Thoughts on Disaster Survival

Thoughts on Disaster Survival – Learned by Katrina

” This material was originally published and copyrighted by John Schaefer, �, and is used here with his permission and the permission �
of the original author.”�

First Post�
I’ve had over 30 people staying with me since Sunday, evacuating from New Orleans and points south in anticipation of Hurricane Katrina. Only two families were my friends they told other friends of theirs that they knew a place where they could hole up, and so a whole bunch arrived here! I didn’t mind, because there were six RV’s and travel trailers, so we had enough accommodation. However, I’ve had the opportunity to see what worked – and what didn’t – in their evacuation plans and bug-out kits, and I thought a few “lessons learned” might be appropriate to share here.�

01. Have a bug-out kit ready at all times. Many of these folks packed at the last minute, grabbing whatever they thought they’d need. Needless to say, they forgot some important things (prescription medications, important documents, baby formula, diapers, etc.). Some of these things (e.g. prescriptions) obviously can’t be stocked up against possible emergency need, but you can at least have a list in your bug-out kit of what to grab at the last minute before you leave!�

02. Renew supplies in your bug-out kit on a regular basis. Batteries lose their charge. Foods have an expiration date. So do common medications. Clothes can get moldy or dirty unless properly stored. All of these problems were found with the folks who kept backup or bug-out supplies on hand, and caused difficulties for them.�

03. Plan on needing a LOT more supplies than you think. I found myself with over 30 people on hand, many of whom were not well supplied and the stores were swamped with literally thousands of refugees, buying up everything in sight. I had enough supplies to keep myself going for 30 days. Guess what? Those supplies ended up keeping 30-odd people going for two days. I now know that I must plan on providing for not just myself, but others in need. I could have been selfish and said “No, these are mine” – but what good would that do in a real disaster? Someone would just try to take them, and then we’d have all the resulting unpleasantness. Far better to have extra supplies to share with others, whilst keeping your own core reserve intact (and, preferably, hidden from prying eyes!).�

04. In a real emergency, forget about last-minute purchases. As I said earlier, the stores were swamped by thousands of refugees, as well as locals buying up last-minute supplies. If I hadn’t had my emergency supplies already in store, I would never have been able to buy them at the last minute. If I’d had to hit the road, the situation would have been even worse, as I’d be part of a stream of thousands of refugees, most of whom would be buying (or stealing) what they needed before I got to the store.�

05. Make sure your vehicle will carry your essential supplies. Some of the folks who arrived at my place had tried to load up their cars with a humongous amount of stuff, only to find that they didn’t have space for themselves! Pets are a particular problem here, as they have to have air and light, and can’t be crammed into odd corners. If you have to carry a lot of supplies and a number of people, invest in a small luggage trailer or something similar (or a small travel trailer with space for your goodies) – it’ll pay dividends if the S really does HTF.�

06. A big bug-out vehicle can be a handicap. Some of the folks arrived here with big pick-ups or SUV’s, towing equally large travel trailers. Guess what? – on some evacuation routes, these huge combinations could not navigate corners very well, and/or were so difficult to turn that they ran into things (including other vehicles, which were NOT about to make way in the stress of an evacuation!). This led to hard feelings, harsh words, and at least one fist-fight. It’s not a bad idea to have smaller, more maneuverable vehicles, and a smaller travel trailer, so that one can “squeeze through” in a tight traffic situation. Another point a big SUV or pickup burns a lot of fuel. This is bad news when there’s no fuel available! (See point 10 below.)�

07. Make sure you have a bug-out place handy. I was fortunate in having enough ground (about 1.8 acres) to provide parking for all these RV’s and trailers, and to accommodate 11 small children in my living-room so that the adults could get some sleep on Sunday night, after many hours on the road in very heavy, slow-moving traffic. However, if I hadn’t had space, I would have unhesitatingly told the extra families to find somewhere else – and there wasn’t anywhere else here, that night. Even shops like Wal-Mart and K-Mart had trailers and RV’s backed up in their parking lots (which annoyed the heck out of shoppers trying to make last-minute purchases). Even on my property, I had no trailer sewage connections, so I had to tell the occupants that if they used their onboard toilets and showers, they had to drive their RV’s and trailers somewhere else to empty their waste tanks. If they hadn’t left this morning, they would have joined long, long lines to do this at local trailer parks (some of which were so overloaded by visiting trailers and RV’s that they refused to allow passers-by to use their dumping facilities).�

08. Provide entertainment for younger children. Some of these families had young children (ranging from 3 months to 11 years). They had DVD’s, video games, etc. – but no power available in their trailers to show them! They had no coloring books, toys, etc. to keep the kids occupied. This was a bad mistake.�
09. Pack essentials first, then luxuries. Many of these folks had packed mattresses off beds, comforters, cushions, bathrobes, etc. As a result, their vehicles were grossly overloaded, but often lacked real essentials like candles, non-perishable foods, etc. One family (both parents are gourmet cooks) packed eighteen (yes, EIGHTEEN!!!) special pots and pans, which they were going to use on a two-burner camp stove… They were horrified by my suggestion that under the circumstances, a nested stainless-steel camping cookware set would be rather more practical. “What? No omelet pan?” Sheesh…�

10. Don’t plan on fuel being available en route. A number of my visitors had real problems finding gas to fill up on the road. With thousands of vehicles jammed nose-to-tail on four lanes of interstate, an awful lot of vehicles needed gas. By the time you got to a gas station, you were highly likely to find it sold out – or charging exorbitant prices, because the owners knew you didn’t have any choice but to pay what they asked. Much better to leave with a full tank of gas, and enough in spare containers to fill up on the road, if you have to, in order to reach your destination.�

11. Have enough money with you for at least two weeks. Many of those who arrived here had very little in cash, relying on check-books and credit cards to fund their purchases. Guess what? Their small banks down in South Louisiana were all off-line, and their balances, credit authorizations, etc. could not be checked – so many shops refused to accept their checks, and insisted on electronic verification before accepting their credit cards. Local banks also refused (initially) to cash checks for them, since they couldn’t check the status of their accounts on-line. Eventually (and very grudgingly) local banks began allowing them to cash checks for not more than $50-$100, depending on the bank. Fortunately, I have a reasonable amount of cash available at all times, so I was able to help some of them. I’m now going to increase my cash on hand, I think… Another thing – don’t bring only large bills. Many gas stations, convenience stores, etc. won’t accept anything larger than a $20 bill. Some of my guests had plenty of $100 bills, but couldn’t buy anything.�

12. Don’t be sure that a disaster will be short-term. My friends have left now, heading south to Baton Rouge. They want to be closer to home for whenever they’re allowed to return. Unfortunately for them, the Governor has just announced the mandatory, complete evacuation of New Orleans, and there’s no word on when they will be allowed back. It will certainly be several weeks, and it might be several months. During that period, what they have with them – essential documents, clothing, etc. – is all they have. They’ll have to find new doctors to renew prescriptions; find a place to live (a FEMA trailer if they’re lucky – thousands of families will be lining up for these trailers); some way to earn a living (their jobs are gone with New Orleans, and I don’t see their employers paying them for not working when the employers aren’t making money either); and so on.�

13. Don’t rely on government-run shelters if at all possible. Your weapons WILL be confiscated (yes, including pocket-knives, kitchen knives, and Leather man-type tools); you will be crowded into close proximity with anyone and everyone (including some nice folks, but also including drug addicts, released convicts, gang types, and so on); you will be under the authority of the people running the shelter, who WILL call on law enforcement and military personnel to keep order (including stopping you leaving if you want to); and so on. Much, much better to have a place to go to, a plan to get there, and the supplies you need to do so on your own.�

14. Warn your friends not to bring others with them!!! I had told two friends to bring themselves and their families to my home. They, unknown to me, told half-a-dozen other families to come too – “He’s a good guy, I’m sure he won’t mind!” Well, I did mind… but since the circumstances weren’t personally dangerous, I allowed them all to hang around. However, if things had been worse, I would have been very nasty indeed to their friends (and even nastier to them, for inviting others without clearing it with me first!). If you are a place of refuge for your friends, make sure they know that this applies to them ONLY, not their other friends. Similarly, if you have someone willing to offer you refuge, don’t presume on his/her hospitality by arriving with others unforewarned.�

15. Have account numbers, contact addresses and telephone numbers for all important persons and institutions. My friends will now have to get new postal addresses, and will have to notify others of this their doctors, insurance companies (medical, personal, vehicle and property), bank(s), credit card issuer(s), utility supplier(s), telephone supplier(s), etc. Basically, anyone who sends you bills, or to whom you owe money, or who might owe you money. None of my friends brought all this information with them. Now, when they need to change postal addresses for correspondence, insurance claims, etc., how can they do this when they don’t know their account numbers, what number to call, who and where to write, etc.?�

16. Have portable weapons and ammo ready to hand. Only two of my friends were armed, and one of them had only a handgun. The other had a handgun for himself, another for his wife, a shotgun, and an evil black rifle – MUCH better! I was asked by some of the other families, who’d seen TV reports of looting back in New Orleans, to lend them firearms. I refused, as they’d never handled guns before, and thus would have been more of a danger to themselves and other innocent persons than to looters. If they’d stayed a couple of days, so that I could teach them the basics, that would have been different but they wouldn’t, so I didn’t. Another thing – you don’t have to take your entire arsenal along. Firearms for personal defense come first, then firearms for life support through hunting (and don’t forget the skinning knife!). A fishing outfit might not be a bad idea either (you can shoot bait! ). Other than that, leave the rest of your guns in the safe (you do have a gun safe, securely bolted to the floor, don’t you?), and the bulk ammo supplies too. Bring enough ammo to keep you secure, but no more. If you really need bulk supplies of guns and ammo, they should be waiting for you at your bug-out location, not occupying space (and taking up a heck of a lot of weight!) in your vehicle. (For those bugging out in my direction, ammo supply will NOT be a problem… )�

Second Post�
Here are some more ideas.�
01. Route selection is very, very important. My friends (and their friends) basically looked at the map, found the shortest route to me (I-10 to Baton Rouge and Lafayette, then up I-49 to Alexandria), and followed it slavishly. This was a VERY bad idea, as something over half-a-million other folks had the same route in mind… Some of them took over twelve hours for what is usually a four-hour journey. If they’d used their heads, they would have seen (and heard, from radio reports) that going North up I-55 to Mississippi would have been much faster. There was less traffic on this route, and they could have turned left and hit Natchez, MS, and then cut across LA on Route 84.�
This would have taken them no more than five or six hours, even with the heavier evacuation traffic. Lesson think outside the box, and don’t assume that the shortest route on the map in terms of distance will also be the shortest route in terms of time.�

02. The social implications of a disaster situation. Feedback from my contacts in the LSP and other agencies is very worrying. They keep harping on the fact that the “underclass” that’s doing all the looting is almost exclusively Black and inner-city in composition. The remarks they’re reporting include such statements as “I’m ENTITLED to this stuff!”, “This is payback time for all Whitey’s done to us”, and “This is reparations for slavery!”. Also, they’re blaming the present confused disaster-relief situation on racism “Fo sho, if Whitey wuz sittin’ here in tha Dome waitin’ for help, no way would he be waitin’ like we is!” No, I’m not making up these comments… they are as reported by my buddies. This worries me very much. If we have such a divide in consciousness among our city residents, then when we hit a SHTF situation, we’re likely to be accused of racism, paternalism, oppression, and all sorts of other crimes just because we want to preserve law and order. If we, as individuals and families, provide for our own needs in emergency, and won’t share with others (whether they’re of another race or not) because we don’t have enough to go round, we’re likely to be accused of racism rather than pragmatism, and taking things from us can (and probably will) be justified as “Whitey getting his just desserts”. I’m absolutely not a racist, but the racial implications of the present situation are of great concern to me. The likes of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the “reparations for slavery” brigade appear to have so polarized inner-city opinion that these folks are (IMHO) no longer capable of rational thought concerning such issues as looting, disaster relief, etc.�

03. Implications for security. If one has successfully negotiated the danger zone, one will be in an environment filled, to a greater or lesser extent, with other evacuees. How many of them will have provided for their needs? How many of them will rely on obtaining from others the things they need? In the absence of immediate State or relief-agency assistance, how many of them will feel “entitled” to obtain these necessities any way they have to, up to and including looting, murder and mayhem? Large gathering-places for refugees suddenly look rather less desirable… and being on one’s own, or in an isolated spot with one’s family, also looks less secure. One has to sleep sometime, and while one sleeps, one is vulnerable. Even one’s spouse and children might not be enough… there are always going to be vulnerabilities. One can hardly remain consciously in Condition Yellow while bathing children, or making love! A team approach might be a viable solution here – see point 06 below.�

04. Too many chiefs, not enough Indians” in New Orleans at the moment. The mayor has already blown his top about the levee breach: he claims that he had a plan in place to fix it by yesterday evening, but was overruled by Baton Rouge, who sent in others to do something different. This may or may not be true… My LSP buddies tell me that they’re getting conflicting assignments and/or requests from different organizations and individuals. One will send out a group to check a particular area for survivors but when they get there, they find no-one, and later learn that another group has already checked and cleared the area. Unfortunately, in the absence of centralized command and control, the information is not being shared amongst all recovery teams. Also, there’s alleged to be conflict between City officials and State functionaries, with both sides claiming to be “running things” and some individuals in the Red Cross, FEMA, and other groups appear to be refusing to take instructions from either side, instead (it’s claimed) wanting to run their own shows. This is allegedly producing catastrophic confusion and duplication of effort, and may even be making the loss of life worse, in that some areas in need of rescuers aren’t getting them. (I don’t know if the same problems are occurring in Mississippi and/or Alabama, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were.) All of this is unofficial and off-the-record, but it doesn’t surprise me to hear it. Moral of the story if you want to survive, don’t rely on the government or any government agency (or private relief organization, for that matter) to save you. Your survival is in your own hands – don’t drop it!�

05. Long-term vision. This appears to be sadly lacking at present. Everyone is focused on the immediate, short-term objective of rescuing survivors. However, there are monumental problems looming, that need immediate attention, but don’t seem to be getting it right now. For example: the Port of Louisiana is the fifth-largest in the world, and vital to the economy, but the Coast Guard is saying (on TV) that they won’t be able to get it up and running for three to six months, because their primary focus is on search and rescue, and thereafter, disaster relief. Why isn’t the Coast Guard pulled off that job now, and put to work right away on something this critical? There are enough Navy, Marine and Air Force units available now to take over rescue missions.�

Another example there are over a million refugees from the Greater New Orleans area floating around. They need accommodation and food, sure but most of them are now unemployed, and won’t have any income at all for the next six to twelve months. There aren’t nearly enough jobs available in this area to absorb this workforce. What is being done to find work for them, even in states remote from the problem areas? The Government for sure won’t provide enough for them in emergency aid to be able to pay their bills. What about mortgages on properties that are now underwater? The occupants both can’t and won’t pay; the mortgage holders will demand payment; and we could end up with massive foreclosures on property that is worthless, leaving a lot of folks neck-deep in debt and without homes (even damaged ones). What is being done to plan for this, and alleviate the problem as much as possible? I would have thought that the State government would have had at least the skeleton of an emergency plan for these sorts of things, and that FEMA would have the same, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. Why weren’t these things considered in the leisurely days pre-disaster, instead of erupting as immediate and unanswered needs post-disaster?�

06. Personal emergency planning. This leads me to consider my own emergency planning. I’ve planned to cover an evacuation need, and could probably survive with relative ease for between two weeks and one month but what if I had been caught up in this mess? What would I do about earning a living, paying mortgages, etc.? If I can’t rely on the State, I for darn sure had better be able to rely on myself! I certainly need to re-examine my insurance policies, to ensure that if disaster strikes, my mortgage, major loans, etc. will be paid off (or that I will receive enough money to do this myself). I also need to provide for my physical security, and must ensure that I have supplies, skills and knowledge that will be “marketable” in exchange for hard currency in a post-disaster situation. The idea of a “team” of friends with (or to) whom to bug out, survive, etc. is looking better and better. Some of the team could take on the task of keeping a home maintained (even a camp-type facility), looking after kids, providing base security, etc. Others could be foraging for supplies, trading, etc. Still others could be earning a living for the whole team with their skills. In this way, we’d all contribute to our mutual survival and security in the medium to long term. Life might be a lot less comfortable than prior to the disaster, but hey – we’d still have a life! This bears thinking about, and I might just have to start building “team relationships” with nearby [people of like mind]!�

07. The “bank problem.” This bears consideration. I was at my bank this morning, depositing checks I’d been given by my visitors in exchange for cash. The teller warned me bluntly that it might be weeks before these checks could be credited to my account, as there was no way to clear them with their issuing banks, which were now under water and/or without communications facilities. He also told me that there had been an endless stream of folks trying to cash checks on South Louisiana banks, without success. He warned me that some of these local banks will almost certainly fail, as they don’t have a single branch above water, and the customers and businesses they served are also gone – so checks drawn on them will eventually prove worthless. Even some major regional banks had run their Louisiana “hub” out of New Orleans, and now couldn’t access their records. I think it might be a good idea to have a “bug-out bank account” with a national bank, so that funds should be available anywhere they have a branch, rather than keeping all one’s money in a single bank (particularly a local one) or credit union. This is, of course, over and above one’s “bug-out stash” of ready cash.�

08. Helping one’s friends is likely to prove expensive. I estimate that I’m out over $1,000 at the moment, partly from having all my supplies consumed, and partly from making cash available to friends who couldn’t cash their checks. I may or may not get some of this back in due course. I don’t mind it – if I were in a similar fix, I hope I could lean on my friends for help in the same way, after all! – but I hadn’t made allowance for it. I shall have to do so in future, as well as planning to contribute to costs incurred by those who offer me hospitality under similar circumstances.�

Third Post�
Over the course of today I’ve heard back from several of our field reps who were in the hurricane-damaged areas from Wednesday through Sunday, and have also picked up on after-action reports from my contacts in the Louisiana State Police, and, through them, some from the Mississippi State Police. This e-mail summarizes experiences and lessons learned.�

01. People who were prepared were frequently mobbed/threatened by those who weren’t. This was reported in at least seven incidents, five in Mississippi, two in Louisiana (I suspect that the relative lack of Louisiana incidents was because most of those with any sense got out of Dodge before the storm hit). In each case, the person/family concerned had made preparations for disaster, with supplies, shelter, etc. in good order and ready to go. Several had generators ready and waiting. However, their neighbors who had not prepared all came running after the disaster, wanting food, water and shelter from them. When the prepared families refused, on the grounds that they had very little, and that only enough for themselves, there were many incidents of aggression, attempted assault, and theft of their supplies. Some had to use weapons to deter attack, and in some cases, shots were fired. I understand that in two incidents, attackers/would-be thieves were shot. It’s also reported that in all of these cases, the prepared families now face threats of retribution from their neighbors, who regarded their refusal to share as an act of selfishness and/or aggression, and are now threatening retaliation. It’s reportedly so bad that most of the prepared families are considering moving to other neighborhoods so as to start afresh, with different neighbors.�

Similar incidents are reported by families who got out in time, prepared to spend several days on their own. When they stopped to eat a picnic meal at a rest stop, or an isolated spot along the highway, they report being approached rather aggressively by others wanting food, or fuel, or other essentials. Sometimes they had to be rather aggressive in their turn to deter these insistent requests. Two families report attempts being made to steal their belongings (in one case, their vehicle) while over-nighting in camp stops on their way out of the area. They both instituted armed patrols, with one or more family members patrolling while the others slept, to prevent this. Seems to me to be a good argument to form a “bug-out team” with like-minded, security-conscious friends in your area, so that all concerned can provide mutual security and back-up.�

My take I can understand these families being unwilling to share the little they had, particularly in light of not knowing when supplies would once again be available. However, this reinforces the point I made in my “lessons learned” post last week plan on needing much more in the way of supplies than you initially thought! If these families had had some extra food and water in stock, and hidden their main reserve where it would not be seen, they could have given out some help to their neighbors and preserved good relations. Also, a generator, under such circumstances, is a noisy (and bright, if powering your interior lights) invitation saying “This house has supplies – come and get them”. I suspect that kerosene lanterns, candles and flashlights might be a more “community-safe” option if one is surrounded by survivors.�

02. When help gets there, you may get it whether you like it or not. There are numerous reports of aggressive, overbearing behavior by those rescuers who first arrived at disaster scenes. It’s perhaps best described as “I’m here to rescue you – I’m in charge – do as I say – if you don’t I’ll shoot you”. It appears that mid-level State functionaries and Red Cross personnel (the latter without the “shoot you” aspect, of course) were complained about most often. In one incident, a family who had prepared and survived quite well were ordered, not invited, to get onto a truck, with only the clothes on their backs. When they objected, they were threatened. They had pets, and wanted to know what would happen to them and they report that a uniformed man (agency unknown) began pointing his rifle at the pets with the words “I’ll fix that”. The husband then trained his own shotgun on the man and explained to him, in words of approximately one syllable, what was going to happen to him if he fired a shot. The whole “rescuer” group then left, threatening dire consequences for the family (including threats to come back once they’d evacuated and torch their home). The family were able to make contact with a State Police patrol and report the incident, and are now determined that no matter how much pressure is applied, they will not evacuate. They’ve set up a “shuttle run” so that every few days, two of them go upstate to collect supplies for the rest of the family, who defend the homestead in the meantime.�

Another aspect of this is that self-sufficient, responsible families were often regarded almost with suspicion by rescuers. The latter seemed to believe that if you’d come through the disaster better than your neighbors, it could only have been because you stole what you needed, or somehow gained some sort of unfair advantage over the “average victims” in your area. I’m at a loss to explain this, but it’s probably worth keeping in mind.�

03. There seems to be a cumulative psychological effect upon survivors. This is clear even – or perhaps particularly – in those who were prepared for a disaster. During and immediately after the disaster, these folks were at their best, dealing with damage, setting up alternative accommodation, light, food sources, etc. However, after a few days in the heat and debris (perhaps worst of all being the smell of dead bodies nearby), many found their ability to remain positive and “upbeat” being strained to the limit. There are numerous reports of individuals becoming depressed, morose and withdrawn. This seemed to happen to even the strongest personalities. The arrival of rescuers provided a temporary boost, but once evacuated, a sort of “after-action shell-shock” seems to be commonly experienced. I don’t know enough about this to comment further, but I suspect that staying in place has a lot to do with it – there is no challenge to keep moving, find one’s survival needs, and care for the group, and one is surrounded by vivid reminders of the devastation. By staying among the ruins of one’s former life, one may be exposing oneself to a greater risk of psychological deterioration. �

04. There is widespread frustration over the lack of communication and empathy by rescuers and local/State government. This is partly due to the absence of electricity, so that TV’s were not available to follow events as they unfolded but it’s also due to an almost deliberate policy of non-communication by rescuers. There are many accounts of evacuees wanting to know where the bus or plane was going that they were about to board, only to be told “We don’t know”, or “To a better place than this”. Some have found themselves many States away from their homes. Other families were arbitrarily separated upon rescue and/or evacuation, and are still scattered across two or three States. Their efforts to locate each other are very difficult, and when they request to be reunited at a common location, all of those with whom I have contact report a blanket refusal by the Red Cross and State officials to even consider the matter at this time. They’re being informed that it will be “looked into” at some future date, and that they may have to pay the costs involved if they want to join up again. This, to families who are now destitute! I’m very angry about this, but it’s so widespread a problem that I don’t know what can be done about it. I hope that in future, some means will be implemented to prevent it happening again. Lesson learned never, EVER allow yourselves to be separated as a family, even if it means waiting for later rescue and/or evacuation. Insist on this at all costs!�

05. Expect rescuers (including law enforcement) to enforce a distinctly un-Constitutional authority in a disaster situation. This is very widely reported, and is very troubling. I hear repeated reports from numerous States that as evacuees arrive at refugee centers, they and their belongings are searched without Constitutional authority, and any personal belongings seen as potentially suspicious (including firearms, prescription medication, etc.) are confiscated without recourse to the owner. I can understand the point of view of the receiving authorities, but they are acting illegally, and I suspect there will be lawsuits coming from this practice. Another common practice reported on the ground in the disaster areas is for people to be ordered to evacuate, irrespective of their needs and wishes – even those folks who were well-prepared and have survived in good shape. If they demur, they are often threatened and bullied in an attempt to make them abandon their homes, pets, etc. Lesson learned in a disaster, don’t expect legal and Constitutional norms to be followed. If you can make it on your own, do so, without relying on an unsympathetic and occasionally overbearing rescue system to control you and your destiny.�

06. Don’t believe that rescuers are all knights in shining armor who will respect your property. There have been numerous reports of rescuers casually appropriating small items that took their fancy in houses they were searching. Sometimes this was blatant, right in front of onlookers, and when protests were made, the response was either threatening, or a casual “Who’s going to miss it now?”. Some of our field agents report that this happened right in front of their eyes. Another aspect of this is damage caused to buildings by rescuers. I’ve had reports of them kicking in the front door to a house, or a window, instead of trying to obtain access with as little damage as possible; climbing on clean, highly-polished tables with hobnailed boots in order to get at an attic hatch to check for survivors; etc. When they left the house, often the door or window was left open, almost a standing invitation to looters, instead of being closed and/or secured. When the families concerned get home, they won’t know who caused this damage, but they will certainly be angered by it. I think that if one evacuates one’s home, it might be a good idea to leave a clearly-visible notice that all residents have evacuated, so as to let would-be rescuers know that this house is empty. On the other hand, this might make it easier for looters, so what you gain on the swings, you lose on the round-abouts…�

Fourth Post�
This will be about broader issues than just bug-out or threat situations. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been watching closely as the whole evacuation and rescue drama has played out, and have been very active in the relief process, learning all I can for future reference. There are some broader issues that might not come to mind at first thought, but which are directly relevant to our own safety, security, and peaceful possession of our homes. Some of these have been mentioned in earlier e-mails, but they bear repeating in the light of the number of incidents of which I’ve heard.�

01. If you choose to help, you may be sucked into a bureaucratic and legal nightmare. Example: a local church in the beginning stages of the crisis offered its hall to house evacuees. Local and State officials promptly filled it up with over 100 people. Their “social skills” proved extremely difficult to live with… toilets were blocked, restrooms left filthy, graffiti were scrawled and/or carved on the walls, arguments and disputes were frequent (often escalating to screaming matches, sometimes to physical violence), evacuees roamed the neighborhood (leading to all sorts of reports of petty theft, vandalism, etc.), church workers were subject to aggressive begging and demands, etc. Requests to the authorities to provide better security, administrative assistance, etc. apparently fell on deaf ears – the crisis was so widespread and overwhelming that a small facility such as this seems to have been very low on the priority checklist. After two days of this, with complaints from the neighbors becoming more and more insistent, the church informed local officials that it wanted the evacuees removed at once, if not sooner. They were promptly subject to bureaucratic heavy-handedness (including threats to withhold previously-promised reimbursement for their expenses); threats of lawsuits for daring to insinuate that the evacuees were somehow “lower-class” in their conduct, and for alleged racism, slander, and general political incorrectness; and threats of negative publicity, in that officials threatened to put out a press release denouncing the church for its “elitist” and “un-co-operative” attitude in a time of crisis. The church initially caved in to this pressure, and allowed the evacuees to stay but within a couple more days, the pressure from neighbors and from its own members became impossible to bear, and they insisted on the evacuees being removed to a Red Cross shelter. I’m informed that repairs to their hall will cost over $10,000. This is only one example among many I could cite, but it makes the point clear – if you offer your facilities to authorities, you place yourself (to a certain extent) under their control, and you’re potentially liable to a great deal of heavy-handed, insensitive bureaucratic bullying. Those of you in the same position as this church (i.e. with facilities you could make available) might wish to take note.�

02. Law enforcement problems will often be “glossed over” and/or ignored by authorities. In many cities housing evacuees, there have been private reports of a significant increase in crime caused by their presence but you’ll find that virtually all law enforcement authorities publicly deny this and/or gloss over it as a “temporary problem”. This is all very well for publicity, but it ignores the increased risk to local residents. I’ve been tracking crime reports in about a dozen cities, through my contacts with local law enforcement and the Louisiana State Police. All the LEO’s I speak with, without exception, tell me of greatly increased crime, including rape, assault, robbery, shoplifting, vandalism, gang activity, etc. However, you won’t see these reports in the news media, and will often see senior LE figures actively denying it. The officers with whom I speak are angry and bitter about this, but they daren’t “go public”, as their jobs would be on the line if they did so. They tell me that often they’re instructed not to report certain categories of “incident” at all, so as not to “skew” or “inflate” the “official” crime figures. I’ve also heard reports from Texas, Alabama and Tennessee of brand-new high-end motor vehicles (e.g. Cadillacs, Lincolns, BMW’s, etc.) with New Orleans dealer tags being driven through various towns, on their way North and West. The drivers were described as “gang-bangers” (and sundry less complimentary terms). However, there have been no reports of stolen vehicles from New Orleans, because there are no workers to check out dealer lots, or report thefts, and no working computers to enter VIN’s, etc. into the NICS database of stolen vehicles – so officers have had no choice but to let these vehicles proceed. Draw your own conclusions.�

03. Your personal and/or corporate supplies and facilities may be commandeered without warning, receipt or compensation. I’ve had numerous reports from in and near the disaster zone of individuals (e.g. boat-owners, farmers with barns, tractors, etc.) and corporate groups (e.g. companies with heavy equipment, churches with halls, etc.) finding an official on their doorstep demanding the use of their facilities or equipment. If they demurred, they were told that this was an “emergency situation” and that their assistance was being required, not requested. Some of them have lost track of the heavy equipment “borrowed” in this way, and don’t know where it is, whether or not it’s still in good condition, and when (if ever) it will be returned – and in the meantime, they can’t continue their normal operations without this equipment. Others have had their land and facilities effectively confiscated for use by rescue and relief workers, storage of supplies, etc. In some cases, in the absence of their owners, the property of the individuals and groups concerned (e.g. farm gasoline and diesel supplies, the inventory of motor vehicle dealers, suppliers of foodstuffs, tarpaulins, etc.) have been commandeered and used by law enforcement and relief workers, without permission, receipts, reimbursement, etc. Protests have been met with denials, threats of arrest, insinuations of being “uncaring” and “un-co-operative”, etc. Lesson learned if you’ve got what officials need in a time of crisis, forget about Constitutional protections of your property! Sure, you can sue after the fact, but if you need your goods and facilities for your own survival, you’re basically SOL. Those of us who stockpile necessities for potential crises like this might want to consider concealing our stockpiles to prevent confiscation and if you need certain equipment for your own day-to-day use (e.g. tractors for farmers, generators, etc.), you might have a hard time retaining possession of these things. This problem applies to relief workers also I’ve had several reports of private relief workers (e.g. those sent in by churches, etc.) having their vehicles and supplies commandeered by “official” relief workers, without compensation or receipt, and being kicked out of the disaster area with warnings not to return. The fact that the “private” workers were accomplishing rather more than the “official” workers was apparently of no importance.�

04. If you look like you know what you’re doing, you may be a target of those less prepared. There have been many, many reports of individuals who were more or less prepared for a disaster being preyed upon by those who were not prepared. Incidents range from theft of supplies, through attempts to bug out with these persons (uninvited), to actual violence. It’s genuinely frightening to hear about these incidents, particularly the attitude of those trying to prey on the prepared they seemed to feel that because you’d taken steps to protect yourself and your loved ones, you had somehow done so at their expense, and they were therefore “entitled” to take from you what they needed. There’s no logical explanation for this attitude, unless it’s bred by the utter dependence of many such people on the State for welfare, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, etc. Since they’ve always been dependent on others, and regarded this as an “entitlement”, in a disaster situation, they seem to automatically assume that they’re “entitled” to what you’ve got! In one case, the family’s pet dog was held hostage, with a knife at its throat, until the family handed over money and supplies. In two cases, families were threatened with the rape of their women unless they co-operated with the aggressors. In four cases that I know of, children were held hostage to ensure co-operation. There have also been reports of crimes during the bug-out process. Families sleeping in their cars at highway rest areas were a favorite target, including siphoning of gas from their tanks, assaults, etc. The lessons to be learned from this are obvious. One family can’t secure itself against these threats without great difficulty. It’s best to be “teamed up” with neighbors to secure your neighborhood as a whole, rather than be the one house with facilities in an area filled with those less prepared. If you’re in the latter situation, staying put may not be a safe option, and a bug-out plan may be vital. When bugging out, you’re still not safe from harm, and must maintain constant vigilance.�

05. Those who thought themselves safe from the disaster were often not safe from refugees. There have been many reports of smaller towns, farms, etc. on the fringe of the disaster area being overrun with those seeking assistance. In many cases, assistance was demanded rather than requested, and theft, looting and vandalism have been reported. So, even if you think you’re safe from the disaster, you may not be safe from its aftermath.�

06. Self-reliance seems to draw suspicion upon you from the authorities. I’ve mentioned this in a previous e-mail, but I’ve had many more reports of it from those who survived or bugged out, and it bears re-emphasizing. For reasons unknown and unfathomable, rescue authorities seem to regard with suspicion those who’ve made provision for their safety and have survived (or bugged out) in good shape. It seems to be a combination of “How could you cope when so many others haven’t?”, “You must have taken advantage of others to be so well off”, and “We’ve come all this way to help, so how dare you not need our assistance?” I have no idea why this should be the case… but there have been enough reports of it that it seems to be a widespread problem. Any ideas from readers?�

07. Relief workers from other regions and States often don’t know local laws. This is a particular problem when it comes to firearms. I’ve had many reports of law enforcement officers sent to assist in Louisiana from States such as New Jersey, California, etc. trying to confiscate firearms on the streets, etc., when in fact the armed citizens were legally armed, under local law. One can’t reason with these officers in the heat of the moment, of course, and as a result, a number of people lost their firearms, and have still not recovered them (and in the chaos of the immediate post-disaster situation, they may never do so, because I’m not sure that normal procedures such as logging these guns into a property office, etc. were followed). I understand that in due course, steps were taken to include at least one local law enforcement officer in patrols, so that he could advise officers from other areas as to what was legal, and what wasn’t. Also, in Louisiana, law enforcement is conducted differently than in some other States, and officers from other States who came to assist were sometimes found to be domineering and aggressive in enforcing a law enforcement “authority” that doesn’t normally apply here. So, if you’re in a disaster area and help arrives from elsewhere, you may find that the help doesn’t know (or care) about local laws, norms, etc. Use caution!�

08. Relief organizations have their own bureaucratic requirements that may conflict with your needs. A good example is the Red Cross. In many cases, across three States, I’ve had reports that locals who needed assistance were told that they had to register at a particular Red Cross shelter or facility. The help would not come to them they had to go to it. If they wished to stay on their own property, they were sometimes denied assistance, and told that if they wanted help, they had to move into the shelter to get it. Also, assistance was often provided only to those who came in person. If you left your family at home and went to get food aid, you might be denied aid for your whole family because there was no evidence that they existed – only the number that could be physically counted by relief workers (who would not come to you, but insisted you come to them) would be provided with food. Needless to say, this caused much anger and resentment.

I hope that these “lessons learned” are of use to you. I’m more and more convinced that in the event of a disaster, I must rely on myself, and a few friends, and never count on Government or relief organizations for the help I’ll need. Also, I’m determined to bug out for a fairly long distance from a disaster in my home area, so as to be clear of the post-disaster complications that may arise. Once again (as it has countless times throughout history), we see that to rely on others (let alone Government) for your own safety and security is to invite complications at best, disaster at worst.�

A Thought from Fr. Frog�
One thing not mentioned here is disaster banking. While we all probably want to patronize our local banks, if you live in a disaster prone area you should consider doing your banking (or at least some of your banking) with an out-of-state or national bank that won’t be affected by a disaster in your area.�

Fr. Frog’s Rule of Disaster Survival�
1) You won’t have problems if you are prepared for them. (Unless a government employee shows up to “help.”)�
2) Have sufficient supplies on hand to be self-sustaining for 3 days (minimum) to 1 week. �
3) Don’t live in stupid places�
4) Plan ahead.

IED, Bioweapons and Dirty Bombs- Overview and Recognition

IED’s Improvised Explosive Devices, Bioweapons and Dirty Bombs-Overview and Recognition�

An IED can be almost anything with any type of material and initiator. It is a homemade device that is designed to cause death or injury by using explosives alone or in combination with toxic chemicals, biological toxins, or radiological material. IEDs can be produced in varying sizes, functioning methods, containers, and delivery methods. IEDs can utilize commercial or military explosives, homemade explosives, or military ordnance and ordnance components.

They are unique in nature because the IED builder has had to improvise with the materials at hand. Designed to defeat a specific target or type of target, they generally become more difficult to detect and protect against as they become more sophisticated.

They are also emplaced to avoid detection and improve effectiveness. Most are victim-activated, but some may involve remote or command detonation devices. The use of booby traps is limited only by the imagination. Booby traps are victim-activated devices intended to create casualties and terror and may or may not be found in areas of tactical significance.� There are different ways to set off / innitiate Either electrically, slow or fast burning fuse, radio control(mobile phone or garage door openers seem the most popular at the moment). Quite often a radio control or electrically innitiated IED will have to have the person setting it off in line of site to the device so they can tell when their victim is close to it.

Booby traps:

  • �������� Are usually explosive in nature.
  • �������� Are usually activated when an unsuspecting person disturbs an apparently harmless object performs a presumably safe act.
  • �������� Are designed to kill or incapacitate.
  • �������� Cause unexpected random casualties and damage.
  • �������� Create an attitude of uncertainty and suspicion, in effect lowering morale and inducing a degree of fear.
  • �������� Threaten force protection.

IEDs fall into three types of categories:

Though they can var widely in shape and form, IEDs share a common set of components and consist of the following:

  • �������� An initiation system or fuze;
  • �������� Explosive fill;
  • �������� A detonator;
  • �������� A power supply for the detonator; and
  • �������� A container.

Improvised devices are characterized by varying employment techniques. In most of the techniques shown below,� using one of the several following techniques:

  • �������� Coupling is a method of linking one mine or explosive device to another, usually with detonating cord. When the first device is detonated, it also detonates the linked explosive. This technique is often used to defeat countermine equipment, such as mine rollers or to set up a secondary booby trap.
  • �������� The roller will pass over the initial, unfuzed device and set off the second fuzed device. This in turn detonates the overpassed device underneath the clearing vehicle. When the linked devices are directional fragmentation mines, they can create a large, lethal engagement area.
  • �������� Buried mines, UXOs, or other explosive devices are stacked on top of one another. The device buried deepest from the surface is fuzed. Fuzing only the deepest ordnance helps mask no- and low-metal explosive hazards placed near the surface. This reduces the probability of detection by metal detectors, and it increases the force of the blast.
  • �������� Sensitizing antitank (AT) mines. On some nonmetallic AT mines, the pressure plate is cracked and the spring is removed to reduce the pressure required to initiate the mine. Similarly, the pressure plate can be removed from metallic AT mines to create the same effect. A pressurefuzed AP mine can be placed on the top of an AT mine, thus creating a very large AP mine as an alternative method.
  • �������� Daisy chaining. AP mines may be used in daisy chains linked with other explosive hazards. Enemy forces may link the mines together with trip wire or detonating cord. When the initial mine is detonated, the other mines may detonate. This may also create large, lethal engagement areas.


By definition, booby traps are disguised or well-hidden, victim-activated devices. The initiating object is going to be fairly obvious, as it is the object that a terroist hopes a target will interfere with in order to set off the trap. Booby traps rely on an unwary or distracted target touching or pulling a physical object (such as a bag left unsupervised) or provide a too-easy access or simple solution to a problem (such as leaving only one door open in an otherwise secure building).

People must constantly question why things are positioned where they. A terrorist cell will watch reactions and procedures executed when moving through an area. They will be looking for natural behavior and weaknesses in peoples movements. For example, in Vietnam, the Vietcong noticed soldiers liked to kick empty soda cans that were lying on the ground. It was not long before the US troops found that the VC were leaving explosive devices in empty cans lying alongside regular patrol routes. The devices were activated when the cans were kicked.

Many of the booby trap indicators mirror those of mines.

  • �������� Electrical wires, batteries, booby traps, and store items (clothes pegs, mouse traps, steel tubes, and springs).
  • �������� Isolated boxes and containers along routes.
  • �������� Abandoned vehicles, military equipment, weapons, uniforms, and papers.
  • �������� Trip wires, string, and cables.
  • �������� Disturbed soil and sand.
  • ��������
  • �������� Footprint trails that stop suddenly.
  • �������� Oily stains on packaging or envelopes

Buildings and vehicles are excellent sites for booby trap warfare. If unsecured buildings/vehicles have to be entered and occupied, assume that they are booby-trapped. Likely targets are restrictive areas like doorways, windows, and areas of approach that are typically used. These are likely targets because people will have to move through them. These areas are likely to be booby-trapped. Once inside, hallways, interior doorways, staircases, and floors provide restricted access and are again prime sites. Any remaining furniture or household objects will have to be cleared prior to use.

Potential VBIED Indicators

  • �������� License plates inconsistent with vehicle registration
  • �������� Obviously carrying a heavy load, heavy rear end
  • �������� Modification of truck or van with heavy duty springs to handle heavier loads
  • �������� Rentals of vans with false papers for dry runs
  • �������� Rental of self-storage space for the purpose of storing chemicals or mixing apparatus
  • �������� Delivery of chemicals directly from the manufacturer to a self-storage facility or unusual deliveries of chemicals to residential or rural addresses
  • �������� Theft of explosives, blasting caps, or fuses, or certain chemicals used in the manufacture of explosives
  • �������� Chemical fires, toxic odors, brightly colored stains, or rusted metal fixtures in apartments, hotel/motel rooms, or self-storage units due to chemical activity.
  • �������� Small test explosions in rural wooded areas.
  • �������� Treatment of chemical burns or treatment for missing hands/fingers.
  • �������� Untreated chemical burns or missing hands/fingers.



A bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs (agents) used to cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants. These agents are typically found in nature, but it is possible that they could be changed to increase their ability to cause disease, make them resistant to current medicines, or to increase their ability to be spread into the environment. Biological agents can be spread through the air, through water, or in food. Terrorists may use biological agents because they can be extremely difficult to detect and do not cause illness for several hours to several days. Some bioterrorism agents, like the smallpox virus, can be spread from person to person and some, like anthrax, can not. For information on which bioterrorism agents can be spread from person to person.

Bioterrorism agents can be separated into three categories, depending on how easily they can be spread and the severity of illness or death they cause. Category A agents are considered the highest risk and Category C agents are those that are considered emerging threats for disease.

Category A

These high-priority agents include organisms or toxins that pose the highest risk to the public and national security because:

  • �������� They can be easily spread or transmitted from person to person
  • �������� They result in high death rates and have the potential for major public health impact
  • �������� They might cause public panic and social disruption
  • �������� They require special action for public health preparedness.

Category B

These agents are the second highest priority because:

  • �������� They are moderately easy to spread
  • �������� They result in moderate illness rates and low death rates
  • �������� They require specific enhancements of CDC’s laboratory capacity and enhanced disease monitoring.

Category C

These third highest priority agents include emerging pathogens that could be engineered for mass spread in the future because:

  • �������� They are easily available
  • �������� They are easily produced and spread
  • �������� They have potential for high morbidity and mortality rates and major health impact.

Category A

�High-priority agents include organisms that pose a risk to national security because they

  • �������� can be easily disseminated or transmitted from person to person;
  • �������� result in high mortality rates and have the potential for major public health impact;
  • �������� might cause public panic and social disruption; and
  • �������� require special action for public health preparedness.


  • �������� Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis)
  • �������� Botulism (Clostridium botulinum toxin)
  • �������� Plague (Yersinia pestis)
  • �������� Smallpox (variola major)
  • �������� Tularemia (Francisella tularensis)
  • �������� Viral hemorrhagic fevers (filoviruses [e.g., Ebola, Marburg] and arenaviruses [e.g., Lassa, Machupo])

Category B

Second highest priority agents include those that

  • �������� are moderately easy to disseminate;
  • �������� result in moderate morbidity rates and low mortality rates; and
  • �������� require specific enhancements of CDC’s diagnostic capacity and enhanced disease surveillance.


  • �������� Brucellosis (Brucella species)
  • �������� Epsilon toxin of Clostridium perfringens
  • �������� Food safety threats (e.g., Salmonella species, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Shigella)
  • �������� Glanders (Burkholderia mallei)
  • �������� Melioidosis (Burkholderia pseudomallei)
  • �������� Psittacosis (Chlamydia psittaci)
  • �������� Q fever (Coxiella burnetii)
  • �������� Ricin toxin from Ricinus communis (castor beans)
  • �������� Staphylococcal enterotoxin B
  • �������� Typhus fever (Rickettsia prowazekii)
  • �������� Viral encephalitis (alphaviruses [e.g., Venezuelan equine encephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis, western equine encephalitis])
  • �������� Water safety threats (e.g., Vibrio cholerae, Cryptosporidium parvum)

Category C

Third highest priority agents include emerging pathogens that could be engineered for mass dissemination in the future because of

  • �������� availability;
  • �������� ease of production and dissemination; and
  • �������� potential for high morbidity and mortality rates and major health impact.

Agents (Anthrax being the most widely used)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies agents with recognized bioterrorism potential into three priority areas (A, B and C). Anthrax is classified as a Category A agent. Category A agents are those that:

  • �������� pose the greatest possible threat for a bad effect on public health
  • �������� may spread across a large area or need public awareness
  • �������� need a great deal of planning to protect the public�s health

In most cases, early treatment with antibiotics can cure cutaneous anthrax. Even if untreated, 80 percent of people who become infected with cutaneous anthrax do not die. Gastrointestinal anthrax is more serious because between one-fourth and more than half of cases lead to death. Inhalation anthrax is much more severe. In 2001, about half of the cases of inhalation anthrax ended in death.

The symptoms (warning signs) of anthrax are different depending on the type of the disease:

  • �������� Cutaneous: The first symptom is a small sore that develops into a blister. The blister then develops into a skin ulcer with a black area in the center. The sore, blister and ulcer do not hurt.
  • �������� Gastrointestinal: The first symptoms are nausea, loss of appetite, bloody diarrhea, and fever, followed by bad stomach pain.
  • �������� Inhalation: The first symptoms of inhalation anthrax are like cold or flu symptoms and can include a sore throat, mild fever and muscle aches. Later symptoms include cough, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, tiredness and muscle aches. (Caution: Do not assume that just because a person has cold or flu symptoms that they have inhalation anthrax.)

Symptoms can appear within 7 days of coming in contact with the bacterium for all three types of anthrax. For inhalation anthrax, symptoms can appear within a week or can take up to 42 days to appear.Antibiotics are used to treat all three types of anthrax. Early identification and treatment are important. Treatment is different for a person who is exposed to anthrax, but is not yet sick. Health-care providers will use antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, doxycycline, or penicillin) combined with the anthrax vaccine to prevent anthrax infection. Treatment is usually a 60-day course of antibiotics. Success depends on the type of anthrax and how soon treatment begins.

How can I tell if a letter or package is suspicious?

According to the FBI, you should look for certain indicators. For example, check the postmark to see if it was mailed from a foreign country. Also check for no return address and for restrictive markings such as �personal� or �confidential.� Look for misspelled words or incorrect title. Suspect letters or packages may be rigid or bulky and have excessive tape or string around them. They may exhibit a strange odor.


  • �������������������� Possibly mailed from a foriegn address
  • �������������������� Mailed from an unknown address or sender
  • �������������������� No return address
  • �������������������� Restrictive markings
  • �������������������� Mispelled words
  • �������������������� Addressed to title only or incorrect title
  • �������������������� Badly typed or written
  • �������������������� Protruding Wires(this is how the electrical circuts are closed after sealing the package)
  • �������������������� Lopsided or uneven
  • �������������������� Rigid or bulky
  • �������������������� Strange odour(can come from the way an explosive has been manufactured being homemade)
  • �������������������� oily stains, discolourations or crystalization on wrapper(Oil can leach out of the explosive)
  • �������������������� Excesive tape or string

What should I do if I receive a suspicious letter or package?

  • �������� Do not shake or empty contents of any suspicious envelope or package; DO NOT try to clean up powders or fluids.
  • �������� Place the envelope or package in a plastic bag or some other type of container to prevent leakage of contents.
  • �������� If you do not have a container, then cover the envelope or package with anything (e.g. clothing, paper, trash can,etc.) available and do not remove this cover.
  • �������� Leave the room and close the door, or section off the area to prevent others from entering.
  • �������� Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face or skin.

If you are at home, then report the incident to local police. If you are at work, report the incident to local police and notify your building security official or an available supervisor.

If possible, list all people who were in the room or area when this suspicious letter or package was recognized. Give this list to both the local police and local public health authorities for follow up investigation and advice.

Remove heavily contaminated clothing and place in a plastic bag that can be sealed. Give the bag to law enforcement personnel.

Shower with soap and water as soon as possible. Do not use bleach or disinfectant on your skin.

Dirty Bombs

People have expressed concern about dirty bombs and what they should do to protect themselves if a dirty bomb incident occurs. Because your health and safety are our highest priorities, the health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have prepared the following list of frequently asked questions and answers about dirty bombs. A dirty bomb is a mix of explosives, such as dynamite, with radioactive powder or pellets. When the dynamite or other explosives are set off, the blast carries radioactive material into the surrounding area.

A dirty bomb is not the same as an atomic bomb, An atomic bomb, like those bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, involves the splitting of atoms and a huge release of energy that produces the atomic mushroom cloud. A dirty bomb works completely differently and cannot create an atomic blast. Instead, a dirty bomb uses dynamite or other explosives to scatter radioactive dust, smoke, or other material in order to cause radioactive contamination.

The main danger from a dirty bomb is from the explosion, which can cause serious injuries and property damage. The radioactive materials used in a dirty bomb would probably not create enough radiation exposure to cause immediate serious illness, except to those people who are very close to the blast site. However, the radioactive dust and smoke spread farther away could be dangerous to health if it is inhaled. Because people cannot see, smell, feel, or taste radiation, you should take immediate steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. These simple steps�recommended by doctors and radiation experts�will help protect you and your loved ones. The steps you should take depend on where you are located when the incident occurs: outside, inside, or in a vehicle.

If you are outside and close to the incident

  • �������� Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth to reduce the risk of breathing in radioactive dust or smoke.
  • �������� Don�t touch objects thrown off by an explosion�they might be radioactive.
  • �������� Quickly go into a building where the walls and windows have not been broken. This area will shield you from radiation that might be outside.
  • �������� Once you are inside, take off your outer layer of clothing and seal it in a plastic bag if available. Put the cloth you used to cover your mouth in the bag, too. Removing outer clothes may get rid of up to 90% of radioactive dust.
  • �������� Put the plastic bag where others will not touch it and keep it until authorities tell you what to do with it.
  • �������� Shower or wash with soap and water. Be sure to wash your hair. Washing will remove any remaining dust.
  • �������� Tune to the local radio or television news for more instructions.

If you are inside and close to the incident

  • �������� If the walls and windows of the building are not broken, stay in the building and do not leave.
  • �������� To keep radioactive dust or powder from getting inside, shut all windows, outside doors, and fireplace dampers. Turn off fans and heating and air-conditioning systems that bring in air from the outside. It is not necessary to put duct tape or plastic around doors or windows.
  • �������� If the walls and windows of the building are broken, go to an interior room and do not leave. If the building has been heavily damaged, quickly go into a building where the walls and windows have not been broken. If you must go outside, be sure to cover your nose and mouth with a cloth. Once you are inside, take off your outer layer of clothing and seal it in a plastic bag if available. Store the bag where others will not touch it.
  • �������� Shower or wash with soap and water, removing any remaining dust. Be sure to wash your hair.
  • �������� Tune to local radio or television news for more instructions.

If you are in a car when the incident happens

  • �������� Close the windows and turn off the air conditioner, heater, and vents.
  • �������� Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth to avoid breathing radioactive dust or smoke.
  • �������� If you are close to your home, office, or a public building, go there immediately and go inside quickly.
  • �������� If you cannot get to your home or another building safely, pull over to the side of the road and stop in the safest place possible. If it is a hot or sunny day, try to stop under a bridge or in a shady spot.
  • �������� Turn off the engine and listen to the radio for instructions.
  • �������� Stay in the car until you are told it is safe to get back on the road.

What should I do about my children and family?

  • �������� If your children or family are with you, stay together. Take the same actions to protect your whole family.
  • �������� If your children or family are in another home or building, they should stay there until you are told it is safe to travel.
  • �������� Schools have emergency plans and shelters. If your children are at school, they should stay there until it is safe to travel. Do not go to the school until public officials say it is safe to travel.

How do I protect my pets?

  • �������� If you have pets outside, bring them inside if it can be done safely.
  • �������� Wash your pets with soap and water to remove any radioactive dust.

Should I take potassium iodide?

  • �������� Potassium iodide, only protects a person’s thyroid gland from exposure to radioactive iodine. Iodide will not protect a person from other radioactive materials or protect other parts of the body from exposure to radiation.
  • �������� Since there is no way to know at the time of the explosion whether radioactive iodine was used in the explosive device, taking Iodide would probably not be beneficial. Also, Iodide can be dangerous to some people.

Will food and water supplies be safe?

  • �������� Food and water supplies most likely will remain safe. However, any unpackaged food or water that was out in the open and close to the incident may have radioactive dust on it. Therefore, do not consume water or food that was out in the open.
  • �������� The food inside of cans and other sealed containers will be safe to eat. Wash the outside of the container before opening it.
  • �������� Authorities will monitor food and water quality for safety and keep the public informed.

How do I know if I�ve been exposed to radiation or contaminated by radioactive materials?

  • �������� People cannot see, smell, feel, or taste radiation; so you may not know whether you have been exposed. Police or firefighters will quickly check for radiation by using special equipment to determine how much radiation is present and whether it poses any danger in your area.
  • �������� Low levels of radiation exposure (like those expected from a dirty bomb situation) do not cause any symptoms. Higher levels of radiation exposure may produce symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and swelling and redness of the skin.
  • �������� If you develop any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor, hospital, or other sites recommended by authorities.

Further Information

Mobile Phone Security

Mobile Phone Security

They benefits they bring in terms of anonymity and mobility but have a flip side, of being yet another tool that can used to keep an eye on us. Like all technology they carry risks for privacy and security, though nothing that cannot be dealt with by taking some simple precautions. Yes it can be a pain to follow them through all the time, but think about what you are trying to achieve in the long run. Like all security, the more you practise it, the more it becomes second nature as you practise it automatically.

Mobile phones come in three parts, the shell which consists of the screen and buttons, the “SIM card” that associates the hardware with a telephone number and the battery. The SIM card is a small strip of plastic with a gold circle on it. It fits in the back of the mobile, usually behind the battery. Each SIM card is unique and identifiable by the mobile number.

Most people are paranoid about the SIM card, but the phone itself is also marked with an IMEI number the “International Mobile Equipment Identity” number. When you make a phone call both your SIM card and IMEI number is broadcast to the mobile phone network.

What makes a mobile phone quite literally mobile, is the presence of mobile phone masts scattered around the country. When your mobile is turned on it and the network constantly check with each other as to where is the nearest mast for it to communicate. In any one area, there may be several masts, so the network and your phone communicate with them all in order to work out which is the best one for you to use.

Using the information provided by these checks, it is not hard to identify roughly where the phone is located by triangulation. Some estimates claim that this works down to 10 meters, others make more accurate claims. However, the fact that they can locate you to a particular area is damning enough.

Bring in features such as global positioning services (GPS) as now comes available with most phones, whether advertised or not, then your mobile is essentially a homing beacon for those who can access this information.

The same warnings regarding land-lines being tapped all apply equally to mobile phones. The only difference is that there is not a specific phone to tie you to, and you are not necessarily registered to the number. So, if you can purchase a phone anonymously and use it with a few simple precautions then there is no reason why those trying to invade your privacy will ever be compromised.

To ensure anonymity, nothing stops you from doing the following when buying a mobile phone. Make your purchase in a shop away from where you live. Try if possible to avoid town centres where there is a greater likelihood that you will be on CCTV. Many small or second hand shops do not have cameras and those that do are unlikely to retain tapes for longer than a few weeks if at all. Do not giving your real details if asked. Many shop do ask for your details, but not proof of ID, and you are not under any obligation to inform them. Go for simple phones without all the extra features now being made available. Only pay by cash. Do not register the phone – there is no legal obligation to do so.

When setting up the mobile, use pay-as-you-go options only; this is a more expensive solution, but required for anonymity. Unregistered pay-as-you-go phone calls can be paid for either by using top-up vouchers, or by a swipe card inside a shop. Its recommend that you only use top-up vouchers purchased in cash. Using a swipe card to top up within a shop leaves a trail of evidence back to the shop where you could be identified by CCTV or eyewitnesses.

By personal we mean mobiles that are going to end up being associated with you. The moment you give out your number to friends and associates it can end up on any network of contacts being monitored. If your associates are activists or have outstanding warrants, then this will immediately compromise the security of the phone.

Never say anything on a personal mobile phone you would not wish to have to justify at any point or may incriminate you in any way. Although the mobile may not be used in an action, it use may point to you as being involved and cause you to be investigated.Do not take personal mobiles into meetings, and preferably do not even bring them with you. Mobiles are potential listening/tracking devices and should be treated as such.

If you are on your way to a sensitive meeting, turn your mobile off and remove the battery well before you get to the meeting point, or you may be giving the meeting point away. Even if the meeting is not secret, it is best not to have it present, as you never know what else might be said; besides being very bad etiquette, the safety of others may be put at risk.

Personal mobiles should be avoided being brought on actions where possible. If you have to bring them, such as for ‘mobile’ demos or if you get separated, take the batteries out until they are needed. There is no point taking a load of security precautions if your mobile phone logs are going to place you as being in the area at the time, or alerting others to the fact that you were in that area so giving them an avenue of investigation.

Its currently recommend against purchasing the higher end of the mobile market where phones have built in camera and other gadgets. Again camera phones hold potential threats to your security, and give them a face to match to your voice. It has not been necessary so far for people to see your face when speaking to you, so it should not matter now. From those concerned with privacy, it is another compromise.

Never enable GPS or similar such services on your phone if you can help it. Features such as these appear to make life simpler but contain inherent threats to your security. SMS / Texting is very useful but also one of the easiest methods to monitor. It is known that scanning software is available for monitoring them. Make sure you delete your text messages and never write anything you would be unable to defend in court.

Finally, mobiles can also be used to confuse. Say one mobile phone was used in a location and you have been accused of using that phone at that time. A possible defence is to say that it could not have been you as if they were to look at the logs of your actual phone, that everyone knows is yours, then it was in a different place altogether. In other words, the tracking capability of mobile phones can also be used to provide alibis, especially if calls were made from the phone at the time of the alleged offence.

There are two scenarios to consider here. The first is where mobiles are used to facilitate the action, but not the action itself. The second is when the mobile is an intrinsic element of the action. In the first case, this could be when an action needs to be co-ordinated. If there is a lot of risk attached to this, it is worth investing in a set of mobiles to be used specifically for it. Second hand mobiles may be useful in this case, as the chances are that after the action the mobiles will have to be discarded, just do not buy them off friends. The reason behind this, is that if you have a set of mobiles that have never been associated with your network of contacts and friends, it is impossible to connect them back to you.

This means you can set up an anonymous network that will not draw attention from the various authorities listening in. Avoid bringing attention to it by not saying anything explicit on it, but using code. Keep the batteries out of the mobile until they are required, and when testing that all is working fine, chose an area free of CCTV. Testing that the mobiles work and that everyone can use them and has the relevant numbers is important.

We also recommend that you burn the packaging that comes with the phones. The mobiles should be disposed of afterward, ideally by burning. It is no longer enough just to destroy the SIM cards and reuse them. As noted, mobile phones are a very useful tool. There are many situations whereby you want to contact another telephone number anonymously. So some guidelines: Follow the above guidelines for purchasing a mobile phone anonymously, Do not ring your friends or contacts from the mobile; if you have to do this, then get rid of the mobile immediately afterwards as it has been compromised, Keep the battery out of the mobile when not in use, Keep the SIM card out of the mobile when not in use; preferably store them separately.

To make the phone call, travel to the area avoiding CCTV as much as possible. A quick bike ride into the countryside or a suburban bus-shelter usually does the trick, Try to avoid spending longer than 30 minutes in one area. Make use of the fact that the phone allows you to be mobile, Do not slip into a pattern of using the mobile at a certain time or certain place or it will end up as being little better than using it at home, Do not answer calls to the phone and ignore any messages they leave on your answering service.

Depending on how much you use the phone, what you say on it, you need to consider changing the SIM card after a length of time. The heavier the use, or the more legally risky stuff you say on it (or not as maybe the case) will require regular changes of the SIM card and even of the phone itself.

Mobile phone manufactures and software companies are working very closely together to develop new services for mobiles. There is a natural trend to turn to the mobile into a miniature computer. Unfortunately, these come with a lot of security risks.

There have also been a number of stories about commercial systems now being able to use mobile phones and the internet to monitor people. This is being done under the guise of monitoring lazy workers or protecting children. However, the obvious threat to civil liberties is there.

So far, in order for these commercial services to work, a text message is sent to your mobile from the tracking service, and you have to reply (that is give your consent) to activate it. It should be standard policy on your part, never to reply to unsolicited texts or texts from numbers you do not recognize. If you get one from one of these services, then simply ignore it. It only becomes a threat if you reply to it.

The risk is, if your house is broken into by whatever authorities or company are watching you, and they do the reply for you (it would be relatively simple to arrange to have a text message sent at the appropriate time, and subsequently delete it, in which case you would be blissfully unaware). The simple solution is to take the SIM card out when not using it, especially at night, and store it separately, as we have already suggested you do with phones being use for activism.

Careful however, once the user has been identified as using a certain phone, they can be tracked with the unique built-in International Mobile Equipment Identification IMEI encoded into each mobile phone. The IMEI emitted by the phone does not change, regardless of the SIM in the phone. It is even transmitted when no SIM at all is present in the phone. If longer-term anonymity is required, it is necessary to replace the phone and SIM every few days. Sometimes, for complete anonymity it is not advisable to have a mobile phone on your person at all. Some phones may still transmit information to the network or be accessible from the network even though the user has switched them off.��

It is therefore strongly recommended to remove the Spy on Calls Log – Each incoming and outgoing number on the phone is logged along with duration and time stamp. Spy on SMS – Every text message/MMS is logged even if the phone’s logs are deleted. Includes full text. Spy on Location – The phones’s current location is frequently logged using GPS when signal is available. Spy on Web Activity – Each address entered into Internet Explorer (or any browser) on the phone is logged. This cell phone spy software works in total stealth mode. The person using the phone can never come to know about the presence of this spy software. Remove batteries from the phone.

If you desperately need to keep in communication, use it for a day or two whilst you are engaged in sensitive work.

If traveling to a sensitive location, in an urban area do not use your phone within 2-3 miles of the location, or in rural areas do not use it within 10-15 miles of the location. This will prevent the creation of a trail that associates you with that location on that day. If the location you are going to is nowhere near a route you regularly travel, turn off your phone before you start your journey there. �

Fire Bunker Standards

With summer arriving and still no National Fire Bunker Standards in place, the following link and information contains more information than any other source Ive found. From reading the information below, I doubt that any current commercial bunker would be classed as safe.�



































































New building codes�41










BEST POSITION ON THE SITE��� (also see next page)�52








Personal Locating Beacons

Everyone doing any sort of bushwalking should have atleast one PLB within a group or carry one if hiking alone, as seen by recent events by amatures aswell as experienced hikers. By the time some one has missed you and a search has taken place, hyothermia or snake bite can make it too late. By carrying a PLB the time factor is reduced. I used to prefer the KTI brand before they changed the analogue to digital formats. Now every brand on the market looks like some thing out of a cereal box. The KTI may have a slightly longer battery life but the GME is the only model that still looks like a PLB and not a yuppie toy. The standard model without a GPS will narrow the search grid down to 5kms but the GPS model will bring that search grid down to minus 100 metres. lets face it if you have to use a PLB and they havent found you within 2 days, your screwed anyway.

By Nicko

EPIRB – 406Mhz Emergency Beacon compare (PLB)

There are 5 406Mhz Emergency Beacon manufacturers represented in Australia, GME Electrophone, Pains Wessex, KTi, ACR and Kannad. of those two are Australian, GME Electrophone and KTi. This review is for the PLB, Personal Locating Beacon and not the EPIRBs used in a boat, or rather attached to the boat. PLBs you have tied to your Life Jacket or if you wanted to, in your pocket.�

The current 121.5/243 MHz a n a l o g u e COSPAS SARSAT service will be terminated in February 2009 and only the 406 MHz digital beacon signals will be processed thereafter. Consumers have for some time recognised the major benefits of a 406 MHz over a 121.5 MHz device in faster, more accurate detection, personal identification of each beacon, reduced search area resulting in a faster more targeted response in a life threatening situation. However the prohibitive cost of 406 MHz beacons has always been an issue.�

I have a problem with buying anything that is not Australian, or at least buy Australian before I buy products from overseas. There is a hierarchy of course, but anything past New Zealand are thrown into the pot and decided upon from price, quality and support etc. In saying that the Australian manufacturers, based on this review, are not second to anyone, but world class leaders, however, you have to read this review to come to your own conclusion.�

As I am not in the market to buy a unit and I am wanting to give an unbiased report on the models, thus expect me to be reasonable in my judgement.�

If I was to buy a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) I would buy it based on what it was designed to do, save my life. Based on this I would want to ensure a few things first, the battery won’t be flat when I go to use it, it will last long enough for Search and Rescue to find me, and is not going to suffer from being lost.�

You may ask, what do I mean by “being lost”, well many of you know that over the years GPS technology has improved in particular sensitivity and tracking. The newer GPS engines (for example SiRF III & MTK32) are far more robust than their predecessors by a huge amount. Anyone who has any of the older handheld and newer handheld GPS will testify this. �

The first thing I look at is the battery life, which ties in with warranty. First number represents battery life in years whilst second is warranty in years.�

Battery Life�
KTi 20/10�
GME 7/7�
Kannad 5/5�
ACR ResQFix 10/5�
Pains Wessex 5/5

The second thing I look for is if it has a GPS. The difference between a unit with or without a GPS is many many square kilometres. Some suggest a 2km radius without GPS and 100 metres with. I feel far more secure knowing that if I am injured or in freezing cold water the extra accuracy means extra quick location of my position, thus make it to the hospital in time. It is interesting the accuracies that they all quote, however, I suspect the KTi Mini-Sat-G 406Mhz PLB specification is no better than the others. There spec sheets states CEP50, which basically means 50% of the time you will be within the stated accuracy. No one in the GPS world really works on 50%, they typically look at 95% with a stated accuracy of typically 10 metres for a GPS engine. In any event I do see no obvious differences between them all, however, I do want to know what GPS engines are in all of them. Why? Well, even though you only need 3 satellites to get a position (4 if you want height as well) the older engines may have issues with various extreme environmental conditions such as satellite signal scatter, location in a canyon, in forested areas etc. I do not know which 16 channel engine GME are using but I suspect it is either a Nemerix or the Starfire from Navcom (John Deere company). Either way, they will have better specs than any 12 channel GPS engine typically in the vicinity of 25db which is a lot in real life terms. So, based on what I know the following data is prioritised correctly. The locating accuracy is limited by COSPAS-SARSAT system because they have not kept up with the times and maintain a GPS location accuracy within 124 metres (4 seconds of arc). Anything below 124 metres is a furphy.�

GPS accuracy�
KTi up to 1 metre* (16 channel GPS engine StarFire III) suspect same as all others of around 100 to 150m.�
GME <100m (16 channel GPS engine)�
Kannad <120m (12 Channel)�
ACR <100m (12 Channel)�
Pains Wessex <150m (12 Channel)

*Detection accuracy (CEP50).�

The next issue is strobe, I love strobes because even though the unit may or may not have a GPS a strobe is an added cost effective feature that I can’t go without. It is certainly mandatory with the none GPS unit but even so at night time with a 150 metre radius (GPS version) a chopper with a spotlight searching in rough seas at night still may struggle to locate you. A nice bright little strobe light blinking every 3 seconds is worth the extra few dollars.�

Additional features�
KTi both units have a strobe plus signalling mirror & retro reflector�
GME both units have a strobe but no mirror/reflector�
Kannard No strobe/mirror/reflector�
ACR No strobe/mirror/reflector�
Pains Wessex no strobe/mirror/reflector

User replaceable battery is a nice feature, however, not allowed in Australia. Only one of the manufacturers (Pains Wessex) quotes this but is quoted on the UK web site. Personally to me it’s like packing your own parachute for the first time FPRIVATE “TYPE=PICT;ALT=”Your browser may not support display of this image.

I don’t know about you but one day of battery usage? Even though the Search & Rescue mob can take off from the base and pick you up within 24 hours, as KTi said, what happens if you are in the middle of a cyclone? Somehow my instincts tell me I won’t be seeing that chopper for quite a while. As with the Kannad your battery will only last 24 hours or so, but you may have drifted well and truly away from the last reported signal.�

Usage time is as follows:�
KTi 4 days�
GME 2 days�
Pains Wessex 2 days�
ACR min 1 day +�
Kannad 1 day +

Size may not matter, depending upon where you have to put it. Clearly the KTi will best fit my pocket!�

KTi: 125mm x 84mm x 35mm�
GME: 135mm x 71mm x 38mm�
Kannad: 132mm x 88mm x 45mm�
ACR: 149mm x 56mm x 36mm�
Pains Wessex : 146mm x 79mm x 54mm

price is to me last on the list but Pains Wesse x did say their unit is to military specification MIL-STD-810

What the spec means is it is going to cost the manufacturer and thus the end user a lot more money for the privilege of having that MIL -spec on your product. Not to say it is an over the top requirement but certainly pushes the product above the others especially in price.�

Following prices are RRP and for the GPS kitted version.�
KTi $649�
GME $699�
Kannad $699�
ACR: $699�
Pains Wessex $1,099


Well, sad fact of the matter is, although to me the KTi Mini-Sat-G 406Mhz PLB stands out against all others the model is not available until around August 2008 (pushed back to June 2009). So, if you need a unit between then and now quite clearly the GME Electrophone MT410G is the next in line.�

What surprises me is the Kannad is dearer than either of the Australian products but is inferior to them as well. The 24 hour + battery life is a stinker and I would not even consider it a worthwhile investment on my life. Kannad is now distributed by Next Destination, the current Magellan Distributor for Australia.�

Just a note, you must register the 406 MHz beacons as they are programmed with a unique identifying code which is transmitted by the beacon in an emergency. If you don’t you can get fined.�

After you purchase a 406 MHz beacon you MUST register this unique code with your local rescue co-ordination authority (see below for details) so that, if an emergency occurs and you need to activate your beacon, the authorities will have immediate access to your name, your emergency contacts and the type of vessel or craft you are in.�

The Rules of Disinformation

Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth:�
The Rules of Disinformation

What I like about reading the following information is applying it to local politicians and their reply’s to media questions. It places a whole new light on what they are actually saying.�

Built upon Thirteen Techniques for Truth Suppression by David Martin, the following may be useful to the initiate in the world of dealing with veiled and half-truth, lies, and suppression of truth when serious crimes are studied in public forums. This, sadly, includes every day news media, one of the worst offenders with respect to being a source of disinformation. Where the crime involves a conspiracy, or a conspiracy to cover up the crime, there will invariably be a disinformation campaign launched against those seeking to uncover and expose the truth and/or the conspiracy. There are specific tactics which disinfo artists tend to apply, as revealed here.�

Also included with this material are seven common traits of the disinfo artist which may also prove useful in identifying players and motives. The more a particular party fits the traits and is guilty of following the rules, the more likely they are a professional disinfo artist with a vested motive. People can be bought, threatened, or blackmailed into providing disinformation, so even “good guys” can be suspect in many cases.�

A rational person participating as one interested in the truth will evaluate that chain of evidence and conclude either that the links are solid and conclusive, that one or more links are weak and need further development before conclusion can be arrived at, or that one or more links can be broken, usually invalidating (but not necessarily so, if parallel links already exist or can be found, or if a particular link was merely supportive, but not in itself key) the argument. The game is played by raising issues which either strengthen or weaken (preferably to the point of breaking) these links.�

It is the job of a disinfo artist to interfere with these evaluation… to at least make people think the links are weak or broken when, in truth, they are not… or to propose alternative solutions leading away from the truth. Often, by simply impeding and slowing down the process through disinformation tactics, a level of victory is assured because apathy increases with time and rhetoric.�

It would seem true in almost every instance, that if one cannot break the chain of evidence for a given solution, revelation of truth has won out. If the chain is broken either a new link must be forged, or a whole new chain developed, or the solution is invalid an a new one must be found… but truth still wins out. There is no shame in being the creator or supporter of a failed solution, chain, or link, if done with honesty in search of the truth. This is the rational approach.�

While it is understandable that a person can become emotionally involved with a particular side of a given issue, it is really unimportant who wins, as long as truth wins. But the disinfo artist will seek to emotionalize and chastise any failure (real or false claims thereof), and will seek by means of intimidation to prevent discussion in general.�

It is the disinfo artist and those who may pull their strings (those who stand to suffer should the crime be solved) MUST seek to prevent rational and complete examination of any chain of evidence which would hang them. Since fact and truth seldom fall on their own, they must be overcome with lies and deceit. Those who are professional in the art of lies and deceit, such as the intelligence community and the professional criminal (often the same people or at least working together), tend to apply fairly well defined and observable tools in this process.�

However, the public at large is not well armed against such weapons, and is often easily led astray by these time-proven tactics. Remarkably, not even media and law enforcement have NOT BEEN TRAINED to deal with these issues. For the most part, only the players themselves understand the rules of the game.�

This why concepts from the film, Wag-The-Dog, actually work. If you saw that movie, know that there is at least one real-world counterpart to Al Pacino’s character. For CIA, it is Mark Richards, who was called in to orchestrate the media response to Waco on behalf of Janet Reno. Mark Richards is the acknowledged High Priest of Disinformation.�

His appointment was extremely appropriate, since the CIA was VERY present at Waco from the very beginning of the cult to the very end of their days – just as it was at the People’s Temple in Jonestown. Richards purpose in life is damage control.�

Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation�

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil�
2. Become incredulous and indignant�
3. Create rumor mongers�
4. Use a straw man�
5. Sidetrack opponents w name calling, ridicule�
6. Hit and Run�
7. Question motives�
8. Invoke authority�
9. Play Dumb�
10. Associate opponent charges with old news�
11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions�
12. Enigmas have no solution�
13. Alice in Wonderland Logic�
14. Demand complete solutions�
15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions�
16. Vanish evidence and witnesses�
17. Change the subject�
18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad�
19. Ignore facts, demand impossible proofs�
20. False evidence�
21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor�
22. Manufacture a new truth�
23. Create bigger distractions�
24. Silence critics�
25. Vanish�

Eight Traits of The Disinformationalist�

1. Avoidance�
2. Selectivity�
3. Coincidental�
4. Teamwork�
5. Anti-conspiratorial�
6. Artificial Emotions�
7. Inconsistent�
8. Newly Discovered: Time Constant�

For such disinformationalists, the overall aim is to avoid discussing links in the chain of evidence which cannot be broken by truth, but at all times, to use clever deceptions or lies to make select links seem weaker than they are, create the illusion of a break, or better still, cause any who are considering the chain to be distracted in any number of ways, including the method of questioning the credentials of the presenter. Please understand that fact is fact, regardless of the source. Likewise, truth is truth, regardless of the source.�

This is why criminals are allowed to testify against other criminals. Where a motive to lie may truly exist, only actual evidence that the testimony itself IS a lie renders it completely invalid. Were a known ‘liar’s’ testimony to stand on its own without supporting fact, it might certainly be of questionable value, but if the testimony (argument) is based on verifiable or otherwise demonstrable facts, it matters not who does the presenting or what their motives are, or if they have lied in the past or even if motivated to lie in this instance — the facts or links would and should stand or fall on their own merit and their part in the matter will merely be supportive.�

Moreover, particularly with respects to public forums such as newspaper letters to the editor, and Internet chat and news groups, the disinfo type has a very important role. In these forums, the principle topics of discussion are generally attempts by individuals to cause other persons to become interested in their own particular position, idea, or solution — very much in development at the time. People often use such mediums as a sounding board and in hopes of pollination to better form their ideas. Where such ideas are critical of government or powerful, vested groups (especially if their criminality is the topic), the disinfo artist has yet another role — the role of nipping it in the bud.�

They also seek to stage the concept, the presenter, and any supporters as less than credible should any possible future confrontation in more public forums result due to their early successes. You can often spot the disinfo types at work here by the unique application of “higher standards” of discussion than necessarily warranted. They will demand that those presenting arguments or concepts back everything up with the same level of expertise as a professor, researcher, or investigative writer. Anything less renders any discussion meaningless and unworthy in their opinion, and anyone who disagrees is obviously stupid — and they generally put it in exactly those terms.�

So, as you read any such discussions, particularly so in Internet news groups (NG), decide for yourself when a rational argument is being applied and when disinformation, psyops (psychological warfare operations) or trickery is the tool. Accuse those guilty of the later freely. They (both those deliberately seeking to lead you astray, and those who are simply foolish or misguided thinkers) generally run for cover when thus illuminated, or — put in other terms, they put up or shut up (a perfectly acceptable outcome either way, since truth is the goal.) Here are the twenty-five methods and seven traits, some of which don’t apply directly to NG application.�

Each contains a simple example in the form of actual (some paraphrased for simplicity) from NG comments on commonly known historical events, and a proper response. Accusations should not be overused — reserve for repeat offenders and those who use multiple tactics. Responses should avoid falling into emotional traps or informational sidetracks, unless it is feared that some observers will be easily dissuaded by the trickery. Consider quoting the complete rule rather than simply citing it, as others will not have reference. Offer to provide a complete copy of the rule set upon request (see permissions statement at end):�

Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation�

Note: The first rule and last five (or six, depending on situation) rules are generally not directly within the ability of the traditional disinfo artist to apply. These rules are generally used more directly by those at the leadership, key players, or planning level of the criminal conspiracy or conspiracy to cover up.�

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.�

Example: Media was present in the courtroom (Hunt vs. Liberty Lobby) when CIA agent Marita Lorenz ‘confession’ testimony regarding CIA direct participation in the planning and assassination of John Kennedy was revealed. All media reported was that E. Howard Hunt lost his libel case against Liberty Lobby (Liberty Lobby’s newspaper, The Spotlight, had reported Hunt was in Dallas that day and were sued for the story). See Mark Lane’s remarkable book, Plausible Denial, for the full confessional transcript.�

Proper response: There is no possible response unless you are aware of the material and can make it public yourself.. In any such attempt, be certain to target any known silent party as likely complicit in a cover up. In this case, it would be the entire Time-Warner Media Group, among others. This author is relatively certain that reporters were hand-picked to cover this case from among those having intelligence community ties.�

2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the ‘How dare you!’ gambit.�

Example: ‘How dare you suggest that the Branch Davidians were murdered! the FBI and BATF are made up of America’s finest and best trained law enforcement, operate under the strictest of legal requirements, and are under the finest leadership the President could want to appoint.’�

Proper response: You are avoiding the Waco issue with disinformation tactics. Your high opinion of FBI is not founded in fact. All you need do is examine Ruby Ridge and any number of other examples, and you will see a pattern of abuse of power that demands attention to charges against FBI/BATF at Waco. Why do you refuse to address the issues with disinformation tactics (rule 2 – become incredulous and indignant)?�

3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method which works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such ‘arguable rumors’. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a ‘wild rumor’ from a ‘bunch of kids on the Internet’ which can have no basis in fact.�

‘You can’t prove his material was legitimately from French Intelligence. Pierre Salinger had a chance to show his ‘proof’ that flight 800 was brought down by friendly fire, and he didn’t. All he really had was the same old baseless rumor that’s been floating around the Internet for months.’�

Proper response: You are avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. The Internet charge reported widely is based on a single FBI interview statement to media and a similar statement by a Congressman, neither of which had actually seen Pierre’s document. As the FBI is being accused in participating in a cover up of this matter and Pierre claims his material is not Internet sourced, it is natural that FBI would have reason to paint his material in a negative light. For you to assume the FBI to have no bias in the face of Salinger’s credentials and unchanged stance suggests you are biased. At the best you can say the matter is in question. Further, to imply that material found on Internet is worthless is not founded. At best you may say it must be considered carefully before accepting it, which will require addressing the actual issues. Why do you refuse to address these issues with disinformation tactics (rule 3 – create rumor mongers)?�

4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.�

Example: When trying to defeat reports by the Times of London that spy-sat images reveal an object racing towards and striking flight 800, a straw man is used. The disinformationalist, later identified as having worked for Naval Intelligence, simply stated: ‘If these images exist, the public has not seen them. Why? They don’t exist, and never did. You have no evidence and thus, your entire case falls flat.’�

Proper response: ‘You are avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. You imply deceit and deliberately establish an impossible and unwarranted test. It is perfectly natural that the public has not seen them, nor will they for some considerable time, if ever. To produce them would violate national security with respect to intelligence gathering capabilities and limitations, and you should know this. Why do you refuse to address the issues with such disinformation tactics (rule 4 – use a straw man)?’�

5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary ‘attack the messenger’ ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as ‘kooks’, ‘right-wing’, ‘liberal’, ‘left-wing’, ‘terrorists’, ‘conspiracy buffs’, ‘radicals’, ‘militia’, ‘racists’, ‘religious fanatics’, ‘sexual deviates’, and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.�

Example: ‘You believe what you read in the Spotlight? The Publisher, Willis DeCarto, is a well-known right-wing racist. I guess we know your politics — does your Bible have a swastika on it? That certainly explains why you support this wild-eyed, right-wing conspiracy theory.’�

Proper response: ‘You are avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. Your imply guilt by association and attack truth on the basis of the messenger. The Spotlight is well known Populist media source responsible for releasing facts and stories well before mainstream media will discuss the issues through their veil of silence. Willis DeCarto has successfully handled lawsuits regarding slanderous statements such as yours. Your undemonstrated charges against the messenger have nothing to do with the facts or the issues, and fly in the face of reason. Why do you refuse to address the issues by use of such disinformation tactics (rule 5 – sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule)?’�

6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning — simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint.�

Example: ”This stuff is garbage. Where do you conspiracy lunatics come up with this crap? I hope you all get run over by black helicopters.’ Notice it even has a farewell sound to it, so it won’t seem curious if the author is never heard from again.�

Proper response: ‘You are avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. Your comments or opinions fail to offer any meaningful dialog or information, and are worthless except to pander to emotionalism, and in fact, reveal you to be emotionally insecure with these matters. If you do not like reading ‘this crap’, why do you frequent this NG which is clearly for the purpose of such discussion? Why do you refuse to address the issues by use of such disinformation tactics (rule 6 – hit and run)?’�

7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could be taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.�

Example: ‘With the talk-show circuit and the book deal, it looks like you can make a pretty good living spreading lies.’�

Proper response: ‘You are avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. Your imply guilt as a means of attacking the messenger or his credentials, but cowardly fail to offer any concrete evidence that this is so. If you think what has been presented are ‘lies’, why not simply so illustrate? Why do you refuse to address the issues by use of such disinformation tactics (rule 6 – question motives)?’�

8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough ‘jargon’ and ‘minutia’ to illustrate you are ‘one who knows’, and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.�

‘You obviously know nothing about either the politics or strategic considerations, much less the technicals of the SR-71. Incidentally, for those who might care, that sleek plane is started with a pair of souped up big-block V-8’s (originally, Buick 454 C.I.D. with dual 450 CFM Holly Carbs and a full-race Isky cams — for 850 combined BHP @ 6,500 RPM) using a dragster-style clutch with direct-drive shaft. Anyway, I can tell you with confidence that no Blackbird has ever been flown by Korean nationals nor have they ever been trained to fly it, and have certainly never overflown the Republic of China in a SR or even launched a drone from it that flew over China. I’m not authorized to discuss if there have been overflights by American pilots.’�

Proper response: ‘You are avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. Your imply your own authority and expertise but fail to provide credentials, and you also fail to address issues and cite sources. You simply cite ‘Jane’s-like’ information to make us think you know what you are talking about. Why do you refuse to address the issues by use of such disinformation tactics (rule 8 – invoke authority)?’�

9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues except with denials they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.�

Example: ‘Nothing you say makes any sense. Your logic is idiotic. Your facts nonexistent. Better go back to the drawing board and try again.’�

Proper response: ‘You are avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. You evade the issues with your own form of nonsense while others, perhaps more intelligent than you pretend to be, have no trouble with the material. Why do you refuse to address the issues by use of such disinformation tactics (rule 9 – play dumb)?’�

10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man — usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with – a kind of investment for the future should the matter not be so easily contained.) Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually then be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues — so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.�

Example: ‘Flight 553’s crash was pilot error, according to the NTSB findings. Digging up new witnesses who say the CIA brought it down at a selected spot and were waiting for it with 50 agents won’t revive that old dead horse buried by NTSB more than twenty years ago.’�

Proper response: ‘You are avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. Your ignore the issues and imply they are old charges as if new information is irrelevant to truth. Why do you refuse to address the issues by use of such disinformation tactics (rule 10 – associate charges with old news)?’�

11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the ‘high road’ and ‘confess’ with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, ‘just isn’t so.’ Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later, and even publicly ‘call for an end to the nonsense’ because you have already ‘done the right thing.’ Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for ‘coming clean’ and ‘owning up’ to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.�

Example: ‘Reno admitted in hindsight she should have taken more time to question the data provided by subordinates on the deadliness of CS-4 and the likely Davidian response to its use, but she was so concerned about the children that she elected, in what she now believes was a sad and terrible mistake, to order the tear gas be used.’�

Proper response: ‘You are avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. Your evade the true issue by focusing on a side issue in an attempt to evoke sympathy. Perhaps you did not know that CIA Public Relations expert Mark Richards was called in to help Janet Reno with the Waco aftermath response? How warm and fuzzy it makes us feel, so much so that we are to ignore more important matters being discussed. Why do you refuse to address the issues by use of such disinformation tactics (rule 11 – establish and rely upon fall-back positions)?’�

12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to loose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.�

Example: ‘I don’t see how you can claim Vince Foster was murdered since you can’t prove a motive. Before you could do that, you would have to completely solve the whole controversy over everything that went on in the White House and in Arkansas, and even then, you would have to know a heck of a lot more about what went on within the NSA, the Travel Office, and the secret Grand Jury, and on, and on, and on. It’s hopeless. Give it up.’�

Proper response: ‘You are avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. Your completely evade issues and attempt others from daring to attempt it by making it a much bigger mountain than necessary. You eat an elephant one bite at a time. Why do you refuse to address the issues by use of such disinformation tactics (rule 12 – enigmas have no solution)?’�

13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards or with an apparent deductive logic which forbears any actual material fact.�

Example: ‘The news media operates in a fiercely competitive market where stories are gold. This means they dig, dig, dig for the story — often doing a better job than law enforcement. If there was any evidence that BATF had prior knowledge of the Oklahoma City bombing, they would surely have uncovered it and reported it. They haven’t reported it, so there can’t have been any prior knowledge. Put up or shut up.’�

Proper response: ‘You are avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. Your backwards logic does not work here. Has media reported CIA killed Kennedy when they knew it? No, despite their presence at a courtroom testimony ‘confession’ by CIA operative Marita Lornez in a liable trial between E. Howard Hunt and Liberty Lobby, they only told us the trial verdict. THAT, would have been the biggest story of the Century, but they didn’t print it, did they? Why do you refuse to address the issues by use of such disinformation tactics (rule 13 – Alice in Wonderland logic)?’�

14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best with issues qualifying for rule 10.�

Example: ‘Since you know so much, if James Earl Ray is as innocent as you claim, who really killed Martin Luther King, how was it planned and executed, how did they frame Ray and fool the FBI, and why?’�

Proper response: You are avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. It is not necessary to completely resolve any full matter in order to examine any relative attached issue. Discussion of any evidence of Ray’s innocence can stand alone to serve truth, and any alternative solution to the crime, while it may bolster that truth, can also stand alone. Why do you refuse to address the issues by use of such disinformation tactics (rule 14 – demand complete solutions)?�

15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.�

Example: ‘The cargo door failed on Flight 800 and caused a catastrophic breakup which ruptured the fuel tank and caused it to explode.’�

Proper response: The best definitive example of avoiding issues by this technique is, perhaps, Arlan Specter’s Magic Bullet from the Warren Report. This was eloquently defeated in court but media blindly accepted it without challenge. Thus rewarded, disinformationalists do not shrink from its application, even though today, thanks in part to the movie, JFK, most Americans do now understand it was fabricated nonsense. Thus the defense which works best may actually be to cite the Magic Bullet. ‘You are avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. Your imaginative twisting of facts rivals that of Arlan Specter’s Magic Bullet in the Warren Report. We all know why the impossible magic bullet was invented. You invent a cargo door problem when there has been not one shred of evidence from the crash investigation to support it, and in fact, actual photos of the cargo door hinges and locks disprove you. Why do you refuse to address the issues by use of such disinformation tactics (rule 15 – fit facts to an alternate conclusion)?’�

16. Vanish evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.�

Example: ‘You can’t say Paisley is still alive… that his death was faked and the list of CIA agents found on his boat deliberately placed there to support a purge at CIA. You have no proof. Why can’t you accept the Police reports?’ This is a good ploy, since the dental records and autopsy report showing his body was two inches too long and the teeth weren’t his were lost right after his wife demanded inquiry, and since his body was cremated before she could view it — all that remains are the Police Reports. Handy.�

Proper response: There is no suitable response to actual vanished materials or persons, unless you can shed light on the matter, particularly if you can tie the event to a cover up other criminality. However, with respect to dialog where it is used against the discussion, you can respond… ‘You are avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. The best you can say is that the matter is in contention ONLY because of highly suspicious matters such as the simultaneous and mysterious vanishing of three sets of evidence. The suspicious nature itself tends to support the primary allegation. Why do you refuse to address the remaining issues by use of such disinformation tactics (rule 16 – vanish evidence and witnesses)?’�

17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can ‘argue’ with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.�

Example: ‘There were no CIA drugs and was no drug money laundering through Mena, Arkansas, and certainly, there was no Bill Clinton knowledge of it because it simply didn’t happen. This is merely an attempt by his opponents to put Clinton off balance and at a disadvantage in the election: Dole is such a weak candidate with nothing to offer that they are desperate to come up with something to swing the polls. Dole simply has no real platform.’ Assistant’s response. ‘You idiot! Dole has the clearest vision of what’s wrong with Government since McGovern. Clinton is only interested in raping the economy, the environment, and every woman he can get his hands on…’ One naturally feels compelled, regardless of party of choice, to jump in defensively on that one…�

Proper response: ‘You are both avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. Your evade discussion of the issues by attempting to sidetrack us with an emotional response to a new topic — a trap which we will not fall into willingly. If you truly believe such political rhetoric, please drop out of this discussion, as it is not germane, and take it to one of the more appropriate politics NGs. Why do you refuse to address the issues by use of such disinformation tactics (rule 17- change the subject)?’�

18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can’t do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how ‘sensitive they are to criticism.’�

Example: ‘You are such an idiot to think that possible — or are you such a paranoid conspiracy buff that you think the ‘gubment’ is cooking your pea-brained skull with microwaves, which is the only justification you might have for dreaming up this drivel.’ After a drawing an emotional response: ‘Ohhh… I do seem to have touched a sensitive nerve. Tsk, tsk. What’s the matter? The truth too hot for you to handle? Perhaps you should stop relying on the Psychic Friends Network and see a psychiatrist for some real professional help…’�

Proper response: ‘You are avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. You attempt to draw me into emotional response without discussion of the issues. If you have something useful to contribute which defeats my argument, let’s here it — preferably without snide and unwarranted personal attacks, if you can manage to avoid sinking so low. Your useless rhetoric serves no purpose here if that is all you can manage. Why do you refuse to address the issues by use of such disinformation tactics (rule 18 – emotionalize, antagonize, and goad opponents)?’�

19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the ‘play dumb’ rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon.) In order to completely avoid discussing issues, it may be required that you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.�

Example: ‘All he’s done is to quote the liberal media and a bunch of witnesses who aren’t qualified. Where’s his proof? Show me wreckage from flight 800 that shows a missile hit it!’�

Proper response: ‘You are avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. You presume for us not to accept Don Phillips, reporter for the Washington Post, Al Baker, Craig Gordon or Liam Pleven, reporters for Newsday, Matthew Purdy or Matthew L. Wald, Don Van Natta Jr., reporters for the New York Times, or Pat Milton, wire reporter for the Associated Press — as being able to tell us anything useful about the facts in this matter. Neither would you allow us to accept Robert E. Francis, Vice Chairman of the NTSB, Joseph Cantamessa Jr., Special Agent In Charge of the New York Office of the F.B.I., Dr. Charles Wetli, Suffolk County Medical Examiner, the Pathologist examining the bodies, nor unnamed Navy divers, crash investigators, or other cited officials, including Boeing Aircraft representatives a part of the crash investigative team — as a qualified party in this matter, and thus, dismisses this material out of hand. Good logic, — about as good as saying 150 eye witnesses aren’t qualified. Then you demand us to produce evidence which you know is not accessible to us, evidence held by FBI, whom we accuse of cover up. Thus, only YOU are qualified to tell us what to believe? Witnesses be damned? Radar tracks be damned? Satellite tracks be damned? Reporters be damned? Photographs be damned? Government statements be damned? Is there a pattern here?. Why do you refuse to address the issues by use of such disinformation tactics (rule 19 – ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs)?’�

20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations — as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.�

Example: Jack Ruby warned the Warren Commission that the white Russian separatists, the Solidarists, were involved in the assassination. This was a handy ‘confession’, since Jack and Earl were both on the same team in terms of the cover up, and since it is now known that Jack worked directly with CIA in the assassination (see below.)�

Proper response: This one can be difficult to respond to unless you see it clearly, such as in the following example, where more is known today than earlier in time… ‘You are avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. Your information is known to have been designed to side track this issue. As revealed by CIA operative Marita Lorenz under oath offered in court in E. Howard Hunt vs. Liberty Lobby, CIA operatives E. Howard Hunt, James McCord, and others, met with Jack Ruby in Dallas the night before the assassination of JFK to distribute guns and money. Clearly, Ruby was a coconspirator whose ‘Solidarist confession’ was meant to sidetrack any serious investigation of the murder AWAY from CIA. Why do you refuse to address the issues by use of such disinformation tactics (rule 20 – false evidence)?’�

21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed an unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed. Usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim.�

Example: According to one OK bombing Federal Grand Juror who violated the law to speak the truth, jurors were, contrary to law, denied the power of subpoena of witness of their choosing, denied the power of asking witnesses questions of their choosing, and relegated to hearing only evidence prosecution wished them to hear, evidence which clearly seemed fraudulent and intended to paint conclusions other than facts actually suggested.�

Proper response: There is usually no adequate response to this tactic except to complain loudly at any sign of its application, particularly with respect to any possible cover up. This happened locally in Oklahoma, and as a result, a new Grand Jury has been called to rehear evidence that government officials knew in advance that the bombing was going to take place, and a number of new facts which indicate it was impossible for Timothy McVeigh to have done the deed without access to extremely advanced explosive devices such as available ONLY to the military or intelligence community, such as CIA’s METC technology. Media has refused to cover the new Oklahoma Grand Jury process, by they way.�

22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.�

Example: The False Memory Syndrome Foundation and American Family Foundation and American and Canadian Psychiatric Associations fall into this category, as their founding members and/or leadership include key persons associated with CIA Mind Control research. Read The Professional Paranoid or Phsychic Dictatorship in the U.S.A. by Alex Constantine for more information. Not so curious, then, that (in a perhaps oversimplified explanation here) these organizations focus on, by means of their own “research findings”, that there is no such thing as Mind Control.�

Proper response: Unless you are in a position to be well versed in the topic and know of the background and relationships involved in the opponent organization, you are not well equipped to fight this tactic.�

23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.�

Example: To distract the public over the progress of a WTC bombing trial that seems to be uncovering nasty ties to the intelligence community, have an endless discussion of skaters whacking other skaters on the knee. To distract the public over the progress of the Waco trials that have the potential to reveal government sponsored murder, have an O.J. summer. To distract the public over an ever disintegrating McVeigh trial situation and the danger of exposing government involvements, come up with something else (Flight 800?) to talk about — or, keeping in the sports theme, how about sports fans shooting referees and players during a game and the focusing on the whole gun control thing?�

Proper response: The best you can do is attempt to keep public debate and interest in the true issues alive and point out that the ‘news flap’ or other evasive tactic serves the interests of your opponents.�

24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their character by release of blackmail information, or merely by destroying them financially, emotionally, or severely damaging their health.�

Example: As experienced by certain proponents of friendly fire theories with respect to flight 800 — send in FBI agents to intimidate and threaten that if they persisted further they would be subject to charges of aiding and abetting Iranian terrorists, of failing to register as a foreign agents, or any other trumped up charges. If this doesn’t work, you can always plant drugs and bust them.�

Proper response: You have three defensive alternatives if you think yourself potential victim of this ploy. One is to stand and fight regardless. Another is to create for yourself an insurance policy which will point to your opponents in the event of any unpleasantness, a matter which requires superior intelligence information on your opponents and great care in execution to avoid dangerous pitfalls (see The Professional Paranoid by this author for suggestions on how this might be done). The last alternative is to cave in or run (same thing.)�

25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.�

Example: Do a Robert Vesco and retire to the Caribbean. If you don’t, somebody in your organization may choose to vanish you the way of Vince Foster or Ron Brown.�

Proper response: You will likely not have a means to attack this method, except to focus on the vanishing in hopes of uncovering it was by foul play or deceit as part of a deliberate cover up.�

Eight Traits of the Dis-informationalist�

1) Avoidance. They never actually discuss issues head-on or provide constructive input, generally avoiding citation of references or credentials. Rather, they merely imply this, that, and the other. Virtually everything about their presentation implies their authority and expert knowledge in the matter without any further justification for credibility.�

2) Selectivity. They tend to pick and choose opponents carefully, either applying the hit-and-run approach against mere commentators supportive of opponents, or focusing heavier attacks on key opponents who are known to directly address issues. Should a commentator become argumentative with any success, the focus will shift to include the commentator as well.�

3) Coincidental. They tend to surface suddenly and somewhat coincidentally with a new controversial topic with no clear prior record of participation in general discussions in the particular public arena involved. They likewise tend to vanish once the topic is no longer of general concern. They were likely directed or elected to be there for a reason, and vanish with the reason.�

4) Teamwork. They tend to operate in self-congratulatory and complementary packs or teams. Of course, this can happen naturally in any public forum, but there will likely be an ongoing pattern of frequent exchanges of this sort where professionals are involved. Sometimes one of the players will infiltrate the opponent camp to become a source for straw man or other tactics designed to dilute opponent presentation strength.�

5) Anti-conspiratorial. They almost always have disdain for ‘conspiracy theorists’ and, usually, for those who in any way believe JFK was not killed by LHO. Ask yourself why, if they hold such disdain for conspiracy theorists, do they focus on defending a single topic discussed in a NG focusing on conspiracies? One might think they would either be trying to make fools of everyone on every topic, or simply ignore the group they hold in such disdain. Or, one might more rightly conclude they have an ulterior motive for their actions in going out of their way to focus as they do.�

6) Artificial Emotions. An odd kind of ‘artificial’ emotionalism and an unusually thick skin — an ability to persevere and persist even in the face of overwhelming criticism and unacceptance. This likely stems from intelligence community training that, no matter how condemning the evidence, deny everything, and never become emotionally involved or reactive. The net result for a disinfo artist is that emotions can seem artificial. Most people, if responding in anger, for instance, will express their animosity throughout their rebuttal. But disinfo types usually have trouble maintaining the ‘image’ and are hot and cold with respect to pretended emotions and their usually more calm or unemotional communications style. It’s just a job, and they often seem unable to ‘act their role in character’ as well in a communications medium as they might be able in a real face-to-face conversation/confrontation. You might have outright rage and indignation one moment, ho-hum the next, and more anger later — an emotional yo-yo. With respect to being thick-skinned, no amount of criticism will deter them from doing their job, and they will generally continue their old disinfo patterns without any adjustments to criticisms of how obvious it is that they play that game — where a more rational individual who truly cares what others think might seek to improve their communications style, substance, and so forth, or simply give up.�

7) Inconsistent. There is also a tendency to make mistakes which betray their true self/motives. This may stem from not really knowing their topic, or it may be somewhat ‘freudian’, so to speak, in that perhaps they really root for the side of truth deep within. I have noted that often, they will simply cite contradictory information which neutralizes itself and the author. For instance, one such player claimed to be a Navy pilot, but blamed his poor communicating skills (spelling, grammar, incoherent style) on having only a grade-school education. I’m not aware of too many Navy pilots who don’t have a college degree. Another claimed no knowledge of a particular topic/situation but later claimed first-hand knowledge of it.�

8) BONUS TRAIT: Time Constant. Recently discovered, with respect to News Groups, is the response time factor. There are three ways this can be seen to work, especially when the government or other empowered player is involved in a cover up operation: 1) ANY NG posting by a targeted proponent for truth can result in an IMMEDIATE response. The government and other empowered players can afford to pay people to sit there and watch for an opportunity to do some damage.�

SINCE DISINFO IN A NG ONLY WORKS IF THE READER SEES IT – FAST RESPONSE IS CALLED FOR, or the visitor may be swayed towards truth. 2) When dealing in more direct ways with a disinformationalist, such as email, DELAY IS CALLED FOR – there will usually be a minimum of a 48-72 hour delay. This allows a sit-down team discussion on response strategy for best effect, and even enough time to ‘get permission’ or instruction from a formal chain of command. 3) In the NG example 1) above, it will often ALSO be seen that bigger guns are drawn and fired after the same 48-72 hours delay – the team approach in play. This is especially true when the targeted truth seeker or their comments are considered more important with respect to potential to reveal truth. Thus, a serious truth sayer will be attacked twice for the same sin.

Mobile Bug Out Survival Retreats

I guess like most people, I could never afford to own a piece of land to use as a retreat. I had started off with a� 1994 Toyota Landcruiser for a Bug Out vehicle and spent a small fortune modifying it. This included cutting the back end off making it into a dual cab ute with another 18 inch extension in length and extended mileage fuel tanks. Thinking I could not possibly want anything larger than this, a few things came about to change my mind. �

Trying to get two cats and a dog to the vet for their annual vacinations in the back seat not only takes up all the room but is also a nightmare. There are only so long cats like being enclosed in cages, all of two minutes then all hell breaks loose. One problem with large 4WDs is they can take hours if not days to pack if doing so for the first few times, learning where everything has to go. The large 4WD’s are great for short trips but I really wanted something to use for extended travelling.Trying to set up a tent for long term accomodation with three animals just wouldnt work. The animals are also quite happy travelling in this way, not being confined for long periods. The cats sit on the large dash in the sun and the dog sits on the passenger seat folded down with a mattress on top.�

I had lived in a 1957 double decker bus for three years at one stage in my life. This was pretty rough. No hot water system or toilet etc and mostly within caravan parks and using a kettle for hot water to do the dishes. Being a 30 footer, still had its limitations. Especially the roof height in that style of vehicle, being pretty low and the drivers cab was enclosed seperately to the rest of the bus. �

Living in a bus is fun but can also be a pain and a money pit if choosing the wrong vehicle. A double decker would only fit in so many parks and always stood out. Under 30 feet can be parked just about anywhere and not draw attention. I realized that the 4WD wouldnt hold my gear, enough food for longer than a month and my animals if needing to leave suddenly. If I ever need to leave my home then there wont be anything left to go back for and i dont want to end up a refugee in my own state. It was also getting harder and harder to drive around the burbs with a 4WD that large. I ended up selling it and buying a small Jeep Cherokee KJ. I never regretted going for the smaller vehicle. Mercedes engines are like driving a petrol car in a diesel, once that turbo kicks in.�

This was the smallest 4WD I could find that wasn’t in all wheel drive having a high/low shifter and a decent suspension system. This is actually more comfortable than a customized 80 series. Long wheel base vehicles are usually preferred by people with back injuries.�

The 2.8 litre diesel can get 700kms around the city or towing or 800kms on highways with a 70 fuel tank. ARB and TJM 4WD suppliers come out with 105 litre conversions giving a mileage of between 1000kms and 1200kms. I was lucky to find a custom maker in Melbourne that makes 132 litre units that would push the mileage up to between the 1200kms to 1500kms range. This is not only handy for bugging out but the way I drive don’t need to refuel for between five to six weeks missing the high/lows in fuel prices and can pick and choose when to buy.�

In terms of models the 2003 came out with drum brakes on the rear and weren’t upgraded to rear discs till 2004. The 2005 models were upgraded with Garret turbo’s giving 400nm as compared to the standard turbo at 360nm. Power chips can up the power from 360nm to 400nm and the 400nm to 454nm. Don’t ask what an nm is, wouldn’t have a clue.�

Sorry for going on about jeeps but there is none of this information on the web. I spent weeks on forums and being annoying asking questions of mechanics then luckily met someone through a jeep forum who had gone through all the options and was happy to fill in a newbie. The advantage of a small 4WD to a bus owner is that they can be towed. Having a secondary vehicle if one should break down.�

Generally life is a series of compromises, the same can be said for purchasing a bus.� What I would have liked or what I would recommend are not always what you end up with, due to finances or other parameters. My dream bus would have been a 22 to 25 footer in a diesel. Anything larger is harder to keep in suburbia. You need to suit the power to weight ratio, along with the diff ratio and wheel size. Never buy a short stroke engine, always buy a long stroke. These are more economical to run and made for towing.�

Essentially I only had a front yard 8 meters long. This limited me to what could actually fit without modifications to the yard or the vehicle. By chance a friend put me onto a bus for sale in the backyard of one of his neighbours. A small Bedford 20 foot bus, with a 214 petrol engine costing only a grand to purchase. To go for a larger frame bus, providing the added storage space under the chassis would not have fitted in my front yard. I would also still be looking for the right bus, just to find the perfect length wheel base to cut down to fit in the allowed space. This would become too much of a headache and a long wait.�

A 20 footer gives me enough room to work on the body in my driveway, isn’t too high for the neighbours to complain about or the local council to bother with. The good points were it didn’t need to have the roof raised having a 6 foot 3 inch ceiling and only needed to have a quick paint job to bring it up looking respectable. The brakes had just been rebuilt; all I needed to do is replace the engine and gearbox to a diesel with an automatic gear box. The interior width of the bus was also 7 foot 6 inches.� The interior only had a rough set up of a lowered bed frame and basic fridge and cooker.�

So far I’ve stripped the bus interior except for the frame work of the upper storage cupboards. These needed to be re-enforced and the ply paneling removed. Apart from the 70,s look of the grey wood grain, the ply panels hold a lot of dust and bugs. The cupboard frames are to be removed and replaced with ferret nets to hold gear on the ceiling. I like having head space and not banging my head everytime I stand up or use the kitchen.�

The walls have been insulated with 2 inch thick fire retardant high density foam and covered with 1.0mm gauge zincalume. The next job was cutting out any rust on the outside and using small panels to cover the holes as bog will fall out due to the vibration. These are attached with rivets. I generally use 3/16 blind rivets. Blind rivets leave the shank in the centre hole preventing any water from draining in but are a pain if they ever need to be removed.�

The tool box frame mounted on the rear needed to be modified, as it can over hang only one fifth of the axle to axle length. (Depending on state laws). The air conditioner was removed as being directly over the bed, causes too much noise. Also power drain is too great as the previous owners used a standard house hold appliance. I want to stay strictly 12 volt.�

The engine is being swapped to a Bedford 330 diesel. This will give me enough torque to tow a small 4WD. This is the largest engine I could use legally before engineers certificates would be needed and supplies a good power to weight ratio.�

Automatics are just too hard to find to suit a low revving engine; they’re usually made for higher revving motors. A five speed would be better for highway work, but if I find there’s too much strain its cheaper to put on larger tyres which will do a similar job but loose some of the lower down torque. This model may allow me to use a Ford C6 gear automatic gear box. There are three models; a small block, large block and FE which has a rounded bell housing.�

The paint being used is B-16 infrared reflective primer as a base coat which is a water base. I’ve made the mistake of just using kill rust paint directly over the existing colour on a previous project and had it start to peal after 4 years. Household exterior paint will last 2 years on a vehicle, killrust will last 5 years without proper preparation. Automobile paint will last 10 to 15 years depending on the quality used, but needs to be sprayed. Industrial paints will dry within seconds and not recommended. �

As a top coat on the roof I’m using EC-100 Ceramic heat reflective, to reduce heat. The top coat on the sides of the vehicle will be Rustguard paint. Before applying an enamel over a water base it’s recommended to wait two to three days. Killrust didn’t make a suitable colour whereas Rustguard made a nice beige. It’s not worth getting colours mixed if you need to match them at a later stage. Incase you run out half way through and need more. Rustguard with a proper undercoat and prep work should last 8 to 10 years.�

The reason I’ve chosen to not use an automotive paint is due to, not being able to use or afford a sprayer. By using a roller I can do the paint work myself. Besides it’s an old bus it doesn’t need to be perfect only good enough not to stick out or look untidy for traffic police to take a second look at.�

Solar panels, battery banks and inverters are still to be installed, so I’m not dependant on mains power grids. A small 4 stroke Honda 2kva generator can be used as a backup in emergencies. This also allowed me to keep my gear permanently packed to take off at a moments notice. Buses allow you to live any where you like within reason and can be semi permanent off the grid with the rego in someone elses name. As long as their willing to re-register every year and have some way of contacting you for the cash and to post the renewal papers.�

I think buses or RV’s may well be the survival retreats of the future. They can even be ran off bio-diesel. I can store all my equipment, tow my 4WD, provide long term accomodation for myself and have up to 6 months of food stored. Im keeping the interior simple with a double bed frame at the rear for storage underneath and I like to mainly live outdoors. It becomes too hot cooking inside during summer and takes very little to heat inside during winter.Most of the furniture will be made from storage crates secured to the walls.�

BORV-Living Prepared����

The 48 Laws of Power

You’ll find everything in life can be taken away from you. Your health, job, friends, family, car, house, possessions, the ability to wipe your own backside when it comes down to it, etc. The only things in life that cant be taken, are your honour and integrity. These need to be given away freely, by your own choice. So the following arent intended as rules to live by, more as a means of determining the possible intent behind others actions. To try and atleast comprehend the psychology of power, is to protect yourself and those who are dear to you from those who wield, or desire to wield control over others. �

The 48 Laws of Power �
by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers �

Law 1 �

Never Outshine the Master �

Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite – inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power. �

Law 2 �

Never put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn how to use Enemies �

Be wary of friends-they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove. In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them. �

Law 3 �

Conceal your Intentions �

Keep people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelope them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late. �

Law 4 �

Always Say Less than Necessary �

When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish. �

Law 5 �

So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard it with your Life �

Reputation is the cornerstone of power. Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once you slip, however, you are vulnerable, and will be attacked on all sides. Make your reputation unassailable. Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they happen. Meanwhile, learn to destroy your enemies by opening holes in their own reputations. Then stand aside and let public opinion hang them. �

Law 6 �

Court Attention at all Cost �

Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious, than the bland and timid masses. �

Law 7 �

Get others to do the Work for you, but Always Take the Credit �

Use the wisdom, knowledge, and legwork of other people to further your own cause. Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and energy, it will give you a godlike aura of efficiency and speed. In the end your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered. Never do yourself what others can do for you. �

Law 8 �

Make other People come to you – use Bait if Necessary �

When you force the other person to act, you are the one in control. It is always better to make your opponent come to you, abandoning his own plans in the process. Lure him with fabulous gains – then attack. You hold the cards. �

Law 9 �

Win through your Actions, Never through Argument �

Any momentary triumph you think gained through argument is really a Pyrrhic victory: The resentment and ill will you stir up is stronger and lasts longer than any momentary change of opinion. It is much more powerful to get others to agree with you through your actions, without saying a word. Demonstrate, do not explicate. �

Law 10 �

Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky �

You can die from someone else’s misery – emotional states are as infectious as disease. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster. The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and fortunate instead. �

Law 11 �

Learn to Keep People Dependent on You �

To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted. The more you are relied on, the more freedom you have. Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear. Never teach them enough so that they can do without you. �

Law 12 �

Use Selective Honesty and Generosity to Disarm your Victim �

One sincere and honest move will cover over dozens of dishonest ones. Open-hearted gestures of honesty and generosity bring down the guard of even the most suspicious people. Once your selective honesty opens a hole in their armor, you can deceive and manipulate them at will. A timely gift – a Trojan horse – will serve the same purpose. �

Law 13 �

When Asking for Help, Appeal to People’s Self-Interest, �

Never to their Mercy or Gratitude �

If you need to turn to an ally for help, do not bother to remind him of your past assistance and good deeds. He will find a way to ignore you. Instead, uncover something in your request, or in your alliance with him, that will benefit him, and emphasize it out of all proportion. He will respond enthusiastically when he sees something to be gained for himself. �

Law 14 �

Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy �

Knowing about your rival is critical. Use spies to gather valuable information that will keep you a step ahead. Better still: Play the spy yourself. In polite social encounters, learn to probe. Ask indirect questions to get people to reveal their weaknesses and intentions. There is no occasion that is not an opportunity for artful spying. �

Law 15 �

Crush your Enemy Totally �

All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely. (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way.) If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation: The enemy will recover, and will seek revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit. �

Law 16 �

Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor �

Too much circulation makes the price go down: The more you are seen and heard from, the more common you appear. If you are already established in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked about, even more admired. You must learn when to leave. Create value through scarcity. �

Law 17 �

Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability �

Humans are creatures of habit with an insatiable need to see familiarity in other people’s actions. Your predictability gives them a sense of control. Turn the tables: Be deliberately unpredictable. Behavior that seems to have no consistency or purpose will keep them off-balance, and they will wear themselves out trying to explain your moves. Taken to an extreme, this strategy can intimidate and terrorize. �

Law 18 �

Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself – Isolation is Dangerous �

The world is dangerous and enemies are everywhere – everyone has to protect themselves. A fortress seems the safest. But isolation exposes you to more dangers than it protects you from – it cuts you off from valuable information, it makes you conspicuous and an easy target. Better to circulate among people find allies, mingle. You are shielded from your enemies by the crowd. �

Law 19 �

Know Who You’re Dealing with – Do Not Offend the Wrong Person �

There are many different kinds of people in the world, and you can never assume that everyone will react to your strategies in the same way. Deceive or outmaneuver some people and they will spend the rest of their lives seeking revenge. They are wolves in lambs’ clothing. Choose your victims and opponents carefully, then – never offend or deceive the wrong person. �

Law 20 �

Do Not Commit to Anyone �

It is the fool who always rushes to take sides. Do not commit to any side or cause but yourself. By maintaining your independence, you become the master of others – playing people against one another, making them pursue you. �

Law 21 �

Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker – Seem Dumber than your Mark �

No one likes feeling stupider than the next persons. The trick, is to make your victims feel smart – and not just smart, but smarter than you are. Once convinced of this, they will never suspect that you may have ulterior motives. �

Law 22 �

Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness into Power �

When you are weaker, never fight for honor’s sake; choose surrender instead. Surrender gives you time to recover, time to torment and irritate your conqueror, time to wait for his power to wane. Do not give him the satisfaction of fighting and defeating you – surrender first. By turning the other check you infuriate and unsettle him. Make surrender a tool of power. �

Law 23 �

Concentrate Your Forces �

Conserve your forces and energies by keeping them concentrated at their strongest point. You gain more by finding a rich mine and mining it deeper, than by flitting from one shallow mine to another – intensity defeats extensity every time. When looking for sources of power to elevate you, find the one key patron, the fat cow who will give you milk for a long time to come. �

Law 24 �

Play the Perfect Courtier �

The perfect courtier thrives in a world where everything revolves around power and political dexterity. He has mastered the art of indirection; he flatters, yields to superiors, and asserts power over others in the mot oblique and graceful manner. Learn and apply the laws of courtiership and there will be no limit to how far you can rise in the court. �

Law 25 �

Re-Create Yourself �

Do not accept the roles that society foists on you. Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define if for you. Incorporate dramatic devices into your public gestures and actions – your power will be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life. �

Law 26 �

Keep Your Hands Clean �

You must seem a paragon of civility and efficiency: Your hands are never soiled by mistakes and nasty deeds. Maintain such a spotless appearance by using others as scapegoats and cat’s-paws to disguise your involvement. �

Law 27 �

Play on People’s Need to Believe to Create a Cultlike Following �

People have an overwhelming desire to believe in something. Become the focal point of such desire by offering them a cause, a new faith to follow. Keep your words vague but full of promise; emphasize enthusiasm over rationality and clear thinking. Give your new disciples rituals to perform, ask them to make sacrifices on your behalf. In the absence of organized religion and grand causes, your new belief system will bring you untold power. �

Law 28 �

Enter Action with Boldness �

If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid. �

Law 29 �

Plan All the Way to the End �

The ending is everything. Plan all the way to it, taking into account all the possible consequences, obstacles, and twists of fortune that might reverse your hard work and give the glory to others. By planning to the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you will know when to stop. Gently guide fortune and help determine the future by thinking far ahead. �

Law 30 �

Make your Accomplishments Seem Effortless �

Your actions must seem natural and executed with ease. All the toil and practice that go into them, and also all the clever tricks, must be concealed. When you act, act effortlessly, as if you could do much more. Avoid the temptation of revealing how hard you work – it only raises questions. Teach no one your tricks or they will be used against you. �

Law 31 �

Control the Options: Get Others to Play with the Cards you Deal �

The best deceptions are the ones that seem to give the other person a choice: Your victims feel they are in control, but are actually your puppets. Give people options that come out in your favor whichever one they choose. Force them to make choices between the lesser of two evils, both of which serve your purpose. Put them on the horns of a dilemma: They are gored wherever they turn. �

Law 32 �

Play to People’s Fantasies �

The truth is often avoided because it is ugly and unpleasant. Never appeal to truth and reality unless you are prepared for the anger that comes for disenchantment. Life is so harsh and distressing that people who can manufacture romance or conjure up fantasy are like oases in the desert: Everyone flocks to them. There is great power in tapping into the fantasies of the masses. �

Law 33 �

Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew �

Everyone has a weakness, a gap in the castle wall. That weakness is usual y an insecurity, an uncontrollable emotion or need; it can also be a small secret pleasure. Either way, once found, it is a thumbscrew you can turn to your advantage. �

Law 34 �

Be Royal in your Own Fashion: Act like a King to be treated like one �

The way you carry yourself will often determine how you are treated; In the long run, appearing vulgar or common will make people disrespect you. For a king respects himself and inspires the same sentiment in others. By acting regally and confident of your powers, you make yourself seem destined to wear a crown. �

Law 35 �

Master the Art of Timing �

Never seem to be in a hurry – hurrying betrays a lack of control over yourself, and over time. Always seem patient, as if you know that everything will come to you eventually. Become a detective of the right moment; sniff out the spirit of the times, the trends that will carry you to power. Learn to stand back when the time is not yet ripe, and to strike fiercely when it has reached fruition. �

Law 36 �

Disdain Things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best Revenge �

By acknowledging a petty problem you give it existence and credibility. The more attention you pay an enemy, the stronger you make him; and a small mistake is often made worse and more visible when you try to fix it. It is sometimes best to leave things alone. If there is something you want but cannot have, show contempt for it. The less interest you reveal, the more superior you seem. �

Law 37 �

Create Compelling Spectacles �

Striking imagery and grand symbolic gestures create the aura of power – everyone responds to them. Stage spectacles for those around you, then full of arresting visuals and radiant symbols that heighten your presence. Dazzled by appearances, no one will notice what you are really doing. �

Law 38 �

Think as you like but Behave like others �

If you make a show of going against the times, flaunting your unconventional ideas and unorthodox ways, people will think that you only want attention and that you look down upon them. They will find a way to punish you for making them feel inferior. It is far safer to blend in and nurture the common touch. Share your originality only with tolerant friends and those who are sure to appreciate your uniqueness. �

Law 39 �

Stir up Waters to Catch Fish �

Anger and emotion are strategically counterproductive. You must always stay calm and objective. But if you can make your enemies angry while staying calm yourself, you gain a decided advantage. Put your enemies off-balance: Find the chink in their vanity through which you can rattle them and you hold the strings. �

Law 40 �

Despise the Free Lunch �

What is offered for free is dangerous – it usually involves either a trick or a hidden obligation. What has worth is worth paying for. By paying your own way you stay clear of gratitude, guilt, and deceit. It is also often wise to pay the full price – there is no cutting corners with excellence. Be lavish with your money and keep it circulating, for generosity is a sign and a magnet for power. �

Law 41 �

Avoid Stepping into a Great Man’s Shoes �

What happens first always appears better and more original than what comes after. If you succeed a great man or have a famous parent, you will have to accomplish double their achievements to outshine them. Do not get lost in their shadow, or stuck in a past not of your own making: Establish your own name and identity by changing course. Slay the overbearing father, disparage his legacy, and gain power by shining in your own way. �

Law 42 �

Strike the Shepherd and the Sheep will Scatter �

Trouble can often be traced to a single strong individual – the stirrer, the arrogant underling, the poisoned of goodwill. If you allow such people room to operate, others will succumb to their influence. Do not wait for the troubles they cause to multiply, do not try to negotiate with them – they are irredeemable. Neutralize their influence by isolating or banishing them. Strike at the source of the trouble and the sheep will scatter. �

Law 43 �

Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others �

Coercion creates a reaction that will eventually work against you. You must seduce others into wanting to move in your direction. A person you have seduced becomes your loyal pawn. And the way to seduce others is to operate on their individual psychologies and weaknesses. Soften up the resistant by working on their emotions, playing on what they hold dear and what they fear. Ignore the hearts and minds of others and they will grow to hate you. �

Law 44 �

Disarm and Infuriate with the Mirror Effect �

The mirror reflects reality, but it is also the perfect tool for deception: When you mirror your enemies, doing exactly as they do, they cannot figure out your strategy. The Mirror Effect mocks and humiliates them, making them overreact. By holding up a mirror to their psyches, you seduce them with the illusion that you share their values; by holding up a mirror to their actions, you teach them a lesson. Few can resist the power of Mirror Effect. �

Law 45 �

Preach the Need for Change, but Never Reform too much at Once �

Everyone understands the need for change in the abstract, but on the day-to-day level people are creatures of habit. Too much innovation is traumatic, and will lead to revolt. If you are new to a position of power, or an outsider trying to build a power base, make a show of respecting the old way of doing things. If change is necessary, make it feel like a gentle improvement on the past. �

Law 46 �

Never appear too Perfect �

Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies. It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable. Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity. �

Law 47 �

Do not go Past the Mark you Aimed for; In Victory, Learn when to Stop �

The moment of victory is often the moment of greatest peril. In the heat of victory, arrogance and overconfidence can push you past the goal you had aimed for, and by going too far, you make more enemies than you defeat. Do not allow success to go to your head. There is no substitute for strategy and careful planning. Set a goal, and when you reach it, stop. �

Law 48 �

Assume Formlessness �

By taking a shape, by having a visible plan, you open yourself to attack. Instead of taking a form for your enemy to grasp, keep yourself adaptable and on the move. Accept the fact that nothing is certain and no law is fixed. The best way to protect yourself is to be as fluid and formless as water; never bet on stability or lasting order. Everything changes.

5 Storage Essentials



No-wax floors:
To wash no-wax floors, add � cup of white distilled vinegar to a half-gallon of warm water.

Carpet stain removal: �
A mixture of 1 teaspoon of liquid detergent and 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar in a pint of lukewarm water will remove non-oily stains from carpets. Apply it to the stain with a soft brush or towel and rub gently. Rinse with a towel moistened with clean water and blot dry. Repeat this procedure until the stain is gone. Then dry quickly, using a fan or hair dryer. This should be done as soon as the stain is discovered.

Windows & Walls

Streakless windows:
Simply wash with a mixture of equal parts of white distilled vinegar and warm water. Dry with a soft cloth. This solution will make your windows gleam and will not leave the usual film or streaks on the glass.

Washing woodwork:�
You can ease the job of washing painted walls, woodwork and Venetian blinds by using a mixture of 1 cup ammonia, � cup white distilled or cider vinegar and � cup baking soda with 1 gallon of warm water. Wipe this solution over walls or blinds with a sponge or cloth and rinse with clear water. Dirt and grime comes off easily and the solution will not dull the painted finish or leave streaks.

Water or alcohol marks on wood:�
Stubborn rings resulting from wet glasses being placed on wood furniture may be removed by rubbing with a mixture of equal parts of white distilled vinegar and olive oil. Rub with the grain and polish for the best results.


Garbage disposal cleaner: �
Garbage disposals may be kept clean and odor free with vinegar cubes. Vinegar cubes are made by filling an ice tray with a mixture of 1 cup of vinegar and enough water to fill the ice tray and then freezing it. Run the mixture through the disposal, and then flush it with cold water for a minute or so.

Coffee maker cleaner (automatic):�
White distilled vinegar can help to dissolve mineral deposits that collect in automatic drip coffee makers from hard water. Fill the reservoir with white distilled vinegar and run it through a brewing cycle. Rinse thoroughly with water when the cycle is finished. (Be sure to check the owner’s manual for specific instructions.)

Clean the microwave: �
Boil a solution of 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 cup of water in the microwave. Will loosen splattered on food and deodorize.

Deodorize the kitchen drain:
Pour a cup of white distilled vinegar down the drain once a week. Let stand 30 minutes and then flush with cold water.

Clean the refrigerator: �
Wash with a solution of equal parts water and white distilled vinegar.

Clean and disinfect wood cutting boards:
Wipe with full strength white distilled vinegar.

Brass polish: �
Brass, copper and pewter will shine if cleaned with the following mixture. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of white distilled vinegar and stir in flour until it becomes a paste. Apply paste to the metals and let it stand for about 15 minutes. Rinse with clean warm water and polish until dry.

Ant deterrent: �
Ant invasions can sometimes be deterred by washing counter tops, cabinets and floors with white distilled vinegar.

Getting Rid of Fruit Flies/Gnats in Your Kitchen
Place a bowl filled with � quart water, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar and a couple of drops of dish soap to attract the fruit flies. Always eliminate the source of attraction, i.e., ripened produce.

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances�
Apply vinegar with a soft cloth to remove streaks from stainless steel appliances. Try in an inconspicuous place first.

Cleaner Dishes and Glasses�
Pour 1 � cup to 2 cups white distilled vinegar in the bottom of dishwasher, along with regular dishwasher soap. Wash full cycle.

Remove Refrigerator Smells�
Place 1 cup apple cider vinegar in a glass and set in refrigerator. Within 2 days, any smell is gone!


Bathtub film:�
Bathtub film can be removed by wiping with white distilled vinegar and then with soda. Rinse clean with water.

Shower doors:
Rub down shower doors with a sponge soaked in white distilled vinegar to remove soap residue.

Toilet bowl cleaner:�
Stubborn stains can be removed from the toilet by spraying them with white distilled vinegar and brushing vigorously. The bowl may be deodorized by adding 3 cups of white distilled vinegar. Allow it to remain for a half hour, then flush.

Unclog the showerhead:�
Corrosion may be removed from showerheads or faucets by soaking them in white distilled vinegar overnight. This may be easily accomplished by saturating a terry cloth towel in vinegar and wrapping it around the showerhead or faucet.


Kill grass:�
To kill grass on sidewalks and driveways, pour full strength white distilled vinegar on it.

Kill weeds: �
Spray white distilled vinegar full strength on tops of weeds. Reapply on any new growth until plants have starved.

Increase soil acidity: �
In hard water areas, add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of tap water for watering acid loving plants like rhododendrons, gardenias or azaleas. The vinegar will release iron in the soil for the plants to use.

Neutralize garden lime: �
Rinse your hands liberally with white distilled vinegar after working with garden lime to avoid rough and flaking skin. Clean pots before repotting, rinse with vinegar to remove excess lime.

Keep Flowers Longer�
Keep flowers fresh longer. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a 1-quart vase of water. Trim stems and change water every five days.

Plant Nutrients
Mix vinegar and water in a ratio of 1:8. Mix a separate solution of sugar and water in a mixture of 1:8. Combine the vinegar and sugar mixtures. Add to plant as long as needed.


Pest fighter:�
A teaspoon of white distilled vinegar for each quart bowl of drinking water helps keep your pet free of fleas and ticks. The ratio of one teaspoon to one quart is for a forty-pound animal.

Pet accident: �
Test the color fastness of the carpet with white distilled vinegar in an inconspicuous place. Then sprinkle distilled vinegar over the fresh pet accident. Wait a few minutes and sponge from the center outward. Blot up with a dry cloth. This procedure may need to be repeated for stubborn stains.

Get Rid of Odor on a Smelly Dog
Wet the dog down with fresh water. Use a mixture of 1 cup white distilled vinegar and 2 gallons water. Saturate the dog’s coat with this solution. Dry the dog off without rinsing the solution. The smell will be gone!


Bumper stickers:�
Remove bumper stickers by repeatedly wiping the sticker with white distilled vinegar until it is soaked. In a few minutes, it should peel off easily. Test on a small invisible area of the car to ensure there will be no damage to the paint.

Paintbrush softener: �
Soak the paintbrush in hot white distilled vinegar, and then wash out with warm, sudsy water.

Cleaning the Radiator Vent�
Turn down the thermostat. Unscrew the air vent, soak it in vinegar to clean it, then turn the thermostat all the way up. After a few minutes, you’ll hear a hissing sound followed by a little bit of water spurting out. Finally, steam will start exiting that hole. Turn off the radiator valve and replace the vent. It should be straight up and hand tight. You should not need or use a wrench.

Frosted windows:
For those rare winter mornings when there is frost on the car, wipe the windows the night before with a solution of one part water to three parts white distilled vinegar. They won’t frost over.

Mix olive oil and vinegar in a one-to-one ratio and polish with a soft cloth. Try in an inconspicuous place first.

Cleaning Leather Shoes
Make a solution of one part water to one part white vinegar, and use it sparingly on the shoes. Dip a cloth into the solution, and dab it over the salt-streaked parts of your shoes.�
May have to repeat the cleaning a few times before all the salt is removed. Salt actually can damage leather, so it’s best to clean shoes as quickly as possible. Don’t let the salt stains build up.

Wash fireplaces with a 50/50 ratio of water and vinegar to remove the blackened soot on glass front doors. If the doors have a spring-loaded clip, remove it, then take out the doors.

Lay them flat on newspapers, spray with the vinegar/water solution and soak. Wipe it off with newspaper.

Cleaner for Gold Jewelry (Winner of June 2007 Vinegar Online Use Contest)�
Use one cup apple cider vinegar. Submerge solid gold jewelry item in vinegar for 15 minutes. Remove and dry with cloth.

Remove Lime Stains from Car�
Pour a small amount of white vinegar on a clean cloth. Gently rub the area of lime staining with the cloth until the stain is gone. Test a small are first to ensure no discoloration.

Worn DVDs:
If you have a worn DVD that has begun to stick or suffers from the occasional freeze-frame, wipe it down with white distilled vinegar applied to a soft cloth. Ensure the DVD is completely dry before re-inserting in the DVD player. (Note: This only works on DVDs that are scratched of dirty through normal wear.)

Laundry Hints

Wine stains: �
Spots caused by wine can be removed from 100 percent cotton, cotton polyester and permanent press fabrics if done so within 24 hours. To do it, sponge white distilled vinegar directly onto the stain and rub away the spots. Then clean according to the directions on the manufacturer’s care tag.

Freshen baby clothes: �
The addition of 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to each load of baby clothes during the rinse cycle will naturally break down uric acid and soapy residue leaving the clothes soft and fresh.

Clothes washing magic: �
Clothes will rinse better if 1 cup of white distilled vinegar is added to the last rinse water. The acid in vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics, but strong enough to dissolve the alkalies in soaps and detergents.

Blanket renewal: �
Cotton and wool blankets become soft, fluffy and free of soap odor if 2 cups of white distilled vinegar are added to the rinse cycle of the wash.

Deodorant stains: �
Deodorant and antiperspirant stains may be removed from clothing by lightly rubbing with white distilled vinegar and laundering as usual.

Hole removal: �
After a hem or seam is removed, there are often unsightly holes left in the fabric. These holes can be removed by placing a cloth, moistened with white distilled vinegar, under the fabric and ironing.

Keeping colors fast:�
To hold colors in fabrics, which tend to run, soak them for a few minutes in white distilled vinegar before washing.

Leather cleaning: �
Leather articles can be cleaned with a mixture of white distilled vinegar and linseed oil. Rub the mixture into the leather and then polish with a soft cloth.

Scorch marks: �
Lightly rub white distilled vinegar on fabric that has been slightly scorched. Wipe with a clean cloth.

Setting colors:�
When you are color dyeing, add about a cupful of white distilled vinegar to the last rinse water to help set the color.

Shower curtains:
Add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to the rinse water when you launder your shower curtain. Do not spin dry or wash out. Just hang immediately to dry.

Unclog steam iron:�
Pour equal amounts of white distilled vinegar and water into the iron’s water chamber. Turn to steam and leave the iron on for 5 minutes in an upright position. Then unplug and allow to cool. Any loose particles should come out when you empty the water.

Clean a scorched iron plate: �
Heat equal parts white distilled vinegar and salt in a small pan. Rub solution on the cooled iron surface to remove dark or burned stains.

Cleaning Vintage Lace�
Soak the lace in cold water, rinsing it several times. Next, hand-wash the lace gently with a wool detergent, such as Woolite. If rust spots are a problem, try removing them with a mixture of white vinegar and hot water.

Food Preparation

Getting the last drops:�
When you can’t get the last bit of mayonnaise or salad dressing out of the jar, try dribbling a little of your favorite vinegar into it, put the cap on tightly and shake well. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ve been wasting.

Cooking fish:�
Try soaking fish in vinegar and water before cooking it. It will be sweeter, more tender and hold its shape better. When boiling or poaching fish, a tablespoon of vinegar added to the water will keep it from crumbling so easily.

Cake icing:�
Cake icing can be prevented from becoming sugary if a little vinegar is added to the ingredients before cooking. The same is true when making homemade candy.

Boiling eggs:�
When boiling an egg and it’s cracked, a little vinegar in the water will keep the white from running out.

Keeping potatoes white:�
A teaspoon of white distilled or cider vinegar added to the water in which you boil potatoes will keep them nice and white. You can keep peeled potatoes from turning dark by covering them with water and adding 2 teaspoons of vinegar.

Freshen vegetables:�
Freshen up slightly wilted vegetables by soaking them in cold water and vinegar.

Fruit and vegetable wash:
Add 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar to 1 pint water and use to wash fresh fruits and vegetables, then rinse thoroughly. Research has shown that vinegar helps kill bacteria on fruits and vegetables.

Frying doughnuts:
Before frying doughnuts, add � teaspoon of vinegar to hot oil to prevent doughnuts soaking up extra grease. Use caution when adding the vinegar to the hot oil.

Flavor booster:�
Perk up a can of soup, gravy or sauce with a teaspoon of your favorite specialty vinegar. It adds flavor and taster fresher.

Meat tenderizer:�
As a tenderizer for tough meat or game, make a marinade in the proportion of half a cup of your favorite vinegar to a cup of heated liquid, such as bouillon; or for steak, you may prefer to a mix of vinegar and oil, rubbed in well and allowed to stand for two hours.

Fruit stains: �
Remove fruit or berry stains from your hands by cleaning them with vinegar.

Fresh lunch box: �
It is easy to take out the heavy stale smell often found in lunch boxes. Dampen a piece of fresh bread with white distilled vinegar and leave it in the lunch box overnight.

Get rid of cooking smells: �
Let simmer a small pot of vinegar and water solution.

Fluffy Egg Whites
Soak a paper towel with 1-2 Tablespoons of white distilled vinegar. Wipe mixing bowl and beaters or whisk with the vinegar-soaked paper towel, then dry with a cloth or paper towel prior to whipping egg whites.

Fluffier Rice�
For fluffier and great tasting rice, add a teaspoon of white distilled vinegar to the boiling water before adding rice. Rice will be easier to spoon and less sticky.


Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine for Sleep Apnea: �
To clean the calcium deposit of the humidifier reservoir, heat 450 ml (1 � cups) of vinegar in the microwave for 2 minutes. Pour vinegar into reservoir and replace cap. Let sit for 1 hour. Remove vinegar. Reservoir should be clean and calcium free. Contact manufacturer before cleaning with this method or review manufacturer’s directions.

Soothe a bee or jellyfish sting: �
Douse with vinegar. It will soothe irritation and relieve itching.

Relieve sunburn: �
Lightly rub white distilled or cider vinegar on skin. Reapply as needed.

Relieve dry and itchy skin:�
Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to your bath water.

Fight dandruff: �
After shampooing, rinse with a solution of � cup vinegar and 2 cups of warm water.

Soothe a sore throat: �
Put a teaspoon of vinegar in a glass of water. Gargle, then swallow. For another great gargle: 1 cup hot water, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon vinegar, gargle then drink.

Treat sinus infections and chest colds: �
Add 1/4 cup or more vinegar to the vaporizer. (Be sure to check vaporizer instructions for additional water measurement.)

Skin burns: �
Apply ice-cold vinegar right away for fast relief. Will prevent burn blisters.

Chest congestion: �
To clear up respiratory congestion, inhale a vapor mist from steaming pot containing water and several spoonfuls of vinegar.

Toenail fungus: �
Soak toes in a solution of vinegar and water, using 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water, 15 minutes per day.

Arthritis Relief�
Mix a teaspoon of half apple cider vinegar, half honey in a glass of water with a teaspoon of orange flavored Knox gelatin.

Lessen Morning Sickness�
Drink some apple cider vinegar in water, with honey added. This concoction can help calm a queasy stomach.

Stop Itching�
Apply a paste made from vinegar and cornstarch. Keep on until itch disappears.

Cleaning Heavily Soiled Hands�
Moisten cornmeal with apple cider vinegar. Scrub hands, rinse in cold water and pat dry.

Soft Feet�
Combine 1 cup white distilled vinegar to 2 gallons warm water. Soak feet for 45 minutes then use a pumice stone or file to remove dead skin from heels and callused areas of feet.

Wart Remover�
Mix lukewarm/warm water with a cup of white distilled vinegar. Immerse area with wart and soak 20 minutes everyday until wart disappears.

Bug Spray�
Combine equal amounts of water, white distilled vinegar and liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. Use on skin, as needed. �

Baking soda

Baking soda is a chemical compound that appears as a fine powder. It releases bubbles of carbon dioxide when it interacts with an acid and a liquid. It’s most commonly used in baking, where it acts as a leavening agent. The following are 75 other uses for baking soda aside from making muffins soft and fluffy.

Health Uses

# Use it as an antacid.

# Use it as underarm deodorant by applying it with a powder puff.

# Mix half a teaspoon with peroxide paste and use it as toothpaste.

# Use it as a face and body scrub.

# Add a cup to bathwater to soften your skin.

# Relieve skin itch from insect bites and pain from sunburn.

# Remove strong odors from your hands by rubbing them with baking soda and water.

# Put two tablespoons in your baby’s bathwater to help relieve diaper rash.

# Apply it on rashes, insect bites, and poison ivy irritations.

# Take a baking soda bath to relieve skin irritations.

# Heartburn? Take a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with one-half glass of water.

# Freshen your mouth by gargling half a teaspoon of baking soda mixed water.

# Relieve canker sore pain by using it as mouthwash.

# Use it to relieve bee stings.

# Use it to relieve windburns.

# Apply it on jellyfish sting to draw out the venom.

# Unblock stuffy nose by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to your vaporizer.

In the Home

# Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon to the water in the vase.

# Put out small fires on rugs, upholstery, clothing, and wood.

# Put an open container of baking soda in the fridge to absorb the odors.

# Sprinkle it on your ashtrays to reduce bad odor and prevent smoldering.

# Sprinkle it on your slippers, boots, shoes, and socks to eliminate foul odor.

# Turn baking soda into modeling clay by combining it with one and 1/4 cups of water and one cup of cornstarch.

# After feeding your baby, wipe his shirt with a moist cloth sprinkled with baking soda to remove the odor.

# Wipe your windshield with it to repel rain.

# Improve the smell of dishrags by soaking them in baking soda and water.

# Suck it in with your vacuum cleaner to remove the odor.

# Freshen the air by mixing baking soda with your favorite perfumed bath salts. Put the mixture in small sachet bags.

# Restore stiff brushes by boiling them in a solution of 1/2 gallon of water, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and a cup of baking soda.

# Put it under sinks and along basement windows to repel cockroaches and ants.

# Scatter baking soda around flowerbeds to prevent rabbits from eating your veggies.

# Sweeten your tomatoes by sprinkling baking soda on the soil around your tomato plants.

# Sprinkle it onto your cat’s litter box to absorb the bad odor.

# Sprinkle it on your pet’s comb or brush to deodorize their fur and skin.

In Cooking

# Use it as a substitute for baking powder by mixing with it with cream of tartar or vinegar.

# Wash fruits and vegetables with it.

# When boiling a chicken, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water. Feathers will come off easier, and the flesh will be clean and white.

# Soak dried beans to a baking soda solution to make them more digestible.

# Remove the distinctive taste of wild game by soaking it in a baking soda solution.

# Make a sports drink by mixing it with boiled water, salt, and Kool-Aid.

# Remove the fishy smell from your fillets by soaking the raw fish in a baking soda solution for an hour inside the fridge.

# Make fluffier omelets by adding half a teaspoon of baking soda for every three eggs used.

# Reduce the acid content of your tomato-based recipes by sprinkling them with a pinch of baking soda.

Cleaning Purposes

# Add a cup to the toilet, leave it for an hour, and then flush. It will clean the toilet and absorb the odor.

# Use it to scrub sinks, showers, plastic and porcelain tubs

# Spray it on walls, mirrors, and countertops.

# Add a spoonful to your dishwasher to make scrubbing dishes easier.

# Remove grease from pots and pans.

# Dry clean carpets and upholstered furniture by sprinkling baking soda over the fabric and gently brushing it. Leave it for an hour or overnight, then vacuum.

# Boost your laundry detergent’s cleaning power by sprinkling a handful on dirty clothes.

# Combine it with water to make a paste for polishing stainless steel and chrome.

# Remove scratches and crayon marks from vinyl floors and walls.

# Clean your shoes with it.

# Clean garbage cans with it.

# Use it to wash diapers.

# Clean the fridge with it.

# Soak brushes and combs in a baking soda solution.

# Mix it with water to wash food and drink containers.

# Put three tablespoons of baking soda to a quart of warm water, then use the mixture to wash marble-topped furniture.

# Absorb it with a damp sponge, then clean Formica countertops with the sponge.

# Use it to get rid of stale odors from cooling containers and thermos bottles.

# Run your coffee maker with a baking soda solution, then rinse.

# Combine with hot water to clean baby bottles.

# Sprinkle it on barbecue grills, then rinse it off.

# Scatter it on your greasy garage floor, scrub the floor, and rinse.

# Remove burned-on food from a pan by soaking it in a baking soda solution for 10 minutes before washing.

# Clean your ashtrays with a baking soda solution.

# Keep your drains clean by putting four tablespoons of baking soda in them each week. Flush it down with hot water.

# Clean your shower curtains by soaking them in baking soda and water.

# Put it on a small brush to rub canvas handbags clean.

# Use it to remove melted plastic bread wrapper from a toaster. Sprinkle baking soda on a damp rug, then use the rug to clean the toaster.

# Use it to clean your retainers and dentures.

# Make a thick paste of baking soda and water, and used it to scrub enameled cast iron and stainless steel.

# Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with a quart of warm water, and use it to clean the inside part of an oven.

# Use it to unclog gas stoves.

The most amazing thing about baking soda is that it’s very cheap. You can do all these things for a very small cost. Baking soda is truly a miracle product, whether it’s used for baking or not.


# Use it to de-ice a slippery path way!

# Use it to kill slugs!

# If someone spills their drink, e.g. red wine, on your carpet – pour on salt, let it absorb the liquid and hoover it up!

# Use it to kill snails!

# Test your eggs for freshness – in a bowl of salt water good ones sink, bad ones float!

# Soak stained hankies in salt water before washing!

# Sprinkle salt on your shelves to keep ants away!

# Mix salt and turpentine to whiten your bath, sink and toilet bowl!

# Use salt to clean a discoloured coffee or tea pot!

# Clean brass, copper and pewter with a paste made from vinegar, flour and salt!

# Add a little salt to water for cut flowers to make them last longer!

# Clean your iron by adding some salt to a damp cloth and wiping!

# Clean your piano keys with a mixture of lemon juice and salt!

# Use equal parts of salt and starch to make a putty for filling holes in walls!

# Rinse a sore eye with a little salt water!

# Gargle with salt water when you have a sore throat!

# Swill round your mouth with salt water when you have a mouth ulcer!

# Use salt for killing weeds in your back lawn!

# Freshen a sponge by soaking it in salt water!

# Soak enamel pans overnight in salt water, and boil salt water in them to remove burned on stains!

# Fabric colours hold fast in a salty water wash!

# Sprinkle salt in your oven before scrubbing clean!

# Remove mildew with lemon juice and salt!

# If there are too many suds in your dishwater, add a little salt to reduce them!

# For a clean chopping board, wet it, add a little salt and scrub!

# If you spill some cooking fat on a worktop or hob, sprinkle a little salt on it to make it easier to clean!

# Dilute a cup of salt to a gallon of water and soak shirts in it to remove perspiration stains!

# Place salt in a paper bag and with your dusty artificial flowers, shake for a moment. The salt absorbs the dust!

# Sprinkle salt on your carpet to kill fleas!

If you drop an egg, sprinkle salt on it, leave for 20 minutes, and it will be easy to wipe up!

# Mix three pounds of salt with a gallon of soapy water and spray onto the leaves of poison ivy to kill it!

# Kill grass growing in the cracks in patios by adding salt and then pouring in boiling water!

# Dip a sponge into salt water and rub it on windows, and they won’t frost up!

# Put salt in a little bag made of cheesecloth, moisten it slightly and rub it on your car windscreen to stop it icing up!

# Combat smelly drains by pouring really hot, salty water down them!

# If sooty footprints are left on your carpet, cover them with salt, leave for several hours and then hoover them up!

# If there is a water stain on your dining room table, put cooking oil and salt on a rag and rub it away!

# When you have new work clothes that are uncomfortable and stiff, put them in the washing machine with half a cup of salt and they’ll come out feeling good!

# Get a piercing and keep it clean using salty water!

# Clean discoloured glassware by soaking it in a solution of one part salt to eight parts of white vinegar!

# Salt can also help nylon tights last longer. Mix together two cups of salt and a gallon of warm water. Let the nylons soak for a few hours. Then rinse them several times in cold water.

# Dip the rim of a glass in some water and then into some salt to give a “frosted” effect for cocktails – remember to drink the cocktail through a straw!

# Use salt for killing weeds in your front lawn!

# Add salt to your final rinse to stop clothes freezing on the washing line!

# Rub any wicker furniture you may have with salt water to prevent yellowing!

# Salt and soda will sweeten the odor of your refrigerator!

# Some people suggest putting a little salt into your goldfish tank to keep the fish healthy!

# Remove onion or fish smells by rubbing salt onto your hands for a minute, and then washing with soap and water!

# To remove bloodstains from material, sprinkle with salt and rinse with cold water!

# If a pet urinates on your carpet add lots of salt to the damp patch, leave overnight, sweep up the excess and then hoover!

# Apply lemon juice and salt to a rust stain on clothing, hang out in the sun to dry!

# Dip a slice of lime into salt and rub onto a mosquito bite to relieve itching!

# Use salt as an ingredient in home made whitewash

# It stings, but grind salt, dip your finger into it, and apply to a cold sore for 30 seconds. Do this 3 times a day and the cold sore should dry up in a few days!

# If you have added too much washing powder to your wash, add salt to limit the suds!

# Mix a cup of salt water with 2 tablespoons of baking soda and one teaspoon of flour, dip in a rag and use for cleaning your leather upholstery!

# Clean silver jewellery by heating salt water in an old aluminium pan – the silver tarnish will be removed from the jewellery and will stain the pan instead!

# To strengthen and polish nails, mix 2 teaspoons of salt with 2 of castor oil and 1 of wheat-germ oil, rub onto finger nails and leave for 3-5 mins before wiping with a tissue!

# Rubbing salt over calluses on your hands will make them go away!

# Make removing a crease mark easier when ironing by rubbing it with salt on a damp cloth before pressing!

# Rub stubborn warts with raw onion dipped in salt to make them go away!

# Exfoliate your skin by mixing salt with olive oil, leaving on your face for 15-20 mins, and then rubbing off!

# Make an all purpose cleaning solution by mixing 1 cup of water, 2 cups of vinegar, and half a cup of salt!

# Try putting a bowl of salt next to your chopping board when slicing onions to stop crying eyes!

# Keep a bag of salt in your car in case you get stuck in icy weather!

# Clean your cutlery using a little salt with a damp cloth!

# Salt and soda water mixed together is good for cleaning the inside of your fridge!

# New brooms will last longer if soaked in salt water and dried before use!

# Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in a pint of hot water and apply pads soaked in the solution to puffy eyes!

# Soak aching feet in warm water to which a handful of salt has been added, then rinse in cool water!

# Relieve bee stings by immediately wetting the spot and covering with salt!

# Use salt to put out flaming fat!

# Soak new candles in a strong salt solution for a few hours, then dry them well. When burned they will not drip!

# Occasionally throw a handful of salt on the flames in your fireplace; it will help loosen soot from the chimney and salt makes a bright yellow flame!

# Rub the inside of fish tanks with salt to remove hard water deposits, then rinse well before returning the fish to the tank! #84 To remove deposits caused by flowers and water, rub with salt; if you cannot reach the deposits to rub them, put a strong salt solution in the vase and shake, then wash the vase with soap and water!

# Artificial flowers can be held in an artistic arrangement by pouring salt into the container, adding a little cold water and then arranging the flowers. The salt will solidify as it dries and hold the flowers in place!

# Sprinkling a little salt in canvas shoes occasionally will take up the moisture and help remove odours!

# Colour salt with chalk dust and place layers of different colours in a jar until it is full to make your very own work of art!

# Make salt glitter by adding food colouring to salt and allowing to dry!

# Use vinegar and salt water to remove stains from shoes and boots!

# Place salt in an open container to help reduce damp!

# Sprinkle salt on a drink mat to stop it sticking to the bottom of your glass!

# Halve an orange, remove the pulp and fill with salt to make a useful air-freshner!

# To clean crystal soak in water, vinegar and a little salt!

# Clean burnt pans by heating vinegar, water and salt on a high heat!

# Fill a vase with slightly moist salt. Flowers such as aconitums can be dried by plunging their stems into the salt!

# Make a timer full of salt instead of sand!

# Apply salt to a cut to draw out infection and promote healing (better still – take medical advice)!

# Add a pinch of salt to water when boiling eggs to prevent cracking!

# Instead of anti-dandruff shampoo, massage your scalp with a tablespoon of salt before using normal shampoo!

# Recreate the infamous “Shake n Vac” commercial in your own home – but use salt to keep the budget down!

# Fill a sugar bowl with salt and put it out for visiting guests as a hilarious practical joke!

olive oil

# Replacement for butter, put it in the fridge and it develops the same consistency.�
# Shaving Cream.�
# Beauty Cream and moisturizer.�
# Makeup Remover.�
# A Bread Dip.�
# Foot softener.�
# Use 2 parts olive oil, 1 part lemon juice (or white vinegar) for furniture polish, or just olive oil on a rag.�
# Use it for your hair. Not only does it condition, but it also gets rid of the frizz. I put a small drop into my palm & then rub both hands together & then apply it to dry hair. (not wet hair).�
# A hair tonic.�
# A pre manicure solution when mixed with water.�
# Melted with some beeswax and poured into a small tin, it makes great lip balm, leather conditioner and wood polish.�
# A couple teaspoons mixed with a can of cat food will help hairballs.�
# Use it to remove paint from your skin. Rub it on and let it soak a while then wash well with soap. The paint usually comes off without any skin damaging materials. And your skin will be all soft.�
# When I pour it out there is always a drip-so I wipe it up with my hand and rub it in, my elbows are alot better now for it.�
# I keep a squeeze bottle of EV olive oil in the medicine cabinet and use it daily instead of moisturizer.�
# I use it for the static in the winter. I rub almost into my hands then run my fingers through my hair, follow with a brush or two from my natural brush.�
# I have used it in the past for lice control, when it seems the pesticides aren’t really working anyway.�
# Mix it with butter and garlic for your garlic bread, very nice change.�
# Rub it on my turkey instead of butter.�
# Mix 50/50 with saved fat for homemade soap. I have used 100% EV olive oil in soap making, but it takes longer to cure.�
# Mix with wine vinegar, crushed garlic, and fresh grated Parmesean cheese for salad dressing.�
# I mix olive oil half and half with lemon juice to make a wood cleaner/polish. Nourishes your furniture while it cleans.�
# A sip of olive oil before you go to sleep stops snoring. It makes the throat slippery. Your spouse can sleep.�
# A sip of olive oil will stop a tickle that is making you cough.�
# I cut off the top of a whole head of garlic, sprinkle it with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil over the top. I wrap it up in foil and roast in the oven until the garlic gets soft. Great stuff spread over home made bread.�
# Use it as bath oil. Two to three tablespoons will do the trick.�
# For a hand scrub, rub in olive oil then scrub with sugar and wash.�
# For a facial, wet face thoroughly, then massage olive oil into your skin. Use about a half teaspoon of sugar and scrub your face with that, then wipe off gently with a warm, wet cloth until the sugar is all gone.�
# Mix 3 parts Olive Oil with 1 part white vinegar for wood floor polish.Apply and rub in well.�
# To keep brass looking shinier longer, buff with olive oil after cleaning. Olive oil keeps it from tarnishing so fast.�
# Use olive oil to treat lice on children – better than the expensive treatments from the store and conditions the scale. Apply on hair, being sure to get into scales. I leave this on for at least 30 minutes, but it could be all day if you don’t have any plans – then shampoo out. It might take 2 shampoos to get the oil out of hair. Use once a week as a conditioner and preventative. Olive oil smothers the lice. Once I started doing this on granddaughters hair the school never called us when others were sent home with lice.�
# Olive oil works as a lubricant on the feet (for reflexology) and does not disappear the way lotions do.�
# You can buy a pump bottle for oil at most discount or kitchen supply stores. Fill with plain or flavored olive oil to use as a spray. This can replace the spray cans of oil that many people buy. Spray your pans before cooking. It also is a great way to get a small amount of fat/oil on foods for those of us who are watching our weight–spray on salad or bread or whatever.�
# To condition scalp on bald heads: rub with olive oil and then lay on a hot (not burning!), moist towel. When the towel cools, reheat in the microwave. Be careful not to get too hot. Continue doing this several times.�
# I like to toast French bread and then lightly spray it with an excellent olive oil instead of buttering it. It is very good.�
# Once a week I treat myself to this most fabulous beauty treatment. I give my hair and scalp a massage with olive oil. Using a regular comb, comb it through my hair. This gives it unbeatable shine and it’s never looked healthier. Leave it on for an hour or two. Wash hair as normal to remove oil and wrap hair in towel to dry. Then I run a hot bath. While the water’s running I stand in the tub and scrub my face, body, and feet with a paste made of olive oil and salt- regular table salt. (This makes your skin extra soft, leaves it glowing, and has cleared up my acne.) Then I soak in the tub for 15 minutes.�
The first time I did this everyone noticed “something different” about me but couldn’t figure it out. I even got stopped on the street by another woman who asked me how I got such beautiful skin. So there… I’ve told my secret!�
# I use olive oil (extra virgin) in baking where vegetable oil is called for, it makes cakes, etc. much more moist and flavorful….I have had people ask me for the special recipe.�
# When I was home last summer (U.S.) and stocking up on my known remedies I asked the pharmacist where I could find the old fashioned ‘sweet oil’ that they put in ears for wax and ear aches. He said it was really olive oil that was used! Needless to say I did not bother to search the shelves any longer, as I have it in my cupboard.

# replacement fuel for oil lamps

Emergency Water Purification

In an emergency, to purify drinking water, two methods are most often used. They are boiling the water and adding chlorine (household bleach, such as Chlorox) to it. Most emergency experts and health officials suggest a mixture of 8 drops of bleach to a gallon of generally clear water for best results. Based on environment or cloudiness of the water, you may want to change the quantity of drops to 16 per gallon of cloudy or murky water. Enter the maximum possible volume of water container. The entry should be in gallons. Enter the desired drops of the bleach per gallon and select the appropriate water condition. Please remember that this is a guideline. �

As suggested by the EPA, vigorous boiling for at least one minute (preferably more) will kill any disease causing microorganisms present in water (at altitudes above 5000 feet above sea level, boil for three to five minutes longer). The flat taste of boiled water can be improved by pouring it back and forth from one container to another (called aeration), by allowing it to stand in a closed container for a few hours, or by adding a small pinch of salt for each quart of water boiled. When boiling is not practical, chemical disinfection should be used. Common household bleach contains a chlorine compound that will disinfect water. The treated water should be mixed thoroughly and allowed to stand, preferably covered, for 30 minutes. The water should have a slight chlorine odor; if not, repeat the dosage and allow the water to stand for an additional 15 minutes. If the treated water has too strong a chlorine taste, it can be made more pleasing by allowing the water to stand exposed to the air for a few hours or by pouring it from one clean container to another several times. �

As suggested by Chlorox (with their permission), this is an excerpt from company published documents.�

Boiling Is Best
Short of using a very high-quality water filter, this is the most reliable method for killing microbes and parasites. Bring water to a rolling boil and keep it simmering for at least several minutes. Add one minute of boiling to the initial 10 minutes for every 1,000 feet above sea level. Cover the pot to shorten boiling time and conserve fuel.�

Liquid Clorox Bleach
In an emergency, think of this (one gallon of Regular Clorox Bleach) as 3,800 gallons of drinking water.�

When the tap water stops flowing, Regular Clorox Bleach isn’t just a laundry-aid, it’s a lifesaver. Use it to purify water, and you’ll have something to drink.�

It’s the same in any natural disaster. As the shock wears off and the days wear on, the biggest demand is for drinking water. Time after time, relief crews hand out free Clorox Bleach with simple instructions: use it to kill bacteria in your water and you’ll have purified water to drink. Here are the general guidelines.�

First let water stand until particles settle. Filter the particles if necessary with layers of cloth, coffee filters, or fine paper towels. Pour the clear water into an uncontaminated container and add Regular Clorox Bleach per the below indicated ratio. Mix well. Wait 30 min. Water should have a slight bleach odor. If not, repeat dose. Wait 15 min. Sniff again. Keep an eyedropper taped to your emergency bottle of Clorox Bleach, since purifying small amounts of water requires only a few drops. Bleach must be fresh for best use and results. See below suggestions for storage bottle replacement.�

Don’t pour purified water into contaminated containers. Sanitize water jugs first.�

Without water and electricity, even everyday tasks are tough. In lieu of steaming hot water, sanitize dishes, pots and utensils with a little Clorox Bleach. Just follow the directions below to keep dishes clean.�

Whether you use Clorox Bleach in an emergency or for everyday chores, it’s always an environmentally sound choice. After its work is done, Clorox Bleach breaks down to little more than salt and water, which is acceptable anytime.�

Ratio of Clorox Bleach to Water for Purification

2 drops of Regular Clorox Bleach per quart of water�
8 drops of Regular Clorox Bleach per gallon of water�
1/2 teaspoon Regular Clorox Bleach per five gallons of water�
If water is cloudy, double the recommended dosages of Clorox Bleach.�

Only use Regular Clorox Bleach (not Fresh Scent or Lemon Fresh). To insure that Clorox Bleach is at its full strength, rotate or replace your storage bottle minimally every three months.�

Clorox Bleach Sanitizing Solution

To sanitize containers and utensils, mix 1 tablespoon Regular Clorox Bleach with one gallon of water. Always wash and rinse items first, then let each item soak in Clorox Bleach Sanitizing Solution for 2 minutes. Drain and air dry.

Grid Down Cooking

Grid Down Cooking�

What are the alternative cooking sources when the power goes out? Firstly I’d like to talk about fuel types and then go into specifics of stoves before hitting on emergency cookers.�

Fuel Types;

Butane is a gaseous component of natural gas, much like gasoline is a component of crude oil. While petroleum products like gasoline are refined, natural gas products like butane are extracted. This is the bottled gas sold for use in camping stoves and outdoor gas-powered grills. Propane may deliver more energy than butane, but butane has a certain property that makes it ideal for containment. When butane is compressed, it becomes a liquid very quickly. Once it is released into the air, however, it reacts with an ignition source to become a highly flammable gas. Unlike some other natural gas derivatives, butane only releases carbon dioxide as a waste product, not carbon monoxide.

Advantages include:

many commercial options

high heat output


generally much lighter than liquid petrol stoves

very easy to operate

easy to simmer

maintenance free

burn clean and relatively quiet


Disadvantages include:

weight of fuel containers (around half the weight of fuel; but still lighter than metal ones for liquid petrol)

bulk of canisters (if you have to carry more than you need)

heavier than alcohol stoves

non-refillable canister makes weight planning/adjusting difficult for short trips

may not work well at subfreezing temperatures

flame can be easily blown out with wind

danger if canister damaged

pierceable canisters cannot be removed from stoves without loss of fuel and are dangerous to store on the stove as they may leak �

Denatured Alcohol/Metholated Spirits (“metho”) is a mixture of ethyl alcohol (95%) and methyl alcohol (%5). The methyl alcohol is poisonous and is added to prevent the methylated spirits being used as cheap drinking alcohol.


Lightweight – few ounces versus a pound or more

Simplicity – just add fuel and light a match – no pumping, priming or pre-lighting required

Reliable – many designs are fail-proof

Quiet – generally can’t be heard

Odorless – if you spill alcohol all over your gear, you won’t smell like a gas pump for the rest of your trip

Availability of Fuel – can be found at any hardware store or gas station (great for thru-hikers)

No Maintenance – no time or repair kit need for adjustments and cleaning

Safety – fuel not explosive and can be easily extinguished

Easily Transportable Fuel – don’t need a heavy metal container to transport fuel – a disposable plastic water bottle is more than ample

Low Cost – the cheapest around or even free (use common recycled items)

Eco Friendly – uses a clean renewable energy source

DIY (Do It Yourself) – Tools, metal and fire! DIY stoving is so satisfying that is has become it’s own hobby


Reduced Output – about half the heat output per ounce compared to other liquid fuels (white gas, butane, etc) and not appropriate for groups, long treks (greater than a one to two weeks without refitting) or melting snow

Invisible Flame – refilling with fuel or handling the stove can be dangerous to those that depend solely on the sense of sight for evaluating dangers

Cold Sensitive – most setups depend on vaporization of fuel and may not work well in frozen environments

Lacks Brand Name – North Face wearing, Mountain House eating, Starbucks drinking, Honda Element driving “outdoors people” will refer to you as “ghetto” and/or “trailer park”

Durability – if you step on your stove made from pop cans, you might have to say goodbye to hot meals for the rest of your trip

DIY (Do It Yourself) – Many of the stove designs out there require you to fabricate your own setup which can prove to be challenging or inconvenient for many�

White Gas/Coleman Fuel historically called white gas Coleman fuel is a petroleum naptha product marketed by The Coleman Company. It is a liquid petroleum distillate fuel �

Propane/LPG� is a three-carbon alkane, normally a gas, but compressible to a transportable liquid. It is derived from other petroleum products during oil or natural gas processing. When used as vehicle fuel, it is commonly known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or LP-gas), which can be a mixture of propane along with small amounts of propylene, butane, and butylene.�



Advantages include:

generally weigh a bit more than other stoves but since you don’t have to carry fuel this system may be lighter than other systems for long trips

able to melt enormous amounts of snow without carrying huge amounts of fuel

cheap to make, free fuel

potential for unlimited hot water and even water purification

smoke may get rid or decrease the amount of bugs in your campsite

use as a heater to warm up cold bones on chilly evenings and brisk mornings

produce less overall pollution than other fuels (no drilling, refining, transporting, etc)

renewable energy source

a wood fire is magical

Disadvantages include:

weight, bulk

blackening of pots and everything your pot and stove touches in your pack

everything you hike with will smell like smoke

need to hunt for fuel at the end of the day or during your trek

dependence on availability of dry burnable wood

slow cook time

need to fiddle with the fire

knowledge of fire building required

potential to start forest fire in dry windy areas

may be banned in your hike area �



Kerosene, known as paraffin oil in the United Kingdom, is a flammable liquid obtained by distilling petroleum at a high temperature.

Advantages include:

easy to find

high heat output

easy to find and inexpensive fuels (often the only fuel option available in many remote places)

the only type of stoves that may work in extremely cold environments (Alaska, Antarctica, Himalayas, Northern Europe in their respective winters)

some can burn a variety of fuels

fuels have high heat to weight ratio

Disadvantages include:

outrageous weight to include weight of fuel containers


caustic fuel

explosive fuel



many don’t simmer well unless you block the flame from your pot while wasting fuel

stove cost

jet noise (pressurized versions)

flare ups can be dangerous

some fuels blacken pots with soot

significant maintenance concerns

complicated to operate (a plus for some)

most require pumping

fuel storage concerns

skin exposure to fuels extreme cold can be dangerous �


Requires fuel that could otherwise be used elsewhere and electrical compentry that breaks down.Noise is also an issue in a PAW environment, letting others know you have supplies and fuel.�

Types of Stoves;

Firstly there are a few other advantages and disadvantages of fuels here in oz, relating to selecting a stove. �

Butane type cookers, of which Im about to purchase my first as a backup are great little units but only have fuel for sale within capital cities. Yourd be lucky to find any cartridges any where else. Purchasing them in bulk from supermarket sales are the cheapest option but not a renewable resorce. Great for short term meals that are safe to store for long periods of time as compared to liquid fuels and can be used inside safely. Im purchasing one for easier cooking inside my bus instead of carrying LPG containers which need to be attached to the outside of the vehicle.�

Metho can be brought anywhere and trangia type cookers although slow are the backbone of back up systems for cooking. A very safe fuel to use aswell.

Coleman fuel, once again hard to find anywhere but major camping stores. �

LPG, requires a fill point. If stocks are low, then your buggered. I used a high pressure camping stove for several years and found I’d run out of gas within a fortnight when using all the time. I changed to a low pressure unit from a marine shop. A maxbuilt/tudor brand made from stainles steel. Its still going after 10 years and used it everyday in� an old double decker bus for three years straight . Found a 4.5 litre bottle would last me around 3 to 4 months. Not only cooking everyday but also boiling water for dish wahing. Low pressure units are the way to go. I just looked up the price of these and they have doubled with the cost of stainless in the last few years.

Charcoal I tend to use with a webber BBQ for long term cooking. Meaning anything that requires 2 to 3 hours of cooking time such as roasts etc. Its of no use lighting up a dozen charcoal briquettes for a cuppa. Whenever a roast is finished always have something else ready to go on to use up the heat such as bread or seasoning pots etc. Ive found if storing briquettes in the shed with any moisture present, they eventually become hard to ignite. For this reason Ive started storing them in screw top plastic drums with rubber seals. A good storable backup. Importing a volcano stove would cost more than the unit itself and Ive found out from the manufacturer that its best to use charcoal and not large pieces of timber in the unit. Using briquettes with a camp oven is another option and very easy to do.

For this reason several stoves are really neccessary and not just one type of fuel. This is also a good idea if fuels for one type of cooker become hard to find, there will be a backup for your backup.�

Using kero, petrol or diesel. Id rather keep the petrol and diesel for running vehicles, power tools and lighting than for cooking and from the city have to drive over 45 minutes to a rural area to find 20 litre drums of kero, or else its one litre plastic bottles from camping stores at quadrupple the price. If I was set on using petrol for cooking. Id rather run a small genny but the amount of fuel used for output when compared to low pressure gas units has out weighed the temptation.�

What I use

I have the following set up. A gas Heatlie BBQ for fryups using 9 kilo gas bottles that last for several months each. Larger sized bottles than this are hard to lift and find places that will refill them. The tudor two burner bench top cooker that can attach to the BBQ with an accessory hose for boiling and grilling. The webber for charcoal briquettes for long cooking times that would otherwise exhaust fuel supplies. My backup is old faithfull. My trangia using metho. For quick cookups the butane single burner with a small stash of canisters. Timber is available everywhere city and country along the roads, parks etc. Having an open fire is a waste of fuel when rationing and uncontrollable within a domestic area. Ive found a small practical cooker called an ozpig, that contains the fire and conserves fuel better. The small chimney also keeps smoke out of your face.

Im going to try and make my own pizza oven for a project in the near future for baking but still trying to figure out a stand, so its movable. That leaves emergency stoves, which are the old cat food tin/pepsi can/tuna can stoves that are home made. see links below on construction and designs. Knowing how to make these can get you out of a bind if metho is available. The pocket cooker for firewood use is another option , once again as a backup to your emergency backup and folds down for eay storage.

Emergency Stove links

Catfood Can Stoves�

Tuna Can Stove

Pepsi Can Stoves�

Home Made Pizza Ovens�

Pizza oven Info

Food cooked on a wood fire has a very special flavour about it, and having a wood fired pizza oven in your own garden is a fantastic addition. It is a good idea, when taking on a project like this, to get advice from a builder or structural engineer, and always check with your local council.�

Pizza Oven Design
This design is constructed in an adobe style brick dome that is mud rendered. Large wooden posts support the base and raise the oven to a level that is ergonomic and comfortable to use.�

Try to use reused materials wherever possible. Some that were sourced for this project were: �
Timber bearers for framing, tin from the roof of a house, �
Sand, cement, gravel & reinforceing mesh for the concrete slab, �
Second-hand, solid, common bricks for the oven,�
Firebricks and mortar for the base of the oven,�
Clay, sand and straw for the adobe render. �

Ensure there are no overhanging branches or debris in the area that could pose a fire risk.�
The ground surface should be comfortable to work on, but it is most important that the base of the oven is level and is positioned at approximately hip height to give a comfortable cooking and serving surface. �

The posts are going to take the weight of the concrete slab and that of the pizza oven. Find a central point from which to measure the radius of the pizza oven. It is underneath the circumference of the oven that will carry most of the weight. The posts should be positioned to bear this weight.�

Construction – the Base
Treated turpentine posts have been used in this construction. This is very dense timber and has an extremely long life. Ensure that the posts are made from a strong, long-lasting material. �
Notch the posts ready to slot in the bearers. The bearers will support the concrete slab. The slab will rest on top of the four posts.�
Dig the holes, leaving the soil at the bottom of the hole loose to allow for the post to be easily twisted into position and levelled. Check that all four posts are level before proceeding to firm the posts in the ground. The bearers should form a level framework through the posts and sit flush into the top of them.�
Place the tin on top of the bearers, to the shape of the concrete base and secure it with self-tapping screws. Place and secure a framework around the perimeter of the tin, which will contain the concrete. �
Place a circle of old hose, made to the circumference of the base of the proposed pizza oven, onto the tin in a rough outline of the position it will take. Also mark the entrance door. This is just to check that the design will fit the proportions of the base, and its orientation in relation to the garden. Remove before laying the reinforcing mesh.�
Place reinforcing mesh over the base, tying pieces together with wire, using supports to elevate it above the base. Do not allow the steel mesh to come in contact with the roofing tin because corrosion will occur.�
Concrete recipe – 3 parts sand : 2 parts gravel or blue metal : 1 part cement. Pour the concrete, tamping it down to fill all the voids, using a float to smooth over the surface. �
Allow the base to cure for several days before beginning the construction of the dome.�

Construction – the Dome
Place the second-hand bricks in the shape of the outline of the dome. These bricks will be a firm base on which to build the dome.�
Place an insulation layer of double washed river sand in the base of the dome to a depth of 40 – 100 mm. This layer provides thermal mass to trap the heat, so the thicker it is the more successfully it will hold heat in the oven.�
Place a layer of refractory firebricks on top of the sand, covering the entire area of the bottom of the pizza oven. Place the whole bricks tightly together then mark them to the outside edge and cut them with an angle grinder.�
A refractory mortar must be used to fix the bricks together for the oven. Ordinary cement mortar will crack and crumble when exposed to the heat of the oven.�
Use more of the washed river sand to fill in the gaps around the edge between the refractory bricks and the clay bricks, and also leaving a thin layer around the edge to prevent any mortar from getting on the refractory bricks�
To create the angle on the bricks: cut the bricks in half, with the bricks inside the oven touching, and with a gap of 15 mm on the outside of the dome, the construction will gradually arch over, but a well shaped dome is achieved in combination with a good eye. The brickwork does not need to be extraordinarily neat, because it will be covered with the adobe finish and the holes and gaps will be filled with this finishing layer. �
Fondue is an additive for cement that will cause it to set more quickly. This can be used when the bricks are beginning to arch over and tend to be difficult to hold in position. Another trick is to place boxes or similar behind the bricks to hold them in position.�
An alternative is to shape a dome of moist, firm, bush sand over the pizza oven base and build the brick construction over the top of it. Place a sheet of black plastic over the firebricks first, to keep them clean. The form of the bricks will follow the shape of the sand dome. To cut some corners, foam boxes can be used to fill some of the space under the sand, and will also lessen the need to dig out and remove so much sand when the brick dome is completed. Ensure that this material can be easily removed through the doorway.�
Construct some formwork for the entrance door to the pizza oven. Ensure that the width of the door is larger than the largest tray that you intend to use for cooking. The arch could be shaped from two pieces of plywood that are joined together by strips of timber. This formwork will hold the shape of the doorway while the bricks are set in place over the top of it. The height of this should be no more than 63% of the internal height of the dome. �

Applying the Adobe Render
Before applying the adobe render the bricks should be wet down thoroughly. Because the bricks are very porous they will draw out all the moisture in the clay finish. The slower the drying process the less cracks there will be when it dries.�
The adobe render is mixed at proportions of 30% clay : 70% sand with some added straw to bind the mix together.�
Apply the mixture about 6 cm thick all over the whole dome.�
When the mortar has set, remove the formwork used for the door, and remove the sand and supports that have been used inside the oven to build the dome.�
Once this first coat of mud render is completely dry, a second finishing layer can be applied to weatherproof the surface. One alternative is to apply a layer of cement render made from 3 parts washed sand : 1 part cement : 1 part lime (optional). Coloured oxide can be added to create any desired coloured finish. This will need to cure for several weeks before the oven can be fired up. Another alternative is to paint the surface with cement slurry made from just cement and water with added coloured oxide if desired, or a waterproofing agent like bondcrete and cement can be used.�
The oven can be given an individual touch that complements the design or style of the landscape in which it has been built. Sculptural additions can be made, or surface textures, patterns or motifs can be applied – glass, broken china, marbles, pebbles; it is only limited by the imagination. The oven can be given a creative touch or can remain as a simple earthy construction. �

This design has allowed for a chimney. This is not necessary in an outdoor oven, but if this oven were to be built inside, it would need to be flued to the outside of the building.�

Buckskinner Notes

We can all take lessons from what was carried in an 1800’s Mountain Mans pack. If they could survive with minimal equipment. There should be no reason why we couldnt do the same, in similar circumstances. The following is from the Buckskinners Notebook. The last time I checked the link and site were no longer available.


When going on treks, be they day long scouts, two day trips, week long or longer treks, there are some items that are essential to ones survival, if not then to ones comfort. These supplies are carried in a Haversack or Knapsack, or are sometimes rolled up in a blanket which is slung over the shoulder by a leather strap.


This is generally a bag with flap made of either light canvas or natural linen with a shoulder strap made of the same material. The flap cover is secured with one to three buttons, (pewter, brass, horn, or antler). These bags will vary in size but the average haversack will measure approximately 15″ X 15″. The Haversack strap is slung over the shoulder and across the chest and the bag hangs at the side about hip high.


The knapsack is constructed similar to the Haversack with the exception of it having two adjustable straps (generally made of leather) and is worn high on the back like a modern day-pack. There is a tie strap which when secured to the leather straps across the chest prevents the shoulder straps from slipping off the shoulders. From the bottom of the shoulder straps a blanket roll can be attached to hang below the Knapsack.

NOTE: Use of either the Haversack or Knapsack is historically correct. My personal use of them depends on the duration of the trek. For short treks where less gear is required the Haversack does well and may be used to carry little more then some food for the day. For long treks I prefer to use the Knapsack which carries more items much more comfortably.


In the following list are items that I carry on long treks. These items can be varied depending on the duration of the trek and when they are all carried are for living very high on the hog.

1. A small forged iron Fry Pan with a folding socketed handle. (The socketed handle allows the addition of a longer green branch to be added to extend the handle).

2. A Copper Corn Boiler with lid. (A tin boiler can also be used in place of the Copper Corn Boiler).

3. A Wooden Spoon.

4. A Sewing Kit containing the following:

(A). A wooden or antler needle case with sewing needles.�
(B). A small pair of iron scissors.�
(C). A bone bobbin of linen thread.�
(D). A leather awl.�
(E). A hunk of bees wax�
(F). A small bundle of leather scraps and thongs and a small roll of linen material.

5. A cloth bag Toilet Kit containing the following:

(A). A bar of Castel Soap carried in a greased leather bag (this soap will lather in hot, warm or cold water and can even be used with salt water and was a favorite of early explorers and sailors).�
(B). A Bone handle, bore hair tooth brush.�
(C). A Horn Comb.

6. A cloth or leather bag Fire Kit containing the following:

(A). A fire steel.�
(B). Flint shards�
(C). A small tin container of char cloth�
(D). A charring Tin (for making char over a fire) containing scraps of linen or wood punk.�
(E). A couple bees wax candle stubs�
(F). A huck of tow�
(G). A piece of pitch pine

7. A Salt Horn and Horn or Tin Container of Cyan Pepper.

8. Assorted Food Sacks

NOTE: All these items fit nicely into a Haversack or Knapsack and the total weight will average around 6 to 8 pounds. Packing in a Haversack or Knapsack of this size forces you to pack lightly.


The following list of food is historically correct and can be varied per trek length and personal taste. Although the list is relatively small it offers a surprising verity of fair. When supplemented with wild game, fowl, and fish it can not only keep you going but can provide an excellent and tasty diet.

1. A cloth or leather sack of Stone Ground Corn Meal Flour (generally carried in the fry pan with the handle folded over it).

2. A sack of Unsweetened Hunks of Chocolate and a Sugar Cone (Sugar Cones are made from the left over or junk sugar remaining after the processing of sugar. It is like brown sugar with a slight taste of molasses) This sack is carried inside my Corn Boiler.

3. A small sack of Ground Coffee (also carried inside the Corn Boiler). Loose leaf tea can be carried in place of the coffee or in addition to it. Roasted Coffee Beans may be carried but must be pounded or ground before use.

4. A sack of dry Split Peas.

5. A sack of Flour Mix ( I make this using brown flour, cornmeal, and brown sugar – see Stick Bread in the recipe list below)

6. A sack of Dry Corn (whole kernels)

7. A sack of Parched Corn (see recipe section below)

8. A cloth sack of Jerk (Jerky was simply called Jerk in the 18th century. If carried in a cloth sack where air can get at it, Jerk will last indefinitely)

9. A greased sack of Smoked Salt Slab Bacon (This type of bacon does not require refrigeration).

10. A sack of Stone Ground Oatmeal (Scottish Oatmeal).


A good wool blanket is a must. This is your bed and provides warmth on the cold nights. It can be used to wrap around your shoulders to keep the chill off in the evenings or when the weather turns unexpectedly cold and can be used to carry supplies when needed. Wool, even when wet, will help keep you insulated from the cold.

Choose a Whitney or Hudson Bay blanket if possible. These blankets have been around for a long time, are historically correct and were a standard trade items. They are made of thick 100% virgin wool and are well worth the price.

My favorite size is the 4 point blanket which is 72″ X 90″. I find this just the right size for making a primitive sleeping bag. After folding it in half the long way I fold up about 18″ of one end and secure it with two blanket pins. One along the side through all four layers and one in the middle through the first three layers. This provides my feet with three layers of blanket on top and one layer underneath.

In my blanket I roll up an extra pair of moccasins and a canvas bag stuffed with dry tinder and some bees wax candle stubs. This bag makes a great pillow at night and when protected on stormy nights assures me of having some dry tender to get my morning fire started with.

When rolled tightly and tied with leather thongs the blanket can be carried with a shoulder strap or attached to the bottom straps of my knapsack. On short treks or in emergences I can roll up my supples and gear inside the blanket for transport.

When not carrying an oil cloth (ground cloth) I use a small piece of canvas wrapped over the blanket roll to help keep it dry in the event of rain.


There are times when the whether and mother nature make the use of an oil cloth almost a necessity. An oil cloth can serve as a ground cloth insulating you from the cold or snow covered ground. It will help keep your blanket dry and can be used as a shelter. Its one draw back is its added weight as it can almost double the weight of your blanket roll.

While easy to make it takes about two weeks or more to finish. It can be made of light weight canvas or better still out of natural linen material which is a bit lighter in weight.

To make an oil cloth start with a piece of material 3 feet wide by 9 feet long (1 yard x 3 yards). Pre-shrink the material by washing it in hot water. You can pre dye the material with black walnut dye or you can add pigment during the waterproofing process. It is a good idea to hem the raw edges of the material to prevent them from unraveling.

Hang the material loosely on the north or shady side of a shed, cabin, or other structure. Use linen thread to string the material to nails. The thread placed through the material with a sewing needle will separate the fibers rather then produce holes. Apply Boiled Linseed Oil with a paint brush allowing it to penetrate the cloth. If you did not dye the material beforehand you can add pigment to the linseed such as red iron oxide (which produces a brown color) or yellow iron oxide (which produces a yellow color). Add the iron oxide to the Linseed and stir well. Add enough to make it the consistency of paint. It should stay on the brush without running off. Carefully work the Linseed into the fabric with the brush.

Once the entire surface is painted leave the material to hang for a week to 10 days. This will assure that the linseed oil is dry and properly cured. Don’t try to hurry this process. When the linseed is dry turn the material over and apply another coat to the back of the material. Leave the cloth hanging to dry for another week to 10 days.

Once the linseed is completely dry and cured rub the material lightly with a smooth round stone (being careful not to tear or rip the material). This last process will help soften the fabric which will be stiff from the linseed oil. The treads used to hang the material to the wall will seal the spots where it was pushed through the material and the excess thread can be cut off.


Corn, corn, and more corn. Corn was the staple diet of the longhunter, backwoodsman, early colonist and Indians alike. Woodland Indians could travel for days on no more then a handful of parched corn a day.

The standard corn ration was a handful a day given to hunters of organized hunting parties, militia groups and some military groups and one pound ( 1 lb) of corn was considered a months ration per man.

True, these hunters supplemented their meager supplies with game meat from the hunt but when traveling in hostel territory where hunting was often out of the question they survived primarily on the supplies carried with them.

Here are some simple and tested recipes for the trail along with preparation tips.

1. Johnny Cakes (Also called Hoe Cakes and Ash Cakes depending on how they are cooked. Hoe cakes where often prepared by slaves in the fields and were cooked on the flat of a hoe. Ash Cakes as the name implies were cooked in the hot ashes of a camp fire (the ashes brushed off before eating).

Open your corn meal bag and form a little divot in the corn meal (corn flour, or wheat flour) and add a small amount of water. Mix with you fingers until you have a dough (add more corn meal or water as needed) that can be formed into a round flat cake.

This cake can be cooked in a frypan, on a hot flat rock, or in the hot ashes of a fire. My favorite method is to first fry up a few pieces of bacon, remove the bacon from the skillet and set aside on a piece of bark and cook the cake (or cakes) in the bacon grease until the cakes are lightly browned.

2. Stick Bread

This is made from a Flour Mixture I prepare in advance of a trek. The mixture consists of 2 cups brown (wheat) flour, 1 cup of cornmeal (or corn flour) and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Note: The brown sugar must be left out in a bowl to dry first and then sifted into the flour before mixing.

As in the Johnny Cake above, open your sack, make a small divot in the flour mixture, add a small amount of water and form a dough with your fingers. Because of the natural glutamates in the flour this will form a better and more elastic dough then if made with just cornmeal.

Wrap the dough around the end of a green willow stick and hold or support the stick over the coals until golden brown. Eaten with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate this is a rewarding treat.

Note: On a trek once, we were in a dry camp having only a canteen of water each to get us through the night. One of members of our small party had a small bottle of homemade apricot wine (almost a brandy) and we used this to make our stick bread dough with. The result was a very tasty treat that was enjoyed by all on that cold wet night.

3. Hot Chocolate

Add a few chucks of unsweetened chocolate with equal amounts of sugar carved or hacked from your sugar cone to some water and heat over the coals stirring until the chocolate has melted. While not as rich and thick as homemade hot chocolate it still produces a good hot beverage.

For a thicker hot drink add some cornmeal to your hot chocolate after it is made. Stir in the cornmeal while reheating the chocolate. The will be especially enjoyed on those cold damp nights.

4. Corn and Jerk Soup

Add a handful of dry corn and some pieces of Jerk to water and boil over the coals. Add salt and cyan pepper to taste. The dry corn will reconstitute itself and this makes a tasty soup.

5. Cornmeal Mush

Cornmeal mush can be prepared in several ways to provide some variety to the diet.


Mix cornmeal with water in your fry pan and heat over the coals stirring until it becomes thick (add more cornmeal or water as needed). Add salt and cyan pepper to taste.


Fry up some bacon , set it aside, and to the bacon grease stir in some cornmeal and then some water. Heat until thick stirring occasionally. You can crumble up the bacon and add to the cornmeal mush or eat it separately. The cornmeal mush will be flavored by the bacon grease. Add cyan peeper and salt (if needed) to taste.


Make your cornmeal mush using some of your hot chocolate drink in place of water to give it a chocolate taste.

6.Split Pea Soup

Place a handful of dry split peas into your boiler and add water. Boil over the coals of you fire stirring frequently until the peas are soft, add some pieces jerk or cut up bacon and continue to cook. Spice with salt and cyan pepper to taste. Depending on the amount of peas used and how well the peas are cooked they can be mashed up with your spoon and can be almost the consistency of porridge.

7. Hot Oatmeal

Easy to prepare and makes a great breakfast. A cup of hot oatmeal will stick to the ribs and is a great way to start a new day of trekking.

Add a handful of oatmeal to your boiler. Add water and bring to a boil stirring constantly. You can make your oatmeal as thick or thin as you choose by adding more oatmeal or water while cooking. Stir in some sugar while hot. Lacking milk or cream on treks I like to make my oatmeal a little on the soupy side.

8. Parched Corn

To make Parched Corn you will need corn which has been dried on the cob. Dry corn was produced by opening the husks (but not removing them) and hanging the corn in the rafters of the cabin to dry.

Prior to leaving for a trek remove some dry corn from the cobs and place in bowl. There are two methods of making parched corn. The first method is to place no more then a hand full at a time into a hot dry skillet. Stir constantly until the corn pops and becomes a light brown in color. Remove from the pan, separate from any burnt kernels and lightly salt. The trick here is to parch the corn and not let it burn.

The second method is to fry some bacon and while the bacon is frying add a hand full of dry corn stirring constantly as it browns and pops in the bacon grease.

Place the parched corn in a bag for travel. Parched Corn can be used as a trail snack or as a quick meal along with some Jerk. It can be ground to a powder, mixed with water to form a paste and eaten as is until camp is made. The ground parched corn can be used like cornmeal though it has a much smoother consistency

NOTE: If the Parched Corn is to be ground the dry parch method works best. One of the best types of corn to use for this is called Hickory King. This is an Heirloom corn that has been around for over two centuries and it produces large flat white kernels.


In addition to adding game to your diet in season the woodsman is always on the lookout for edible plants. One of my favorites is wild onions. When I find them I pick enough for more then one meal. Carried in a cloth sack they will keep for awhile and even dried they are usable.

There are other items which can be found or carried on your treks. Dried fruit is always a welcome treat as is fresh berries found in the late summer. Berries can be added to most anything you prepare.

Keep in mind that the foods you carry should be those that our forefathers had at hand and that whatever you take will add weight to your Haversack or Knapsack and must be carried on your person unless you are making a canoe or horseback trek. Select your supplies carefully and take only what you will need and be creative with what you have.


Experiments in Urban Survival Agriculture

Experiments in Urban Survival Agriculture

The idea for an urban survival garden came about several years ago, from talking to a friend concerning the differences in our food storage systems. His method was to grow most items and dry them, living in the country. Mine to rely on tinned stores for short term use and bulk dried grains / legumes for longer term, as an urban dweller. The closest I could come to growing and drying would be to purchase cheap bulk vegetables from Gardeners markets, as my available growing spaces arent suitable.

Let me state from the start that my survival garden is crap. I set my garden space up with beauty in mind and wanted something nice to look at rather than four brick walls, being in a small 2 bedroom apartment. The rear garden is covered with a shade cloth covered pergola and a 6mx4m decking with a Bali/fernery shade house design. The front garden space is concrete, covered by a small 20 foot bus, a jeep, twister off road buggy and a small timber shed. All soil is lime stone just under the surface.

The way the direction of the building is situated creates a lot of heat in the early mornings and late afternoons. The light reflection of a mid morning burns every garden Ive tried to grow in the front yard before turning it into storage space. There is now a small Japanese garden, part way finished under shade cloth by the door for added shade during the summer months, which creates a micro-climate. The rear garden was mulch and dead rose bushes when I first moved in. Without the shadecloth/pergola the heat during summer raises the temperature by 15 degrees celcius on the west wall. The rear yard has a three foot high fence that also leeds onto a small reserve, offering no security. Trellace now covers the entire rear fence line to the roof of the pergola and each side fence.

If really wanting to push the limits of urban gardening. I could have opted for a no dig garden, over the lime stone and raised the front fence line with trellace then used vine crops to produce shade from the North East. I know several people into permaculture that grow directly over concrete using this system. The last few years Ive had several health problems that have allowed me to spend the time writing and posting, instead of travelling or working full time.

Ive tried not to let them slow me down in my other pursuits, however gardening is something I can no longer spend time doing. Therefore a bali garden has very little work once set up, unlike vegetables. Spending half a day moving moss rocks places me on two days of morphine, from a back injury. A low immune system and scar tissue in my lungs leaves me open to chest infections. The last time mulch was put down gave me a pseudomonas infection. This bacteria grows on everything but unless having scar tissue or a serious lung infection such as pneumonia at the time, cannot be transmitted. An uncompromised immune system will not let it entire the body. 1500mg of the anthrax medication, cypro per day for two months to kill it off and the side effects of almost rupturing both my ankle tendons, keeps me away from potting soil and bagged mulch as much as possible now.

I had an idea of what I wanted to achieve but wanted to do a little background research and trial runs, so as not to waste time and effort on botched attempts. Before seeding areas that would be of more use as Bug Out Locations. By making small trenches with a hoe and mixing seeds with sand, in a container. Its quite easy to sow seeds with equal spacings, with minimal soil disturbance. Just pour out the sand from a plastic bottle. Then mulch over the top with pea straw.

There are many unused walking trails and small streams in my area that would make great places for foraging plants and fishing, if there were any fish or plants there to forage. The initial idea was to approach the concept systematically and I also didn’t want to spend too much cash but wanted to see if would work at the same time. So firstly went to the cheap shops that sold packets of seedlings that were almost out of date for 50cents each and mix them all together. From here just take the dog for a walk and scatter seeds along walking tracks and see what happens. Essentually guerilla gardening with vegetables in mind.

The second step would be to plant the three sisters to provide all eight essential amino acids required for normal health.The three sisters are a method of companion planting consisting of corn, beans and squash intermingled together. Beans are grown around the base of developing corn stalks and would vine their way up as the stalks grew. The corn stalks would act as a trellis for the beans and the beans would provide nitrogen for the corn.

Squash would be planted in the spaces between the corn stalks to have shelter from the sun and the squash would prevent animals from disturbing the other two crops due to their prickly vines. I didn’t want to get too fussy with this so did the same as with the vegetable crops and mixed the seeds together and took the dog for a walk. If it was good enough for Masanobu Fukuoka in One Straw Revolution, who am I to argue.

The third step was aquaculture. The streams aren’t very deep and can be dry some years. This left only three fish species that would be suitable Tandanus Catfish native to the some of the local streams or Silver Perch living in the larger creeks. The third option is Redfin an introduced species only slightly less destructive than carp but much better to eat. With longer periods of drought each year this may be the only species that will ever be seen in the smaller creek populations within another decade.

I had joined the local trout fly fishing club, who gave me an insight into the states water system. The greenies wanted all streams cleaned out of introduced species and only local fish to that specific area. The fly fishers wanted only trout and all other usefull fish to be removed, but wouldnt even allow a baited hook to be used while fly fishing to catch and eat other edible species.. I soon realized that all parties involved new nothing about aquaculture and had their own agendas as the primary concern. The smaller natives would only grow in certain streams that werent too saline and the trout only liked the colder streams. In between the other small streams were either too salty or too warm for either species.

The creeks I’m going to try this in are urban not rural and not linked to major water networks of any sort. Silver perch are cheaper to purchase as fingerlings than catfish and will be the first trial run. If these don’t mature then the only species that will grow in the urban stream environment would be the redfin.

I would like to introduce trout, being a fly fishing enthusiast. However the creeks surrounding my area don’t have the right water temperature to support brownies let alone a population of rainbows and there isn’t adequate over head space to cast a fly any way. A few of the deeper pools support brownies in the larger creeks but need to be regularly restocked if taking fish and using the not catch and release system.

In terms of vegetation I’m not going to go overboard with a heavy investment in fruit trees etc. Just pick up seedlings that are on sale and stick to anything that will grow from packet seed. Then see what happens over the next few seasons and try some berry crops for fruit.

The fourth step will be to introduce animal species to bug out locations. Mainly hares, as rabbits do too much damage with digging and are suseptable to myxo and calici viruses. Guinea fowl, as these will chase off snakes and foxes where bantam chickens, wouldnt have much chance. The mixure of three protien sources; fish, fowl and fur as a micro livestock should take care of themselve,s to run free range. Not having the land to set up a permanent retreat.

Its been several seasons since starting out and I have learnt a few lessons. Planting too far up a creek bank will either have all the vine crops poisoned or mowed off, in urban areas. Too close to the streams will have them washed away in winter with flooding. In-between suffers when the temperature rises in summer with no irrigation. Seeding using standard hybrid seeds is a waste of time, heirloom seeds are needed to have reliable self seeding crops. I cant say that enough, always use heirlooms. The first season had quite a resonable crop until the drought hit full force. With no irrrigation, there wasnt much chance of success after that. I still see the odd perch that have grown to a resonable size. I wouldnt try eating any out of that particular creek system though, with the ammount of polution present.

The current plan is to use the twister buggy, that will allow me to reach� more remote areas and am working on a small automatic watering system. Based on a small water turbine pump attached to a float for self adjusting to water levels and having to work out pressure vs flow, to feed into a 44 gal drum which will release the contents when full. Similar to a toilet cystern feeding into a soaker hose system. Without irrigation during the summer months, will other wise be a waste of time. By throwing over a leafy cammo net used for a hunting hide from archery shops and growing cover crops, should keep prying eyes away. These areas also have a better water quality for filtering aswell as for stocking with trout.