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Monday, October 10, 2011

I am a SURVIVALIST!

Original Article

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Securing Your Home: Firing Positions

Original Article

A reinforced firing position. Bring on the mutant zombie bikers!
In a TEOTWAWKI situation, you may need to fortify and repel attackers. This may seem like an out-there, action hero kind of fantasy, and to an extent perhaps it is. However, we're talking about an end of the world scenario, where law and order no longer exist, and those with easily compromised morals will almost certainly turn to looting, robbery, rape and murder to get what they want.



We've talked through toughening your doors and windows, and if done properly, these measures will slow down any would be intruders. However, these measures will do little/nothing to stop incoming gun fire.




The typical modern home is not especially resistant to bullets. I'm sure you've all seen ballistics tests with drywall, studs, etc. Bullets whiz right through. Conventional drywall homes provide concealment, not cover--an assailant can't see you directly, but the structure does nothing to stop incoming rounds. If a mob of armed brigands are attacking your home or retreat, you want something more considerable than some plaster and wood to hide behind and return fire. With some thought and work, you can prepare a firing position inside a conventional structure that provides both concealment and cover.



A loophole.
The U.S. military has considerable experience with this problem - hardening up firing positions for urban operations. And they've published some excellent - free, public domain - material that the survivor can leverage in their planning efforts. The images and information from the post were drawn from FM 3-06, Urban Operations. A quick Google search will turn up this valuable manual in several formats.



A note that, if able, you should not limit your group's defensive positions to one structure. Listening/Observation Posts (LP/OPs), forward points and fallback/rally points could all be a part of your plan. These could be similar urban-style firing positions or more conventional foxholes and sniper belly hides (well concealed, of course!). If you can help it, you do not want to engage a hostile force from the same structure where your children and other non-combatants are living/sleeping. And you want as many options as you can have in case a fight breaks out!




Locating Firing Positions

There are three basic placement options for firing positions in a structure - windows, loopholes and rooftop. Of these, the loophole (a small hole knocked in the side of the building) offers the best concealment. If your firing position will be from a window, locate it back inside the room and shoot from a kneeling, sitting or prone position, if possible - you want to avoid silhouetting. The rooftop will offer you the highest elevation and  best view of the surrounding area, but generally offers the least measure of concealment.



Reinforcing Firing Positions

As mentioned, walls offer lousy protection against incoming fire. The standard method for reinforcement is good old sandbags. Sandbags are multifunctional and are a really great tool for fortifying, building and reinforcing - stock up on them. If necessary, you can improvise sand bags from things like plastic grocery bags, pillow cases, big ziplocks, buckets, boxes, medium sized garbage bags and so on.



Another household option would be boxes of old books, stacks of old newspaper or piles of phone books. Packed, dense paper is a surprisingly decent bullet stopper, at least for pistol and lighter rifle loads. Anyone has seen the episode of Mythbusters where they use phone books to armor a car? Here's a Box O' Truth on bullets vs paper subject. On another note, a well packed book case can make decent cover or a backstop for those thinking about inside the home defense.




Really, you want a thick barrier of bullet slowing stuff between you and attackers - steel plates, concrete blocks, stones, bulk bags of food, etc. Whatever you've got or can find, use it.



Windows can mean flying, broken glass all over the firing position that you will be crawling around, so you will probably want bust out the windows if fighting looks certain. If windows are broken out, you will want to barricade them, either with scavenged materials or with plywood hurricane shutters prepared beforehand. If your windows have good security film, then there's no reason to bust 'em out.



Make sure that your firing position is camouflaged and blends in - a single hole in the side of the building may stand out, but several holes might not. One window open, all others closed; you get the picture. Use furniture, junk, whatever to help with additional concealment. Don't make loopholes any bigger than they need to be.



Finally, if explosives or building collapse are a potential, a sturdy piece of furniture and a layer of sandbags overhead can offer a measure of protection.



Got any thoughts or tips about setting up firing positions in the average home? Comment away!




Four Factors That Effect Food Storage

Original Article

things-that-effect-food-storage

Food Storage Life Factor:

Temperature

It is remarkable the difference in food storage life depending upon the temperature of the environment it is stored in. This has a huge impact. The USDA states, “Each 5.6°C (10°F) drop in temperature doubles the storage life…”! You could also say that each 5.6°C (10°F) rise in temperature halves the storage life.
An example of the relationship of food storage with temperature:

(this does not represent any particular food)

50°F (30 years)

60°F (20 years)

70°F (10 years)

80°F (5 years)

90°F (2.5 years)

100°F (1.25 years)
The ideal place for most people is to store your food in your basement, where average temperatures are often around 60°F.

Food Storage Life Factor:

Product Moisture Content


For long term storage, grains should have a moisture content of 10% or less. Commercially dried foods easily achieve these levels. Typical home dehydrated foods are not this dry however, and will not last as long. Dried foods with 10% or less moisture will snap easily and are very brittle.
Regarding other stored dry foods (rice, beans, grains, etc.) the food itself should not be subject to the elements for long (such as leaving them in their original bag, etc.) but instead moved to sealed containers.

Food Storage Life Factor:

Product Atmosphere

Oxygen oxidizes many of the compounds in food. Bacteria, one of several agents which make food go rancid also needs oxygen to grow. Foods should be stored in an oxygen free environment.
Air contains about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. O2 (oxygen) absorbers dropped into a sealed container or a sealed Mylar bag are a common solution. If the oxygen within the sealed container is absorbed, what remains is 99% pure nitrogen in a partial vacuum. It is important that the container you are using must be able to hold an air-tight seal.

Food Storage Life Factor:


Container

To get the best storage life, the product must have a hermetic (air tight) seal. Common solutions are ‘cans’, sealable food storage buckets, and sealable Mylar bags.
If using plastic buckets or barrels, be sure that they are rated ‘food grade’. Remember that just because a bucket is HDPE #2 does not mean that it is food grade. Safe Plastics for Food and Drink

(some information sourced from LDS Preparedness)
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