Saturday, November 15, 2014

Two Articles From Selco... On Decision Making & When To Bug-Out

The Following Graciously Allowed By Selco, whose Blog you Really Ought To Read Regularly...

Lots of other great articles and info there, even a forum.  Selco freely shares his experiences and observations, lessons learned and insights.  Worth reading for sure...   Thanks for your permission to reprint this, Selco.   Link to rest of the article and others is below.


**********Decision Making in Survival Situations***********

We all usually keep forgetting that when SHTF things will be different in many ways.

We talk about lack of food, clean water, coffee, or simply lack of hygiene. And we say that people gonna die because of that and because of lots of violence. Based on my experience, all above is correct, but we also usually forget one simple fact: pressure!

Guy from my street worked before SHTF as a computer technician. Those years here were time when computers were started to be widely used in big companies. He was something like famous in that field, so he had good life, nice home, car, family and everything else.

When SHTF he just like great number of other folks was simply lost. While chaos was spreading through the city he stayed home watching through the window how people sporadically run across the street to avoid sniper fire and shelling.

He monitored how telephone lines went out, electricity and water too. Later he was trying to „catch“ some news over his radio that he used before for football (soccer) games broadcasts. His son later told us that they ate a lot of some old jam because they had eaten everything else.

And then one day he simply was forced to go out, they delayed that moment as much as they could, but when you watch your kid and wife go hungry it is very hard to just do nothing. You see those who are close to you slowly get worse and worse.

They found him some 300 meters from his house, some guys told him that they worked for government, and they are trying to restore peace.

They told him to show them his home and then shot him. When they came into his house first guy knock out the kid with rifle butt. Then they looked for gold. Then they played with wife. Anyway they kill her too, kid survived. I spoke with kid and we did not talk too much about details, it is rare people want to speak about any details from this time. Too much bad memories.

His story was not the only story like that in that time. Now you may think that they died because he was stupid, he was not prepared, he did not have weapon etc. All of that is correct actually.

But I like to think that they died because he made decisions under pressure, huge pressure. And it was wrong decision.

He waited for too long to choose correct moment to go out and find useful stuff like food, weapon or simply to connect with other folks.

And then one day situation caught him, and he was forced to make decision, to act under the pressure. As I said he was not only man who died that way, lots of other folks died in similar way.

Point is that we preppers and survivalist often forget that in survival situation we also have to make decisions under pressure. You might be great shooter, but are you ready to see loved ones suffering and making life or death decisions? It is harder than most people think.

Lesson here is to not be arrogant because you are a survivalist or prepper. Because you are that you escape first and you are not the bravest person who impresses whole neighborhood by getting shot first. You are also not overly careful and hide out until you run out of preps and have no choice but to go out.

We can be prepared.

What gives your mental side advantage is this:

You understand how the world has changed and that you have to forget about old rules. I speak in detail about this in my course and here on blog.
You keep don’t let emotions decide what you do. You plan and dont put yourself in situation with only one way out.
You expect the worst, forget about Hollywood action movie heroes and use all skills you practiced today and know already.

I have seen other folks doing mistakes under pressure......


- See more at: http://shtfschool.com/blog/#sthash.dMgZzDlo.dpuf



And this one, from June 2nd, 2014 on Knowing When To Bug-Out.....

**********BUGGING OUT:  WHY I MISSED BEST TIME TO BUG OUT....***********


Best way to survive is not being close to any problems. Like I describe in my survival course about my experience in Balkan war I missed my chance to bug out in time. I ended up surrounded by enemy army and trapped in city for a year without power and regular resources. Everyone fighting for the little what was left and being shot at by snipers and artillery from enemies did not make experience any better.

There are many reasons why people fail to bug out. Last week Jay (guy I run this website with) left Bangkok because of military coup. He first did not want to leave right away but then common sense won and he left. You can read about what happened in our forum. Nothing bad happened after he left, but it could have.

There can be many reasons like failure to recognize that S. gonna hit the fan, blocked streets on the way out of the city, problems convincing everyone to leave or just some special events you want to stay for.

I mention many times why I failed to leave city before everything became blocked. So I said that simply I did not see signs, or even if I saw something that looked serious to me, I assure myself that everything gonna be OK in short.

And of course media was there to told us that everything gonna be fine, nothing gonna escalate etc. and all of this above is true, it was like that, but as the time goes by I am able to see one more mistake that I have done that contributed to the my choice of staying.

Actually it was not really choice, I failed to see that I had big choice to make back then. We humans like to go with the flow and that is what I did. There was no choice, just years later and when your freedom is taken you realize you failed to make right choice.

So the big mistake I also made was the fact that I was simply thrilled and excited how events are unfolding in front of my own eyes, it was kinda mesmerizing.

You know that feeling that you are going to be part of something big, something that it is gonna be part of history books?

I had that feeling on some subconscious level I guess.

It was like being part of event that goes like this:

Day 1: Today we lost ability to phone outside town, sporadic shots were fired whole day, on the TV there is no news from our city, which is weird…
Day 2: I just saw tank on the street, went to check is there anything left in the store to buy or take, but actually there is no store anymore, tank was slowly rumbling over the street, guy who was standing next to me said „they gonna ruin the asphalt with that beast“ like that is important, but that guy still thought in old terms, like we all did. I think he thought that it is temporary, and tomorrow city gonna need to repair that street because tank ruined it, and we all pay that through our taxes, and so on, and so on.
Day 3: Our first neighbor shows up with rifle and said „I ll gonna shoot those mother……s „ I ask him „who?“ he said „anyone who approaches my house.“
At the beginning it was like being in movie, but pretty soon we all were like „f..k, people get killed for real here“.

One day after another day, events simple unfolding, more dramatic after dramatic. It is a bit like slow collapse that we experience now, changes come step by step, even in short time but it is all exciting until one point and then it can be too late.

This is what happened, one day it was simply too late to leave.

Now you need to understand me that this was not the only reason why I stayed in the city, it was not even most important, I speak about everything in detail in my course. But still it was the one of the reasons and one of the reasons that can be easily overlooked.

It is important to be mentioned here, simply because I can see and read in many places that lots of people still make similar mistakes. It is simply interesting for them to stay and see what is going to happen.

For those of you who were part of some SHTF event, whatever it was, some natural disaster or similar, you may understand what I am trying to say. Arrah who lost almost everything in devastating hurricane Haiyan in Philippines writes about this too.

It is the fact that timing of events is not goning to wait for you, it is going to unfold on its own, and at the end it is simply gonna overrun you if you are in its path.

You will be left behind to sit through consequences or destroyed.

People often act like world is spinning around them, and like nothing bad is going to happen to them, while in reality you (and me) are nobody in bigger picture. When you get more experience as survivalist and prepper you maybe even become arrogant and think you know what you deal with and can stay and wait.

I was young then, and my blood reacted different on gunshots, screams, or hearing about attacks or defense, or pride and similar, so I can blame that too. But still, it is easy to fall into the thinking of „staying to see events“.

Oh it was interesting for sure, especially in the beginning, before I realized fact that people died in great numbers, and that there is a huge possibility that I could be killed too, and it would not be some big event and very soon it is over.

Later it was all about trying to survive, something like constant running for your life. You become very humble man if you almost lose all control over things around you.

And remember the saying: “May you live in interesting times”, but also remember that it is as much curse as it can bring you excitment in good times. So if you see that „interesting times“ are coming to your neighbourhood, just leave the area, it is much better to be „bored“ but alive somewhere else.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Another Food Article

  Uncle Lester says, get Organic Whole Grain Foods.
Order 50lb bags of these from your healthfood store:

Lundberg Short grain Brown Rice, 400lbs or more.
Arrowhead Mills assorted beans: Anasazi, Black, Red, Navy, Garbanzo, Adzuki. Get 100lbs ea.
Rolled Oats: 100lbs
Hard Red Winter Wheat 600-800lbs
Split peas and Green/Red Lentils

Buy honey, local from a beekeeper if you can find one, call your County Ag Agent. Get a bucket or two.

50lb bag of Sea Salt

about 30gals of olive oil, regular, not extra virgin


From Costco or Sams, load up on canned foods in #10 cans and couple 4# pkgs of yeast. Buy some flour, but you also want an electric mill for your Wheatberries and to make flour sometimes from your beans.


You got solar/electric/generator system right?

Buy another freezer and load up on meats and frozen Veges.

Got gardening gear? If not, get it.

Got Carla Emory Encyclopedia of Country Living? If not....
Got Mother EArth News #1-100 on CDrom?


Anyway, you get your food together, order the stuff at healthfood store and get your 10% off special order discount, or order where you can get it. Ask the Ag agent if any Certified Organic farmers around and call and ask at Farmer's Co-op.

Get your whole grains, then buy new 5gal paint buckets with gasket lids. You're gonna buy blocks of CO-2 Dry Ice at the grocers and make your own food storage. Wipe out the buckets with mild vinegar or water & bleach solution, maybe just rinse with soap and water. Ea bucket will hold about 35lbs of grain, 25 of oats. Need about 1 two pound CO-2 brick per 6 buckets.

Fill bucket about 1/3 with grain, wrap dry ice in towel or fine fabric and smash with hammer until you get chips size of your fingernail. Layer about 9 chips on top of the first 1/3 and repeat twice until bucket is full. Lay lid loosely over the grain and in 40 mins the chips will have gassified and driven out the 02, then you hammer down the lid firmly and apply your label. Easy to store, easy to move. Have eaten Brown Rice stored this way that was 14yrs old and it tasted Perfect and Fresh...


Buy some good quality vitamins also, not cheap sinthesized crap.


May as well build your health and use your time to cook and enjoy your life. See my other archived survivalism articles for more on food.

Wish you The Best!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Food Basics, or Eating To Live

So, sheltering in-place or self-quarantine means life goes on but no takeout or restaurants.  Can sure stock-up on freeze-dried meals and all the frozen foods and TV dinners your grocer or "prep supply" vendor offers.  Yet, if you do so, you miss the opportunity to cook your own meals with superior ingredients and build-up your immune system.

Don't know how to cook?  Might go visit your local thrift shop and head to their book section and buy whatever cookbooks and how-tos on cooking you find.  Where we live, it's 80mi to the 2 restaurants we like.  Have lived this way for the last 24 years.  We learned to cook our ethnic favorites at home.  We also practiced Macrobiotics pretty strictly for a year.  That is a diet with special regimen of superfoods which enable the body to heal itself and build very strong immune system along with mental clarity.  Lots of anecdotal books regarding Macrobiotics including Recalled By Life, the story of physician who cured his late stage cancer with the diet.  NOT Giving Health Advice Here... But incorporating some of th dietary mainstays in your routine diet can produce great results.  Check your library and online resources for Macrobiotic titles and cookbooks.

Cooking from scratch is The Way...  You're gonna have time, so take time to learn to cook and use quality ingredients.  We store what we eat and are experienced in cooking.  If you have a small generator, or better, a solar/inverter/battery standby electric resource, you have frozen food and refrigeration at your command.  Mostly we keep meat, cheese, frozen vegetables, and butter in our freeaers.  We use chest freezers for longterm storage.  These can be run for  a couple hours a day if on genset and if they were on grid power and are fully packed, one or two hours will keep everything solidly frozen.  We run ours for 6hrs a day when cool and 8 or more in Summer, but we are on battery/inverter...  An upright freezer makes a good refirgerator.  The absence of defrost cycle and better insulation of a freezer means the box stays cool longer w/o continually consuming electricity.  A thermometer will aid you to keep 50deg or cooler.  You can even use ice-chest freezer bricks in your fridge and swap bricks between the freezer and fridge.  While one set is freezing, the other set is cooling your eggs and produce...  You don't need to run freezers or refrigerators continually to keep your food safe.

Pretty hard to beat the protein of meat or fish.  Rice and beans though, in combination do make a complete protein.  Not really too wild about Pinto beans, but...   Bl;ack, Soy, Navy, Red, Adzuki, Anasazi, and Garbanzo are bean varieties with varied flavors and textures.  Pinto beans for sure for Mexican dishes and Tx BBQ classics.  I recommend that the mainstay of your diet include Short Grain Organic Brown Rice, for it is The True SuperFood.  This is the mainstay of Macrobiotics and peasant food world over that keeps those who eat it in good health.  White rice is void of nutrition, just a starch.  Might taste good, and be cheap, but it does your system no good and likely consumes nutrients you otherwise could add to when your body processes and eliminates it.

Brown Rice, Rolled Oats, Hard Red Winter Wheat, Lentils, Split Peas, and other Whole Grains, organics preferred are longterm food storage mainstays.  These can be packed at home using CO-2 bought in brick form at your grocer, in new 5gal paint buckets with gasket top lids.  Wipe the bucket out with a mild bleach solution or vinegar and once dry, fill all your buckets 1/3 full with your whole grains.  Each bucket will hold about 35 pounds of dried grain, oats being very bulky go about 25lbs.  So, you get all your grains together.  Most come in 50lb or 25lb bags.  Where to buy in a moment, but you have all your food in the paper bags it shipped in and your clean buckets; then you get your CO-2 Dry-Ice bricks and bring them home immediately.   Fill each bucket and affix a label to the lid noting date and contents.  You then take a towel or heavy linen and wrap the Dry Ice Brick(s) and beat them with a hammer or club until you have chips that are fingernail size.  Put about 8 chips on the top of the grain, then cover with another 1/3 layer.  Add more chips, Another final layer and more chips. Place the gasket lids on their correct buckets LOOSELY; wait 40 mins for the chips to gassify and drive all oxygen out of the bucket.  CO-2 being heavier than air.  Once the time has passed, hammer-down the gasket lids and you are done.

Pretty easy to lose grain to vermin, rot, humidity-mold and temperature change sweat.  Grain etc stored as above will last many, many years.  In 2009, we opened one bucket of Brown Rice which according to Internet Wisdom, is disposed to rancidness in short order.  The rice was put-up in 1995 and was Perfect!

If you store whole grains, best have a grain mill.   Corona is inexpensive and works but is slow.  There are some good hand mills, but nothing beats an electric mill.  I adapted a bucket lid to our mill and it takes about 30mins to grind a full 5gal bucket of flour.  Best to leave your Wheatberries as grain until ready to make flour.  Real perfectionists grind only what they use right then/there, 5gal bucket lasts us maybe couple months when making bread, pizza and other pastries.  To save yourself work, get a couple of breadmaking machines at a resale shop and use them to mix dough.  We only need run the machines seven or eight minutes to get a great ball of dough without kneading and spending lots of time and muscle getting to the same point.

Canned goods are certainly essential, especially tomato products.  When cooking, we tend to make a big batch and freeze another meal or two.  If you have a bakery thrift store that sells out of date bread, buy their organics for a dollar or two a loaf and freeze them.  Nice to have bread ready to go, and if your climate is one that leads to mold in a day or two; keep your bread in the freezer.

We have lots of old canned meat.  Lots of Spam and generic knockoffs.  Lasts for years, unlike the nutrition value of canned vegetables which after a year begin to lose their zip although they will still taste good.  Canned fruits area nice treat.  If you have access to a farmer's market you can for sure can your own.  The Ball Blue Book is a good how to.  Might find canning jars for .25ea or less at thrift stores.  Anyway you can save money, you have more funds for other items you have to pay full price for.  Need a pressure cooker or two?  At $10ea or less at thrift shop, you save mucho and can likely find gasket kit at Ace hardware or online for minimal amount.  Pressure cooking keeps all the nutrients in your food, and also is a must for canning. Great tool to have and saves energy by cooking food quicker.

Powdered milk, whole milk if you can find it is versatile for yogurt making etc.  Hard to find or expensive though.  We began using Rice Milk about 20yrs ago with Macrobiotics.  Rice Milk stores for many years and is tasty, and has no dairy allergen or other issues.  More expensive than cow's milk, but packiaging and longevity as well as taste and absence of lactose makes it a bargain in our eyes.  Never much cared for Soy Milk, but it might be to your liking.

Costco and Sam's are just a couple of resources for Institutional pack #10 cans and case quantities and large pack bags of staples like sugar, salt, and cooking oils, as well as large restaurant pack spices and herbs.  Save money with these items and repack them.  10 lb bags of sugar store just as easily as 25 pounders but can be more versatile and less expensive.  The only cooking oil we use these days is Olive oil and tend to go for the basic press variety rather than extra-virgin. Honey and Coconut oils are other ancillary foods we use a lot of, also molasses.

As far as fresh vegetables go, sprout seed like Alfalfa and Mung beans are traditional and have great nutrition.  You can sprout any seed that is alive.  Wheatgrass can be juiced and is an other SuperFood when done so.  Buy a good batch of sprouting seed and learn to do it.

Just touched the tip of the possibilities here.  Your food can do more than just fill your stomach if you plan for it to...

Some Efforts That Might Make Your Suburban Home A Refuge...

Live in a row house or town house with adjoining walls?  Probably too close for comfort.  These ideas might prove worthwhile to the detached homeowner with a yard and fence.

If you house is so tightly built on your lot that you are shoulder width or maybe two in width between neighbors, then you are stuck with the weak-link scenario.  If everyone on your side of the street gets together and follows the same basic guidelines, well; there's always one or more who won't get on the bandwagon.  That said...

Older suburbia was big lot planned living.  Many of those old houses were torn-down and McMansions put up in their place.  Usually McManses are built to the very edge of the property line allowance and right to the street setback.  Probably have a concrete parking pad and garage instead of a front yard.  Many will have a swimming pool, maybe even an indoor lap pool which is a plus!

Water is a BIG Concern.  Don't got a pool?  Buy one!  Wallyworld and toy stores may still have a basic Above Ground pool you can erect in an afternoon.  Need a level spot in your yard, or cover a concrete pad/patio with 6mil plastic sheeting and then cover w/sand or clean dirt.  The pool frame erects on a circular frame which the 4' tall pool wall slides in.  The frame is supported w/vertical stays and lots of playground or other fine sand keeps it all erect when filled with water.  Talking 3000 gals or more and the pool with cheap electric pump/filter will be around $100/$150.

Pool supply store has more upscale kits and custom sized liners.  The liners are much more longlasting and made of better materials.  A good pool pump and filter with pool scour attachment may be worth the investment.  Admit it!  You always wanted a pool.  Now you have reason to buy one.  May as well get one you will enjoy and maybe build a deck framework so your family can enjoy it come next Spring.  In the meantime you got a supply of water.  Good idea to own a quality drinking water drip/candle filter and/or a distiller to make the HD Chlorinated pool water safe to drink.

Sewage  is going to be a huge problem.  Most persons sick with the disease will discharge virus laden sewage.  Will your town, municipality, MUD have sewage incinerators in time, or ever to handle this concern?  Probably not.

If you know where your water meter and sewer lines come into your house, you can dig around the sewerline, cut the pipe and cap it.  Might seem extreme, but should be easy to pull the cap and restore the line once any concern for present or future threat is gone...  Not like you need do this today.  Concern is that in a pandemic, most utilities will be down, unattended or at least understaffed.  If such situations begin to occur in your town, you can at least be sure no contagion will back up into your house through the sewer pipe.  Might want to search for these problems happening in flooding situations.  At best case secnario, if the sewage treatment plant(s) are down  your own effluent will not back up and pollute your home.

Pretty easy to attend to the other daily living necessities if you have these taken care of.  Plenty of quiet inverter generators on the market.  Might find one now on Craigslist.com.  See the earlier article on electrical generation.  Gas appliances, as mentioned before, can be converted to propane with an orifice kit.  Really NEED that water filter with 3 gal reservoir like the Katadyn or Berkey.  No charcoal filters, because they last only a few months vs many years for the standard non-charcoal element ceramic filters.

Got a fence?  Probably worth keeping your front gate locked with a good padlock.  Maybe a quarantine sign and a note advising to call and state business before expecting admission.  No stranger comes into your house.  No one.  On same notion, you do NOT go out either.  Probably much more information to come from other sources about self-quarantining or sheletering in-place.

Should the contagion be proven to be air transmissable, then you need to do all you can to seal your home and make a positive pressure within the house.  Positive pressure will carry inside air out, whenever a door or window is opened.  You don't want outside, non-filtered air entering your home in that situation...


Another thought:  When driving if your area has experienced an outbreak, use your Air Conditioner even if on warm/hot settings in Winter.  A/C in vehicle will circulate interior air without blending air from outside.  With good window gaskets and tight interior you should have positive air pressure working for you.  Not like your too likely to be out driving around in such times, but if you are; use your air-conditioner rather than just the vent.  Might also treat your window gaskets with armor-all or other silicon rubber/vinyl conditioner.  Older vehicle, like an older house might benefit from some silicon caulk applied around door edges and to seal any wiring push-throughs in the firewall under the hood.  Worth getting a new set of hinge pins for any doors that don't close tight.  And for sure, get new tires if you might need them, change oil and filters and keep vehicle in good repair for dependability and to avoid a breakdown.

African/Dallas Disease: Ramifications

Probably already occurred to you, if this disease manifests as a pandemic with its 70% death rate, nothing will be the same; not for a long while, if ever...

With some luck and great effort, perhaps the social utilities will remain up and functioning?  Would be a Great Blessing if so.  Perhaps refineries and pipeline delivery systems are automated to the degree that they can be kept functional with minimal man-power and attendance?  I don't know,   But I do know people who do.  Will try and find out.  Still, in the midst of pandemic, fuel for personal transport will be the least of worries.  Natural gas and propane though would still be in demand,

The sanitation services look most likely to be lost.  There is no means to incinerate sewage.  That, or some chemical treatment to destroy live virus which is spread through diarrhea and vomitus is just an unforeseen problem that requires solution Right Now; but there is none.   Burial or disposal of the dead is similarly a large concern.  Have seen some discussion on guidelines for funeral homes.  Bodies to be transported in 2 body bags, and loaded into a third before removal.  Not really a contingency though as the supply of bags must be finite and not like they are reusable...

Will residential electric, gas, & water services remain functional?  Really looks like it depends on depth of trained personnel and the inventory of commonly replaced equipment to allow for routine failure and breakage.  Will persons unable to work, businesses unable to function continue to have cash-flow?  Probably not.  How could they.  Huge #s of Americans out of work already, or working two or more jobs to bring-in what one decent occupation used to pay.   Most Americans unable to raise even one thousand dollars from their resources in 3 or 4 days in an emergency.

Even before this disease manifests in a numerically meaningful way there are going to be breakdowns.  Not in the basic societal mechanisms discussed above, but in the medical field as we have already seen this  week at Dallas Presbyterian Hospital, where of 90 surgeries scheduled for Thursday, only 3 patients came in for their procedures.  Article today about the hospital being a "ghost town".  If anything, this is a harbinger for the immediate future.  Doctors and nurses, other caregivers and administrators cannot be required to risk their lives in a facility unequipped and unprepared to cope with, much less deal directly with bio-level 4 hazards.  This will effect and affect all other healthcare delivery, especially "normal" and emergency care situations.

Just In Time Inventory systems which meant efficiently matched supply to demand are worthless in unprecedented demand situations.  Manufacturing stocks and raw materials take months if not longer to acquire under normal conditions.  How will their acquisition be slowed or not available during this pandemic?  Food and other Basics may very well be The New Wealth.  The old wealth came about in the latter part of the 1880s.  Stable population health, growth of cities,  growth of industrial capability to meet new and growing demand.....   All changes in a matter of months if/should/when this pandemic manifests and death rate cannot be stemmed.

JIT is your enemy.  Got money?  Probably won't be able to buy your way out of this situation.  Who will risk their life to enable your security if the money you can offer isn't buying what you and they expect?  You and your family need Food and The Basics.  You would likely also benefit strongly from other gear and supplies.  Time to get them is NOW before they are n/a, not available.

Wealth will revert from paper and paper-promises to actual physical goods, real property, and gear, supplies, and equipment.  Nice house in the suburbia or city high-rise condo will be give-aways.  Stocks and bonds will crap-out as force-majeur is declared.  Insurers have their "act of God"  and other "war clause" mechanisms which will deny claims.  Not like most don't rely on reinsurance anyway...  There are only a handful of reinsurance companies worldwide.  Most are already in some form of financial distress.  Article I saw this week, maybe last about how a number of medical insurers or plans will not pay the $1000/hr which was the number bandied about for Dallas Presbyterian's services to Mr. Duncan.

Ramifications.  Cause of Effect...  How they gonna affect you and yours?

At what point do credit card companies shutdown credit?  Got money in the bank?  You're okay, at least until your bank closes its doors.  But most Americans live on credit in some fashion.  Some pay their balances in full every month, but there are fewer of them as the last 7yrs have primarily seen layoffs and income reductions for those still employed.  Can you depend on your credit cards to provide the funding you need for your family's survival?  How long will they continue to function?  Real estate values are already way down.  You have your home and retirement accounts, maybe even a hefty brokerage account?  But you don't have any New Wealth...

As you deal with all this, you either consider the ramifications and take whatever prudent action you decide or you roll the dice that it is not going to affect you.  

FDR said, "Nothing in the political world happens by accident".  The failures of Government and Government Health Agencies to take prudent steps to prevent this disease from reaching our shores is beyond treasonous and criminal.  Perhaps it is welcomed as the means to crash the system, which was already ruined and looted financially beyond any hope of restoration or renewal?  What better scapegoat to cover the tracks of deliberate betrayal than a medical devastation that seemingly no one could have prevented?  Except it could have been prevented, and could still be prevented from further manifestation and dispersal.  The inane stupidity employed by Those Entrusted With Public Health Guardianship is so broad and witless as to be impossible to confuse with professional error or accident.  So, we conclude this is the plan, the goal.  Prince Phillip gets his wish without having to even drop dead first!  (Might want to review his remarks about desiring to be reincarnated as a virus to reduce the world's population.)

Lots more depth to this subject than I can come up with off the top of my head.  Yet, what matters is you and your family.  Only you can take action for your own.  If you have resources, deploying them now may mean the continuation of your line.  Many fine families did not come through the plague years.  Might read Albert Camus  Journal of The Plague Years and The Stranger to get an idea of the daily physical and spiritual stresses.  "Mother died today; or was it yesterday?"  Dear God!  Consider that sentence and the impact of stress to create such disconnect.  Camus, the essential existentialist had his own agenda, but the real essence is there.  Like the daily lives of the physicians in the Doctors Without Borders treatment camps.  Read Richard Preston's The Hot Zone, if only to see how ebola-Zaire has morphed into maybe several contagions in the past year...

All the time you spend "deciding", there are others who are already decided.  There are those who control our societal fabric and they have already decided.  You are on your own, whether you recognize this or not.  Ramifications...  They just keep happening.  Every right decision takes you further, every wrong decision may hold you back.   You do the best you can and try to stay flexible. You concentrate on the basics and as you come across other ancillary opportunities you grab them if you can.  Like in Poker, you have to stay in the game to see the hand through.  Even if money is tight, you can find a way...  If you can put your Trust Fully In God; tell HIM so.  HE Will Make your way when you are unable to do so.  Such has been our experience.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dallas Presbyterian Whistleblower Nurses Statement.... Please Read & Understand!

http://www.nationalnursesunited.org/blog/entry/statement-by-registered-nurses-at-texas-health-presbyterian-hospital-in-dal/

Fair Use Cited:


This is an inside story from some registered nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas who have familiarity with what occurred at the hospital following the positive Ebola infection of first the late Thomas Eric Duncan and then a registered nurse who cared for him Nina Pham.

The RNs contacted National Nurses United out of frustration with a lack of training and preparation. They are choosing to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation.

The RNs who have spoken to us from Texas Health Presbyterian are listening in on this call and this is their report based on their experiences and what other nurses are sharing with them. When we have finished with our statement, we will have time for several questions. The nurses will have the opportunity to respond to your questions via email that they will send to us, that we will read to you.
We are not identifying the nurses for their protection, but they work at Texas Health Presbyterian and have knowledge of what occurred at the hospital.

They feel a duty to speak out about the concerns that they say are shared by many in the hospital who are concerned about the protocols that were followed and what they view were confusion and frequently changing policies and protocols that are of concern to them, and to our organization as well.


When Thomas Eric Duncan first came into the hospital, he arrived with an elevated temperature, but was sent home.

On his return visit to the hospital, he was brought in by ambulance under the suspicion from him and family members that he may have Ebola.

Mr. Duncan was left for several hours, not in isolation, in an area where other patients were present.
No one knew what the protocols were or were able to verify what kind of personal protective equipment should be worn and there was no training.

Subsequently a nurse supervisor arrived and demanded that he be moved to an isolation unit– yet faced resistance from other hospital authorities.

Lab specimens from Mr. Duncan were sent through the hospital tube system without being specially sealed and hand delivered. The result is that the entire tube system by which all lab specimens are sent was potentially contaminated.

There was no advance preparedness on what to do with the patient, there was no protocol, there was no system. The nurses were asked to call the Infectious Disease Department.  The Infectious Disease Department did not have clear policies to provide either.

Initial nurses who interacted with Mr. Duncan nurses wore a non-impermeable gown front and back, three pairs of gloves, with no taping around wrists, surgical masks, with the option of N-95s, and face shields.  Some supervisors said that even the N-95 masks were not necessary.

The suits they were given still exposed their necks, the part closest to their face and mouth.  They had suits with booties and hoods, three pairs of gloves, no tape.

For their necks, nurses had to use medical tape, that is not impermeable and has permeable seams, to wrap around their necks in order to protect themselves, and had to put on the tape and take it off on their own.

Nurses had to interact with Mr. Duncan with whatever protective equipment was available, at a time when he had copious amounts of diarrhea and vomiting which produces a lot of contagious fluids.
Hospital officials allowed nurses who had interacted with Mr. Duncan to then continue normal patient care duties, taking care of other patients, even though they had not had the proper personal protective equipment while caring for Mr. Duncan.

Patients who may have been exposed were one day kept in strict isolation units. On the next day were ordered to be transferred out of strict isolation into areas where there were other patients, even those with low-grade fevers who could potentially be contagious.

Were protocols breached? The nurses say there were no protocols.

Some hospital personnel were coming in and out of those isolation areas in the Emergency Department without having worn the proper protective equipment.

CDC officials who are in the hospital and Infectious Disease personnel have not kept hallways clean; they were going back and forth between the Isolation Pod and back into the hallways that were not properly cleaned, even after CDC, infectious control personnel, and doctors who exited into those hallways after being in the isolation pods.

Advance preparation

Advance preparation that had been done by the hospital primarily consisted of emailing us about one optional lecture/seminar on Ebola. There was no mandate for nurses to attend trainings, or what nurses had to do in the event of the arrival of a patient with Ebola-like symptoms.

This is a very large hospital. To be effective, any classes would have to offered repeatedly, covering all times when nurses work; instead this was treated like the hundreds of other seminars that are routinely offered to staff.

There was no advance hands-on training on the use of personal protective equipment for Ebola. No training on what symptoms to look for. No training on what questions to ask.

Even when some trainings did occur, after Mr. Duncan had tested positive for Ebola, they were limited, and they did not include having every nurse in the training practicing the proper way to don and doff, put on and take off, the appropriate personal protective equipment to assure that they would not be infected or spread an infection to anyone else.

Guidelines have now been changed, but it is not clear what version Nina Pham had available.

The hospital later said that their guidelines had changed and that the nurses needed to adhere to them.  What has caused confusion is that the guidelines were constantly changing.  It was later asked which guidelines should we follow? The message to the nurses was it’s up to you.

It is not up to the nurses to be setting the policy, nurses say, in the face of such a virulent disease. They needed to be trained optimally and correctly in how to deal with Ebola and the proper PPE doffing, as well as how to dispose of the waste.

In summary, the nurses state there have been no policies in cleaning or bleaching the premises without housekeeping services. There was no one to pick up hazardous waste as it piled to the ceiling.

They did not have access to proper supplies and observed the Infectious Disease Department and CDC themselves violate basic principles of infection control, including cross contaminating between patients. In the end, the nurses strongly feel unsupported, unprepared, lied to, and deserted to handle the situation on their own.


We want our facility to be recognized as a leader in responding to this crisis. We also want to recognize the other nurses as heroes who put their lives on the line for their patients every day when they walk in the door.
====================================================================


Lester Commentary:

There were 77 hospital workers who came into direct contact with Mr. Duncan.  Protocol would have minimized this number to an effective minimum so as to put fewer Medical Professionals at risk.  Yet, as stated above (maybe you think they are merely "claims"?), there was No Plan Or Strategy, and no Effective Guidance.  Look at the Nurse's Statement section above once more.  Let it sink in how much DENIAL is at evidence here and throughout the American Healthcare System.

Previous article posted cites the Fact that there are only 3 private hospitals in the entire Nation which have any Level 4 Bio-Hazard patient facilities and that the total number of beds in these facilities is 13 or 14.  Add National Inst. Of Health in MD, and the total comes up to 19 beds.  Frontier Airlines is now seeking to contact 750 passengers  (Now Updated to 900)   who may have been exposed to Nurse Vinson's contagion.  This would seem to indicate that the contagion remain active even after carrier or infected person has moved on.

CDC says hospitals in America are ready and every hospital can treat this disease.  Read the statement of conditions and circumstances and consider if the CDC even understands the facility resources our Nation has to work with or the actual virulence of the virus/disease.


WE ARE ON OUR  OWN!  The only effective plan of action is self-quarantine, effort for avoidance.
Want to understand what we face?  Read The Hot Zone by Richard Preston.  Read the previously cited Flu Forums for discussion of news and commentaries.

Panic is not a solution.  Consider what the African/Dallas Disease (you know its real name) will do to normal healthcare and all other forms of social interaction like business, shopping, manufacturing, education,    I have previously discussed Just In Time Inventory plans placing obtainment of supplies, food, and equipment at risk.  Since the middle-80s, American Medical Practice has been similarly "tuned" to try and maximize the value of the physician and support staff.  Largely, this has not worked, and this comes from one who worked with several world-class medical practices and their administrators and lead physicians.  American Medicine has no capacity to absorb this threat.

WE ARE LOOKING AT A SOCIAL BREAKDOWN POTENTIAL HERE.  Haven't even addressed the lack of depth within the Utility Structure of our cities.  All hands-on positions are very specialized technical occupations and there just aren't trained persons in reserve to step-in to do the work if more than a few of these personnel are out of the picture due to whatever reason.

I can only urge that you take all possible action for preservation of self and family.  Self-quarantine, a voluntary isolation will require preparation and supply.  The Time Is Now to acquire foodstuffs and some basic health supplies as well as assuring supplies for other basic home functioning needs are met. There will be a much greater emphasis on germ killing and prevention of infection.  Lots to consider and plan for.  May God Bless Your Efforts!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

re: African/Dallas Disease

The African/Dallas Disease seems to have come to the fore of American Consciousness this week.  Pity that the info still promulgated by CDC and other Public Service Resources is so erroneous.

Ms. Vinson, the 2nd RN from Dallas Presbyterian who has manifested symptoms of the illness actually phoned the CDC to inquire if she would be okay to fly.  (Not like I was there when she called, but this is being reported...)  CDC gave her word she was clear to proceed.  Later in the day, we learn she was feeling ill, maybe symptomatic when she flew out of Dallas to Cleveland, not just feeling bad on the journey back...  So not only is there a Frontier Airliner with 5 other stops after her Dallas departure, with 141 other persons on-board, there is the first plane she flew on Fri/Sat which until now, nobody had an iota of concern about...

CDC tells us "every hospital in America ought be able to handle E(-word) patients", Yet there are only 3 private hospitals that have Bio-Hazard 4 isolation rooms.  None of these facilities has more than a handful of rooms.  Understand that to contain the viral agent, these facilities must have Pressurized rooms or airlock doors so nothing escapes when patient is tended to.  The room must have its own, filtered and non-recirculative air supply.  The ward must be similarly isolated from the rest of the hospital, and all patient attendees must wear maximum Prophylactic Preventative Eqpt.

In Dallas, CDC said it was okay for care-givers to wear simple gown and mask with gloves.  Not even as much PPE as your dentist likely wears. No face shield, no impermeable garment, no double layer of gloves.  But who wants to arouse anxiety?  Those West Africans, Dr. Frieden has stated, "Have a right to enter the USA" because they have a visa...

Americans, evidently, don't have the "right" to an accurate portrayal of the risk they face.  Andrew Cuomo, Gov. of New York has declared that there will be 8 hospitals that will take E-word patients.  Of course, Andy seems to think he is god and that his word will make it so.  No hospital in NY has even one bed much less a ward or room which will contain the contagion an E-word patient will be sloughing-off (the actual term) once manifested with the disease.  In fact, it appears this disease, being a virus may actually have already mutated or be in process of mutating to become more resistant to eradication.  Might be that the virus is communicable before symptoms manifest...
Ebola survivor I, Senga Omeonga: 'Every day I’m still thinking: When was I contaminated?'
By Jon Cohen 2 October 2014 4:00 pm
Jon is a staff writer for Science.
http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/10/ebola-survivor-i-senga-omeonga-every-day-i-m-still-thinking-when-was-i-contaminated

Senga Omeonga comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the country that had the first recognized Ebola outbreak in 1976 and where the virus was discovered. Omeonga, a medical doctor, also received Ebola training in DRC, but he saw his first case this summer in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, where he has lived for the past 3 years.

And then Omeonga, who worked at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital—not a specialized Ebola treatment center—contracted the disease himself. He was one of a handful of people worldwide to receive ZMapp, an experimental antibody cocktail.   (full article at link)


Bascally, Dr. Omeonga was nowhere near any E-word contamination, but still he got it...  Not like there was body fluid transmission as CDC maintains is necessary for the virus to attach to a new host.  Saw some headlines this week that now authorities admit airborne transmission may be possible.

Some cynics are in denial and conclude this is another false-flag hoax...  Is it worth betting your life that it isn't real?  Of course, CDC et al are betting our lives that we aren't knowledgeable enough to make informed decisions if given The Truth...   But, hey!  If you want to presume that Frieden is giving you the straight-skinny, it is your funeral (literally)...

For more up-to-date reporting of news and commentary by medical professionals or insiders, see:
Pandemic Flu Information forum
http://www.singtomeohmuse.com/viewtopic.php?t=5725&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=3690
and
Rhiza Labs Flu Tracker Forum
http://fluboard.rhizalabs.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=5&sid=af1a36a0cd109d2c7f0238da610a76ad

I monitor the PFI forum routinely.  Read the posted commentary and news articles from page 235 to current to get the flavor of the circumstance continuing to develop in America.  Read the early threads to see how we got from Dec `13 emergence to present.

Very difficult to consider that the incompetence continually exhibited by WHO, CDC and other Public Service Agencies is just bad luck.


You come to your own conclusions.  

My perspective is self-quarantine in a remote location with self-contained water well and septic are of primary importance.  You arrange all your variables as favorably as possible and then basically don't put yourself in a position to be hurt/infected by interaction with others.  This isn't the German Measles which you want your kid to catch.  This is the real deal which 1348 Plague only aspired to...

All the basics discussed here apply.  The basic needs are the same.  You just have one more Basic Need:  The Need Not To Be Exposed....  I am no virologist or microbiologist.  I can understand the need to begin wiping every surface you contact bare-handed with a strong bleach solution.  Cleaning shoes and using a Mudroom for changing from street clothes.   Where I live, we got no streets.  Not much interaction.  We do for ourselves, or do without.  Not much longer might it be safe to be in general circulation among the public.  My Feeling ONLY.  Our Plan is to self-quarantine and stay busy.  I'm just giving you the Tip Of The Iceberg, but it is time to be formulating your own plan and working it.  If you can remove you and yours from exposure, you are back to square one, which is to say your work is just beginning.  Life isn't fair, but God Is There if you choose to allow HIM To Guide your life.  No atheists in foxholes...

Have not even touched on the social and business implications of a widespread outbreak or even just a panic.  Just In Time Inventory systems are your enemy.  Takes months for business to gear up production if not anticipated.  Demand for staple cleansers and all other goods that may be now appreciated more widely by the public will not be met.  Panic Early, Avoid The Rush!  Get what you want to have NOW or you may not have it.  Living in Alaska, we buy whatever we see when we see it.  Next week it may not be available...  Need to project and plan for contingencies and expected usage of food, supplies, and obtain an extra margin for safety.  You need everything for your daily living, except maybe all that involved out & about travel.  NOT going to be doing much of that, not if you value your heath.  If you are in a populated area, you might face mandatory quarantine and curfews.  Best to be out of the line of fire...

The ideal place to ride this out is basically a homestead or country retreat, 30 mi from nearest major US or Interstate hiway, a couple miles off the secondary road that leads to a private or non-improved roadway to your home.  Your home will have its own well and septic, propane appliances where possible, and a generator/solar panel/inverter/battery electric production which powers all your homes outlets and functions.  Central Air Conditioning and Electric Heat are not feasible for whole house climate control using this system, but might function by separate generator.  Better to make other plans for those functions.  You need an organic garden area, room for chickens, and small livestock or even cattle if you have the facility and persons to tend them.  A security fence and watchdogs is also critical if you are within 50mi of a populated area.  Might get The Mother Earth News Archive on CDrom and other Homesteading books like The Encyclopedia Of Country Living By Carla Emory.  Lots of interesting survival reading in Nuclear War Survival Skills by Cresson Kearny (oakridge national laboratory)  go to www.ki4u.com for free download of this public domain book.

There will be more postings with greater regularity.
Biggest effort at this time that I can see should be focused on eating well and taking quality vitamins to build your immune system and develop all the resistance strength you can...

Once you can isolate yourself from potential infection, all the basics discussed previously in this blog apply.

God Be With You!



Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mobile Retreating

Motorhome or RV, Camper Trailer makes a pretty good base of operations. Got one that can pull a trailer of some capacity and your needs might be met.

Bugging-out with gear and supplies to enable self-sufficiency is a real option if you have the transportation, the gear, or the skill...

RV is very worthy option as it is self-contained and mobile in the extreme. Not really as versatile as a 4x4 with a camper but very able to go many remote places if you know your vehicle and observe clearances and have tools to move blockages like downed trees and maybe a chainsaw to enable passage...

An RV can be connected to large portable propane tanks or even a stationary one. Would be pretty ideal to have a land parcel with septic, well, and electric access, plus large propane tank. Even better, were there a barn or steel building on the site, you park inside and run your connections from there. Not a big deal to lay some plastic pipe for water and waste, and pretty easy to add a 40/60amp breaker to an existing box and route UG (underground rated) sheathed 6awg wire w/3 conductors and ground to a new box linked to your RV input cable. Live water source is easily connected and you also have water tank on-board storage. 

Got some of these options? Pretty easy to make them work for you...

No such facility? Not to worry....


Cresson Kearny's book has some great ideas for bug-out living. Expedient sheltering info there is unique and very doable. Ground not yet frozen where you are? You're in business. Read the chapter. Family w/2 teenage girls built their shelter in 14hrs. The over-pressure protections will also serve to keep warmth in and rain/elements out.

This shelter could be dug in some back acreage of a national forest or BLM/Public land. Would sure not be too visible unless you took no effort to make it very noticeable. Probably not in your interest to do so. In Kearny's book, the family brought tools and an exterior door from their home, in no solid interior door available. Plywood would also serve with some 2x4 or heavier reinforcing. A sedan size auto can carry plywood strapped to the roof, or in a trailer. Truck, of course is no problem...

Kurt Saxon had basic plans for a earth-insulated cabin. Dig a pit in footprint of your desired cabin, about 5' deep. Erect a side pony wall or notch and scribe logs to fit. Make some basic trusses or a cabin roof and use treated plywood, and 6mil plastic sheeting overlapping seams if have any and then cover with the dirt you removed, or use real roofing. Put together w/screws or bolt together the 4x8 sections and you have a portable shelter. Build a wall frameworkand wrap with 6mil plastic on sides and floor and you have a pretty strong weather-tight shelter that has earth insulation and warming effects.

Pit toilet with lime for bio degradation will work. 5gal paint bucket w/kitty litter (clay type) will serve also. Need to observe all sanitation practices and be able to filter your water. A drip reservoir filter with candle elements like Berkey or Katadyn is a fine gravity powered asset to have. Might be able to use a Water Bed Mattress as a bladder and a small electric pump to draw water from lake or stream. Cleaner water source the better, of course. 5 gal paint bucket w/lid is also good for manual transport if don't have a water jug or other plastic tank to use.


Got a Yurt or GI type wall tent? With a liner and wood stove or fuel heater, these can be as warm as most houses. Yet you are still able to move camp when necessary.


I have a large military surplus tent, 32 ft oal and with liner it weighs about 300lbs. Poles and stakes add more weight of course, but this tent has been transported by ATV into wilderness and sets up in several hours once all laid out and ready. Very compact and fast to assemble. If you were truck camping, maybe you carry pallets and plywood to have a real floor? Woodstove for cooking and heat would give you a secure and comfortable home. A few other smaller tents like you find at a resale shop or on-sale closeout at Target will shelter your gear and supplies. Maybe you are using a fairly large trailer to bring supplies onto your land? Convert your trailer to living quarters after you get situated and you have great potential for another comfortable living quarters. There are small woodburning stoves for tenters that will work for small enclosedd structures. With electric system you have many more choices.  

See previous article of Sep `14 for overview of Alternative Electric, off-grid resources.

As far as portable AE systems go, 250w solar panels can be mounted on motorhome or trailer roof.  Battery amp hours is the determining factor, but can be managed with efficient generator that teams with your inverter, like the Magnum Hybrid or Schneider Xantrex units.  Honda or Yamaha inverter gensets offer some very good flexibility and fuel efficiency, not to mention are Relatively Quiet.  Probably have a factory original Onan or Kohler genset if you own a motorhome or Class C RV.  Even if you have one of these long-lived durable gensets, there are good reasons to own a smaller, portable and fuel efficient unit like the Honda/Yamaha 1000 & 2000w units.  Also a good reason to own a high power battery charger like the Iota Charger/Converter series.

Point of all this is, like Gypsies who were the first caravanner/RVers, being able to move at a moments notice and not lose all you have is a great resource to make available.  

Survival Retreat or Homestead? A Rose By Any Other Name...

Ever watch Chris Carter's finest effort, Millennium? Season two was exceptional, chiefly because Carter was so busy with other projects that his writing team produced and directed the show that season.  Long intro here, but the Season 2 two-part finale episode plot concerned a Marburg Virus outbreak...  Frank Black and formerly estranged wife and child head to an almost fallen down cabin in the woods, mountain foothills that his father left him...

The Blacks show up with whatever gear & supplies they could bring in their small Jeep wagon and mid-size Taurus or whatever the wife drove.  Not much stuff.  But the house and gear was not central to the plot. 


The basic thought of removing the family out of the line of fire, hunkering down with food and supplies to ride out the epidemic was discussed in the episode as regarding the efforts Europeans of means made to avoid contact with Plague.


Lots more to it than this, but the concept is valid.  If you are self-sufficient and able to meet your daily needs for living under the worst circumstances you at least stand a chance.



In Nuclear War Survival Skills, Cresson Kearny and his staff researched the minimalist approach to quick and hand tool constructed shelter.  Lots of interesting concepts in that book (free download at ki4u.com), but the idea was to survive the over pressure and fallout of nuclear blast in proximity to the edge of the survival zone.  Survival zone being outside the approx 5mi diameter fireball and total wreckage zone.  Not really such a quick even here in terms of the death being manifest in seconds and having fast decay within 2 weeks.


Really concerned about the global pandemic that is manifesting on a reported basis so far in Africa, Europe, and the Americas?  If you have money, you might find a suitable property to buy for self-sufficient living with some degree of security and remoteness.  If you have money and already own or your family owns land with a cottage or even just raw land, you might shelter in-place there and ride this out.  Maybe even a lake house if there is a fairly large plot of land and your own sewage, and water utilities already in place.  Talking about a Septic Tank or other self-contained waste disposal and a well.

Food is not yet a problem.  Can probably buy a large order from a food wholesaler, or do Costco, Sam's etc.  Take a truck to haul what you need and buy it.  Ice chests to keep frozen meat and dairy etc.  Got a motorhome or RV with lots of storage and weight capacity?  Take that and you won't need to have someone guarding your supplies while you make 2nd or more subsequent trips to fill your list.


So, if we have the remote location in hand, and septic tank and well, food is the last major concern.  Presumably you know you will need to stay Warm, Dry, Hydrated, Fed, and Able To Mount Self and Property Defense. 

But day to day living off the grid is what we are talking about.  Even if your property has electric service, it may not be reliable, so you need backup or run the risk of no electric at all.  Backup is what is going to run your well pump, and maybe your water distiller.  Backup electric will run the super efficient heating systems that will heat a 1500sq ft home on a gallon of heating oil a day.  Backup is what will power grow lights for indoor food production.  Backup electric is what keeps some semblance of life as we used to know it and refrigeration and freezing of food...


Location.  Couple miles off the nearest paved county road and 20mi or more from any US highway or interstate.  Just as rule of thumb.  Got your place now?  Maybe right off an exit from some traveled road?  Just take extra precautions and know they will be necessary.  Yet, ideally, you will be several hundred yards from nearest neighbor who isn't a relative and your property access to those traveling will be minimal.  Anybody coming out a dead-end, private road had better own property there or know somebody...


Plenty of food and gear tips contained in other articles on this blog.

Got money?  This may very well be the time to deploy it or find you have saved it only to die with a big bank or brokerage balance, but w/o the daily necessities.  Some will be unable to take action, and unwilling to grasp that if they cant help themselves they may not have circumstances which enable their survival should life as we know it change in a matter of days.


Just In Time inventory practices and deliveries mean limited supplies. When the trucks stop rolling, the food and other gear will no longer be widely available.  If you have seen the news in the past week, some suppliers are no longer shipping to Sears on credit...  Sears, for first time in over a hundred years, may not be a viable resource.  Might want to consider any parts you need or expect to need if you own any of their equipment...


Just as you probably need a backup electrical power source, and there was a recent blog entry about this, you will also want to be sure you have backup cookstove and fuel.  Propane makes a very fine fuel for cooking and is very efficient and widely available.  A number of 5gal bulk tanks with a couple of dual burner campstoves may be all you need.  Propane has indefinite life when stored in a clean vessel w/o contaminants.  New tanks of 25gal size or larger ought be vacuum pumped to remove oil and preservative liquids inserted at the factory.

There has been no discussion of viral infection avoidance in this article.  Maybe later, but maybe not...  If you are
out of the line of fire, not really any valid reason to put yourself and those who depend on you at risk.  Going from your refuge into the fray makes little sense.  But we will all have to do what we have to do...

God Bless you all and best of luck!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Alternative Electricity Solutions

Alternative Electricity Solutions


No theory here.  In early 2000 I converted our home to grid-intertie electric using Trace Inverters, 16 Siemens solar panels and twelve L-16 six volt batteries.  Probably could have used more solar panels but it worked satisfactorily.

Have reinstalled the gear we had with generators as main power source.  Eight new L-16 batteries for storage.  Did the conversion mid-Winter so it was "interesting" and mildly stressful.  Thought would share some of the new info have learned.

Current system is not an intertie.  I did the intertie in 2000 but we chose to eliminate the smart meter situation.  We were running electric hotwater with 8kw generator but moved on to propane for hotwater, and a 2500w generator.  We had been using electric clothes dryer, soon will be installing a propane dryer.  Have done real well with interior clothesline on wet days and outdoor lines when sun shines.

Still using the Trace 4024 units, although no longer "stacked".  Had some interface difficulty and the units are long obsolete, so have actually no need for the stacked 8kw load capability so we have one online and the other as backup.  We also bought another stand-alone inverter.  More on that later.

The inverters, system disconnect, and batteries are all located in our garage which was too valuable in Alaska to use as vehicle housing.  The simple 6 breaker box which controlled electric service in the garage was converted to a full 125A service box and fed power from the inverter(s).  A 6awg three lead conductor on a 60amp breaker now feeds the breaker box in the house.  Meters are gone and feeds from meter disconnected and insulated.  Both breaker boxes have main breakers to terminate power.  Redundancy is always good when it comes to controlling live conductors.  The main disconnect is a 300amp fused pull-out which immediately removes inverter, battery, and solar panel input from the system.

Not really going to discuss ampacity, wire sizing, or wiring basics and how-to details here.  Homepower.com is a good resource for learning the basics, if you can do your own work based on code or regulation where you live.

Everything worked when put together, just like last time.  Very blessed to have no false-starts with the wiring and power input.  Basically used a 230v NEMA receptacle and 40' extension cord w/outdoor rated sheathing to deliver power from the generator to the inverter.  The 4024 inverter(s) have built-in battery charger function, but are too old to do battery equalization.  The Trace (later Xantrex, Schneider) inverters will intertie with generator to deliver a load in excess of the battery capacity in amperes.  This worked great with our electric hot water heater, but wow the power required!

Propane is more user friendly for hotwater, unless you have a boiler fueled by woodstove.  Everything is a compromise though.  No free lunch in the energy arena when you have 3hrs real sun per day at height of Winter and temps below -20f at night...

The 8kw Generac electric start genset was retired to backup duty at about 800hrs of runtime.  It has a spin-off oil filter and seems very well made.  Bought it before really studied the whole AE power generation equation.  Bought a Yamaha EF2000IS inverter genset and made a dual plug tie-in power cord to mate to the NEMA 230v power cord.  Runs about 4hrs on one gallon and puts out 14amps or 1600 watts.  The 4x larger Generac delivered about 3/4 hour runtime per gallon.  With one inverter delivering 4kw max continuous, but really only delivering about 1200w most of the day, the Yamaha worked fine and saved a lot of fuel.

For really cold climate, nothing really delivers the power as well as a gasoline fueled generator.  At -40F, nothing really wants to start.  The Yamaha could be kept inside easily as it weighs only about 50lbs with one gal of fuel.  Sometimes had to wheel the Generac inside to warm it enough to start and run easily.  The generators were run under cover, but not in an insulated or heated shed.  Intend to move them to a dedicated generator shed this year.

Generator is run when battery voltage drops to about 50% of full charge, or 24.2 volts.  We run the genset manually, turning off the generator when the batter reaches float stage charging per the Trace LED display.  Float occurs at about 85% of full charge.  Trojan Batteries has a pretty good faq for battery maintenance and their batteries are good value.

Bought a 2nd Yamaha EF2000IS to run them in parallel.  Has not been totally satisfactory but does work.  Redundant backup.  Converted a Honda 50amp inverter genset jumper set to NEMA 230 plug to use w/our extension.  Works, but..

Found another genset at a pawnshop that became our daily workhorse.  A Honda 2500w basic machine which puts out 20a continuously and runs 3+hrs per gallon.  Had a decent condition 12awg grounded extension which I cut into two short pieces and made another dual 120 plug to NEMA 230 extension.  This machine runs maybe 4hrs a day and is very fine.

The generator saga does not end there...  Found a Honda 5500w basic set at another pawn shop, and an electric start Honda 5500 on craigs which needed a new generator head.  Scavenged parts from the pawnshop set and now we have an electric start Honda in good condition.  Invaluable was the learning to diagnose bad rotor stator and doing the parts replacement.  For $300tot for both machines, it was a great project.

May still purchase a new Honda electric start genset.  Unfortunately, their inverter models, even the electric start jobs, do NOT have the automatic choke of the basic models.  Ideally, the 4500w machine delivers best economy at half load at about .6gal per hour and will do 4000w (iirc) at full load on about .8gal/hr.  For our not too intensive electric needs, it would be perfect.  Nobody stocks these in Alaska, though, because most buyers would go for the 5500 genset for about $300 extra bucks.  So we're told...

We did buy another inverter, a basic no-frills Pure Sine Wave Cotek SK 3000 24v device that delivers 3000w continuous and surges to 6kw.  Basic, almost bombproof machine, hopefully.  have not installed it yet but did test it.  With this we bought an IOTA 40kw 24v battery charger power supply as an outboard battery charger.  The draw at max charge is just under the max of the Yamaha EF2000IS.  The IOTA works with the Trace inverter charger and when run together with the 2500w Honda they deliver about 75amps of charge at 29.6 volts.  When the Honda runs the Trace will send genset power plus whatever is needed from the battery to match powerdraw until draw from inverter exceeds 10kw surge or 4kw continuous.  This gives us about 6200watts max usable power w/genset running.  More if we are running the 5500w Honda or 8kw Generac.

The IOTA charger can be teamed with another charger and deliver 80amps.  Can't say enough good things about these tough and capable machines.  Intend to get another one and the paralleling module for times we might have to do an equalizing charge.

Our Trace inverter(s) will do autostart with the Honda electric genset.  Few newer inverters really are made to do all the supplemental work with a generator as the original Trace designs.  Magnum has one hybrid inverter that will allow additive current and autostart.  Lots of info on all the possiblities on the Arizona Wind and Sun forums, and o the Homepower archives disc.

Gasoline storage?  We ran some fuel that was at least 5yrs old w/o a problem or need to clean a carburetor.  I did add some acetone, about 1oz to 5gals and also used SeaFoam and began treating any new fuel stored with StaBil.  The marine formula StaBil looks to be the best value so now buy only that.  There is also PRI-D and PRI-G for diesel and gasoline renovation.  Might be great to have if you have some old fuel stashed away...

Probably most essential tools for diy power conversion and installation is a digital voltmeter, like a Fluke and a good set of cable cutters for making HD copper cables.

More to come if I think of other details that are important.  Probably most critical is sizing your system to meet your needs.  Have to look at start-up current requirements for machines with motors and compressors.  Often takes 3x the current to actuate the motor to operating speed as it takes to maintain the rpms.  LED or other energy saving lighting helps a lot.  Where we live, no need for air conditioning and we use very efficient Toyotomi fuel oil heaters.  Many things are just energy hogs like vacuum cleaners, dishwasher, Jenn-Air electric stove...  Look at all your electric devices and their draw rates.  Might get a Kill-A-Watt meter and monitor what you are using.  Add up all your daily constantly in-use electric devices and tools and add maybe 25% more for extra capacity.  Then buy your inverter and battery and charging gear accordingly...

Pretty wonderful to be self-sufficient to some degree on the electric. Really great to be able to put it all together and know the inner workings and be able to diagnose trouble sources and fix them.  Really something every Survivalist ought be able to do.

Edited To Add:  Oil for gensets.  Since reading Chris Olson's posts on AZ Wind/Sun forum have been using Diesel rated motoroils in our air-cooled gensets.  The Rotella 10-30 synthetic is the favorite.  We use Rotella and Delo 5-40 year round in our diesel vehicles.  Chris' posts on that forum are uniformly highly informative, objective, and written with an engineer's background and insight.  He now has his own website: http://dairylandwindpower.us

The reason to use diesel rated oil is its superior ability to take the much greater pressures of diesel combustion and thereby deliver longer piston life in air-cooled motors.  I change the oil about every 10 days to 2weeks as it strikes me to do so.  This works about to about every 50 or 60hrs versus the every 100hrs Honda and Yamaha recommend.  The Rotella 10-30 diesel oil has been priced at about $16/gal at WallyWorld so has been a good value.  I try to keep about 8gals on hand.  Also keep about 8 or 10 spare NGK spark plugs for each machine and mix-in some SeaFoam once a month or so just for VooDoo JuJu good luck...