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The Poor Woman's Survival Guide

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Purpose for this site is to provide the average person with information that will enhance their survival at the lowest cost.

During an emergency most survivalists mean leaving civilization, going into the woods and surviving off the fat of the land.
 
The land has no fat.  There are about 300,000,000 (including illegals) people living in America today.  If we all abandon the cities and head for the hills then your chances of surviving are reduced.
 
I don't know what your take on illegals is but it is irrelevant to the issue of survival.  They are here and they are either part of the problem or (hopefully) part of the solution.
 
I have made every effort to remain neutral on many issues as taking a stand on some issues will only cloud the main issue, which is survival.
 
For example, I refer to your adult partner as a significant other.  Yet in the remainder of the paragraph I assume that you are male and that your significant other is female.  If your partner is of the same sex as you, please do not take offense.
 
I have made up a ficticious family to help explain how a family of four should act in order to survive.  They are John (the father), Kathy (the mother), Sara (the daughter) and Samuel or Sam (the son).
 
It is not my intention to make an issue of people's sexual orientation.  The majority of adults are heterosexual and it is difficult to write an all inclusive sentence let alone an entire book.
 
If you intend on heading for the hills in case of social or economic collapse then this book is not for you.  You need to sign up for a survival class near where you live.
 
Ideology does not produce food.  Farmers produce food.  Anything that interferes with the farmers production or distribution of food will become part of the problem and not part of the solution.
 
If I believe an ideology interferes with the production and distribution of food then I will state my position and why.
 
This web site is designed mostly for families who are poor and cannot afford to buy survival gear.  They do not have the capacity to head for the hills, or they have decided they are not hill people and do not wish to leave their homes.
 
The ideal situation is where people who live in a stand alone home on a septic system with well water.  The well water may become contaminated and undrinkable but their sanitation needs will be addressed.  They will have water to flush with and the toxic waste products produced by their bodies will not polute the environment.
 
If you live in a home that had a septic system but you are  now conected to the sewer.  Consider installing a valve that you can turn to put you back on the septic system during an emergency.
 
Storing drinking water and other essential items will be facilitated by being able to live in their house no matter what happens.
 
For example, if they have a basement they can store barrels of drinking water and other essentials necessary for their families survival.
 
If all of us survival nuts can get each person to put away just $10 worth of non-perishable food then we will have increased America's food security by $3 billion.
 
During most emergencies food is important.  However, sanitation and potable (drinking) water are more important.  People usually have a week or two of food in their pantry and refrigerators.  They can live on this food while waiting for help.
 
When a disaster disrupts the water supply then most people have no drinking water whatsoever.  They will need at least a gallon of drinking water per person per day.  If they have no drinking water stored then they will resort to drinking unsanitarty water.  The majority of victims from most emergencies are the result of drinking unsanitary water which fosters water bourne diseases.
 
During any emergency poor sanitation and an inadequate supply of drinking water will kill more people than starvation.
 
When will American's need the food and other essentials that they have stored?  Hopefully, never.  Does that mean storage is a waste of time?  No, it means that sensible people do not want to use the storage items unless disaster strikes.
 
Personally, I do not believe that a famine will occur in my lifetime (I am 64 years old).  Eventually, it will occur.  Our nation is filling up with people and food is being imported.  Cat food from China, Grapes from Chile, vegetables from Mexico, fish products for Thailand, and beef from Argentina are but a few.
 
More and more of our food is being produced in food factories and fish farms.  Beef, ham and chickens are being raised in food factories.  Cat fish, lobsters and salmon are being raised in fish farms.
 
It is more economical to convert grain and corn into protein in fish farms and food factories.  How long will this continue?
 
Are you old enough to remember when America was self sufficient in energy.  At some point we out grew our domestic energy supplies and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) emerged in 1960.  The organization did not flex its muscles until the Yom Kippur war in 1973.  The Arab states in OPEC boycotted Isreal and they would not sell their oil to Isreal.
 
The average American was shocked that OPEC could dictate to us and to use the oil weapon against an ally (Isreal) of the United States.
 
We have been fishing down the food chain for more than a decade.  As each species is fished to the point of extinction the price of that fish goes up and we then begin to overfish the next species on the list.
 
In May 1993, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that "one-quarter of the planet's biodiversity is in danger of extinction in the next 30 years". FAO used strong words to describe the threats posed by commercial fisheries to the planet's valuable pool of marine biological diversity:

"...the over-intensive use of modern technology and search for short-term benefits, coupled with continuous government support for otherwise uneconomic production, has had a devastating impact on many important fish stocks. Commercial fleets have driven some species to commercial extinction and sometimes close to biological extinction, destroying rural ecosystems, such as coral reefs and seagrass beds."

What will happen as more and more of our food is imported?  The cost of food will increase.  The companies that are exporting food to our country will export it to other nations who can better afford it.  In order to pay for our imported food we have to borrow the money.

At present the Chinese and Indian sub-continent are loaning us the money to maintain our standard of living.
 
Someday our credit will be stopped.  Our food security will vanish.  But, don't worry, the people in Washington D.C. and the millionaires on Wall Street will be able to remain gluttons.  Grain that can feed the hungry will be used to fatten cattle so that the robber barrons can maintain their standard of living.  It is you and your loved ones who will pay the price.
 
During the last depression (1930) the people who had money were able to maintain their standard of living while those who were living in Hoovervilles literaly starved.  They had enough food to survive on but not enough to live comfortably.
 
Today famine has been delayed by the green revolution and by factory farming.  Factory farming converts feed to animal protein more efficiently than feed lots and the open range.
 
However, a natural emergency could occur anytime.  Many of the natural emergencies that occur in the US are not regarded as emergencies by those who live outside of the affected area.
 
For example, flooding is a common occurance in this country yet many people who have never experienced a flood do not believe that floods are a significant danger to people.  Yet many floods leave a trail of death and devastation in their wake.
 
I talked to a friend and asked her where her car was.  She said that she last saw it under 30 feeot of water in Georgia.  Then I remembered that Georgia had floods that year.
 
When, or if, you buy health insurance does that mean you want to get sick?  Hopefully not.  Buying health insurance before you get sick makes sense and putting essential items away for a rainy day makes just as much sense.
 
Inflation may drive you into poverty faster than you think.  Last month I bought 5 boxes of non-fat powdered milk.  Tonight I bought another box.  The first five boxes cost a little over $6 each, the sixth box cost over $7.  Inflation had raised the price of the box by nearly $1.
 
How many times does the storage of essential items need to save your life, your significant other's and your children's lives to make it worth while.  Once during your lifetime is sufficient, never is better.
 
Emergencies usually come in one of two varieties or a combination of the two.  They are either natural or man made emergencies.
 
Natural emergencies, such a hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanic eruption, usually last only a few days.  Restoration of power, water and sanitation may not resume for months.  You should be aware of the possible emergencies that are relevant to your area.
 
For example, on the east coast hurricanes and unusually cold or hot weather are the most common emergencies.  California and much of the southwest have wild fires.
 
In the Puget Sound area, where I live, we have volcanic eruption, earthquakes and tsunamis.  Extreme cold does not happen often and it usually does not last too long.
 
Alaska has extreme cold and earthquakes.  A disruption of heating supplies can cause severe discomfort and if prolonged can result in loss of life.
 
Natural diasters are relativley easy to survive.  They tend to be short and violent, such as Katrina or a Tsunami.  Yes, there was loss of life in both cases.  The loss of life could have been reduced by preparing in advance for what should have been foreseen.
 
In the Big Easy (New Orleans) most people knew the dikes would not withstand a strong hurricane.  Few, if any, prepared for the inevitable.  Particularly those who lived below the level of the dikes.
 
I helped to restore homes in the Big Easy about a year after Katrina.  We went to the ninth ward and we were suprised at the destruction.  Most of the homes that were made of wood were utterly destroyed.
 
The homes made of brick or concrete survived best.  They were destroyed inside by the water but the exterior survived.  People who lived in wooden structures should have left the area.  Where to, you ask.  Before the hurricane they should have checked out places on high ground where they could have stayed in case the dikes failed.  Such as in relatives homes or their backyards, parking garages and other solid structures.
 
Being dependent on the government in case of disaster is no substitute for self preparedness.  For example, public transportation failed the poor miserably in the Big Easy.  The mayor reportedly abandoned the city to tend to his own survival and his family.
 
Even if the government devises a public transportation response to the next disaster you still cannot depend on the response happening.
 
The government can order all bus drivers to report to their bus garages during the next disaster but will they report as ordered?
 
Probably not, they will try to protect their families first.  Can you blame them?  If they are asked why they didn't report to their assigned garages during the emergency they will probably say that they tried but that it was too dangerous to travel to their assigned place.
 
Will the courts buy their excuse, more than likely.
 
The Tsunami should also have been foreseen.  The volcanos in that part of the world are unstable.  Earthquakes are common and often result in Tsunamis.  Tsunami's have occurred in the past and they will continue to occur in the future with loss of life.
 
The people in the low lying areas should have learned the forewarnings of a tidal wave.  Unnaturally low tides are one forewarning.  Instead of heading inland or for solid structures they went down to the beach to catch the fish.
 
Solid structures could have been built in the event of a tidal wave.  For example, neighborhood meeting places could have been built out of concrete so that in case of a tidal wave an alarm could have sounded and people could have gone to the meeting place.
 
Man made diasters are more difficult to survive.  They may be accompanied by civil war (such as Darfur or Rwanda) or induced drought through the destruction of the environment.
 
Today we have the threat of nuclear terrorism.  A fanatical group may get a nuclear device and ship it to a large American city on board a container ship.  It would be timed to detonate after it arrives in the city's harbor.
 
It will probably be a dirty bomb and the nuclear fall out could last for years.  Your choices are simple.  Try to drive away from the nuclear fallout or remain in Situ.  If you are on a chocked highway and the dirty nuclear cloud follows in your direction then you will have no protection.
 
If you remain in Situ and the dirty nuclear cloud passes over your home then you will be breathing the nuclear fallout for months.
 
Man made emergiencies usually last for months or even years.  The majority of the famines during the twentieth century, that have killed many thousands or even millions of people, were mostly man made.
 
The last famine that I know of was in North Korea, it lasted from 1995 to 1998.  It killed an estimated one million people.  Mostly the elderly and children.
 
The North Koreans blame their food failures on nature.  South Korea and North Korea occupy a small peninsula.  The natural problems that resulted in massive starvation in North Korea had little or no effect on South Korea.  South Korea sent boat loads of food to help stave off a worse famine in the North.
 
The next famine is predicted to be in Ethiopia, again.  Ethiopia had a famine from 1982 to 1984.  Most of the people who perished died from starvation and water bourne diseases.
 
Allegedly, the bureaucrats in the capitol used some of the food aid to make rice wine while refugees starved.
 
This website will help you survive natural diasters and man made emergencies.
 
For most people, rich and poor alike, their best chance for survival are in situ.  Stay where you are at.  The advantages usually out weigh the disadvantages.
 
If you prepare for possible natural or man made disasters and you stay put your chances of surviving are quite good. 
 
Many self proclaimed survival guru's are selling survival equipment.  Avoid them unless you want to make them rich.
 
My e-mail is sheilalr@lycos.com
 
I have nothing for sale.

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