Don't know if this was posted but..
Link with pictures and views on guns/solar power hereBurlingame, Calif. -
It's easy to dismiss survivalists as lonely lunatics living in tin-foil covered caves, worrying themselves over nuclear strikes while they sit on piles of freeze-dried food and exotic armaments. Talk to James Rawles for a few minutes, though, and it becomes clear he's not the one who's living in a bubble. In fact, maybe the rest of us are.
Rawles is the very model of a modern post-millennial survivalist. Rather than mutter to himself in a bunker, the former army captain uses his blog to preach a kind of hyper-connected survivalism, swapping ideas with readers from all over the world and encouraging fat cubicle dwellers to get off their butts.
"A huge segment of the population doesn't even stop to think of where the water comes from when they turn on the tap, or where the electricity comes from when they flip a switch," Rawles says. "That's made our whole society incredibly dependent and incredibly vulnerable."
In Pictures: Tips For Surviving The Downturn
For Rawles, survivalism isn't about preparing for a post-apocalyptic future that may never arrive. It's about reconnecting with other people and embracing the skills needed to cope with the very real world that our grandparents and great-grandparents lived in. Rawles is one of a number of voices, including economist Gary North, who have long argued that the world we've built since then isn't as sturdy as we'd like to think.
And whether or not we're not on the brink of a world-wide depression, getting in touch with how grandpa did stuff could do us some good. "It's one of those things that crosses political lines," Rawles says. "Self-sufficiency is something that appeals to greenies and neo-conservatives."
Or anyone dwelling in an area prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, floods or fires. If you live in California, it's not a matter of whether a major temblor will strike, it's a matter of when. "To prepare only for a worst-case scenario is wrong thinking. It's those lesser scenarios that are far more likely, such as a wildfire," Rawles says, after a morning spent elk hunting near his rural home west of the Rockies. "By preparing for the worst-case scenario, you can take anything else in stride."
Against that backdrop, Rawles and like-minded bloggers can offer some practical--and surprising--advice. For starters: Don't do it alone. Sure, you should get basic gear like water filters and learn first aid. More important, however, is connecting with your neighbors.
Rawles, for example, doesn't hoard food so that he can have a one-year supply for himself. Rather, his goal is to have a three-month supply for four families. "As a Christian, I think it's my responsibility, my biblical responsibility, to provide for both my family and my neighbors to the best of my ability," Rawles says.
Call it Christian, communitarian or just old-fashioned.
Survival writer Joel Skousen recommends taking old-fashioned steps, like getting to know the neighbors and being ready to provide shelter to friends and family when disaster strikes their region. "Develop a network of like-minded people or relatives," Skousen says. "They can go in together on storing food supplies or having a generator."
The trend away from relying on friends and neighbors for goods and services and toward a far-flung global trading network that relies on smooth-running transportation systems and scanty inventories has created a system that's brittle and prone to break under stress.
Rawles points to Hurricane Katrina as an example of how quickly a major city can be cut off from food and water. "With modern grocery stores, literally what you see is what you get, there is no back room," Rawles says. "Every time there is a major disaster, we see the same thing over and over: People rush to the store, clean out the shelves, and people arrive the next day wondering what happened."
Clearly, it's up to families to provide a cushion for themselves, even if they're not worried about what Rawles likes to call "TEOTWAKI" or "The End Of The World As We Know It."
Start with clean water. Rawles recommends buying a good water filter, such as a compact Katadyn model that can be found in camping stores. If you own your own home, consider hooking the downspouts up to rain barrels. "Your average urbanite, or suburbanite, is not prepared to do that," Rawles says. "It's the kind of thinking that will get people killed."
But it's skills--not supplies--that will be most valuable in a crunch. Knowing how to administer first aid is just the start, Rawles argues. He also urges readers to develop traditional skills such as gardening, construction, livestock husbandry, food preservation and blacksmithing. "If people acquire them now, they will serve them tremendously in the future, regardless of what happens, even if they're just passing on these skills to future generations."
Or even if it's just a hobby that burns off enough fat to avoid that heart attack