Archive for October, 2010

Dan Vergano had an interesting piece in USA TODAY called One EMP burst and the world goes dark regarding the threat of electromagnetic disaster that hangs over us, like a pendulum over a condemned man in the past.

The sky erupts. Cities darken, food spoils and homes fall silent. Civilization collapses.

End-of-the-world novel? A video game? Or could such a scenario loom in America’s future?

There is talk of catastrophe ahead, depending on whom you believe, because of the threat of an electromagnetic pulse triggered by either a supersized solar storm or terrorist A-bomb, both capable of disabling the electric grid that powers modern life…

In large part Vergano is correct in his assumptions, but there are a few points many, myself included, differ with. As to the probability of one type of event over the other, odds suggest it far more likely that we will face a definite electromagnetic pulse from the sun before we suffer a strike from some terrorist attack via an ICBM with a nuclear warhead. There are several reasons for this feeling, many of which are not being discussed in most of the conversations I’ve been involved in.

For one, there are few countries in the world with the actual wherewithal to accomplish such an attack in the scope needed to sufficiently silence our infrastructure. Secondly, the US military has known of this problem for decades, and because of this builds their equipment to be hardened against such an attack. That being the case, an attack of this stature may cause the civilian world distress, but it will not prevent the military powers from returning an attack, decimating the initiating country. That’s not something anybody wants to see, especially those countries that do have the capabilities to launch such an attack.

China could hurl a couple of warheads at us, destroy our power grid and infrastructure, and place us into a third world status, but they won’t. Why won’t they? The simple answer is because if they destroy our economy, who will buy their goods? We are their economy, and we both know it. If we were to stop buying from China’s manufacturing sector, they also would suffer a catastrophic blow to their economy. North Korea has yet to develop an ICBM capable of delivering a warhead over the US to the altitude, as well as latitude and longitude necessary to create such an event as Vergano talks about. Who else is there that may want to destroy us through a high altitude EMP (HEMP) burst? Certainly the Muslim extremists may wish to attack us in such a manner, but they haven’t the infrastructure to accomplish the feat.

They could attack us by subterfuge, but they cannot create an event that would cripple the entire nation. As I’ve written before, they could utilize a fishing vessel with a South American registry, conceal a containerized missile system and launch a small nuclear warhead, but to be successful they would require at least five separate teams at a minimum to cause minimal damage. That’s five large fishing vessels, fully equipped, five crews of sailors, five containerized missile systems, plus missiles, and five launch crews. That’s a lot of money, and a lot of equipment. But they still would only be able to affect a small area of this nation, relatively speaking.

No, the real threat is more likely from natural causes. And from what I have been able to glean from sources, there is a definite probability of a coronal mass ejection (CME) causing more damage around the entire planet than we realize. Only by taking precautions and preparing now can we be ready to survive the times we are to face when this eventually happens.

But a bigger danger that I see happening, based on past experiences is the adjunct effects that will be created as we draw closer to 2012 and the beginning of the next solar cycle. While there is no way to predict a CMEs occurrence ahead of time, we can detect its occurrence as it erupts, giving us a couple of heartbeats worth of warning. But that doesn’t help much. We need to have our homesteads hardened against such an occurrence now, not when we hear from NOAA or NASA that it’s on its way. Install a grounding grid around your home, and build some Faraday Cages to store your electronics in when not in use to be safe from harm. We can protect ourselves, and we can survive, and in fact thrive when everyone else is floating in the middle of the lake with no gas for the boat.

More importantly, as we get closer to 2012 we will likely see an increase in panic buying of survival and preparedness supplies, driving the costs up beyond reason. People will become incensed with the need to prepare for this event, and in so doing will likely destroy their hope for survival because they will not take the time to learn about the threat. They will not ADD to survive. You can learn more about ADDing to survive in my book “Surviving the Times” available at the top left of this blog.

After the elections are over and I have some time to devote to the issue I’ll lay out an EMP survival plan that you can follow to safeguard your property and equipment from most destructive events, whether natural or manmade. I’ll also devote an entire episode of my radio show to the same topic. Stay tuned for the solutions you need to survive the coming times.

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Stoves and Stove Wood. (From the Southern Reporter circa 1898)

A tree blown down by the winds in the spring, full of the sap that made it a thing of beauty while it stood, becomes the curse of housekeepers when it is used for stove wood. Such wood makes a spoiled meal, a sour temper, an ill husband and a damaged stove. Farmers sometimes neglect this important matter in the house, but never forget to scold when meals are out of time and badly cooked, although their poor wives have been struggling for hours to coax a flame from a mass of sobbing, dripping wood that positively refuses to burn. When the back of the stove is burned out, a lecture on economy is read to the struggling woman when the fault is all in the wood. In a good stove, there is practically no wear out if the proper fuel is furnished. Every farmer who consults his own interest will see that his cook has suitable wood.

Stove wood should be cut in the fall when the trees are free from sap. Neither hickory nor oak are suitable for a stove. They burn with too little flame, and make such solid beds of hot coals in the furnace that the doors are warped and cracked and the backs burned out, while the oven is imperfectly heated. The best wood for a stove is one that is easily kindled, burns quickly with a flame, and leaves no coals and few ashes. In certain districts where red cedar is plentiful it is used almost entirely for the stove, the only objection being that it makes almost as much soot as bituminous coal; the same objection applies to the different kinds of poplar. Sweet gum, once seasoned, makes an excellent stove wood, but nothing is to be compared with sassafras. It fills every requirement to perfection. Old fields and swamps all through the South are filled with these two kinds of wood; they are comparatively worthless as timber, but invaluable as fuel. It will take but little work when the crops are laid by to cut and haul enough to last the stove for a year, with incalculable gain in the way of labor-saving to the cook, saving in the way of the stove, and in regular and well cooked meals, in Texas the farmers are compelled to haul their entire winter’s supply of wood in the summer; the winter rains make the prairie roads almost impassable in a short time, and it is the paradise of cooks. The summer suns dry and season the wood; a Texas cook never knows what it is to wrestle with weeping sticks. If some heavenly power would compel our farmers here to haul their wood in summer, if only once, they would not need compelling again, but they would prepare it voluntarily ever after.

(Fast forward to today)

There seems to be no end in sight of reviews and marketing from the wood stove industry. No matter what kind of stove you are looking for, you can find a wealth of information to help you make your decision on what type or brand of stove to buy, and how to care for it. But what about firewood? There seems to be next to no information out there concerning what kind of woods you should be using for fuel, and how to prepare and store it. Actually there are some good sites out there, but you have to do some digging for them. I have placed a new link for Wood Heat Organization Inc., a Canadian organization dedicated to the furtherance of the wood heating industry. It may be a Canadian organization, but wood is wood and burns the same no matter what country you live in. I suggest you visit the site, check them out and maybe learn a thing or two. They actually have a good sized book on residential wood heating that you can download as a pdf here.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind when determining your heating plans for your survival homestead. For one, a lot of people like the idea of pellet fuel, and under ideal circumstances these are good units to include in your plan. However, In making your long term plans you need to remember that the ultimate meltdown scenario will leave you without electrical power, and pellet stoves require electricity to operate. If you do use pellet stoves for heating, make sure you have a backup plan in place.

You’ll want to use good quality seasoned hardwood for fuel, but that may not be possible at first. Seasoned hardwood is that which has been allowed to dry in the sun for at least one year. You have several potential ways of obtaining fuel, but for a long term sustainable homestead you’ll want to grow and harvest your own trees for fuel. Unless you already have a place with a woodlot already planned you may want to talk to a certified forester about your plans. They can help you create the ideal woodlot planned for your area and environment. You may want to start by clear-cutting a strip and planting a fast growing tree like a poplar before you set up your homestead and move in if you can do it that way. This will give you a quick supply of trees to harvest while a better quality, but slower growing tree gets up to speed.

If you buy firewood from a dealer, make sure you buy it as a “full cord” sale. This will measure 4′ by 4′ by 8′ long (128 cubic feet). Try to get a dealer you can trust to give you a fairly tight cord without a lot of twisted or bent pieces that will take up space. If there are very many in the cord you purchase you’ll be short changed in the deal. You can also buy your firewood as a face cord where the pieces are cut 16″ long. It is a lot cheaper per cord this way, but that is because you aren’t really buying a cord, you’re only buying a third of a cord, in a sense.

Another popular way to sell cordwood is by calling it stove length. This is usually wood cut to 12″ lengths, and again can be much more expensive than by buying a standard cord of 128 cubic feet. A good way to save money is to get cordwood in four foot lengths and cut and split it to size on your own. You can buy a hydraulic splitter and save a lot of work, speeding up the process. If you are on good terms with the homesteader down the road you might be able to share the cost with them and save even more money.

Whatever you choose to do, try to learn the ins and outs of wood heating before making your decision. An informed decision is always less costly than trial and error.

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate Urges State Emergency Mangers to prepare for the worst and consider the entire community while planning for disaster
October 20, 2010
HQ-10-203
Contact: FEMA News Desk 202-646-3272
News Release
FEMA ADMINISTRATOR CRAIG FUGATE URGES STATE EMERGENCY MANAGERS TO PREPARE FOR THE WORST AND CONSIDER THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY WHILE PLANNING FOR DISASTER
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate today urged state emergency managers from across the country to incorporate the needs and capabilities of the entire community, including children and people with disabilities, when planning for disaster response and recovery.  In addition, Fugate also challenged participants to plan for worst case scenarios that go beyond the capabilities of government solutions, scenarios which he refers to as “Maximum of Maximums.”
“Historically in emergency management we have only planned for what our capabilities can handle or only looked at what we can do to respond as government,” said Fugate.  “But what we really need to be doing is planning for disasters that go beyond our capabilities.  That’s why we have to look beyond our government-centric approach and see what outside resources we can bring to the table.  We need to better engage our volunteer and non-profit partners, work with the private sector, and most importantly involve the public.  And through all this planning we can’t lose focus on the communities we serve.  We have to remember: It’s not about process, it’s about the products; it’s not about the incident, it’s about the individual.”
Fugate made his remarks during the National Emergency Management Association’s annual conference, which brings together state emergency management officials from around the country.
Fugate also pointed out that FEMA is trying to lead by example in these areas, having recently hosted the first ever National “Getting Real” Conference to bring together leaders from the emergency management and disability communities to discuss strategies to integrate the entire community into emergency planning.  Also, last month, FEMA hosted a Latino Leadership Summit, and in May FEMA hosted the Black Leadership Forum.  Both gatherings were designed to engage stakeholders in discussions about how to better involve the entire community in emergency planning.
Prior to joining FEMA 18 months ago, Administrator Fugate served as the Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.  Fugate began his emergency management career as a volunteer firefighter, Emergency Paramedic, and finally as a Lieutenant with the Alachua County Fire Rescue.
Follow FEMA online at www.twitter.com/fema, www.twitter.com/readydotgovwww.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate’s activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema.  The social media links provided are for reference only.  FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

FEMA encourages Americans to start preparing for winter weather

October 21, 2010

No: HQ-10-204

Contact: FEMA News Desk

Phone: 202-646-3272

News Release

FEMA ENCOURAGES AMERICANS TO START PREPARING FOR WINTER WEATHER

NOAA Annual Winter Outlook Released Today Forecasts “Winter of Extremes” for U.S.

WASHINGTON – Today, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its 2010 U.S. Winter Outlook predicting extreme weather patterns for different regions of the country this winter, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is reminding individuals to get ready for winter storms and extreme cold.  Americans can find helpful tips and recommendations to help them get prepared at http://www.Ready.gov/america/beinformed/winter.html.

Among other things, NOAA’s outlook forecast that the Pacific Northwest could have a colder and wetter than average winter, while the South may be warmer and drier than usual.  While the threats vary across different parts of the country, almost everyone, regardless of where they live, is likely to experience some type of severe winter weather at some point in their lives.

“With winter right around the corner, it’s never too early to start preparing for snowstorms, icy roads, and other types of severe weather,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.  “Whether you live in an area that is used to severe winters or not, there are three simple steps all Americans should take to get ready: put together an emergency supply kit, develop a family communications plan, and stay informed about the risks and emergencies in your community.”

“Besides severe winter weather, disasters can strike anytime, anywhere, which is why it’s important to be prepared wherever you live,” Fugate continued. “I urge everyone to visit www.Ready.gov for more helpful tips.”

Severe winter weather can include snow or subfreezing temperatures, strong winds and ice or heavy rain storms.  An emergency supply kit both at home and in the car will help prepare people for winter power outages and icy or impassable roads.

An emergency supply kit should include a three-day supply of food and water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and extra flashlights and batteries.  Thoroughly check and update your family’s emergency supply kit and add the following supplies in preparation for winter weather:

  • Rock salt to melt ice on walkways;
  • Sand to improve traction;
  • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment;
  • And adequate clothing and blankets to help keep you warm.
  • Ensure your family preparedness plan and contacts are up to date and exercise your plan.  Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government, and ensure your home and car are prepared for the winter weather.

Finally, everyone should get familiar with the terms that are used to identify a winter storm hazard and discuss with your family what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued. Terms used to describe a winter storm hazard include the following:

  • Freezing Rain creates a coating of ice on roads and walkways.
  • Sleet is rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes roads to freeze and become slippery.
  • Winter Weather Advisory means cold, ice and snow are expected.
  • Winter Storm Watch means severe weather such as heavy snow or ice is possible in the next day or two.
  • Winter Storm Warning means severe winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon.

For more information and winter preparedness tips, please visit: http://www.ready.gov/america/beinformed/winter.html.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Characterizing the Tea Party movement as “small and dismissible…”

John Conyers addressed a small gathering of the Democratic Socialists of America recently, and the Heritage Foundation shares a video of his little speech whereby this democrat from Michigan publicly and warmly embraced the new world order, and one world governance. You can find the article and video here. Here following are a couple of quotes from the article, but I think it is important to find that he wants to make it certain that Obama is a one termer, but he also wants to see him re-elected. You know what that means in the world of politics. It means that in order to get this groups support, Mr. 44 will be required to make some new pacts with the devil. This is a video you need to watch if you are concerned with surviving the times!

Earlier this month, liberals, leftists and unions staged a sparsely attended “march” in Washington called the “One Nation Rally.” After the event, Americans for Prosperity put together an excellent video that shows the great extent that socialists made up the audience. But now, Heritage has been sent video that shows Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) addressing the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) before the march…

He focuses in on the notion of a “one-world concept” in which every nation is responsible for one another, and beholden to international regimes or multinational organizations. Conyers says: “We understand the significance of it. We know that when unions, political ideology, clergy, labor, civil rights, come together, and just people that are progressive enough to see in this one-world concept, that we’re all in this together. It makes certain things pretty easy to understand where we’re coming from…”

These two quotes from this article demonstrate the need for us all to batten down the hatches and become prepared for that which this nation has not seen, save the War Between the States. With the decline of the dollar, increased governmental control, imposition of controlled media and activation of other tools, we can only be certain of hard times and depression for our future.

We have an opportunity in less than two weeks time to make a difference and begin to divert our future towards a return to our true path as a nation. Please get put and vote, and vote conservative if you value what you have.