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09.02.2015 admin
For those of us that live in the northern states it’s that time of year again, and depending on who you are, you either love the winter or hate it.
Just like when we pull out the Christmas decorations most of them are fine, but there is always something broken or something that just doesn’t work.
Not only do we need to make sure we have everything ready to go in our home to prepare for a power outage, we also need to make sure we have the emergency preparedness supplies in our cars that we might need. Most of us spend at least a couple of hours a day traveling from place to place and during the winter months the weather, road conditions and consequences are far more extreme than the summer months.
This week in the show Lisa and I went over all the supplies you might need to be prepared for the winter months. Food and water is by far the most important part of preparedness regardless of the time of year, but in the winter you might not be able to get to the grocery store. After you have food and water covered it’s time to take inventory of what you have and get the few things you might need.
If the power goes out for an extended period of time we are going to need a way to cook or heat our food.
Staying warm is critical in the winter months but remember, in a power outage it won’t be as easy as turning up the thermostat when you get cold. By doing routine maintenance on your home you can prevent a small problem from becoming a bigger one. Most of us spend at least an hour a day in our cars, and this is one place that we are the most vulnerable and don’t give it a second thought. There is quite a few supplies that you need to make sure you are prepared for the colder months, but the odds are you have some of these supplies already. Filed Under: Beginning Prepping, Featured Posts, Prepping Skills, Survivalist Prepper Podcast About DaleSurvival and being prepared should not only be a passion, it should be a lifestyle.
I don't believe that the end of the world will be the "end of the world" I believe it will be the end of the world as we know it now.
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I recently read an article entitled The Five Stages of Economic Collapse which was published by the Energy Bulletin in 2008.
I do not have any gold stored up for a major economic collapse quite simply because there are many other things much higher on my priority list than shiny little bars which have a perceived value. If you already live on a property which is capable of supporting life while off of the power grid, have plenty of food storage on site and a way to cultivate more food, have water on site and a way to filter it, have a way to defend your homestead, have no debt and a way to generate income than gold might be for you. 1- The cost of gold is ridiculous right now compared to the immediate benefit it would be able to provide if called upon in an emergency. 2- Gold (or any other precious metal for that matter) simply won’t become relevant until far into a reset period after society has stabilized itself post collapse. Now that you are fully sold on the notion that I am a raving lunatic what I would like to do is examine each of The Five Phases of Collapse and explain just how gold will have very little to no value during any point while the collapse plays out. Gold won’t do you much good here because if you do own some you will most likely continue to sit on it. Commercial collapse is much more obvious, and observing it doesn’t entail opening envelopes and examining columns of figures. Gold has even less value during this phase no matter what the talking heads say because you surely won’t be taking your gold pieces down to the store to buy food or water.
Political collapse is more painful yet, because it is directly life-threatening to many people. During this phase you are facing a lack of basic life sustaining resources, crime is rampant and martial law has been enacted, and those shiny coins in your safe are going to help you do exactly what? Social and cultural collapse seem to have already occurred in many parts of the country to a large extent. When societies and cultures fully (or even partially) collapse we are full steam into SHTF. Right about now you could be thinking that I’m starting to make sense, that gold might not be a great idea after all and that your efforts and money would be best spent elsewhere.
Gold wasn’t used as a means of exchange because gold is not something people need on a day to day basis. If you want to “hedge” against some sort of imagined financial apocalypse based on a very negative view of the future, don’t use gold as that hedge.
Getting your technicians license is only the first step, next you actually need to use the ham radio to understand how it works, otherwise you will have no idea how to use it when it really matters. In an article I wrote when I first got my ham technician license a while back goes through what equipment I started out with, and how I studied for the technician test. It really is true, you can get started for about $70 with the equipment I mentioned in that article, and you can get your technicians license in a little as a week if you want to.
In this interview with Jeremiah we didn’t talk about getting your technicians license, we talked about what to do after you get it. I also included a pdf guide at the end of this article with links and resources to help new ham operators out. In order to explain this better I am going to explain my story because I think it’s pretty common among new ham operators.
Getting your signal in and out: One of my major problems when I first started out was connecting with other hams and repeaters, I could hear other people talking, but they couldn’t hear me. Ham Radio Repeaters: A repeater receives a weak or low-level amateur radio signal and re transmits it at a higher level or higher power, so that the signal can cover longer distances without degradation. Help from other hams: Jeremiah recently sent me a message using the national traffic system. First Contact: We also talked about how intimidating it might be when you first get your signal out. Local Communications: Ham radio will be useful whether you are bugging out, getting family members back together or any other unforeseen situation that might arise. The range might not be that great depending on the terrain, but with the right ham radio equipment you might be able to communicate between cars, within a group or even if someone needed to do a little recon, hunt or forage.
If you get the Beofeng I recommend you can also download the CHIRP program to program it that comes with some of the NOAA frequencies pre-installed. Long Range Communications: The more you get into ham radio you will see that there is almost a competition for how far you can get your signal out. Echolink is an internet based communications system so it probably won’t be available in some sort of SHTF event, but you can use it now to talk with other preppers around the country which might help you learn more about ham radio by talking to people with the same mindset as you.
I haven’t gotten into Echolink all that much yet, but now that I am “online” so to speak, I am going to dig deeper into the program. Grid Down Communications: This kind of goes along with short term communications, but in a grid down scenario there would be a way to get messages across the country, although it would be very slow.
The same principal could be used and would have to be passed from one amateur radio operator to the next, a little like an old school telegraph or the pony express. Contacting other Prepared Hams: As I talked about with Jeremiah there is not much in the way of finding a local prepper ham group, although if you start (or have) a prepper group and have members who are amateur radio operators or who want to be.
I did find a list of SHTF Frequencies for preppers, but I’m not sure how this would (or could) work in a SHTF situation, especially without expensive equipment. I went ahead and made a PDF of all the links that Jeremiah shared with me during the show, and also the ones he emailed to me.
Filed Under: Featured Posts, Survival Supplies, Survivalist Prepper Podcast About DaleSurvival and being prepared should not only be a passion, it should be a lifestyle.
Hey man, super good article on the basics of radio comm’s for people who may not be familiar with amateur radio. I’ve been reading with a good deal of interest the large number of articles and comments on amateur (Ham) radio and prepping and decided it’s time to chime in. Full disclosure; I’m a retired physicist employed by a national lab for more than two decades, I’ve been a licensed amateur radio operator for more than 40 years, and I’m a closet prepper.
An entry-level license, called a Technician Class License, is obtainable with about ten hours of time invested and a one-time fee of $15. The mid-level license is called General Class and gives you everything a Technician Class gives you plus expanded HF privileges.
The top-level license is called Extra class and, for those not experienced with electronics or not strong on algebra, can be a bear.
Amateur Radio licenses are good for ten years and are renewable on-line or by mail without the need to retest. What could happen is a nasty solar flair event or some whack job assassinated the wrong politician at the wrong time and all hell breaks loose. A potential loss of social order is the number one reason to have comm gear you know how to use.

The grid is down and the grocery store is shuttered and the filling station is closed because the pumps don’t run and the natural gas if off and the LP guy’s truck won’t start and your smartphone is now good for little more than playing Angry Birds. In the amateur radio world you can talk around the planet on just a few watts of output power with an appropriate antenna.
One of the practical advantages to NVIS operations is it works best when the antenna is low to the ground.
From a receive standpoint a low antenna isn’t that much of a compromise when it comes to long distance signals. With CW you can operate very near in or very far out with minimum requirements of power and antennas. On a number of forums I see commenters who suggest that you should not get a license to operate your Ham gear.
First, the feds already know who you are and as much as it displeases you more than likely know where you are.
If you don’t get licenses none of the nearly 800,000 licensed Hams in the US are going to want to help you.
For the HF rig I use a 11 amp hour Lion battery that weighs less than two pounds and gives me 20 hours of receive time. The handheld antenna is a home-brew shunt-fed monopole that is all of 20 inches long and straps nicely to the pack.
The HF antenna is a 44’ non-resonant dipole fed with very lightweight open wire line (old 300 ohm TV twinlead that I took a hole punch to to reduce weight). All of this fits well into my 5-11 Rush 24 bag with lots of room to spare for the other stuff life depends on.
In the everyday world this kit looks like a guy carrying a tac backpack, like about every college kid in the US.
Fancy microphones and headsets may look cool but offer little in the way of valued functionality.
If your radios are powered on and hooked up to an antenna when the EMP comes they’re likely reduced to little more than doorstops.
The bugging in versus bugging out debate is probably one of the biggest in the survival community, most likely because it’s impossible to predict the future.
Our book, The One Year Urban Survival Plan, tells you exactly how to prepare for a major disaster in the city or suburbs.
Living in a highly populated area I could give many reasons for staying put unless the home is totally destroyed. The One Year Urban Survival Plan, tells you exactly how to prepare for a disaster in the city.
None the less it’s time to get ready for the cold and snow and that means doing inventory of your winter preparedness supplies, rotating your supplies and picking up a few things you might need this winter. Our winter preparedness supplies are a little more important though, if our batteries are dead or our flashlight doesn’t work we need to get that fixed before it becomes a bigger issue.
You might have some of these supplies already, and some of them you might need to replace or buy. Everyone has their own way of doing inventory, but I use this worksheet here if you want to use it also. You should have a lights out kit ready to go at all times, but it becomes more important in the winter months. Most people would be eating boxed cereal and crackers, but we are not most people…we are preppers. It’s much easier to fix these problems now while it’s warm than it will be when the temperatures fall below zero. Winter conditions wreak havoc on our automobiles so make sure everything is in good repair before we get into the winter months. The definition of a prepper is "An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances, without substantial resources from outside sources" Like the Government, police etc. The author, Dmitry Orlov, was born in Russia and witnessed first hand the collapse of the Soviet Union. If you are a new or even moderate prepper the benefits of purchasing gold right now or anytime in the near future are few and far between.
I truly believe that at no point in time during any of the aforementioned stages of collapse will gold be beneficial to myself or my family. You could easily spend $20,000 on gold and fit your investment inside that Crown Royal bag you have in the back of your safe.
If you worry too much about gold and don’t have much of anything else in the form of life support preps your chances of even making it to the stabilization period are slim. Hopefully you will begin to understand that for most of us buying gold now or anytime in the near future just doesn’t make sense especially given the fragile state of our nation and the impending financial disaster that is looming on the horizon. After all you bought it as a hedge against inflation and for financial security, no need to panic and sell it off anytime soon. The breakdown of public order would be particularly dangerous in the US, because of the large number of social problems that have been swept under the carpet over the years.
At this point as the economic pain and civil unrest will have only gained momentum since the Commercial Collapse. What social activity remains seems to be anchored to transitory activities like work, shopping, and sports.
At this point there will be many desperate people looking to fulfill the basic needs of survival.
Being that we live in the 21st century, there is a good chance we might put more value in other commodities. If all you have is gold and you want to buy something that’s worth $10, what can you do? By Dale 2 Comments Getting your technician license for ham radio has quite a few application what it comes to any SHTF scenario, and that includes if the power grid goes down.
It can be intimidating and confusing getting on the air for the first time, and if we want to be able to use our ham radios in a disaster situation we need to jump in the water and get started. Getting your technician’s license is just the first step, then you have to apply everything you learned, get on the air and figure out how and why everything works. I also installed the antenna wrong (next to a metal pole) causing my signal to get disrupted before it even went anywhere.
As helpful as these online groups are, sometimes it takes someone who can see your setup and be hands on with helping.
I didn’t want to sound like the new kid on the block (even though I was) and come to find out I was making it a bigger deal than it was. For my first contact I just said “This is KE0AKD monitoring, doing a signal check, can I get a confirmation?” The person who came back was great and said “fantastic! As preppers we are always worried about OPSEC, but ham radio clubs give you the option of meeting people without them knowing where you live. With the very real likelihood that cell phone communications being down using your ham radio for short range communications might be your best option. While a ham radio can do this, it is much slower than the equipment that was made for something like this.
Right now people use what is called the traffic net which is how Jeremiah got a message to me from his state.
The down side of this is that if one of the links in this chain is missing, the message won’t get through. This license will give you all the VHF and UHF functionality you can use (think handheld radio) as well as some limited HF (think shortwave) privileges as well. This license can add 2- to 40 hours study time and is a more demanding test but comes with more rights. I recommend not going for this unless you’re either already holding a lower class license or just a plain wiz. OK, we’ll set aside the Zombie Apocalypse, the martial law, and the black helicopters – none of these scenarios are grounded in reality and if you don’t agree you’re free to go read something that better fits your internal narrative. What these two have in common is they’re both fulcrums for a potential collapse of social order. It is far more useful, will come with more features, will have many more options available on the aftermarket, and is likely to take more abuse. On the lower HF frequencies this mode of signal propagation delivers good service within a radius of about 250 miles.
Second, operating a radio in a licensed service illegally is an invitation to attract unwanted attention. The ability to “work” a station 50 miles away with repeatable regularity can and should not be discounted.

PSK and other computer assisted digital modes can provide you with easy to use text based communications and even let you share computer files – all over a radio link.
Great battery life, rugged, easy to use, highly water resistant, includes NOAA weather receiver.
It’s only marginally larger than two packs of cigarettes and has a USB port for charging my smartphone. I use a small choke at the back of the rig to get a near match and let the internal tuner handle the rest.
You can use that worksheet if you like, but even if you don’t, make sure and check the winter preparedness supplies you have and make sure you are good to go. According to Dmitry The Five Stages of Collapse which occurred in the former Soviet Union are now slowly manifesting themselves in the United States.
I would even go so far to state that gold in general, in a post SHTF environment would be pretty much worthless to the vast majority of the population for a long period of time. Food with a shelf life of 20-30 years which contains a total of 738,534 calories, easily enough to feed one person over 2,000 calories per day. If we as a country are in the Social Collapse phase and you show up at my doorstep begging for food with $20k in gold bullion to exchange I’d probably give you a can of re-fried beans and send you on your merry way, but I digress.
When store shelves are stripped bare of necessities and remain that way for weeks at a time, panic sets in.
If during this phase you are moderately prepared I suspect you will be far better off than most other people around you. Religion is perhaps the largest exception, and many communities are organized around churches. I’m sure bartering will exist in many forms but mostly utilizing tangible life sustaining items or services. He sent a message through different ham operators which ended up with someone who lives a few blocks away from me. While these don’t properly represent the full range of whats probable they do bracket the problem sufficiently. Broadcast AM stations and shortwave station are more likely to get back on the air than FM stations or TV stations. That’s a lot of coverage and most importantly it’s fairly local which will be of the greatest value to you. Hams have perfected techniques for just about any comm need you can imagine – the heavy lifting has already been done.
You have your extremists (who see themselves doing either one or the other) and then you have those who prep for both. When on the road one must watch in a 360 degree arc but in a home it can be reduced greatly to give you the advantage.
I will elaborate upon my theory with respect to the stages of collapse shortly, in the meantime take a look at this graphic I came up with.
In most places, this requires some sort of emergency response, to make sure that people are not deprived of food, shelter, medicine, and that some measure of security and public order is maintained. There is a slight ray of hope, if during this phase you are still able to cash in your gold for fake (paper) money you could increase your purchasing power.
I think that I would prefer martial law over complete and utter mayhem and lawlessness, though I admit that both are very poor choices. Communities will definitely start to form with the goal of mutual protection and ultimately basic survival. But in places where society and culture remain intact, I believe that social and cultural collapse is avoidable, and that this is where we must really dig in our heels. An example would be trading some food in exchange for medical treatment, or access to a fresh water well in exchange for some ammunition. I’ll leave you with a few quotes from other writers who seem to stand on my side of the fence when it comes to gold.
Alternatively, commodities like gas, rice, even cattle, would probably have more usefulness (on the consumer level) since you can use them as food, fuel, or other things society would deem more valuable. Maybe your best news source is a shortwave station in Poland but it still is a news source.
How will you monitor what is and is not being done on the local, state, and federal levels to mitigate the crisis? And since amateur radio is essentially self policed those hundreds of thousands of Hams will very likely turn you in for interfering with their hobby. Instead of siding with either of the two, let’s try to find good reasons for doing either so we can at least figure out which one is more important for our unique situation.
You cannot physically eat or drink the gold but you can place it in your safe and hope that the value continues to increase over time. A common theme with respect to gold will continue in that it will be completely irrelevant. Also, I think it is very important that we learn to see our surroundings for what they have become. Gold owned by the few elites (should we call them Warlords at this point?) might be exchanged as a form of currency, but for the average person gold still remains irrelevant. China is buying gold unlike any other country, one could easily make the argument they are trying to accumulate enough to put their currency on a gold standard. You’d want to know if a war breaks out, if there is a mass migration of people from name your place to name your place, if some other region or nation was less or more affected. Think about this; an antenna that is only 10’ off the ground actually works better for local HF communications.
What you do to protect your family and your property during a social upheaval is far less subject to question than during the “normal” times. Make sure the inside edge of the lid and the top on the pan edges are bare aluminum so you get a good electrical connection. Remember most people who are not familiar with gold would be very wary of someone presenting them with a shiny coin and stating that it is worth $1800, they would rather do business with someone who carried a roll of one hundred dollar bills. The FCC rules state that during an emergency you can use any frequency at any power in any mode to seek or render assistance.
Unless I have that book and know its the one you’re using it’s very hard to figure out what you’re saying. If you live in a rural area or if you’re a suburban and your house is fully stocked and defended, it’s best to bug in. If all the culture we see is commercial culture, and all the society we see is consumer society, then the best we can do is walk away from it, and look for other people who are ready to do the same.
And while it’s true the supercomputers at the NSA are programmed to decode these from every book ever written in every language they’ll be busy doing other things when SHTF.
Obviously, most of the people bugging out of the cities will leave en masse, but as long as the head count in your town is small and you have your home defenses in place, there’s no reason to leave. My prejudiced of dealing with so many people in normal situation can be a frantic experience when people have only a small problem. We are getting a false positive because investors are fleeing europe and moving their money here. Sure your stock prices might be going up but the underlying value of the companies isnt increasing, only the demand due to foreign investors coming into our markets. If you’re unable to replenish food, water, and energy, you can only bug in for so long. Sure, having a solid stockpile is fantastic but it will probably won’t last as long as you think. What I see is the masses who have little or no direction or ability other than opening a box or can for dinner and when hungry enough will try to take what they need to live. On the other hand, having a few chickens, a garden, and a rainwater harvesting system means you could stay at your primary location indefinitely. They will swarm out of the cities with no direction to settle upon any field like the locus and destroy any possibility of food production from that spot for many years. They will die by the thousands polluting further the land not with their bodies for that would at least be reduced to fertilizer.
Small or unborn children and bugging out don’t mix–you’d just be putting their lives at risk. If you watched the news when Syrian refugees crossed the Mediterranean Sea to get to Greece, you probably saw how a lot of their children didn’t make it.

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