lights in the sky got to enjoy the amazing show caused by the disturbance in the upper atmosphere.

Are You Prepared For A Downed Grid? Get Backup Electricity Today!

But 2016 isn’t 1859, and the grid is far more complicated than it was during pre-Civil War days. Today, a solar storm the size of the Carrington Event could destroy transformers and other key parts of the power grid, knock out satellite communications, and take out ground-based communications. Radio and other wireless transmissions like cellphones could be disrupted, and transmitting facilities damaged. According to a 2013 study by insurer Lloyd’s of London, a Carrington-sized storm is “almost inevitable” in the future, simply because one occurs about every 150 years. The study found that:

  • Blackouts would last anywhere from 16 days to 1-2 years, depending on if spare parts for the grid are accessible. If “new transformers need to be ordered, the lead-time is likely to be a minimum of five months,” Lloyd’s found. This is because transformers are custom-made.
  • The highest-risk areas would be “along the Atlantic corridor between Washington D.C. and New York City.” Other high-risk regions include Midwest states, such as Michigan and Wisconsin, and the Gulf Coast.
  • The total economic loss would be as much as $2 trillion.
carrington-event-pic-map

Image source: Lloyd’s of London

Lloyd’s even created a map, showing the states where the storm would have the greatest impact and the least impact (see picture).

“Carrington-level geomagnetic storm simulations can be created using statistical models of past storms or simulations of the interaction between extreme solar wind conditions and the geomagnetic field,” the study found. “Simulated magnetic field time-series are then combined with the local ground conductivity structure to derive the surface electric fields.”

Crazy Survival Gadget Makes Every Window A Powerful Solar Charger

Without electricity, gas pumps don’t work and trucks cannot make deliveries. In other words, the nation’s supply line comes to a halt. Major banking centers are in some of the most vulnerable regions, and we can expect economic upheaval until things are normalized.

According to Lloyd’s, if you don’t live in an area most likely to be affected by such an event, you might be OK. Other experts, though, caution that a Carrington-type event would impact the entire country and spark a nationwide blackout, due to the interconnected nature of the grid.

If a major solar storm is about to strike and you live in an area that will be badly impacted, the first thing you should do is make sure you have as much cash on hand as possible. Credit cards and the like are mostly useless when the power goes out. Fuel and water may become scarce, as pumps cease to operate and temporary disruptions of supply occur. Without a Faraday cage, our own personal electronics may be damaged or destroyed, and it’s likely you will have no phone service. Skilled amateur radio operators may be able to communicate during a storm, and certainly will have the most functioning mode of communication after the fact, but as in any emergency a lot of their effort will be directed toward helping first responders and aid workers until communication starts returning.

If you are not already prepared to live off the gird with food, water, your own radio gear, maybe a small Faraday cage, and cash or gold and silver on hand, then now is the time to start. Short of a massive overhaul of the most vulnerable parts of the grid, odds are that the next Carrington-level event will cause massive disruptions that will ripple through the entire globe. Not only do you need to start preparing now, but you need to have a plan to withdraw to a safer area in case of civil unrest. Many major Eastern population centers are already high crime areas and often have tough gun control laws that effectively disarm the law-abiding population. The 1-2 year recovery for full grid capacity that is predicted in some areas could turn into a 1-2 year-long crime spree as tensions rise and the will to riot increases in the face of limited services.

We no longer live in the barely wired world of 1859. Life was hard back then, but a disruption of the telegraph system for a few days hardly mattered. Today, the same event will drive us back to the 1800s, and most Americans simply cannot handle that. Can you?

What is your reaction? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Are You Prepared For A Downed Grid? Read More Here.

Let’s Cook with the Sun!

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Let’s Cook with the Sun! Highlander “Survival and Tech Preps” This show I will be discussing solar ovens and the uses. How can you build one yourself? And a few pre-made ones you can buy. What are the advantages and drawbacks to such a device? The need for food is unquestionable. When we do not have … Continue reading Let’s Cook with the Sun!

The post Let’s Cook with the Sun! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

The Day Civilization Nearly Ended

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DHS Not Prepared For A Power Grid Attack?

Image source: Pixabay.com

Four years ago this summer, the sun experienced a solar storm so severe that it nearly wiped out the entire power grid for not only the United States but the entire world.

In fact, the only thing that saved Earth was a stroke of fortune: The storm, known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), missed our plant by a mere seven days. If it had hit Earth – as one did in 1859 – the entire power grid would have been taken down for months, and our day-to-day lives would have been plunged back into the 1800s. As NASA itself acknowledged, the storm would have disabled everything that plugs into a wall outlet.

A new government report says that America is overdue to be hit by a storm, and that’s the topic of this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio. Our guest is Peter Vincent Pry, one of the nation’s foremost experts on threats to the power grid who tells us what we need to know about a massive solar storm that could hit Earth any day.

Pry tells us:
ν How a solar storm that took out Quebec’s grid in 1989 was only a fraction as strong as the 2012 or 1859 storms.
ν Why a solar storm would impact the power grid so dramatically that – unlike what happens during an ice storm – it would not be easily repaired.
ν What life without electricity or gasoline would look like, and whether the U.S. government is prepared for such a civilization-changing event.

In this second of a two-part interview, Pry also shares with us details about how Americans can prepare for a downed-grid – and what they should do to pressure their state and local legislators to do the same.

Don’t miss this week’s show if you care about the future of your family and nation!

A Solar Flare Blasted Earth Sunday And Took Out Radio Signals — And It Wasn’t Even A Big One

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The April 17 solar flare, as seen in the bright light. Image source: NASA

The April 17 solar flare, as seen in the bright light. Image source: NASA

The sun provided another reminder of its intense power and great threat to the modern world this week when a massive solar flare launched from the sun and briefly caused a disruption in shortwave radio signals that are used by airplanes and government weather stations.

Incredibly, the flare came from an area of the sun where a sunspot five times the size of the Earth resides.

The April 17 solar flare was classified by NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center as an M6.7 flare, meaning it was a medium-sized flare and not as large as a larger X-class flare, which often occur during major solar storms that could cause long-term blackouts and potentially take out the power grid.

“M-class flares are a tenth the size of the most intense flares, the X-class flares,” a NASA press release stated. “The number provides more information about its strength. An M2 is twice as intense as an M1, an M3 is three times as intense, etc.”

Get Free Backup Electricity — That Works Even During Blackouts!

The sunspot was visible from Earth without magnification at the time but has since rotated away from our planet.

X-class flares almost always take place at the same time as what’s called coronal mass ejections (CME), which can do major damage to technology on Earth. In July 2012, a CME large enough to take out the power grid crossed Earth’s orbit but missed the plant by about a week. X-class flares also were emitted during that time.

“Analysts believe that a direct hit by an extreme CME such as the one that missed Earth in July 2012 could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket,” a NASA news report in July 2012 read. “Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps.”

In 1859, an extreme CME did hit earth, leading to Northern Lights in Hawaii and the Caribbean, and causing major damage to the most sophisticated technology of the day, the telegraph. Some telegraph offices even caught fire. The storm was dubbed the “Carrington Event,” so named for the scientist who observed it.

“A similar storm today could have a catastrophic effect,” the NASA report said. “According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina. Multi-ton transformers damaged by such a storm might take years to repair.”

Said Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado, “In my view the July 2012 storm was in all respects at least as strong as the 1859 Carrington event. The only difference is, it missed.”

Read more about the Carrington event here

Do you think America is prepared for a major solar storm and power outage? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Are You Prepared For A Downed Grid? Read More Here.

Survival Navigation Using Only The Sun, Moon And Stars

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Survival Navigation Using Only The Sun, Moon And Stars

Image source: Pixabay.com

General navigation using the sun, moon and stars is actually a pretty simple process provided that you understand some basic principles.

Such as the fact that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and thus, if you are in the northern hemisphere, the sun is located due south at noon while, if you are in the southern hemisphere, it’s due north of you at noon.

Also, by noting where the sun rises on your horizon and which direction it is traveling, you can determine the cardinal directions of north, south, east and west. Therefore, because the moon and the constellations also follow approximately the same path, you can use them for the same purpose when navigating at night. But, because Earth’s terrain often forces you to travel a less-than-direct path and, because our celestial bodies continue to move across the sky during the course of the day and night, using them to navigate can be a little tricky. However, there are a few techniques that can make doing so significantly easier.

For instance, when using the sun as a navigational aid to keep yourself on course, you should note the position of your shadow because if you are in the northern hemisphere traveling parallel to the sun’s path, you shadow will always be on your right if you are traveling west and, if you are traveling east, the opposite will be true. However, you should also note that the position of your shadow will change slightly as the position of the sun changes and thus, if you are traveling west, it will be in front of you in the morning and behind you in the afternoon and the opposite will be true if you are traveling east.

This Tiny Device Can Start A Fire Even In The Worst Conditions

Also, provided that you are in the northern hemisphere traveling perpendicular to the sun’s path, if you are traveling north, your shadow will always be in front of you and, if you are traveling south, it will always be behind you. In addition, if you are traveling north or south, your shadow will be longer in the morning and afternoon hours than it is at high noon because the sun’s position is higher in the sky at noon. Therefore, the length of your shadow can also be used as primitive method of keeping track of the time.

Survival Navigation Using Only The Sun, Moon And Stars

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Fortunately for us, the moon also follows approximately the same path as the sun and therefore, we can also use the moonrise and moonset to determine the cardinal directions. However, most nights the moon does not reflect enough light from the sun to provide us with a distinct shadow.

But, even though we may or may not have a reliable shadow by moonlight, the moon still serves as a reliable navigational aid by first enabling us to determine in which direction lies north, south, east and west and then by providing us the same guidance as the sun by remaining on our right or left sides when traveling east or west (depending on which hemisphere you are in) and by remaining either in front of us or behind us when traveling north or south (again, depending on which hemisphere you are in).

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Last, even on nights when there is no moon visible, we can still use the constellations of the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper to find true north because the northern axis of the Earth just happens to point to one of the brightest star in our night skies which we call Polaris or, the North Star. (It’s the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor, also known as the Little Dipper.) Therefore, when you are facing the North Star, you are also facing true north.

So, in order to locate the North Star, first locate the Big Dipper in the northern sky and then locate the two stars that form the outer edge of the cup (the two stars located farthest from the handle). Next, draw an imaginary line straight through the two stars of the cup’s edge across the sky to the last star in the handle of the Little Dipper. Notice that that star is noticeably brighter than all of the other stars around it. You just successfully located the North Star. When you know that you are facing true north,

So, in order to locate the North Star, first locate the Big Dipper in the northern sky and then locate the two stars that form the outer edge of the cup (the two stars located farthest from the handle). Next, draw an imaginary line straight through the two stars of the cup’s edge across the sky to the last star in the handle of the Little Dipper. Notice that that star is noticeably brighter than all of the other stars around it. You just successfully located the North Star. When you know that you are facing true north, south will be located behind you, west will be on your left, and east will be on your right.

So, even though a far better solution is to carry a GPS device, celestial navigation is a viable method of determining a direction of travel – especially if your GPS is misplaced or its batteries drained.

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Can Solar Alone Get You Off The Grid?

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Can Solar Alone Get You Off The Grid?

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When you’re looking to go off grid, there are several options, but you’ll often begin by asking: Can solar alone get me off grid?

The answer to this question is “yes,” but keep reading if you want more details.

Using solar to go off grid is a fantastic way to go. You’ll need to keep the following in mind throughout the process:

1. Cloudy days are fine. Let’s first dispel the myth that you need every day to be sunny to go solar. Solar panels do, in fact, work in foggy or overcast days with ambient light and will produce significant power in those times as well. As a matter of fact, solar panels can work just as well in cool weather as in hot weather.

As an example: Solar panels in Sacramento, California, only produce one percent more electricity than do the exact same panels in San Francisco, California. Sacramento is known for its hot sunny days while San Francisco is known for its foggy, overcast, cooler climate.

2. Monitor your electricity usage. The average American home uses 911 KWHs of electricity each month1. Some states are higher and some lower. But, 911 is the average. Louisiana is the highest with 1,291 KWHs and Hawaii the lowest with 506 KWHs of electrical energy usage average per household.

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We all use more electricity than we need, so consider cutting back. But there are solar system calculators that you can use to ensure you’re getting enough power. Having a little more than you need is far better than not having enough.

3. Off-grid or grid-tied? Many don’t fully understand how grid-connect systems work. With a grid-connect system, you don’t have power storage batteries. You generate power, use what you need and deliver the rest to the grid.

You have no back-up batteries. If the power goes out for the grid, your power goes out, as well. At night when you’re not generating power, you are buying it from the grid. So, you’re selling it to them during the day, and buying it back at night.

If you’re going 100 percent off grid, then you’ll want to go with a battery storage system. This way, you are creating power all day and storing the excess for nighttime usage.

Should Solar Be My Only System?

You most certainly can use solar for your entire energy production and it will generally work out just fine.

If you’re confident that you have more than enough room to have a solar power system larger than your needs and have more than enough battery backup for extended times without generating power, then you should be good to go.

You may, however, wish to consider a second system that also provides as much power as you need. It doesn’t have to be a very costly system. But, putting all your eggs in one basket could be problematic at some point in the future.

Twenty years going 100 percent off-grid with solar would not have been possible. But with today’s advances in solar technologies, it’s not only viable, but it’s practical and wise as well.

1. http://www.eia.gov/electricity/sales_revenue_price/xls/table5_a.xls

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6 Natural Ways To Make An Unheated Greenhouse Warm

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6 Natural Ways To Make An Unheated Greenhouse Warm

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For most people, gardening is limited to the summer months, when the weather is warm. However, commercial growers don’t always depend on the weather being cooperative. While most farmers are limited by the weather as well, there are some who manage to grow their produce most of the year, if not all of the year.

Having extra growing seasons or even growing year-round has some distinct advantages. More than anything, it can ensure a year-round food supply, rather than having to depend on the food that one has canned in harvest time. It also evens out the workload, rather than working a huge garden in the summertime.

The key to this is a greenhouse. Greenhouses were invented by the ancient Roman Empire for the purpose of growing vegetables 2. Considering that Rome is at a higher latitude than Denver, if they were able to grow vegetables there during the winter, we should be able to do the same in most of the country.

Although professionally built greenhouses are very expensive, made with aluminum framework and glass windows, you can build a homemade greenhouse quite cheap. A quick search online shows countless examples of homemade greenhouses, mostly made out of PVC pipe or 1 inch x 4 inch dimensional construction lumber and visqueen plastic sheeting. Of the two, building out of PVC is the easiest, although PVC pipe will become brittle after a few years if you have a lot of sunlight.

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The key to using your greenhouse year-round is to maximize the heat produced inside it. Your goal has to be to keep the temperature inside the greenhouse above freezing. If you can keep it even warmer, that will be better for the plants. There are a number of things you can do to help accomplish this; not all of them need to be done, and you’ll need to pick a combination that works for your situation.

1. Use a double layer of plastic for the “windows”

Insulation helps, but most insulation blocks the light. So, instead of insulating the south and west sides of the greenhouse, use a double layer of plastic for the windows. That will double the R-value of the greenhouse. It may not seem like much, but it will help tremendously.

2. Use compost

The natural breakdown of organic material to make compost generates a lot of heat. Specifically, it is the bacteria that is breaking down the material which generate that heat. So, topping your garden beds with fresh compost before the cold weather hits will help to keep your plants, especially the critical roots, warm. Make sure that you add a good layer, two to three inches thick, as the bacteria like a warm environment. The thicker layer helps the bacteria create that warm environment.

3. Use black wood mulch for the walkways

6 Natural Ways To Make An Unheated Greenhouse Warm

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The space between your planting beds is prime real-estate for absorbing sunlight and converting it to heat. This can either be left as bare dirt or covered with black wood mulch. Whatever you do, make sure that it is black or at least dark colored, as dark colors absorb more sunlight. Black-colored cement would be even better, although it would add a lot of cost to your greenhouse.

4. Add heat-absorbing barrels

One of the best things you can do is to place black plastic barrels, filled with water, inside the greenhouse, where the sun can strike them. The sunlight entering the greenhouse will be absorbed by the black plastic and converted to heat, warming the water inside. That water will act as a thermal mass, holding the heat like a battery, until it is needed. Then, usually after the sun goes down, that heat can be radiated into the air.

You must be careful about the placement of these barrels, so that they do not block the sunlight from reaching any of your plants. Remember that the sun will be lower down on the horizon, so sunlight will be blocked easier. The best place to locate these barrels is along the north wall of your greenhouse. For that matter, you can make the north wall out of them and then cover them up with white fabric in the summertime, so that they don’t create extra heat in your greenhouse.

5. Insulate the north side

6 Natural Ways To Make An Unheated Greenhouse Warm

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The north side of your greenhouse isn’t going to generate any heat for you. That’s because we live in the northern hemisphere and the sun is always south of us. So, there’s really nothing to be gained by having the north wall be clear plastic, like the other walls and roof. You’re better off insulating it with Styrofoam sheets, helping to hold in the heat and blocking any wind.

6. Build your greenhouse partially underground

Probably the hardest, but one of the most effective strategies is to build the greenhouse partially underground. The deepest you’ll want to go is about 4 feet, with another four feet of roof sticking up above the ground. By building it underground, the earth around the greenhouse will act as an insulator from the cold outside air. The lowest that the ground temperature can reach is 32 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you have colder air in the winter, the ground will actually be warmer.

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This works extremely well if you can build your greenhouse into a south-facing hillside. The sun coming into the greenhouse can warm the earthen wall on the north side, just the same as it warms the ground. Between the two, it will produce more heat.

Add a heater, if you must

When all else fails and these ideas don’t keep your greenhouse warm enough, you might have to add a heater. This becomes more likely the farther north you go. A small space heater inside your greenhouse may be just enough to break the chill, especially at night. Don’t worry about producing too much carbon dioxide, as your plants will consume that, converting it to oxygen.

Finally, grow cold-weather plants. All plants are assigned a “growing zone” in which they grow best. These zones come from a map produced by the USDA and equate to the temperature encountered in those areas of the country. During the winter, pick out plants that grow best in the northern part of the country. This will be indicated by a lower growing zone on the seed packet.

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How To Ensure Your Livestock Survive The Winter

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How To Ensure Your Livestock Survive The Winter

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Winter usually means the end of the growing season, shorter daylight hours, and possibly bitter cold temperatures.

That means your livestock will need to be handled very differently. The preparation leading up to winter will determine how well your livestock come through the winter months.

Following are some tips to prepare your livestock and homestead for the cold months ahead.

First, make sure your animals are in the best condition possible going into the winter months. Nothing takes more of a toll on livestock than to enter into the winter in poor condition.

Fall is a time to rid your stock of internal and external parasites. That will help them gain and maintain their weight during a time when temperatures are lower and fresh green growth is not available. In cold climates, an enormous amount of calories are used simply to maintain body heat.

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The next area to look at is your shelter arrangements for the winter. The three winter rules are:

  • Keep them dry.
  • Keep them free of drafts and wind.
  • Provide housing large enough to accommodate all the stock.

Not providing enough space for your stock can mean injuries from crowding or more submissive animals being forced out in the cold.

Don’t confuse “free of drafts and wind” with ventilation. Any building structure needs to have adequate ventilation to keep air quality acceptable for the animals and avoid moisture problems.

Check buildings for loose or missing roofing, and repair any leaks. Keeping animals dry will go a long way toward keeping them healthy and comfortable.

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The best way to cut down on wind chill is to make certain barn openings are on the downwind side of the structure. Know your prevailing winds, and position openings to be the least affected by the wind.

Image source: theschoolofthetransferofenergy

Image source: theschoolofthetransferofenergy

A common mistake is not providing enough bedding material for animals in the winter. It makes no sense to spare bedding while simultaneously feeding more feeds to keep the stock warm and maintain condition. If they are young and growing, it’s even more important.

An easy way to provide solar heat to your livestock housing is by adding some clear panels to the roof. If you have metal roofing, this is accomplished by removing the screws holding on the metal and replacing it with clear sheets of roofing material. This will add extra light and heat during the day that your stock will enjoy.

The time to check water systems is before the temperatures drop below freezing. Make sure everything is in proper working order and insulate or add heat tape where needed.

Livestock need access to clean water at all times. If they are rushing to get a drink when you break the ice on your water troughs, it’s a sure sign that they aren’t getting enough to drink. Water is the body’s temperature regulation system. Dehydrated stock have a hard time maintaining body heat.

Cold or wet animals eat more feed, have lower immunity, and lose condition during winter months. This can be avoided by making certain they have dry, draft-free housing with plenty of room and bedding for everyone.

Winter can be a trying time for livestock, but following these guidelines will help with creature comfort, and you’ll sleep better at night as the cold winter wind blows outside knowing your livestock are dry and warm.

What advice would you add on keeping livestock warm during the winter? Share your advice in the section below:

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