90% of America Dead After One Year

I read OSA in December of last year and it left quite an impression on me.  I considered myself well-versed in the potential of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) but had not thought though the implications for the new America.  An America in which the work ethic has perished and people have no idea where their food comes from.  I would suggest you pick this book up and read it.  It is a rather fast read and entertaining. Again, get your preps in order because there is nothing in the future of America that portends a land of milk and honey. -BB

Letter Re: “One Second After” — A Book Review with Some Advice

I have been reading the novel One Second After by William R. Forstchen. I just finished it. Whew, what a heavy book. I decided to write it up as a “lessons learned” book review. A couple of you may be wondering why I sent this to you. Well, I just thought of you and know you to be like-minded … I think. That is, concerned about what the future holds for us as a nation, as crazy and uncertain as things are getting in the world. I’ve been following the elctromagnetic pulse (EMP) threat for a couple of years now and regrettably, just now made myself purchase my own copy of this novel and read it.

My initial reaction, to get to the point, is that it is my hope is that each of you will buy a copy of this novel for your own personal libraries. It should go on the “Mandatory Reading” list, right next to “Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse” , by James Rawles.

EMP is a very real threat, as is the threat of a major economic collapse, as addressed in Rawles’ novel, “Patriots”.

Since I expect most all of you will acquire your own copy, I’ll spare the commentary of the characters’ specific experiences, and get to what I gleaned as “lessons learned.” I’d love to hear feedback from each of you and know your thoughts.

This is an insightful, well-thought-out and researched novel. Dr. Forstchen is extremely knowledgeable and is a respected subject-matter expert on the topic of EMP and has a web site dedicated to his research.

Also, consider checking out this video. There are lots of videos of interviews with Dr. Forstchen

Also, separate from the book and author, this piece on future weapons.

In my opinion, this author has a keen sense of human behavior, especially in stressful and traumatic situations; an acute sense of the sociological implications of an event such as an EMP attack. I think that he is extremely accurate in his assessment of what our culture could be reduced to in the event of this type of catastrophic event. The novel gives one a lot of food for thought regarding steps that could be taken to lessen the blow of such an event … at least, on a personal/family level.

Lesson 1: Never, ever, ever, if you have any choice at all become a refugee. Do everything within your power not to let your family become refugees. Remember the television series, Jericho? But we’ve seen it real world, in Sudan, Haiti, Chile, Mexico, Hurricane Katrina, and as far back as WWII, through Korea, Vietnam, and on and on. If you think you’ve got it bad in your hometown or neighborhood, you should count yourself lucky to have one (home or neighborhood).

Lesson 2: Have enough supplies stored up to last you and your family one year. That means food, water treatment capability, first-aid/medical supplies, toilet paper, .22 ammo, etc. Do not depend upon wild game (deer, elk, grouse, squirrel, etc.) in your survival plan. In a serious situation, such as described in this novel, 30,000 other people are going to have the same secret idea, and there will be no wild game to be had, and in short order.

Lesson 3: Be able to produce your own food when your food stores run out. Seeds, saws and knives for dressing game, chickens, rabbits, etc. The supplies are there to last until you can start producing your own. Be able to preserve it, as well. Learn about canning and preserving and stock up on the supplies.

Lesson 4: Security: Be able to defend your family if you have to. The ol’ lever action .30-30 is great for knocking down a deer. But have something serious on hand. Perhaps one of those kinds of firearms that make the uninitiated ask, “why would a civilian ever have a use for something like that?” Because when you do need something like that, there is no substitute. And then pray you never have use for it.

Lesson 5: Security 2: If you think you can make it on your own in a TEOTWAWKI situation, you and your family will die. That simple. The exception is some family living remotely in a valley in Alaska somewhere. Otherwise, better start figuring out now who you might want to band together with … friends, family, etc.

Lesson 6: Keep a survival kit in your vehicle. If for some reason you have to abandon your vehicle to get home, have the supplies to get there fast. Don’t forget loose, non-descript clothing and comfortable shoes. Food, water, shelter, tools, and a weapon of some sort. You can go to YouTube and look up keywords such as G.O.O.D. Bag, Bugout Kit, Urban Survival Kit, etc.

Lesson 7: As with many natural disasters in the past, and a worst-case scenario such as an EMP attack, computer banking systems go down and cash transactions will be the only transactions. Have cash on you at all times. At least $100 in small bills. ($1’s, $5’s, $10’s, and a $20 bill or two.) Never bring it all out at once. Make it appear that it’s the last of your money. If you know something bad went down, and you are safely able to, make a B-line for the store and stock up on perishable items that you couldn’t stock up on much, such as cooking oil, brown sugar, batteries, gasoline, medications, etc. Make a list of “grab from the store” items now. Purchase those items in the first minutes or hours while everyone else is still dumbfounded and trying to figure out what just happened.

Lesson 8: Try to protect electronic equipment now. Even if you purchase a couple of FRS radios just to stash away. A short-wave radio, a ham radio transceiver, or a scanner, etc. There is a ton of information out there about EMP hardening, such as Faraday cages to protect electronics from EMP. Those with communications will have huge advantages over those who do not. Do you have an old ([early] 1970s or earlier) car, motorcycle, mo-ped, etc. that does not have electronics built into it? Hang on to it, or get it running and stash it away. Mobility would be a valuable resource.

Lesson 9: Have a safe place to go to. If you have family or friends with property, or know someone who lives a self-reliant lifestyle, develop that relationship and learn from them. More importantly, it would be better if they would allow you to come there and use it as a sanctuary location if things got that bad. But be prepared to take care of yourself and them as well. In other words, bring something of value to the table. Don’t be a leech. The best bet is to have a huge store of supplies already there, just in case. Rawles’ novel “Patriots”, covers that in great detail.

Lesson 10: Learn! We all agree that things are getting volatile; in the world, in our country, economically, strategically, politically, socially. Get rid of distractions, such as television, sports, entertainment, and self-indulgence. At least for a season, prepare to be self-sufficient. Then, go back to all your “fun” stuff. Learn how to take care of yourself and your family if (when) things get worse.

3 thoughts on “90% of America Dead After One Year”

  1. usarmyguyretired

    I just finished reading this last night. It makes sense to live in less populated areas is about all one can say. It would be virtually impossible to harden against EMP unless one was independently wealthy. The best we can do is stockpile the basics for life and learn to live without electricity. Make sure tetanus shots are up to date and have all medications required for longterm. Not an easy feat for some considering how they dispense incrementally.

  2. A great writeup, of course, Bill, dear. My archived work at http://www.whiskeyandgunpowder.com and http://www.thetexasring.com compares OSA, Patriots, and the depressing “World Made by Hand” by Kunstler which I would recommend reading sometime after the works of Al Gore. His bunch of loosers depressed me. The first half of Patriots is very information dense, although one can only suppose the ten college kids were independently wealthy and employed by Goldman Sachs. As for 300 pages about a bunch of ranchers beating UN troops…well… Forstschen is great any time.

    A few useful ideas to guard against EMP: If you are fortunate enough to have land…get a horse! At least here in Texas the bottom has dropped out of the market for horses and tack, and you should be able to get a good saddle horse and gear for five or six hundred, less if you really search Craig’s List. Harness and shafts for a wagon are still pretty expensive, but we could all improvise if we had to. Two years ago any sort of new saddle started at $2200 and there were almost no used ones for sale. We just spent $200 on an excellent lightly used one (sheepskin lining still in great shape, friend with experience rebuilding gave thumbs up) and three times that on a “name” new one famed for longevity. We picked up a registered thoroughbred mare (2 1/2), a fine QH mare (5), a 15 mo QH filly with glittering papers, and got a gorgeous little 9 mo QH filly “to boot” for $1100 this week! That’s maybe a tenth of what pasture art cost two years ago.

    We can now mount three who ride pretty well and Irish Brook will be ready next year, and that’s a collection that will provide a lifetime of brood mares, horses in their prime, and young ‘uns coming along for only occasional stud fees. (No, you don’t want a stallion.) A pair of horses could save your lives several ways, and even Glenlivet, the youngest, could carry a pack. So can sheep, goats, and larger dogs. Nobody wants to play “Red Dawn,” but it would beat traveling on foot and multiply your options.

    Second…get a nice old tractor. Again, until recently there weren’t any used ones for sale, but farmers are desperate enough to sell their “extras.” A Ford from 1952 in good condition still has parts available and is easy to repair–and it has no objections to pulling a trailer. Not fast, but reliably. Having no fancy electronics, it is EMP proof. HOA tend to disapprove of them, unfortunately.

    Finally, for a couple of thousand you should be able to find an older Mercedes diesel, again with no fancy electronics, like a 240D. Diesel fuel stores well for lengthy periods, particularly with an additive. As OSA shows, the difficulty will be to keep “the authorities” from confiscating her, but with Executive Order 11921 the problem will be keeping the Feds from appropriating EVERYTHING they have a notion to. Cache stuff NOW, preferably some at your destination and some on your route there.

    An older diesel truck could do just as well or better, depending upon the size of your family, particularly with a camper top or even a cover. One of my regular readers suggests picking out a place well out in the boonies to become a squatter! Before long there would be a lot of land no one really laid claim to…so long as you have a source of water and a big, really good water filter we won’t be able to rely on power anyway. I chose the big Berkey (no, I don’t own stock) and also have stores of MMS and another chemical which will purify water with just drops of diluted crystals. Both also kill both bacteria and viruses! (Yes, really. Internally and externally.) Ordinary unscented bleach would be better than nothing, but my motto is “Prepare to thrive, not just survive.”

    The hard part is finding honorable, knowledgeable, useful, even-tempered people who will be worth what they cost to feed in terms of helping with the work and sentry duty. I know a dozen I’d love to have, not one closer than a thousand miles. Ah, Bill, why aren’t we neighbors?! Can you be bribed to relocate for 15 acres and shared pasture, woods, fishing, deer, wild hogs, and water?! Hey, that’s a $75,000-$150,000 hunk of land, depending upon what year it is! (At least it’s a good compliment.) I’ll throw in the “Vanity,” our 40 foot Grayhound motor home to live in while you build…your choice of horses…make you a pecan pie? Help with the home-schooling?

    We collect old motor homes (also pretty EMP proof) and travel trailers to use as “guest suites” supposing I find some folks within a couple of hundred miles of 77808 I’d be willing to trust my back to. If you think you might qualify, drop me a line at http://www.thetexasring.com (comment on any of my articles and it will come straight to me), and we’ll talk about it. A retired doctor or vet could have his pick of quarters! Vietnam vets given preference for the discipline and survival skills you learned, not your shooting. ROFL. I’m not a government, so I don’t need people who spray ammo around as though aiming a garden hose! Ugh…a dentist would be treated royally. Can you build, think, learn, pull your weight, recognize that at any given time someone is the expert and the leader, and we don’t vote on things more complicated than what’s for dinner, if we have the supplies for your choice? Everybody should have a specialty, but all have to follow sensible rules. Great grief, that bunch in Patriot nearly drove me crazy. When you want to rescue the citizens of a small town taken over by bikers you don’t stand around and argue and let girls vote until all can agree on a plan and only one little boy is still alive; those with military training plan the operation or decide it can’t be done. We don’t vote on how to build a goat house or repair a tractor engine. One of my greatest strengths is that I know when I’m a great analyst and THE authority on what supplies can be spared, and when I will be peon labor. You can’t afford to live in even a benign dictatorship, or chaos, either. If you can’t build a good team that works together it won’t matter how many supplies you have.

    I think the only sensible BOV is one of those that you keep pre-loaded and can drive away with quickly, not your standard transportation. My advice is to get out of town immediately after the first riot breaks out ANYWHERE, meaning pick up your purse and keys, your meds, the dog, and whatever extra food is lying around and hit the road in about 20 minutes. Don’t wait for your spouse, partially because you need 2 packed vehicles; have a destination, at least one rendezvous point a hundred miles out of the city, and don’t waste a moment trying to shop where you live. Keep kids out of school and call in sick if things look volatile. I don’t think cash (fiat money) will be good for more than 24 hours, if that, in case of EMP, suitcase nukes, or martial law. Silver coins will be better, but not much, and expect prices to skyrocket. I’m big on trade goods; Kroger’s has coffee on sale for $5/pound. Plan on swapping it by the small ziplock, and only for something you can eat or protect yourself with. Silver if you’ve got two years’ supplies. IF it all goes bad a .22 round you can get for less than a nickel now will be very tradeable, as will alcohol and tobacco. God help those who live in cities; the country will be bad enough. We, at least, can get cattle, dairy goats, hogs (bought or trapped), and chickens NOW–which means you need at least a meat saw, sausage grinder (at least 1800 watts) and stuffer, spices and casing, and the knowledge and materials to build a smoke house. If at ALL possible have at least a couple of big generators and fuel–propane or diesel. The tanks/barrels need to be buried to prevent confiscation or theft. Run the generator one hour out of every six; that will keep the freezers frozen and allow you to use your washing machine, dishwasher, and so forth. Constant AC? Dream on! Go sit in the woods with your feet in a bucket of water, and fish. Check military surplus; we found two 10K for the value of the trailer they’re on, one with 9 hours the other with 7.5! Find an old wood cook stove; they’re out there, as are old folks who can teach you to cook and bake on them. If you’re just getting started, go for the old motor home first, because it will be a palace when others are living in tent cities and ditches. You can probably get one for $100/running foot, and all you want to do is get to some nice, dense woods and lay very low for three to eight weeks, maybe. You won’t care about mileage and you don’t want to drive a thousand miles, probably under 100. Hunt NOW for a suitable spot even 20 miles outside the beltway; roads can be shut down so fast you won’t believe it. You MUST get outside the cordon fast. Don’t share ANYTHING, and keep what you have out of sight. As things get worse, babble cheerfully about family reunions or weddings if you have a full shopping cart; already the jealous are muttering like French peasants in 1795. Don’t try to shop “evenly.” When you find just what you want at a good price buy all they’ve got or all you can afford. Don’t shop with a spouse who tends to say, “That’s enough for now.” We aren’t shopping for “now.” We’re shopping for a time when all we have may be all we will ever have that we don’t grow or steal, and I don’t know how to steal things. I need a better answer to “What’s for dinner?” than “Whatever sort of MRE I can take away from an armed thug,” be he military or private. I adore my Charles, but he drives me crazy in Gander Mountain. Yes, I really DO want all of the space blankets they have now for three bucks. Yes, I really DO want all of the last of the 100% DEET that is on sale because the new bottles are 5-20%. How much ammo is enough? I dunno. Buy me “Cheaper than Dirt” and I’ll think about it. Maybe if we get a sporting goods store, too…or maybe not. Containers! Save every last plastic jug or bottle and top that comes your way. No, they aren’t good for long-term storage of water, but the time may come when you’d give anything for an improvised canteen or canvas tote…or could sell them to those who haven’t planned ahead. We don’t drink bottled water (having our own wells and the Berkey or soft drinks) but suppose you had pure water or goats’ or cows’ milk to trade. What would you put it in?

    If you know how to ride a bicycle (I don’t) one or more of those could come in handy. KNOWLEDGE! Books on everything from tanning hides to cutting up a beef critter along the dotted white lines to basic plumbing to how to do a tracheotomy to medicinal uses of herbs to making cheese–the last being a very easy thing to do with nothing more than fresh milk and vinegar. With the right enzymes you can make ANY kind of cheese! (Hey, we may have to live through TEOTWAWKI it but I refuse to do so without cheese, butter, and mushrooms–if I get around to ordering the spores.) Don’t forget oils and fats; you can starve to death by a stream teeming with fish without them. Butter will freeze indefinitely, and most oils do well if kept pretty cool. LOTS of vitamin C. The goats have now eaten six citrus trees two years in a row. Just where do you think you’ll get ascorbic acid when the 18-wheelers stop rolling? Oranges, limes, and lemons grow in Florida, California, and the Rio Grande valley. I’ve got to get someone to dig the root cellar I want; amazing what you can keep at about 60 degrees constant temperature–and that’s why we bought a small backhoe! One reason. Be innovative, and read your Craig’s List. Our little backhoe spent 900 hours digging graves and 40 hours with the second owner. 940 hours is almost new, although I think the previous operators worked by sound and impact, because it doesn’t look worth stealing. I like that in machinery. We bought a bucket truck–which the insurance company paid for with what they gave us for removing several tons of wood that fell on the roof. It was EASY with the right tool, and the enormous platform means we can put up a first class plywood, styrofoam, and Galvalume roof with what insurance paid to put on shingles! It has enormous amounts of locked storage, and a 40-bucket extension good for trimming trees or an observation post. Yes, we’re nuts, sort of, but how will you solve problems when you can’t just “call the man?” If we ever have to flee, the bucket truck will be part of the caravan. It’s heavy, diesel, and has one of the most powerful motors made. You can pick up an old school bus (running) for about $1500. Take the seats out and you could move everything that mattered in an emergency. Prepping isn’t just beans, bullets, and bandaids. It is the essential “What will I do if?” We don’t bother to register or insure any of these odd things because they never leave the place. If the world falls apart, do you suppose any cop is going to care if you have a valid inspection sticker? Maybe one will, but I doubt it. Signature chuckle…I wonder, sometimes, if I should paint the Blue Bird school bus to look like it belongs to a Mexican rock band! Hey, our cheerful neighbors from the South have promised open season in Arizona–as a start–if the immigration laws are enforced, and we have just a tad of trouble here in Texas. Your MIND is your most valuable survival tool, and NOW is when you have time to use it.

    Don’t worry about “expiration dates,” another Leftist ploy to destroy wealth. If a can doesn’t bulge and the contents don’t smell (things I have never seen in 70 years), simmer and eat them. A friend who went all out for Y2K is just now finishing up the last of the supplies he bought and ALL he lost was a few cans of (very acidic) tomato sauce that ate through the bottoms. My solution was to buy cases of spaghetti sauce back when they were a dollar a quart. True, it isn’t as tangy, but it is packed mostly in reusable glass jars and can be used as soup base, pizza sauce, and thrown in stews. Put in a little extra vinegar–and buy vinegar lavishly, plain, balsalmic, and apple cider. Spices! Can’t have enough; one of your big problems will be variety. Work out what your family really LIKES and concentrate on those. Charles and I adore field peas and sausage, which requires no refrigeration. We’re crazy about stuffed omelettes with our free range eggs, potatoes, garlic, onions, mushrooms, and jalapenos, all of which we can grow, and we have cheese and sausage to add to them. In times to come steak and baked may not be hard, but think of what it will take to make a first class hamburger! If I get organized and have the greenhouses built we can have tomatoes year around, but only if. Have YOU ever tried to bake a good crusty, chewy Kaiser roll? I haven’t. To my astonishment many of the house brand dried potato products these days are excellent, and quite inexpensive. (I’m half Irish and brood about not having potatoes.) Does anybody know how to make the equivalent of commercial sour cream? Imagine a baked potato without any. No!

    Put some money into research. The Wal*Mart “Great Value” Luncheon Meat, mid price, is the best I can find. Not slimy or too salty, like SPAM or the cheap brands, good cold as a sandwich, even, could be added to a scalloped potato mix or fried for breakfast. I’m very much down on the commercial freeze-dried products: too expensive, taste not much, and my idea of an “entree” isn’t a cup of beans with two tiny mystery meat “wienies.” Good deli tortellini and ravioli freeze well, but always buy cheese filled, not any with soy fillers. An old European trick: start with a pasta dish and then salad (supposing you’ve grown any) to take the edge off your hunger and you won’t mind so much if you only get two or three ounces of meat.

    You know what haunts me? That it will apart some September when it is very nearly a full year until the next harvest–and that only if you have seeds to plant, water, and land you can protect. Americans forget (if they even know) that 2% grow the food that 100% eat. Sure, you can grow onions in a few weeks IF you have onion sets, but it will be safer to go spend twenty bucks for a big container of dried onions at Sam’s. I’m also big on their EAS protein powder, available in chocolate and vanilla, about $33 to provide full nutrition for a very bored adult for a month, and the best tasting I could find. Mix it with any liquid, preferably fresh milk and egg yolks. (NEVER eat raw egg whites; they destroy biotin, an essential B vitamin.) Your local feed store carries Calves’ Milk Replacer, perfectly edible, for a lot less than powdered milk.

    Sorry to run on so, but this has been my 24/7 passion for nearly four years now, and if I gave you even one new idea that makes life easier and better “if,” it was worth your time to read it.

    Linda Brady Traynham

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