Posts Tagged Disaster

The Most Often Forgotten Survival Preparations

via: Alt-Market
by: Brandon Smith
July 31, 2012

I think it’s safe to say with some conviction that in the year of 2012 the concept of survival prepping is NOT an alien one to most Americans.  When National Geographic decides there is a viable market for a prepper TV show (no matter how misrepresentative of true preppers it may be), when Walmart starts stocking shelves with long term emergency food storage kits, when survivalism in general becomes one of the few growing business markets in the midst of an otherwise disintegrating economy; you know that the methodology has gone “mainstream”.  There is a noticeable and expanding concern amongst Americans that we are, indeed, on the verge of something new and unfortunate.

Is it the big bad hoodoo of the soon to expire Mayan Calendar?  For a few, maybe, but for the majority of us, no.  That jazz is a carnival sideshow designed to make the prepping culture appear ridiculous.  We don’t need to believe in magical prophecies to know that there is a catastrophic road ahead; all we have to do is look at the stark realities of our current circumstances.  It does not take much awareness anymore to notice looming fiscal volatility, social unrest, the potential for unrestrained war, and the totalitarian boldness of our government.  I’ll take the wrath of Quetzalcoatl any day over the manure storm that is approaching us currently.

With some estimating a count of 3 million prepper families and growing in the U.S., the motto of “beans, bullets, and band-aids” is finding a home amongst legions.  However, being closely involved in the survivalist movement during the past six years and speaking with literally thousands of preppers, it has become clear to me that we still have a long journey ahead of us before we can claim true efficiency and mastery.

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Survival Basics: Preparing for a Grid Down Power Outage

via: ActivistPost
by: Gaye Levy
July 26, 2012

Recent storms in my own area reminded me that power outages resulting in a grid down can happen anytime, to anybody, anywhere. Some outages are planned, some are the result of mother nature kicking up a storm, and some are the unexpected result of a natural or man-made crisis. Whatever the reason, there are various measures you should take now to insure your comfort and safety when the power blows.

Some of the basic items you need to have on hand to get through a power outage are quite simple and are things you probably have on hand:

  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Candles
  • Matches
  • Blankets

This is a very short list, relatively speaking and unless you have been living in a cocoon in Siberia, chances are that these items have already been set aside so that they will be readily available when the lights blink off. And for a three or four hour outage, you will be just fine with these items.

But what if the power is lost for a longer period of time – for whatever reason – how will you cook your food? How will you keep warm? How will you insure your safety in dark? These are just a few of the issues you will face if there is an extended power outage. Add infants, the elderly or the infirm to the mix and you have a big problem on your hands.

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Dangerous levels of Fukushima radiation headed for West Coast, say scientists

via: NaturalNews
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
By: Ethan A. Huff

[NaturalNews] In the immediate wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that occurred in Japan last year, radioactive releases of epic proportions flooded the waters of the Pacific Ocean, where they now flow adrift. And even though more than a year has passed since the time of the first releases, some scientists believe the worst is yet to come as these water-borne radioactive plumes head for the U.S. West Coast.

Russia Today (RT) reports that a team of scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s (NOAA) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory recently constructed some models designed to assess the impact of Fukushima radiation over the longer term. To do this, they simulated ocean currents in the Pacific, and evaluated how radiation would both disperse and travel.

They discovered that, within the next few years, the worst of Fukushima’s radiation releases will make its way across the Pacific and hit the American coastline. So-called “packets” of radiation are also expected to continue forming as the larger plumes travel via the ocean currents, which could result in highly radioactive waves of ocean water striking West Coast beaches in the very near future.

“Within one year, it will have spread over the entire western half of the North Pacific, and in five years we predict it will reach the U.S. West Coast,” says Claus Boning, co-author of the study, about the Fukushima radiation releases. “The levels of radiation that hit the U.S. coast will be small relative to the levels released by Fukushima. But we cannot accurately estimate what those levels will be because we do not know for certain what was released by Fukushima.”

Leaked – Fukushima clean-up crews covered up true radiation readings

And the world may never know just how much radiation was, and potentially continues to be, released by Fukushima, as a recently leaked recording verifies that Fukushima plant workers were encouraged to lie about radiation readings at the plant. According to RT, clean-up workers were given lead boxes which they were told to use as “shields” to block radiation readings in order to make them appear lower than they really were.

This obviously insinuates that radiation readings were far higher at the Fukushima plant than the world was told they were, and that these levels more than likely far exceeded the maximum exposure levels considered to be safe for plant workers. The company accused of the cover-up, Build-up, later admitted that workers were encouraged to wear these deceptive radiation shields.

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55 Percent Of Americans Believe That The Government Will Take Care Of Them If Disaster Strikes

via: TheAmericanDream
July 23, 2012

If a major emergency happened in the United States, do you have faith that the government would take care of you?  Amazingly, even after all of the examples to the contrary that we have seen in recent years, a solid majority of all Americans actually believe that the government will be there for them when things hit the fan.  According to a new survey conducted by the Adelphi University Center for Health Innovation, 55 percent of Americans believe that the authorities will come to their rescue when disaster strikes.  Sadly, most Americans still view the government as a “nanny state” that has both the capability and the willingness to take care of them from the cradle to the grave.  Most Americans still have faith that the government will come through for them when they need it the most.  But all we have to do is look back at what happened during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to realize what a crock of baloney that is.  Hurricane Katrina was a disaster that was limited to a relatively small geographic area, and yet we all saw how the response of the federal government was a complete and utter failure.  So what is going to happen someday if there is a nationwide disaster that stretches on for months or even years?  Do you really believe that the federal government will be there for you?

How is the federal government going to take care of more than 300 million Americans in the event of a major financial collapse?

How is the federal government going to rescue more than 300 million Americans if a killer pandemic sweeps the nation?

How is the federal government going to make sure that more than 300 million Americans are safe and secure if a cyber attack cripples our power grid or takes down the entire Internet?

How is the federal government going to get food and water to more than 300 million Americans if an EMP blast takes down most of the electronics in this country?

It would be easy to go on and on discussing various nationwide emergency scenarios.  All over the globe the number of earthquakes is increasing, and it would be easy to imagine an absolutely massive earthquake on the west coastor along the New Madrid fault in the middle of the country leaving tens of millions of Americans in need of basic assistance.

What would the federal government do in a situation like that?

Or how would the government handle a full-blown eruption of a major volcano in the Pacific northwest?

If the federal government could not even come close to handling Hurricane Katrina, then how in the world are they going to rescue us from something far worse?

Sadly, most Americans just roll along as if everything is going to be just fine.  Just check out some of the other numbers from the survey mentioned at the top of this article….

-44 percent of all Americans do not have first-aid kits in their homes.

-48 percent of all Americans do not have any emergency supplies stored up.

-53 percent of all Americans do not have a 3 day supply of nonperishable food and water in their homes.

Essentially, what we have got is about half the country that is completely and totally unprepared.

About half the nation is sitting back and relying on the government to make all of the preparations.

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The Price Of Corn Hits A Record High As A Global Food Crisis Looms

via: TheEconomicCollapseBlog
July 20, 2012

Are you ready for the next major global food crisis?  The price of corn hit an all-time record high on Thursday.  So did the price of soybeans.  The price of corn is up about 50 percent since the middle of last month, and the price of wheat has risen by about 50 percent over the past five weeks.  On Thursday, corn for September delivery reached $8.166 per bushel, and many analysts believe that it could hit $10 a bushel before this crisis is over.  The worst drought in the United States in more than 50 years is projected to continue well into August, and more than 1,300 counties in the United States have been declared to be official natural disaster areas.  So how is this crisis going to affect the average person on the street?  Well, most Americans and most Europeans are going to notice their grocery bills go up significantly over the coming months.  That will not be pleasant.  But in other areas of the world this crisis could mean the difference between life and death for some people.  You see, half of all global corn exports come from the United States.  So what happens if the U.S. does not have any corn to export?  About a billion people around the world live on the edge of starvation, and today the Financial Times ran a front page story with the following headline: “World braced for new food crisis“.  Millions upon millions of families in poor countries are barely able to feed themselves right now.  So what happens if the price of the food that they buy goes up dramatically?

You may not think that you eat much corn, but the truth is that it is in most of the things that we buy at the grocery store.  In fact, corn is found in about 74 percent of the products we buy in the supermarket and it is used in more than 3,500 ways.

Americans consume approximately one-third of all the corn grown in the world each year, and we export massive amounts of corn to the rest of the world.  Unfortunately, thanks to the drought of 2012 farmers are watching theircorn die right in front of their eyes all over the United States.

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Titanic Myths and the End of Consumer Capitalism

The Intel Hub
By M.N. Gordon
March 20, 2012

Next month marks the 100-year anniversary of the Titanic’s star-crossed demise into the frigid waters of the North Atlantic Ocean.  To commemorate the occasion, the April edition of National Geographic features a cover story on the grand ocean liner and its untimely end.

Here at the Economic Prism we’re always on the lookout for allegories that can help explain the world we live in…particularly, the post-2008 dollar standard era of U.S. consumer capitalism.  Clearly, the sinking of the Titanic is a rich source of metaphors.  Consider the following offered by National Geographic…

“Something else, beyond human lives, went down with the Titanic: An illusion of orderliness, a faith in technological progress, a yearning for the future that, as Europe drifted toward full-scale war, was soon replaced by fears and dreads all too familiar to our modern world.

‘“The Titanic disaster was the bursting of a bubble,”’ said Titanic film writer, director, and producer, James Cameron.  ‘“There was such a sense of bounty in the first decade of the 20th century.  Elevators!  Automobiles!  Airplanes!  Wireless radio!  Everything seemed so wondrous, on an endless upward spiral.  Then it all came crashing down.”’

Surely, for the thinking man, the Titanic provides ample instruction.  More on this in just a moment.  But first, a review of the present…

Oil Price Yo-Yo

Over the weekend we paid $4.37 per gallon for low octane gas.  Does that seem a tad steep to you?  It does to us…and a whole lot of others…

According to the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index released last Friday, confidence among U.S. consumers declined in March for the first time in seven months.  The sharp rise in gas prices appears to be the main cause for the sudden change of heart.  Following publication of the sentiment data stocks went limp.  In fact, for the first time in seven days the DOW didn’t go up, it went down.

No doubt, gas prices are painful.  The AAA Fuel Gauge Report notes that they’ve jumped a whopping 18 percent since December…bringing the national average for a gallon of regular to $3.83.  But that’s nothing…  In California gas is now $4.35 a gallon.  In Alaska it’s $4.24.  And in Hawaii it’s $4.48.

Also last Friday, the Labor Department reported the consumer price index – the main inflation gauge – rose 0.4 percent.  This marks the largest increase in consumer prices in 10 months and clocks inflation at 4.8 percent on an annualized basis.  The main culprit for the jump in prices, of course, is gas, which accounted for more than 80 percent of the rise.  Unfortunately, rising gas prices are a nasty occurrence…

Everyone loves it when the index funds in their 401K go up.  Similarly, everyone loves it when their house’s value goes up.  But no one loves it when gas prices go up.

Rising gas prices act as a secondary tax on the economy.  The higher prices withdraw money from other consumer goods and services.  When gas prices inflate enough, they ultimately crash the economy…driving down demand and resetting gas prices lower.

If you remember, in July 2008, just before the global financial system imploded, oil prices hit a record peak of $145 per barrel.  By the end of the year oil prices collapsed to just $30 per barrel.  Now, like a yo-yo, oil has run back up to $107 per barrel.

Titanic Myths and the End of Consumer Capitalism

Obviously, the boom and bust cycle of oil prices is remarkably destructive to the economy.  Yet it is perpetuated by the Fed’s efforts to preserve the myth of U.S. consumer capitalism…that economic growth supported by endless debt growth can both increase forever.  Here’s what we mean…

The U.S. Government, like most governments, has been running budget deficits practically nonstop for nearly 50 years.  In fact, they’ve been spending more than they tax for so long they’ve managed to run the national debt up to over $15.5 trillion.  Throw unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Prescription Drugs, and Medicare into the mix and the debt balloons up over $118 trillion.

Since the early 1980s U.S. consumers took the exemplar of their government – and the seemingly endless supply of cheap credit from the Federal Reserve – and racked up debts all over town.  Economists cheered the consumer’s abundant contribution to GDP growth.  Yet no one paused to consider the consumers were spending themselves broke…

Why save money when you can spend it?  Why squirrel away some nuts for a rainy day when the sun always shines?  Why accumulate wealth when you can spend your way to riches?  Why just have your cake when you can both have it and eat it too?

“Myths and legends die hard in America,” observed Hunter S. Thompson.

Alas, whether we like it or not, all good things must come to an end.  Following the financial crisis of 2008, government debt skyrocketed in earnest while the economy sagged.  This parting of ways between debt and economic growth cannot be overcome.  In other words, a trend that could not last forever has come to an end.

Like the Titanic after it struck the iceberg, the dollar standard era of U.S. consumer capitalism is doomed.  The myth that an economy can borrow and spend its way to prosperity is resisting its hard death.  But sooner or later the stern will snap and the whole giant edifice will tumble and corkscrew down until it collides with the seafloor.

[MN Gordon (send him email) is the editor of the Economic Prism.  Visit Economic Prism.  The Economic Prism is published by Direct Expressions LLC.  Subscribe Today to the Economic Prism E-Newsletter at]


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