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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Forth Half - Information

This is the forth half of the post on information. You will find links to other bloggers and websites about the subject for this week.


Abraham's Blog - Learn your area of operations


WikiHow - How to Keep a Notebook

Third Half - Information

This is the third half of the post on information

There comes a time in everyone's life where we have to seek out like minded others to help learn a piece of knowledge or a specific skill. One of these places are other folk's blogs.

Be warned, not everyone is getting ready for the same set of emergencies. Some have more money but less time then you and your family, so they throw money at a problem. Other folks may believe things differently then you and your family do.

So, as you go through these blogs; think about if these folks "fit" into your preparedness plans, but don't forget, make sure you listen to the folks that might disagree with your views; they might have something for you to think about.

With that said, you will find links to numerous blogs, below.

Some are exclusively about emergency preparedness and survivalism, others are about freedom issues with survival mixed in, and others are a mix of guns, politics, freedom, survival and whatever the writer wants to write.

Be warned. These folks have their opinions. What has worked for them may not work for you.

Additionally, some of the writers are trying to make back a little of their expenses. They have pamphlets, books, and other items for sale. Some even take donations.

Just so you know, if a site has ads by Goggle or others, and you click on the ad, the site owner will receive a small remittance from the advertising company.

Abraham's Blog

Aspiring Survivalist Blog

Be A Survivor Blog

Bear Ridge Project Blog

Bison Survival Blog

Boniface's Treatise Blog

Casaubon's Book

Circle of the Oroborous Blog

Code Name Insight Blog

Coffee with the Hermit Blog

The Coming Depression Blog

Comrade Simba Blog

Daily Survival Blog

Degringolade Blog

Down in the Hills-The Survivalist Way Blog

Everyday Prepper

La Ferme de Sourrou Blog

The Field Lab Blog

Food - Learning from the Poor’s Blog

Food Storage... A Necessary Adventure Blog

Food Storage Made Easy

Frugal Canning Blog

Grain Storehouse

How to Pack Food for Long Term Storage Blog

I'd Rather Be...The Pursuit of an Off Grid Life Blog

Hunter-Gather: Wild & Fresh Food Blog

Journey in the Woods Blog

Keep it Simple Survival Blog

Little Homestead in the City Blog

Living for End Times

No BS Survival Blog

No Nanny State - Molon Labe!

Notes From the Bunker Blog

Off-Grid.Net Blog

Off Grid Survival Blog

Patriots Against the NWO Blog

Peak Oil Hausfrau Blog

Prepare! Tips To Survive The End Of The World Blog

Prepared For Survival Blog

Preparing for Tyranny Blog

Preparing Your Family Blog

Prepper Podcast

Real Self Reliance

Safely Gathered In Blog

Scoutinlife's Homestead and Preparedness Blog

Self Sustained Living Blog

She Survives Blog

Sh*t Hit The Fan Blog

Simple Green Frugal Co-op Blog

Something Wicked Comes Blog

Staying Alive Blog

Stealth Survival Blog

The Suburban Prepper Blog

Survival Acres Blog

Survival Blog

Survival Lady Blog

The Survival Mom Blog

The Survival Podcast

The Survival Report

Survival/Special Cooking

Survival Spot Blog

Survival Strategies Blog

Survival Topics

Survive the Worst Blog

Survivalist Blog


Survivalist News

Surviving in Argentina Blog



Texas Woman Prepper's Blog

Today's Survival Show

Total Survivalist Libertarian Bitchfest Blog

Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest Blog

The Urban Survivalist Blog

Viking Preparedness Blog

Wolf Tracks Blog

Woodcraft in Poland

Wretha's Adventures Living 100% Off Grid Blog

You will notice, some of the blogs are no longer updated or updated on an irregular basis. Most of these blogs still have an active archive, so make sure you read their archives. Even though they may no longer be posting, the authors still might have information for you on their blog.

If you have a survival/emergency preparedness blog, and you would like to be included in this list, e-mail me at gsiep.blogspot(at)gmail.com. Put "Blog List Addition" in the heading, so I don't automatically delete the e-mail. I usually check this e-mail box once a week.

Since you have hung around this long, If you have a question, feel free to e-mail me at the same address.

Second Half - Information

This is the second half of the blog about transportation. You will find videos/podcasts, instructions, and other information about the subject for this week.


Loading Microfilm

Loading Microfiche

Microfiche Copier 101

Coin Operated Microfiche Copier


Long-Term Storage of Books
I have two copies of certain books. One copy is kept out and is used as needed. The other copy is placed into long term storage.

To store these books, I place them in a mylar bag with an oxygen absorber and some moisture absorber. After I seal the bag, I write the title and author of the book on the seal. I then place two or three other sealed books in another bag with an oxygen absorber and more moisture absorber. This bag is sealed and labeled with titles and authors. I take two to three of these bundles then place the bundles in a heavy-duty trash bag. The trash bag is taped shut and stacked in a metal (preferred method) or wooden (alternative method) box.

Other Information:

Obtaining Information
My favorite place to get information is the internet.The second place is the local library. The library has magazines, books, and videos on a variety of subjects. Just go to the card catalog, probably a computer now a days, and enter your search query. If that doesn't work, there is a librarian to assist you.

Most local libraries are a member of a inter-library loan program. Under the inter-library loan program, the local library is able to borrow a book from another library. The library will be able to get you a copy of a book; they don't have for free or a small fee.

I have used my local library and the inter-library program to read many books that I normally couldn't afford. Once, I find a book that I think I want to own; I check local and national booksellers for used copies. We also have a local library sale every year. I am able to buy books for about 1/10 to 1/100 their original price. One year I was able to buy a set of Encyclopedia Britannica for $20.

Be careful, I have accidentally bought five copies, over the years, of Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. I keep a list, now. For the ambitious, the librarians will be able to help you set up a card catalog for your book collection.

The Dan Forrester Project
In the book Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, the character Dan Forrester attempts to save information that might be useful to a society recovering from a catastrophic event.

In the pouring rain, he loads books, double sealed in zip-lock bags, into an old steel tank. After hooking up with other survivors of the asteroid strike, they are able to recover the contents of the tank.

This is a good idea; however, zip-lock bags will leak. Loading the tank during a pouring rain was also a poor idea.

So why did I tell you about a very minor part in a great survival/science fiction book? Because, I would like you to join the "Dan Forrester Project."

The idea is to save books that can be used by you to teach or by others to learn your profession/expertise. If you would like to add more books to the project, please do.

Now, don't go out and buy two new copies of every book you own, that is a waste of money. Just the ones that you would use to teach someone, from the beginning, your area of expertise.

Week Seven - Information


Go to your local library and get a library card.

Same for your husband and kids.

Blog Post:

Information, we are surrounded by it.

Radio; tv; internet; newspapers; what you see, hear, smell, touch, and taste; and many others. But what happens if it stops. I'm talking about something simple, like an electrical outage.

How will you get your information? What if the emergency lasts longer than three days? Three weeks? Three years?

Remember PACE? For me.

Primary: Electronic Files on my computer

Alternate: A Laptop Computer and Compact Disks (CD) I am switching to an archival brand, when I can find one. A switch to DVD when I buy my next computer.

Contingency: Paper Files and Printed Books

Emergency: Microfiche and doubles of selected books packed for long-term storage.

While I was reading some archived blog posts, I found a post by Selous Scout on creating "The Survival Bible" for yourself. You need to read the post.

Selous Scout lays out a great method of building a 3-ring binder, or sets of binders, to hold important emergency preparedness information for you and your family.

What is really neat about this idea, is that the binders can be as simple or as in-depth as you want. Preparing for a multigenerational emergency, you will need, oh, 100 binders. Preparing for an earthquake, maybe, 2 binders.

And this leads to the next point. Do you have an inventory of your home and its contents for insurance purposes? Stored at an off-site location such as a friend/relative's home, safety deposit box, or lawyer's office?

How about copies of the insurance policies themselves? Contact information for your agent?

How about those (evil, vile, despicable, and useful) credit cards? Do you have copies of the account number, procedures for dealing with a stolen card, and account policies?

Birth certificates, passports, marriage licences, divorce decrees; water, sewer, electric, gas, oil, and other regular bills; and tax records to name a few more.

Yes, all possibly stored off-site in a safety deposit box. If you don't like that idea, how about your own safe. Bolted to the floor, of course.

Now remember your threat analysis. The files you create are specific to you. Don't let the threats that I'm/others are preparing for distract you from your preparations.

As you do research, you will read many people preparing for various emergencies, Peak Oil, Collapse of Society, Race Wars, Nuclear War, Economic Disasters, and many others. If you come across something that you think you need to add to your threat analysis, go ahead and add to your list. Just, make sure you prioritize the new threat, OK.

See you next week!


Selous Scout - The Survival Bible

I suggest you don't purchase "Rawles Gets You Ready" offered by Arbogast Publishing LLC and advertised on Survival Blog.
I say this for a few reasons.

First, the cost. I bought a copy for $80. Now, the manual is $150. That is expensive, very expensive.

For about $150 you could buy:

Making the Best of Basics: Family Preparedness Handbook by James Talmage

The New Passport to Survival: 12 Steps to Self-Sufficient Living by Rita Bingham

Cooking With Home Storage by Vicki Tate and Peggy Layton

Country Beans by Rita Bingham

Nuclear War Survival Skills, 1987 edition by Cresson H. Keary

Additionally, there is free survival information on the web.

Captain Dave's Survival Guide, I highly recommend it!

Nuclear War Survival Skills

American Red Cross Publications

click on "Preparing and Getting Trained"

Then click on any of the links on the left such as

Get Trained


-Home & Family

-Workplace & Employees

-School & Student

Preparedness Fast Facts

United States Army Publications

click on "Official Departmental Publications" to get to the manuals than

click on submit to get all of the stuff. Over 80 web pages of military information.

Second, I felt the manual was lacking in How-To information. How-To information that is easily found on the internet.

Now don't get me wrong, I think "Rawles Gets You Ready" sucks. It is a waste of money; however, Survival Blog is a great site. James Rawles and lots of other people providing free information for you to use; what more could you ask for?

Cold Weather Survival

Today it was freezing outside. Literally. Actually most of the day it was around 20 degrees outside with no let up in sight. Here's some cold weather survival tips in case the weather is similar at your place:

In your car:
  • Make sure your car has anti freeze in it, not just water.
  • Realize that ice and black ice are very real possibilities any time the temperatures dip below freezing. Bridges and overpasses are particularly susceptible to freezing. In any case, stay home if possible and if not possible, drive with extreme care. Note that if you hit ice, it won't matter how carefully you have been driving, you will slide anyway.
  • Check the emergency supplies in your car to make sure every thing is ready to go (batteries in flashlights, water and food that has been rotated recently, etc). Also, add items that you will need for cold weather including cat litter (for traction) and a shovel as well as extra blankets, etc.
  • Consider using studded tires (note that they aren't non-slip) and always carry chains if there is any possibility that you will end up traveling in the snow.
  • Check to make sure that your windshield washer fluid is the type that won't freeze.
  • If you are driving a truck, consider adding extra weight in the back for extra traction.


  • Be careful walking! Our Volksmarch excursion last weekend had me a bit concerned with all of the elderly people who were participating. I wasn't concerned with their ability to walk the 6+ miles, but I was worried about them slipping on the roads (who'd have thought the white painting on the cross walks could get so slippery?). With black ice, one wrong step, and you could be on your ass. Not good no matter what your age is.
  • Note that even if you are careful walking down the street, cars that are coming at you could slide on the ice and you could be toast. Pay attention to everything and be ready to jump out of the way if necessary.
  • Dress warmly and depending on the weather (ie: subfreezing with a high wind chill factor) go inside often to warm up.

Your home:

  • This can't be repeated enough...never use a generator/barbecue grill/anything else that combusts inside your home. You will die from the carbon monoxide.
  • Insulate any exposed water pipes so they won't freeze then burst. I've had this happen and it wasn't pleasant. You will want to cover the outside faucets and if you have water pipes running in an uninsulated part of your home (ie: under your home, below the insulation) be sure to wrap them with insulation or heated pipe wrap.
  • If your house is cold as some older homes tend to be if not well insulated, "hibernate" in one room with a space heater. The space heater will keep the room toasty warm even if the rest of the house is on the cool side. Note that you don't want to turn the heat in your house completely off as you don't want things in your house to freeze.
  • Get ready for a power outage. Often with freezing weather comes downed tree branches and downed power lines which can knock out power for hours or days. Be sure you are prepared for a power outage with alternate sources of heat, communications, easy to prepare food, etc.
  • If your home becomes unlivable (no heat, no power, no water because of a burst pipe, etc) seek refuge at a community shelter which are often set up during the coldest days of the year. Better to suffer some place warm than to suffer and freeze to death.
  • Check on elderly neighbors. Whether because of declining mental state or declining ability to judge temperature, some elderly literally freeze to death during times of severe weather. If you have friends or neighbors who are elderly, check on them to ensure they have heat, have firewood where they can reach it, and if you really want to help them, offer to run any errands for them so they won't have to get out in the icy cold.

If you are outside:

  • There is a huge difference if you are outside by choice or necessity (ie: participating in outdoor sports versus being homeless).
  • If you are outside by choice, of course dress warmly in layers and in sub-freezing temps, make sure everything is covered (ears, fingers, face, etc). Also be sure to seek shelter throughout the day to warm up. Carry hand warmers with you. Also, if you will be out skiing, snowshoeing, or otherwise in the wilderness, be sure to carry an avalanche beacon and a complete cold weather emergency kit with you at all times.
  • If you are homeless, dress warmly (many shelters and social service agencies are providing hats, coats, and gloves for free), and seek shelter indoors whenever possible (ie: at an overnight shelter, or at the mall or library or shelter during the day).
  • If you are homeless and decide to stay in your outside shelter, dress warmly and insulate the shelter with extra tarps, blankets, etc. Do not get wet! If you get wet and stay cold you can easily get hypothermia and die. Consider using hot water bottles (easily made with warm water put in a soda bottle--you can even use urine to fill the bottles--it's warm). If you have a dog, all the better--they are quite warm to cuddle up to.
  • If you end up sleeping outdoors for what ever reason, don't drink alcohol. Alcohol and frigid temperatures don't mix and you can easily die since alcohol numbs your ability to judge how cold you are. Also, be careful with fire. Having a fire on the coldest of nights is a good idea but don't let it get out of hand and catch anything else on fire.

Pets and Livestock:

  • Dogs who aren't used to the cold can not be left outside for long on the freezing pavement without damaging their feet. I know it looks weird but if you want to walk your dog in sub-freezing temps, fashion some kind of shoes for them.
  • Bring pets in at night, even those that usually stay outside. During the coldest nights we always used to bring our dogs in to the kitchen and barricade it so they couldn't roam around the rest of the house. For livestock, ensure that they have a dry, draft-free place to shelter.
  • Be sure to check outside water bowls/troughs throughout the day (take a hammer with you because you will probably need to break up the ice that is covering them). You may also want to give your animals extra feed to carry them through the colder weather.
  • Always keep pets and livestock away from anti-freeze and de-icing chemicals which can injure or kill them.

Other Random Tips:

  • If you take the bus or other public transit, check the appropriate website to see if the icy weather has changed anything (routes, times, etc).
  • Check the kid's school website each morning as well. Sometimes freezing weather will cause a delayed opening or, with heating problems, may close the school all together.
  • Depending on your employer, icy weather may cause them to institute their bad weather policy which could mean delays in opening, closures around the base/campus, etc. Know these things before you head out to work.
  • Do you know where your homeowners insurance policy is? It's always a good thing to have on hand when potential disaster threatens.

Don't Let Your Car Make You a Crime Victim

Most of us don't give a whole lot of thought to our cars. As long as they start up in the morning, we're usually content with that. We may curse them depending on the price of gas or the size of the car payment but basically cars are a way to get from point A to point B as easily as possible. What many people don't think about is that their car can help make them a crime victim. Here's some things to consider:
  • Is your car on the "most stolen car" list? Check here and see.
  • Do you drive in a city with the highest rates of car theft in the country? Check here and see.
  • Do you just hand over your car key (or worse, your entire key chain) to car maintenance men or valets? Don't. Instead, lock up everything (console, trunk, glove box) and give them the valet key so the only lock they can open is the car door.
  • Do you have the "home" setting on your GPS set to your home address? If you are driving a very nice car, thieves may think your home has equally nice stuff. With your GPS device, they can hit the "home" button and be led directly to your home. Side note: the home setting on my GPS device is set to the local sheriff's office address--it will get me close enough to my home destination yet still serve as an amusing deterrent to thieves.
  • Do you have your home address on your car's registration? This is yet another way a thief can steal/ransack your nice luxury car then assume your home will have some nice up-scale items as well--and with the registration they will easily be able to find their way to your home. Side note: the address on my car's registration is the address to my office.
  • Do you leave your garage door opener hanging on your visor (or other accessible place in the car)? Thieves can steal your car (or just your garage door opener), find your address, then easily let himself into your home. Side note: my garage door opener stays locked in the console until I need it.
  • Does your car provide a paper trail of your entire life? I looked into a car the other day and I could give you a complete run-down on the owner. They are a student at the local university (college level books and crumpled up sweatshirt from the U), they live on fast food (wrappers from every fast food restaurant in a five mile radius were strewn about the car), their name is ___ (I will leave this blank for privacy purposes but it was clearly displayed on the mail left on the dashboard) and they live at ____ (again I will leave this blank but their address was clearly shown on their mail). Side note: my car looks like it came from a rental agency, it is clean inside, the only contents being my briefcase and other items I need for the day; a bag of emergency supplies is kept concealed in the trunk.
  • How about the outside of your car? Is there an NRA sticker on it which may lead neighborhood car prowlers to think you have a nice stash of firearms in your home? Does it tell the world where your kids go to school? Again, the less information on your car, the better.
  • What does the license plate say about you? Hopefully not you name--a criminal can catch you in a parking lot, call you by name, and immediately get you within victim range just by acting like they know you. The license plate holder can be used similarly--if the names of your grand kids are cleverly displayed on your license plate frame, a criminal can use a made up incident with your grandchild, called by name, to get your attention and possibly your purse/body/life.
  • Do you know your license plate number? While rare, criminals have been known to switch plates from their stolen car with plates from a similar car that hasn't been reported stolen. If you notice something amiss with your car, say plates with different numbers on them, report this to the police immediately.

Fortunately most of us go about our lives without having anything negative happen but there are some things that only thieves would think of that we can use to make our cars (and ourselves) a bit safer.