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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Daily Survival Forum?

We've had a forum here for some time now, but it's just not getting used.

I just don't have the time to run it properly.

Would anyone with forum experience care to volunteer to run it?

Please contact me:  Here!


Some readers were wondering how to access the forum.
It is accessible only via the main site at: http://dailysurvival.info/

Noise discipline - learn to communicate.

We all have heard of it and some have actually practiced it. Quiet is the key. I thank my friend Darwin (deaf) for having this realization pop into my head that a TON of people here wouldnt know how to communicate if they couldnt speak. He runs into this issue every day just trying to live his life.

Someone's breaking in your home and you dont want them to know where you are. Your out hunting with a buddy and dont want your dinner to be alerted to your presence. Zombies are attacking and you want your brains to be intact.

Communication is the key to effective noise discipline. So .... here we go.

Basic sign language. Make it a game with your kids and wife. :thumb:

A bit more advanced but mil types should already know these. This is your movement.

If you really want to learn the full sign heres a link.

Prepping is about being prepared. Prepare to communicate without words. Communicate precisly. Your life may depend on it.

Bug Out of Toronto



The title reads, “Bug Out of Toronto”.
No, not now! …
Recently, a reader from Toronto asked for ideas regarding a bug out scenario whereby things were so bad that there is no choice but to bug out of the city. The person currently lives in a condo in the center of Toronto. They do not own a plot of land outside of the city. They have relatives about 100 miles away, but they are concerned that the relatives live on a major freeway and are not out of harms way if hordes of refuge’s are roaming. They know that they could survive in their condo for a period of time because they have stocked up on food, water, and supplies. However the concern is that a complete meltdown, such as a complete catastrophic electric power grid failure (major electromagnetic solar storm or EMP for example), will result in hundreds of thousands of desperate people within a week. Knowing that it could take many months or even a year or more to replace critical Very High Voltage custom-built transformers on the grid, trying to survive in a major city will be majorly difficult at best.
Here is a very short story fiction about the hypothetical scenario…

Playing out this specific scenario in Toronto, lets assume that he has a portable shortwave radio that was not damaged during the electromagnetic event (a major solar event will probably not damage radios or electronic infrastructure as badly as an EMP weapon might). Shortly after the power went out, he turned on his radio, first checking the AM bands for information. He quickly discovered that there were literally no stations on the air at all, not even anything from Buffalo or Rochester over in the US. This instantly alerted him to the fact that this situation is very bad and probably going to get worse, very quickly. He switched his radio over to shortwave bands and started scanning around. There were voices, and after a while he discovered through a report from somewhere in Australia that much of the Northern Hemisphere had been badly affected by a major X-class solar flare, and many very large regions had lost their power. Satellites were fried, the GPS system was down, and lots of communications capabilities were entirely knocked out.
He now knew that it might be a very long time before power is restored and he knew how this would bring the city to chaos very quickly. He knew that water would stop flowing very soon, and it wouldn’t be long before people started banging on doors looking for food, water, or supplies. Knowing that this was going to be far more than a week or two without power, he decided that his best option was to bug out, and do it quickly before others started leaving in mass.
Most people will not know the facts about what had happened and will assume that power will be restored soon enough, and that if it got worse, somehow someone would help them. This will allow for the informed survivalist to probably have a one-day head start, maybe two, before real panic sets in.
He always kept the gas in the car topped up, and had one 20-liter gas can (5.3 gallons) that would add about 150 km of range to the existing 600 km range of the car, giving him 750 km (about 450 miles).  He knew that the odds were that “most” people that did decide to leave the city would not get further than about 250 km (about 150 miles) due to factors such as average mileage and average gas in one’s gas tank at any given time. Although many people in the city will remain there because they know no other way, his best chance was to get at least 250 km (150 miles) from Toronto and other major cities. That meant he could not travel west at all, and he could not venture northeast since Ottawa and Montreal will interfere. South was out of the question with a Great Lake in the way, and then the US border. That left only one option, and that was to head north.
Actually, he had previously planned this bug out scenario and had already carefully reviewed his Canada Roads Atlas and his detailed Ontario Road Atlas, and had traveled to the area to spend a bit of time exploring and making a few acquaintances. The location was just over 250 km (150 miles) north of Toronto and more than 350 km west from Ottawa. The population of the village was only about 1,000, located on a small lake with about half a dozen small places of lodging. His plan was to drive up to Sunbridge in central Ontario before others fully realized the magnitude of the unfolding disaster. Initially he would drive to each of the motels hoping that they would be receptive to his stay. He will have plenty of cash with him that he had in reserve, and will hope that they accept fair payment. He will also offer to help them deal with the grid-down disaster by pointing out the skills that he has that could help them. If he got in, then the longer term plan was to quickly gain respect by working hard for the owner so that he might have a chance to stay on, even after the money runs out, etc… If the owner was a crackpot, at least he would have bought a little time while filtering through the local area looking for an opportunity to fit in quickly.
The main goal is to establish the new location quickly, before things get real bad, while people are still somewhat normal and are accepting cash for services. Once the reality sets in, it will become very difficult to “get in” somewhere or with someone.
The car and trunk (and roof) was filled with as much food and supplies that he could take and he knew he could survive on rations for a long period, so long as no one stole it. The worst-case plan, if he could not secure lodging in Sundridge, was to live in the car somewhere in that area while attempting to gain acceptance with someone or some group before it was too late. He at least stood a better chance at this in a location far away from the mass population centers where desperation would be quickly turning to chaos and great suffering.

Having said all that, I really do not know anything about that particular area other than what I see on the Internet and Google Earth. I’ve been to Toronto though, and know that it would not be a place I would want to be during a full scale long term disaster (or any large city!). It is up to each and every one of you to determine for yourself a plan of action and then to actually practice it to some degree. In other words, go to these places and imagine the scenario and have several pre-planned destinations and places that you might stay that appear reasonably safe. Do not assume that you could simply drive off into a national park forest somewhere and make it on your own. This takes very unique skills, and unless you have them, you will be quickly discovered as a city-dweller by those who have chosen to bug out there, those who have the skills and supplies to do so. Your best chance is a very small town or village where you can fit in with the community and do your part to help the body of people survive. We need each others skills to make it all work. Don’t forget that.

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Modern Survival Blog

The Bug out Bag Medical Kit

While I’m working on whittling down my Bug out Bag (BoB) inventory (as time permits) to reduce weight and size, one area where I’ll probably add a few ounces is medical supplies.
Bugging out by vehicle in an emergency situation – local disaster or TEOTWAWKI – might make it slightly less important to have a well stocked medical kit due to less chance of mishap, but if you end up on foot for days, weeks, or more, a little prevention goes a long way. There are two primary areas and one related area that I’m focusing on
The semi-related (to medical supplies) is sanitation. Bugging out could mean less access to soap and water for cleaning, which could be a problem with food handling, and minor cuts could become infected. My solution here it to bring plenty of water for hand washing in the Bug out Vehicle (BoV), or at least plan on it, and, if on foot, plenty of moist hand towels/wipes and hand sanitizer. The goal is prevention.
The first primary area to focus on for the medical kit is a good supply of basic over the counter (OTC) medications. This might seem like a no-brainer but there might be some areas to put on a checklist. Item number uno is a bunch of anti-diarrhea medication (e.g. Imodium AD) – it’s gonna happen sooner or later.
Some of the items in my inventory may seem frivolous considering tight weight restraints (anti-fungal and anti-itch creams, insect repellent, large amounts of cold meds, etc.), but I have a different take. If you’re on foot you’ll need to get good rest. Preventing insect bites, stopping the itch from them (or athletes foot) will help you/others get sleep and recharge. Same thing with all the OTC cold medications. The last thing you want is a hacking cough preventing you/others from sleeping and getting enough rest.
Some items I don’t have listed but will be adding are Anbesol (for tooth aches, teething, canker sores, etc.) and Delsym to prevent coughing (or anything with Dextromethorphan). I will also be adding more Ibuprofen – prescription Motrin is just 800 mg of Ibuprofen, so stock up.
Some context; a guy a work recently cracked a tooth badly and had to wait several days to get it pulled (you don’t want this to happen post-TSHTF). Motrin kept the pain to a manageable level, but he got several canker sores after the tooth was extracted. Anbesol helped there. I personally just got over a cold where I was coughing a lot. Prescription cough medication with codeine didn’t help (will still make you feel good!), but an OTC product with Dextromethorphan did. Know what works for you/family and have it in your BoB.
The second area of focus for medical supplies are antibiotics. For most there is no easy answer here, but I suggest you do what you can to build up at least a course per person who would bug out with you. If you’re going on a long hiking trip/traveling to a third world country, some docs will give you a prescription for antibiotics, just in case. Another option is fish antibiotics – I’m looking into this but can’t recommend for/against it, yet.
The bottom line is, if you think you’ll need to bug out on foot for more than a few days, I think it’s worth it to go a little overboard on your medical kit at the expense of other items in your BoB. Preventing infection and getting enough rest could make the difference.

Letter Re: A Little Insight on Diesel Engines

I can't wait to read the sequels to your novel. I'm writing on the topic of pre-electronic ignition diesel trucks -- preferably a 1998 model year or older Dodge with the 5.9 Cummins engine.
Having serviced and rebuilt several of these engines I am familiar with the design, and it is certainly my favorite. I won't go into much detail on the 24-valve engine because they may not be of use in the event of an EMP, or a grid-down collapse where diagnostics cannot be performed. (For reference, there is the 12 valve- '89-'98 5.9 Manual (non computer/electronic) Cummins Engine with 12 valves, 6 intake and 6 exhaust, and the 24 valve- '99-'08 computer controlled 5.9 Cummins Engine, having 24 valves,12 intake and 12 exhaust.)
First let's look at the difference in some of the engines that Cummins made for Dodge in the '89-'98 time table. '89-'93 12-valve 5.9 Cummins engines came with a rotary style fuel pump known as the "VE" pump. This small pump is considered undesirable by most performance/horsepower seekers because you are limited to how far you can "turn it up" These pre-'94 engines will also accept the '94-'98 Bosch style fuel pump, which I highly recommend. Just know what you are doing if you change one, or contact your local diesel repair shop and have it done. Timing is key, get it one tooth off and it won't run!
The '94-'98 engines are the most popular, mainly because they already have the Bosch-style fuel pump. These fuel pumps can be "tweaked" (by a knowledgeable service person) to almost unheard-of pressures. Considering that a stock pump will take 10 to 15 lbs. of fuel pressure from the lift pump and increase it to almost 4,000 lbs. for maximum atomization in the cylinder, you really need to know what you are doing doing before messing with the pump. I recommend a 10 to 15% increase above stock settings for the "sweet spot" for power and fuel economy. Much more than that and you start getting into exhaust gas temps that could melt your turbo or blow a head gasket. I've seen a lot of guys also use a trick of blocking the waste gate on the turbo for more power. However this almost always ends with a blown head gasket and in a TEOTWAWKI situation this would be detrimental.
Regarding bio-diesel: From what I've seen, bio-diesel is better than petroleum-based diesel in both lubrication of fuel systems and horsepower and fuel economy. But it is slightly acidic. It is murder on rubber, I've talked to several people who've replaced fuel lines because it "ate" the rubber lining and continually clogs up the fuel filter. I would recommend solid steel lines for all diesel engines whether you are running petroleum based fuel or french fry grease.
Things to look for when buying a truck with a 5.9 12 valve Cummins engine: These little engines are notorious for leaking oil. Most diesel engines with miles on them will. But don't worry about that, it is a diamond in the rough. 12-valves have a knack for vibrating the bolts on the front gear cover and oil pan loose. I've had guys bring them to me, thinking that their front main seal was leaking, and all we had to do was re-torque the front cover and oil pan to stop the leak. Sometimes however, new gaskets are needed. That can get quite expensive, because you have to remove almost the entire front of the engine to do it. Also, look for a pinhole to a 1/4-inch hole in the front cover, just to the right of the oil filler tube. Some of the engines have a pin in the camshaft that works loose and will wear a hole in the front cover, causing an oil leak. Eventually, the pin can fall into the gears behind the cover, and really mess things up. I believe this was re-called by the factory, so many have been corrected. If not, make sure you get this fixed, leaking oil or not. Also, with it running, inspect all 6 injectors. If any are leaking fuel replace them! This can cause your cylinder to "wash out" and will cause a blown head gasket along with scoring of the cylinder walls, meaning an overhaul! If you catch it in time, this is not a big deal at all, just don't let it go for an extended period.
Another item to look for is the fuel pump. The older VE pump is round and is located on the driver's side of the engine, just above the power steering pump. It can be identified by the fuel lines running out the back of it to the injectors. (The proper term is spray nozzles but I call them injectors). The newer Bosch style pumps are approx. 12 to 14 inches long and are about 8 inches tall. They are located in the same place as the VE pump and have 6 fuel lines running out of the top of the pump going to each injector.
Another point I'd like to make is about black smoke. I know that some think black smoke is cool. But in fact, the smoke is black because the engine is exhausting un-burnt fuel when the valve opens. This is a result of turning up the pump or reprogramming your CPU, but not attending to anything else. Everyone knows that to have fire, you need fuel, oxygen, and spark. Diesels get their spark from the compression of atomized fuel and air, too much fuel (and not enough air) can result in an incomplete burn. If you feed it more, it has to breathe better, by both intake and exhaust, to maximize your efforts. Otherwise you are just losing fuel and money out the exhaust pipe. That is why I only recommend a 10 to 15% increase. That's the happy place, without having to worry about opening up the lungs.
For all you who have other makes of trucks, there is hope. Whether you have gas or diesel engines now, there is a place that sells installation kits to put a 5.9 Cummins into your truck. I have no affiliation with these guys, and there are other kits available, but I like the one sold at FordCummins.com. They will even sell you an engine, but I think they are a bit pricey on them. But, I can do the rebuild myself so I am partial.
These Cummins engines can be found all over, in school buses, medium sized delivery and dump trucks, generators (mostly the trailer-mounted ones that the highway department uses), sandblasters (same as the generators), and I believe that all manufacturers used this engine in their larger trucks, but only Dodge used them in pickups.
It's an amazing little engine and has a long life if maintained properly, I personally own one with just under 700,000 miles on it! I did have to rebuild it at 475,000 because of the "washed out" cylinder that I told you about earlier. Had I caught that in time, I may not have even have had to rebuild it.
I'm no expert, and just thought I'd add my two cents. I'm certain that I've missed a few things and may not be 100% correct on some, but I know that the pool of SurvivalBlog readers could add to where I've fallen short.
God Bless, - Gary in Kentucky