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Survival in Various Situations


Survival Requirements:
• Water
• Shelter
• Fire
• Food
• Emergency Medicine and First Aid Considerations
• Self Protection

Water (it weighs approximately 8 pounds/gallon)

• Drinking: From two quarts/day/person under ideal conditions (cool, no travel,

humid, no wind, with healthy people) to two gallons/day/person under adverse
conditions (any of the above). Extreme conditions may require even more
drinking water.
• Preparing food: plan on one quart/day/person
• Washing: At least one quart/person/day. Re use as appropriate on lesser tasks.
Re distill or boil, or throw out on dry land if it becomes irrecoverable.
• Where you get it:
o Homes: Go to lowest water tap in house, drain water from pipes by
opening highest taps one at a time (five to ten gallons/house).
 Toilet tanks: generally potable unless some kind of sanitizer in
tank. Do not drink if sanitizing device is in tank, even if it looks
used up! Uncontaminated toilet tank water can also be used for
food preparation. If "sanitized", use this water for washing, fire
fighting, etc.
 Toilet bowls: NEVER drink this water! It can be used for
washing (not wounds or open skin), fire fighting, plant growth,
cooling, etc.
 Hot water tanks: This is generally safe to drink, but bad tasting.
A tank can hold twenty gallons or more. Hook up a clean
garden hose to the bottom of the tank, open the cock (faucet)
and open the faucets on top.
o Cached water: You should store as much fresh water as you can,
ideally thirty gallons per person minimum. Store in clean, full
containers of 1-5 gallon capacity. Dump, air dry, and refill containers
every 90 days before the disaster, and you will have a month's supply
of drinking water for your family. Some families will abandon their
homes. Look for their stored water.
o Public buildings: Generally same as homes, except that many public
buildings will have higher pressures due to their height, so use caution.

Note: Many public buildings remove tap handles; you may have to
bring a vise grip pliers or a hacksaw and other tools. If you cut off a
tap, or cut into a pipe, you may get more water than you bargained for,
so be ready to catch large quantities, and have a tapered plug ready for
the hole(s).
o Outdoors: Always purify the water before drinking or using it for food
preparation (purification tablets, boiling al least five minutes, iodine,
Note: Surface water is usually more polluted than underground water.
Do not be fooled by "pure" looking streams or lakes!
• Purifying water: There is no safe way to remove some contaminants (e.g.
nuclear fallout, some chemical agents). These procedures should be used for
all cases when the water is not known to be safe:
o Distilling: this is the best method to recover clean water, provided the
equipment is clean. See figure 1 [which is not currently available]
(creating a solar still), or build from available pots and pipes for more
permanent installation. Tastes fine, and is as free of chemicals,
bacteria, viruses, etc., as is the equipment used.
o Solar still: Dig a hole 3X2 on a side and 3X2 deep. Set heavy plastic
(4mil+) over the hole, anchor the edge with rocks, place one rock in
the center over the cup, fill pit with wet leaves. Use drinking tube to
avoid having to dismantle.

These methods will kill bacteria, but will not affect nuclear fallout, and will
not generally affect poisons:

o Water purification tablets: (Source: Camping stores, discount stores

in camping section.) These kill bacteria, make the water taste funny.
Use per directions.
Note: Do not open the package containing the tablets until you need
These tabs deteriorate with age and humidity, and opening the original
package "starts the clock" on deterioration. For better taste, treat, then
filter the water, then shake it up. Let it stand fifteen minutes or so,
shake, and drink.
o Boiling: filter after boiling at least five minutes on a heavy rolling boil.

Shelter (you need 10 square feet/person minimum)

Shelter can be found in your own home (in a small area insulated from the rest of the
house to ease in heating) or in other buildings. Improvised shelters can be built from
available materials or carried for use when needed (tents tarps).

Requirements: keep occupants dry eliminate wind, insulate (block or retain heat)
allow sanitation and hygiene.

Secondary requirements: Provide security from detection and/or invasion.

Homes: Best results achieved when you remember that this is not a "house" (complete
system of shelter and convenience) but a shelter only. You must not take any
"system" (heat water toilet) for granted and must be ready at any time to take over
those functions.

Immediately upon determining the need:

1. Construct outdoor sanitation (latrine) in a location which will not contaminate

your water supply. A slit latrine a ditch a foot deep (deeper is better) and as
long as you can make it will suffice, provided you bury all solid wastes every
2. Insulate the smallest room you can all live in or the smallest room which
contains a working fireplace (if you will be able to use it). Seal all doors but
one, seal and cover all windows & heating vents.
3. Bring in all bedding and food. keep firewood covered and outdoors. Take an
inventory of all survival items (water food medical supplies and prescriptions
batteries radios matches tools firearms and ammunition blankets sleeping
4. Assign areas for each family member to care for and determine The common
area. Assign fire extinguishers to all appropriate members.
5. Assign common items to common area, individuals' items to their areas, and
remove other (non-essential) items to another area of the house.
6. List items which will need to go with you, if you would need to leave. Include
sleeping bags, medical supplies, a "survival kit," and at least three days' worth
of food and water (and plan to take as much as you can carry!). Pack these
items for rapid evacuation, & don't use them, or use them only after all other
supplies are gone.
7. Plan to establish communication with others who would help. Work with them
to use passwords for one another. Determine what your neighbors have
available, which they would be willing to share (special tools, extra medical
supplies, communications equipment, batteries), and work with them to
develop a list for each other.
Never steal from a neighbor! Always work out a payment of some kind!
8. Establish a regrouping point for your neighbors, so that, if you are forced to
leave, you will be able to link each other.
9. Establish what you can count on each other to bring to the rendezvous.
Establish a secondary rendezvous, in the event that the primary location is

Other buildings:

You will be trespassing here, so you must determine that your stay will be a safe one.
Landowners, police, and fellow trespassers will have to be accommodated; or you
must hide.

You will be limited in what you can bring by what you can carry, so, if there is time,
perform steps 3 and 6, above.

Sanitation is a primary requirement, so establish your own, and inform and help
others to pursue that goal with you. If conditions become septic, you will all die.

Using rapport built when addressing the sanitation issue, develop a plan with the
others to share whatever items you are willing to share (get guarantees before you
give up anything).

Find out what other resources (water, food, fuel, medicine) are nearby who controls
them and if there are hostiles in the neighborhood; and what threat they constitute.
Plan for the common defense if necessary (see appropriate sections). Follow step 8

Set up details to get food to stand watch to care for babies and the sick. Children can
help in "exploring " ( in groups) if the area is safe enough. Their perspective is

Establish rules of inheritance: Have each household prepare its will to reduce
squabbling when someone dies or disappears.

Plan for whatever outcome look likely: Rescue, invasion, rising waters. These plans
established before the ultimate crisis will be better made & the planning process helps
camaraderie & efficiency.


Shelter is readily available nearly everywhere from construction sites in The cities to
the plains. Natural features should be used wherever safe. Embankments, hillsides,
caves, forested areas they all offer abundant shelter. The real considerations are for
water food and secrecy (if detection is to be a problem).

Nearly anything can be a shelter. Make sure it keeps you dry out of the wind and
provides a spot to keep warm (or out of the sun). A basic shelter and a fire can feel
very much like "home" no matter how rustic.

Considerations: Location should be safe from natural disasters

Stay out of river and creekbeds whether they are full or dry regardless of season.
Weather is unpredictable; and man made disasters (dams collapsing) are always

Mines are dangerous. They often are filled with noxious gases, poison water and
freefalls. Unless the mine is scouted by someone knowledgeable, don't even go in.

Caves can be good places to find shelter. Make sure that the cave cannot be flooded.
If you are in danger from others, be sure that you can defend the cave's entrance from
direct (ballistic) and indirect (smoke, gas, grenade) attack. Also, everybody knows
that caves are good shelter, so expect to have to cooperate with others.

Caves are often used by animals and children, and often are filthy.

Clean them out, one area at a time if necessary, but do not let a cave stay filthy! That
invites disease, and the critters which lived there will feel still at home if their mess
isn't disturbed.

Trees may be felled (or already fallen), and these can anchor a good lean to. Though
not as water-proof as a cave, they are clean, and can be made quite cozy with boughs
or a tarp. The lean to design effectively uses reflected heat from a fire, if discovery is
not a problem.

Tents are good temporary shelter, and should be part of the home evacuation kit. they
can be pitched nearly anywhere, are dry, relatively windproof, secure, and can be
camouflaged if necessary.

Stakeless designs are preferred.

Other items can provide good shelter: overturned canoes, boats, sheets of plywood,
roofing material, shower curtains, panels from autos (hoods, doors, trunk lids), or
entire abandoned autos can be put to good temporary use. Just get dry, get warm, and
have a drink of water, and you're ready for another day!

References abound. One favorite, which has good information especially about
mountaineering, is US Army Field Manual FM 31 72, "MOUNTAIN OPERATIONS".


Have ready at least three different means of creating fire ready at all times..
Several methods are mentioned below. You must practice with all these methods!
Simply having a slick, rock, and a bow will not be enough, if you don't know how to
use them under adverse conditions!

Getting a light will not be enough if you do not know how to shelter the flame and
create a good fire lay. Practice!

• Matches: These should be in a waterproof container. Waterproof matches are

a good idea, too. The "strike anywhere" matches, regular and extended
("fireplace") matches are a good idea.
• Lighter: Sealed lighters (non-refillable) are good because they're full (at least
if you don't use them!). They're bad at altitude because they are extremely
flammable, even explosive. The fillable lighters (e.g., Zippo) are great if
they're full. Empty, they are good flint and steel. Better than nothing, but not
• Magnesium fire starters: These are commercially available, and produce a
hot flame by burning magnesium cut from a block, then sparked by striking
flint and steel (flint included). They require a lot of shaving, and the flame is
• Steel wool: Using 0000 steel wool and a 9 volt battery will always start strips
of paper on fire, if you blow on it enough. (You can use an SOS pad and a car
battery instead. Just have the kindling ready!)
• Flint and steel: Generates sparks. You must practice a lot with this method.
Works well to light fumes.
• Bow, stick, rock, and block: This is the old Indian fire starting trick. If you
practice enough, you can make this one work, too. Probably toughest of these
listed methods.
• Lens and sunlight: This method is fairly easy, provided you can count on
sunlight, and have plenty of dry tinder, when you need a fire. Many lenses can
be used: binoculars, photo lenses, rifle scope.

Note: It is good to have accelerants (fire "cream", small quantities of gasoline,

alcohol) available to use if your fire starting method is marginal, or if conditions are
terrible, or if an unskilled member needs to start a fire on his own. A handy item to
carry is a bunch of the "trick" birthday candles which are hard to blow out. These will
remain lit under fairly bad conditions, until you can get other fire going.


Food is essential, especially for the mind's well-being. First, some hints for when
you're hungry:

• Suck on a rock. Find a clean rock, close your eyes, and imagine a great feast.
In your mind, savor each morsel of each course, turning the rock over and over
in your mouth.
• Have a sip of water, with or without your rock. (Don't swallow the rock!)
Imagine a different feast, or maybe a frozen treat.
• Graze. Try a little greenery, or some fiber.
• Remember that most Americans carry twenty percent or more of their body
weight in fat. This will last a long lime, generally a month or so (with zero
food intake). You'll feel weak, and be grumpy without any food; and people
with existing health problems (diabetes, ulcers, hypoglycemia) will be in a bad
way, so it is best to stockpile and cache before the problem, and locate food as
soon as shelter, water, and fire are attained.


Pile up as much food as your cupboards will hold. Concentrate on non-perishable,

non-processed, high calorie and high protein foods.

It is OK to stock your refrigerator and freezer, but remember, when the power goes
off, you will have a maximum of two days (maybe with no way to cook) in which to
use your refrigerated food. Rotate your food stocks! Eat the oldest food first.

Caching food:

In every food cache, include a large container (unopened) of high potency multiple
vitamins. Take one every other day. Include a carefully wrapped container of salt. Not
only is it good for cooking and preserving, it may eventually make a good medium of
exchange (money substitute). Foods for caching need to be capable of being left alone
for extended periods (a year or more).

Make sure that these foods and their packages are of the highest quality, with no
opened bags or containers, which will attract critters and allow molds to spread.

Cache carefully, where you think you will be able to retrieve the cache.

Locating food:

In populated areas:

Food stores will be empty within 40 hours of the disaster, and will be heavily
protected. Even if you have money to spend, the owners will probably be unwilling to
part with what's left. Go back in two weeks and see what's still there. Look for
medicines, paper towels, aluminum foil, tools, plastic sheet and fuel. Don't count on
this source.

Restaurants will be empty immediately, and most of what they have is perishable.
Ask, don't take!

Public and business buildings, left unguarded, are good places to look. Vending
machines will most certainly be empty, so look elsewhere. Desk drawers and file
drawers often contain "snack food", which keeps a long time. Any fresh fruits should
be eaten right away, even during the search. Make your food sweep at the same time
you are gathering water from these buildings.
Apartments and private homes (abandoned only) may have quite a stash of foods.
Empty and eat from the refrigerator and freezer, if you are not too late. Gather all food
from the cupboards, and pack according to shelf life.

Trucks which carry food are likely to be either empty or guarded, but it's foolish not
to look. Abandoned only, and pay for what you take!

In rural areas:

Treat buildings same as above. Always ask, pay or determine that it is abandoned
before taking anything - the owners have a right to not starve, too!

In cultivated fields, try to locate the owner. If unsuccessful, gather only the best
specimens, as inferior, infested, or infected produce will destroy other food, and can
make you sick.

Livestock should be kept alive as long as possible, to provide fresh meat when you
really need it, and possibly milk in the meantime. If you can get a breeding pair, so
much the better.

In the "wild", game will become scarce rapidly. Make sure you know what you really
want. (If you kill the squirrel, you won't be able to track him to his stash.)

High protein insects (most of them, especially grasshoppers) become tastier, the
hungrier you get. Insects are good food, either raw or broiled and mixed with other

Most plants are edible, and many show the way to water. The general rule is to eat
first whatever is most perishable or nearly spoiled, and never waste anything!

Foods to stockpile, which have good nutrition, require minimal maintenance, and are
readily available:

• beans (almost any type)

• lentils
• bouillon (for flavoring stone soup)
• candy bars
• foil wrapped "pop tarts"
• canned foods (but protect from freezing!)
• dried fruits
• dried milk
• fruit leather: see section below on how to make this treat
• honey
• jerked or salt dried meats (essential amino acids)
• nuts (almost any type) - roasted in oil is OK (remember, we need the
calories!), and salted is likewise OK
• packaged pasta
• pemmican: see section below on how to make this treat
• salt
• pepper
• other spices
• tea (for flavoring icky water, to make poultices}
• whole grains (wheat, rice, corn)
• water (use and re-fill every four months)

Note: You must pay attention that you rotate your stocks carefully. These foods have
widely varying shelf lives, and storage can be affected by temperature and humidity.
Do not open the packages until ready to use. Write the expiration date on each
package in an evident location. Contaminated foods can rapidly ruin neighboring

Check often: Store everything in plastic bags, jars, bottles, in coffee cans, or in other
moisture proof containers. Sprinkle moth balls around the storage area (do not get
moth balls in contact with food!).

Caloric requirements (really rough guide):

Plan on twenty calories per day per pound, for a medium build adult, ten to fifteen per
pound of obese adult, thirty per pound of active pre-teen or teenager (even more for
babies), and fifteen calories per pound per day for seniors, more or less. For example,
a 100 lb. adult would receive 20x100 (2000) calories per day when engaged in active
outdoor work.

Less is required for sedentary people or days, but you need to plan as though everyone
will be active, moving things, building a camp, defending an area, retreating,
gathering or hunting, etc.

Calories should be from as: diverse sources as possible, and should be supplemented
by as much water as is practical, along with "daily" multiple vitamins (taken at least
every other day).

How to make fruit cloth ("fruit leather"):

Core, pit, etc., a large quantity of fruit (apples and dates work well; kiwi and pears,
for example, are poor for this process) and run it through a blender until it is "mush".
Spread this out on a pan 1/4" to 1/2" thick, and heat it until it is partially dried and

Cut into strips about 4 6" wide and roll up tightly. Store in airtight containers. This
keeps for about a year.

How to make pemmican:

"Classic" pemmican dates at least to Roman times. People would dry or jerk meat,
chop it up into little bits, add fresh or dried fruits, nuts, and whatever else was handy,
and mix this glop into fat, grease, or suet, and then push it into sections of intestine.
Later, people loaded it into waxed rolled up paper, peeling it as necessary to eat the
pemmican inside.
Modern pemmican is more palatable. The base for this is usually peanut butter rather
than suet, and the mixture can be "thinned" with honey. Store this in heavy ziplock
bags, squeezing out all the air before sealing. This keeps a year or more in sealed bags
in the refrigerator, up to six months (sometimes more) at reasonable room
temperatures. One "1 quart" bag, an inch thick, plus adequate water, will provide food
for about two days of hard travelling.

Good references from the US government:


• US Army Field Manual FM 21-76, "SURVIVAL" (Older editions are titled,
"Survival, Evasion, and Escape")

Emergency Medicine and First Aid Considerations

Your first aid kit needs to contain the basics: disinfectant, salve, covering, and
closure. Painkillers will be helpful, as well. Also include hydrogen peroxide, alcohol,
iodine (for disinfecting, or to purify water), sunscreen, vaseline (thousands of uses),
ace bandages, butterfly bandages and super glue to close wounds, and tools.

Tools include needles and thread (unwaxed, non-flavored dental floss works well, and
serves other purposes), tweezers, nail clippers and file, small scissors, burn cream,
antiseptic ointment, and plenty of gauze and self adhesive bandages and tape.

Medicines include painkillers (aspirin, Percodan, topical anesthetics (lidocaine,

novocaine), morphine (if you can get it)), antibiotics, toothpaste, mouthwash
(Listerine-type recommended, due to its other practical disinfectant uses, but don't get
the soda pop kind; it is sticky rather than clean), flea shampoo, collars, and powder
(for anyone who comes in contact with fleas or ticks), and maintenance prescription

To get antibiotics and prescription painkillers such as morphine and Percodan, you
must explain to your doctor why you need them.

Try different doctors, or get a referral from a "patriot" source. Veterinarians are also
good sources of equivalent drugs. (Be sure to understand equivalent doses!) For
regular maintenance drugs (insulin, lithium, Tagamet), you can usually keep aside 5-
10% of them each time you refill. Rotate your stock, and you will build up enough
spare medicine to see you through a reasonable time.

If the looting starts, your pharmacy is a good place to pick up these essential
medicines, but you're better off planning, stockpiling, and caching these items.

Buy and keep a spare pair of eyeglasses available al all times, in your good to go kit.
Sunglasses may also be handy.
Often, the chain optical shops offer two pair of their ugliest frames for $49 or so. In
an emergency, you'll be glad you have them. Do not count on contact lenses lasting
through a disaster. Have glasses at hand. (Keep your old dentures for the same

Get, read, and keep a good first aid manual (such as those put out by the Boy Scouts
or the Red Cross). Practice emergencies with your family and your immediate
"primary" cell. Innovate as much as possible, especially concerning splints, bandages,
and bindings, as these might not be available when you are in distress.

Self Protection

This section begins with a discussion of the likely types of adversaries and their
probable armaments, and gives a general idea of how to survive against them.

Detailed sections follow, and will show specifics of evasion, defense, harassment, and
combat of those antagonistic forces.


Neighbors. These folks, whom you know, may come around looking for food, water,
medicines, or supplies. They can be dangerous, although usually they will move on if
so told. If you have something to share, these are the folks to share with. Try to barter,
rather than donate.

If they refuse to barter, you can run them off using whatever level of force is
necessary. Usually, they will simply go to another neighbor's house, or find an
abandoned place to scavenge.

If they barter with you, you may find that you want to include them in more of your
survival activities. You may also find that they are being deceitful in order to gain
your confidence, so be cautious.

Strangers fall into two broad categories: the above-mentioned neighbors, and roving
gangs of scavengers and looters. Scavengers will generally go somewhere else, if
confronted with any sincere resistance. Looters are thugs, are usually armed, and are
always to be considered dangerous. The key with looters is to present yourself as the
most capable target in the area, so that they go away.

Looters who return should be dealt with as the enemy.

Paramilitary (police) groups are always armed, wear body armor, have bad attitudes,
and will try to destroy anyone who resists. You have choices, based on your
perception of the problem: hide, cooperate (at least on the surface), or prepare to
counterattack with all the force at your disposal. The last choice is the most
dangerous, and should be attempted only if death or removal seem imminent.

Military ground groups may come. If friendly, it is still good advice to hide, to keep
quiet, or to appear cooperative. Do not abandon your house! It these folks are hostile,
the best defense is to hide or escape. Otherwise, you must be ready to face high
casualties. Armored troops (tanks, armored personnel carriers, Bradley vehicles, etc.)
may be encountered. If you must fight, some tactics are included in a following

If you live in a coastal area, you may be attacked from the sea. Dig in, cover yourself,
and hide with your gas masks; escape to your first safe rendezvous if possible. Similar
defenses - hiding - are best for attack from the air. (The exception is the low level
helicopter gunship attack. If you are likely to be killed while trying to hide, you must
try to destroy the enemy. Some field expedients for this eventuality will follow.)


"Neighbors", "looters", and "scavengers" usually travel in small, finite groups, carry
common weapons, and do not wear armor nor travel in armored vehicles. Defense
consists of perimeter warning devices (booby-traps, signal-wires, sentries), simple
defense ordinance (homemade baby-mines, booby-trapped entrances), and hand
weapons (rifle, pistol, shotgun, sword, knife).

"Paramilitary" groups may be on your side, so determine that first! These folks
usually have light armor, body armor, smoke generators, gas, flame-throwers,
communications equipment, and good quality sidearms. They also likely have night
vision equipment, sensitive hearing devices, and may have ultrasound weapons for
surveillance or as offensive weaponry. Hiding (bring a gas mask!) is a good first idea.

Escape (if return is possible, or if you can reach your cache) is another good idea.
Remember, you do not want to be relocated! Once you are away from your home,
your family, your food, water, medicine, and weapons, you're as good as dead, so you
might as well fight right now.

"Military" groups are similar to the "paramilitary", but may also have sea and air
support, heavier mobile artillery, and larger numbers. Same comments as for
"paramilitary", except these folks are rarely friendly; you'll probably know before
they're there.

You may have more time to evacuate or booby-trap, because these groups, being
larger and more confident, may travel more slowly. Make sure, if you are evacuating,
that you are not merely being "herded" to a place where it is easier to kill or capture

Your defensive tools:

Silence: Be quiet, even when you think you're safe. Move quietly, talk little. Develop
sign language.

Territory: You know it, they don't. You can prepare it, and they cannot anticipate
your preparations. Caches of (god, medicine, weapons are yours to make. Hiding
places can be set up; your cell can arrange rendezvous, regroup, and initiate flanking
or harassment actions.
Don't try to attack real military forces: Unless you are discovered and there is no way
to surrender, or if surrender means death. Fighting means death, too, so if you must
fight, just inflict as many casualties on the enemy as you can.

Your brain is your most useful tool; use it!

Home: You should have a booby-trap program set up, and ready to implement. Even
if you leave, a booby-trapped neighborhood can slow down a large force.

Cover: Have a place to hide, near your first cache and rendezvous point, unknown to
anyone other than your family. You can observe the rendezvous from there, safe from
the danger of having the enemy tipped off about the point. With some food and water
and first aid supplies, you will have a bit of flexibility in your next action.

Equipment: You will need gas masks in your home, plus a way to stay warm, and
enough water to see you through. Outside your home, bring water, purification tablets
and containers, sleeping bags, and your regular survival kit.

Offensive weaponry: This will consist of your knife, ax, blowgun, bow/crossbow,
rifle, pistol, shotgun, and ammunition. (Once you have left your home, your shotgun
becomes drastically less important except for downing helicopters - see the Expedient
and special purpose weapons section, and your rifle even more so.)

If you must leave things behind which could fall into enemy hands, it is best to
destroy or booby-trap them. (Destroy them if they may be recovered by friendly
elements. Friendlies need not become victims of your booby-traps.)

References which you may find handy are:

• (US Army) SH 21 76, "RANGER HANDBOOK"

• US Army Field Manual FM 31 21, "GUERRILLA WARFARE and SPECIAL

These are interesting, although not must-haves.

Organizing Resistence Groups:

Cell structure:

Each cell (pentagon) has five members, who can be individuals, married couples, or

Each member is represented by a circle, showing that member's primary group (P)
and secondary group (S) cell affiliations.

No member may be a primary member of more then one cell. Cell structure is diverse
and unpredictable; this makes the structure hard to infiltrate or destroy. See text for
organizational details.
The family (or "member") consists of blood relatives and others who have lived
together for a long lime, who have total trust in each other. A family can be as few as
one, is usually five or less, but as many as a dozen can function together.

The cell is made up of five families, but a cell seldom is made up of only five
individuals. Each cell "family" (member) is attached to two other ("secondary") cells,
and therefore knows four members of his own primary group, three more members
from each secondary group, and has a contact (through secondary groups) with more
cells, by knowing members in his three (one primary, two secondary) cells who are
members of other cells (see diagram [not provided]).

Information travels from cell to cell by way of the common members, who attend cell
meetings each week, and stay in touch with members of both primary and secondary
cells by telephone, FAX, or email.

Each member (or family) is a member of a "primary" and no more than two
"secondary" cells. Each member knows ten other members, and no more, and has up
to three group rendezvous points. Only "primary" cell members are privy to that cell's
cache locations.

Cell members contribute to the caches of their primary cells. Every cell must have at
least three primary members, and no more than four.

Members communicate weekly with all their cells (primary and secondary), and at
least monthly, meet face to face in their primary cells.

Members should take turns hosting their primary cell meetings in their homes, and
should attend, in person, their secondary cells' meetings at least every other month.
Weekly telephone contact with all primary and secondary members is required.

No written records of anything the cell does, says, or plans should be in writing, nor
stored electronically, except by the cell leader.

The leader is prohibited from storing by any means the MPCR (Membership, Plans,
Cache, and Rendezvous) information. These must always be memorized.

Do not: Store the phone or FAX numbers electronically, either; in a speed dialer or on

Assure that any maps showing rendezvous or other strategic locations are marked in
coded manner, so that discovery of such a map will not lead the finder to the actual

Members are encouraged to use code for other members names, for names of
rendezvous points, for speaking of caches, and other sensitive information (see the
section on Codes).

Recruits to a cell must be sponsored by a primary cell member, and attend cell
meetings at only that member's home until acceptance. At that time, the recruit will
either find a spot in the recruiting cell, or be recommended to another cell by all the
recruiting cell's members.

Recruits must be carefully checked during the recruitment process, to weed out
opportunists, agents provocateurs, others of low personal integrity, and the occasional
"loony" who could compromise security of the cells, members, and plans, including

An initiation, consisting of a lot of work preparing cache materials (and contributing

food, time, weapons, or money to the cache), is recommended. (The recruit must
never prepare a cache site, or know of where one is, until he becomes a primary
member of a cell.)

This commitment is enhanced by (later) attending additional meetings, until the

recruit's background and intentions are acceptable to the cell's members.

Recruitment must be from known acquaintances only; never is recruitment to be a

goal of itself, and never is there to be any overt recruitment (booths at fairs,
newspaper and TV ads, etc.).

All recruits must request entry without prodding by cell members.

Training will consist of study of the US Constitution and relevant Supreme Court
cases; of world and US history; of economics; of languages likely to be encountered
in the region; of food procurement and preparation; of First aid and medicine; of
outdoor skills; of building and repairing things; of electronics, physics and chemistry;
and self defense training, including weapons training.

Topics will rotate among experts, and area experts will give public seminars to
interested parties (which cells should publicize, and which members should attend as

A cell should strive to have a broad knowledge among its members, even if its
background tends to be homogeneous.

Stoicism and silence in cell activities are of paramount importance.

Differences need to be addressed by calm reason rather than hot rhetoric. Complete
honesty is required among members; and if deception occurs, it must be coordinated
through a cell's spokesman.

(The title of "spokesman", however, is never to be conferred.)

No contact regarding cell activity is to be released outside the cell structure; if an

explanation is required for some reason, a pre-arranged story and spokesman should
handle it.
Never should any cell or general activity be characterized as part of a "group" or
"movement", and never should the concept of "membership" be discussed outside the
group itself.

Silence should be the rule at meetings, during presentations, and especially in the

• Amateur crooks are brought down by their mouths.

• Green troops are killed because their noise alerted the enemy.

Do not ever give the enemy, real or figurative, the benefit of your mouth. Strict
silence is the rule, regarding cell activity, to all on the outside of the cell. (This applies
to members of other cells. There may be infiltrators. If communications are to be
made, if notes are to be compared, this must be done in the public forums in an
innocuous way, or through cell communication channels.) Be suspicious of any
"member" who appears friendly, opinionated, or curious about cell activities when
outside his cells.

Since there is no "membership", as far as anyone outside is concerned, there is also no

"organization", there are no "leaders", and there is nothing to attract media attention.
If a member wants his fifteen minutes of fame, ban him forever, move the caches, and
deny that he was ever a "member" of anything.

Since the cell officially doesn't exist, and since his contacts outside his principal and
secondary cells do not occur, his damage can be limited. His knowledge will be
limited, regardless of his tenure in the structure.

If any member communicates with a banned (former) member, that member will too
be banned. If a cell collapses because of this, security will only be strengthened. The
cell members will strive to join other cells, or will recruit from outside to form a
substantially new structure, which will soon be unrecognizable, even by the recently
departed member(s).

Any member who leaves due to malice or breaking the code of outside silence should
be harassed within the law, to the full extent available to his primary cell's remaining
members (only).

This includes recovery of any personal debts, providing information to government

groups as appropriate (IRS, Social Services), or other methods, without identifying
any other members. Those who leave under reasonable circumstances are not to be

Whatever contribution any incoming (and thus also any departing) primary member
made to a cache is considered a donation to the cell; and the remaining primary
members should immediately recover or relocate the cache, and arrange new
rendezvous points. Codes for sensitive things should also be changed.

Codes are substitutions of words or expressions, or are superfluous words in
communications, or misleading or ambiguous constructions in communications,
designed to mislead or confuse anyone but the intended receiver of information.

Codes must be used when names of members are used, if mention of cache contents
or locations are discussed or marked on maps, when discussing the location or
supremacy of rendezvous points; and if possible, in discussing cell or inter-cell

Codes are especially useful in necessary FAX and email communications, in

telephone and radio communications, and whenever members are in public, or may be
overheard. Members should always act as though they are being listened to; and
should take precautions against eavesdropping whenever they discuss any cell

Eavesdropping covers many methods: listening to conversations in restaurants, phone

booths, bathrooms; wiretaps, interception of telecommunications (especially portable
phones!), and such tactics as recovering someone's garbage from home or office, and
going through it. No stranger should ever hear, or be able to lip-read, what a member
says to another member.

Crowds are no defense against eavesdropping neither are open spaces. Sound travels
hundreds of feet in and through buildings, along walls and down ductwork; and
around corners and through doors and walls.

Lip readers can do a fair job through windows, even at a distance.

Do not ever assume you are in a secure area. Use no more volume than necessary in
your communications. Make no unnecessary communications about cell activities.
Make liberal use of codes.

A note about ciphers: Aside from electronic encryption (as performed by PGP and
other software), ciphers are largely a waste of time. "CPUlY P ERSOGFKEOV
WSPVI WLFPS EMCLQ" may look really "spy", but amateur ciphers can be broken
by amateurs, and pros won't even slow down for them. A cipher note is therefore a
mark of desperation. (That in itself may be a code!)


Defense and Weaponry:

There are two keys to effective weaponry: the right tool for the job, and the proper
training for that tool. More of one quality can make up, in part, for a lack of the other,
but a proper match of both will lead to victory (or survival!).

Cell members are expected to be proficient in appropriate weaponry. A child may

learn to use a sling or slingshot and graduate to an air rifle. A small woman may use
a .22 caliber lever action scoped rifle to take squirrels. A "warrior" may be versed in
all weapons available, or which can be expected to be purchased or captured.
(Depending on the nature of the disaster).
Both manual and ballistic weapons should be mastered. Members should be familiar
with the basics of several martial arts (tai chi, karate, judo, boxing, kick boxing) and
martial arts tools (stars, chukkas, broomhandles), and practice when possible with
other members, trading tips and experience.

Blade weapon defense should be taught from age four or so, and blade weapon
offense from about age eleven, to both boys and girls. Expedient weaponry (stone age
weapons) should be improvised on all field trips and practiced at home. Firearms
training should commence around age eight, with air guns being the primary tool.

Stress proper handling and safety at all times, and never allow children, even for a
moment, to be unsupervised with any weapons! Firearms training for teens and adults
should begin with proper cleaning and assembly, and firing exercises should include
training in rifle (scoped and open sights), shotgun, and finally handgun, through
progressively awkward positions and attitudes, with more intense training as progress
is made.

All weapons, as far as is practical, should be shot both left and right handed from all
positions, and handguns should be fired single and double action (if applicable) and
with one, and with both hands. Shotguns should be fired from the shoulder and from
the underarm position. Accuracy, rather than rate of fire, is always the goal.

Every cell should ideally be graced with a reloader. All members should learn
reloading basics, and should also be taught to refurbish primers, and to make a
rudimentary gunpowder (see section) for desperate situations.

Expedient and Special Purpose Weapons:

Expedient anti-helicopter ordnance can be made from hardwood dowels, cable,

washers, and a shotgun with one shell.

Cut a hardwood dowel (use a 5/8" diameter dowel for a 12 GA shotgun) 3" long, and
drill a 3/32" diameter hole down its center. Drill a 3/32" hole the long way through a
10 24 (3/16") softened (heat it red hot, and let it cool slowly a few times) Allen head
machine screw, and tap it into a slightly enlarged hole in one end of the dowel.

Capture a 5/8" steel washer against the head and rubber washer the inside diameter of
the bore (you can make one from an inner tube, or from a faucet washer). Feed the
3/16" diameter cable through the dowel.

Knot the end of the cable which protrudes from the non-washer end of the dowel, and
pull the knot tight. Wrap a small piece of tape around the cable right as it protrudes
from the cap screw's head, leaving at least 10 feet of cable hanging from the washer
end of the dowel. Prepare the shotgun shell by removing the shot and half the powder.

To fire: With the safety on, and with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, load the
shell. Then, from the muzzle, drop the free end of the cable into the barrel, followed
by the dowel. Without looking down the barrel, and keeping hands and everything
else clear, push down as far as it will easily go, but at least halfway down the barrel.
(Some practice may be required to permit the maximum of unkinked cable to enter the

Fire this contraption at the center of the tail rotor (preferred target) or the center of the
main rotor of the helicopter, at any altitude up to about 300' (if directly above). The
idea here is to get the cable to tangle in the rotor, cause an imbalance, and bring down
the chopper. (This is risky, but so is being mowed down by a gunship.) Best to do this
with a borrowed shotgun, while wearing protective clothing. The gun will likely be


This consists of rigging common or concealed objects with destructive capability, so

that an unsuspecting enemy may hurt himself.

Booby-traps are activated by the victim or by an outside party. They are typically
activated by mechanical means, radio, or electro mechanical means. The more
complicated the activator, the higher the probability of failure.

Typical mechanical activators include trip wires or string, motion sensors (even a
mousetrap will do), and the like. A small animal snare is a typical application of a
mechanical activator (which, in this case, is also the booby-trap).

Radio activators (similar to remote activators for car alarms) allow better concealment
of the booby-trap, but require electrical power.

Electro-mechanical activators are common and easy to construct. A spring loaded

clothespin with contacts on both fingers, separated by a popsicle stick which gets
pulled out when the victim trips over a string, is a good example of a simple electro
mechanical activator.

Another can be activated by a bullet, which can be fired from afar: Two squares (12"
or so) of copper or steel screen, 1/8" or smaller mesh, are clipped (with wood
clothespins) to each side of a 14" square of light cardboard (like a file folder). Keep
the screens and wires from touching! Attach one wire to each screen. Firing a bullet
through the sandwich will close the circuit.

The detonator (first charge) can be fired directly by the activator (as in a mousetrap
setting off a shotgun shell), or by another detonator (such as a blasting cap, either
mechanical fire activated or electrical).

Note that the detonating charge may itself be the booby-trap, as in the case of, say, a
soap dispenser which contains a shotgun shell.

Often, booby-traps are larger destructive devices. They differ from "standard" bombs
in that they are deliberately tripped, whereas a bomb, in classic terms, detonates on
impact, or is fired by a timer which cannot be set remotely, or by the victim. For
detailed information on booby-traps, see

• US Army Field Manual, FM 5 31, "BOOBYTRAPS"

• US Army Technical Manual, TM 31 210, "IMPROVISED MUNITIONS

Beware the "home brew" books, as many of these contain erroneous information
which can result in a defective device, which may not detonate, or which may even
kill you. You can trust the US Army to provide good information on building
destructive devices.

Basic Anti Armor Warfare:

Tanks, armored personnel carriers, and other armored/tracked vehicles present grave
danger to civilians. Their capabilities are varied, but all can be counted on to move
over obstacles which stop regular traffic. Stopping these vehicles will render them
less effective (they then become semi-hard gun emplacements, etc.), so it is important
to slow, or stop, armor whenever possible.

Armor is protected by infantry. Separated from protective infantry, it is vulnerable to

ground attack. Further damage can be inflicted on its effectiveness through "blinding"
it, with smoke and direct covering of its "eyes".

If a tank is "buttoned up" (closed), its vision is limited, and its destructive capabilities
are limited to what it can throw (launching gun bullets, nerve gas) at you, and by it's
supporting armor. If a tank opens so that the driver can see out, or so a spotter/gunner
can pop from the turret or body, snipers can attack. (Many APCs have aluminum
armor, which can sometimes be pierced by a high powered hunting rifle but you must
hit something inside to be effective!)

You can get close enough to attack a tank, molotov cocktails (glass bottles filled with
gasoline, fuel oil, and soap, and having a flaming cloth wick) are often effective,
particularly if you can get one inside, or through the engine cover. If you can attack
outside armor, a sledge hammer will damage gun barrels, flame throwers, and much
glass. There are methods of tripping up the tracks, or even breaking them; but these
vary greatly with the type of vehicle encountered.

The best defense against armor is to stop it, blind it, and separate it from other armor
and especially infantry. Contents can then be roasted. Otherwise, stay clear, if
possible! The US Army has a good manual on tactics, roadblocks, etc., FM 23 3,

Good Advice From a Master:


ranger handbook

1. Don't forget nothing.

2. Have your musket clean as a whistle, hatchet scoured, sixty rounds powder
and ball and be ready to march at a minutes warning.
3. When you're on the march act the way you would if you was sneaking up on a
deer; see the enemy first.
4. Tell the truth about what you see and what you do. There is an army
depending on us for correct information. You can lie all you please when you
tell other folks about the rangers, but don't never tell a lie to a Ranger or
5. Don't never take a chance you don't have to.
6. When you're on the march, we march single file, far enough apart so one shot
can't go through two men.
7. If we strike swamp or soft ground we spread out abreast so it is hard to track
8. When we march, we keep moving till dark, so as to give the enemy the least
possible chance at us.
9. When we camp, half the party stays awake while the other half sleeps.
10. If we take prisoners we keep them separate till we have we have enough time
to examine them so they can't cook up a story between 'em,
11. Don't ever march home the same way, take a different route so you won't be
12. No matter whether we travel in big parties or little ones, each party has to keep
a scout twenty yards ahead on each flank and twenty yards in the rear, so that
the main party can't be surprised and wiped out.
13. Every night you'll be told where to meet if surrounded by a superior force.
14. Don't sit down to eat without posting sentries.
15. Don't sleep beyond dawn. Dawn's when the French and Indians attack.
16. Don't cross a river by a regular ford.
17. If somebody's trailing you, make a circle, come back onto your tracks, and
ambush the folks that aim to ambush you.
18. Don't stand up when the enemy's coming against you. Kneel down, lie down,
hide behind a tree.
19. Let the enemy come till he's almost close enough to touch. Then let him have
it and jump out and finish him up with your hatchet.


Things you should always have within your reach, for any emergency which might

• GI Canteen Cup (steel is better then aluminum)

• Knife (decent sheath knife 5" blade)
• Gold/Silver "space blanket" (carry 2; they're fragile!)
• Plastic sheet, 6'x10' at least 4 mil thick
• Matches (waterproof) and ever light birthday candles
• Alternate fire starter (magnesium, steel wool, lighter)
• Cold weather electricians tape (Scotch 33' or 44')
• Saw (folding buck/pack saw)
• 50' minimum of parachute cord
• Signal mirror (GI type with aiming device)
• Whistle (Acme Dog training recommended)
• Dental floss
• Trowel
• fishhooks
• Poncho
• Toilet Paper
• Hat
• Flashlight
• Pencil
• Compass
• First Aid kit
• Glasses
• dentures
• Soap
• Sunblock
• Maps
• Socks
• Water and purification tablets
• Snack (jar of peanuts, pemmican, etc.)

...and anything you can grab from the list below.

If you have your own car, it should contain:

• Sleeping bag
• Tent
• Ax
• Shovel or entrenching tool
• Bucket
• 100' of 3/8" or larger rope (nylon)
• Mattress pad
• Heavy coat
• Gloves/mittens
• Insect repellent
• Cheesecloth (first aid and insect screen)
• Multi tool (Leatherman's, Gerber, Swiss Army knife, etc.)

First aid kit:

Determine the things you need, and things you can carry. Experts think everything
here is important.

• gauze
• compresses
• adhesive
• ace bandages
• butterfly bandages
• self adhesive bandages
• tape
• painkillers (aspirin, Percodan, and topical anesthetics (lidocaine, novocaine,
• sunscreen
• sunburn ointment
• Vaseline
• antibiotics
• anti diarrhea
• toothpaste
• mouthwash
• bicarbonate of soda
• eyewash
• super glue
• needles and thread (unwaxed, non-flavored dental floss works well, and serves
other purposes)
• disinfectants (hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, iodine)
• salve (burn cream, antiseptic ointment)
• tweezers
• nail clippers
• nail file
• small scissors
• razor blade
• flea shampoo, collars and powder
• maintenance prescription drugs (insulin, Tagamet)
• first aid manual

The Red Cross First Aid Textbook (1945, page 244) suggests:

• one inch compresses on adhesive in individual packages

• Sterile gauze squares about 3" x 3" in individual packages
• Assorted sterile bandage compresses in individual packages
• Triangular bandages
• Sterile gauze in individual packages of about 1 sq. yard
• Roll of 1/2 inch adhesive tape
• Burn ointment
• Aromatic spirits of ammonia
• Inelastic tourniquet
• Scissors
• 3 inc' splinter forceps
• Paper cups
• 1 inch and 2 inch roller bandages
• Wire or thin board splints
• Castor oil or mineral oil for use in eyes (this should be sterile); may be
obtained in small tubes

Water (drinking,cooking,washing) FEMA, the Red Cross and other civil
authorities warn us that in the event of a major natural disaster, we should expect
little outside help for at least three days. I personally think it will be more like
three - five days if not longer, depending on where you live. Storms, earthquakes,
hurricanes, fire, and even civil unrest will mean that you face the possibility of
extended periods without power, or access to fresh water or even possibly food.
During any type of disaster or even when camping, diseases should be a major
concern. Maintaining good personal hygiene will prevent illnesses and help
morale. This requires water. Water is one of the most important and necessary
items for survival. Some of the most common requirements are: Drinking,
cooking, washing your hands, proper dental care, washing clothes (clean and dry
clothing does wonders for morale), take a bath (in safe water as often as practical),
if no shower or bath facilities are available, at the minimum wash were you
perspire (personal hygiene areas). During an emergency, an adult requires about
one gallon of water per person per day (a normally active person requires a
minimum of 1/2 gallon of water per day for drinking and cooking, more in hot
weather, and slightly less in cold.): two quarts for drinking and cooking and two
more quarts for washing body and clothes. Some of the need for liquids can be
met by using juices from canned fruits and vegetables. Avoid caffeine (cola,
coffee and tea) as it increases water loss and promotes dehydration. Children
require only slightly less, depending on their age. For a family of four, that's a
minimum of 28 gallons per week. Don't forget to figure in your pet's needs as
well. It would also be a good idea to learn and pay close attention for any signs of
dehydration. Not enough water in hot climates or weather means you face the
threat of heat stroke, too little in cold climates or weather means you may expose
yourself to cold weather injuries such as frostbite or cracked skin, which can lead
to infections and possibly other diseases. Probably the best method for setting
water aside is to purchase food grade (food-grade containers are any store-bought
plastic or glass containers that have previously held food or beverages) 55-gallon
drums. These are available new through commercial sources, though they tend to
be expensive. However, any food-grade plastic or glass containers can be used for
storing water, provided that they have been completely cleaned. Some examples
include two-liter soda bottles, water, juice, and punch or milk jugs. Wash your
container(s) with hot soapy water. Next, rinse the soapy container well with plain
water. Then sanitize by rinsing with a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of chlorine bleach
per pint of water. Finally, rinse with clean water. If water is to be stored in used
plastic milk jugs, special care must be taken to clean, sanitize and rinse the inside
handle area to remove any residue. Empty bleach containers should never be used
for two reasons. First, they are not food-grade containers and a young child may
not be able to understand that some bleach bottles are safe to drink out of and
others are not. It is not necessary to treat water for storage, providing the water
comes from a safe water supply. All public water supplies are already treated and
should be free of harmful germs. If stored properly, this water should have an
indefinite shelf life. But you may want to rotate and replace this water every 6-12
months with fresh safe water. Water that might be contaminated should be boiled
for 10 minutes before storage. Water from untested and untreated water supplies,
such as a farm pond or private well, should be purified and treated before storage.
Make sure you clearly mark all containers "drinking water", with the current date
and store the tightly capped containers in a cool, dry place away from direct
sunlight. Containers should be stored in cabinets or on shelves that will not tip
over or allow the containers to fall off and break as a result of any type of natural
disaster. To improve the taste of "safe" water stored for a long time, pour from
one clean container to another clean container, several times. Another method of
storing water for an extended period of time is to freeze it. Freezing water will
allow you to store it in a safe state, and use it, as you need it. If you should ever
lose electricity, the frozen water will also help keep the foods in your freezer
frozen until power is restored. Make sure you leave enough head space in
containers before freezing (2-3 inches). This will help prevent the containers from
spilling and breaking. One problem with freezing the family water supply is you
will use up a lot of freezer space. Purify them before filling them by using a gallon
or so solution of 50/50 pure bleach and water. Rinse the barrel once, but do not
worry about the bleach remaining in the barrel. It will help purify your water.
Since the barrel will weigh 440 lbs when full, (For every gallon of water there is 8
lb.'s weight) fill your water barrel in the location you will store it. Now that is a lot
of weight and bulk. If you plan on relocating to another location, then you need to
make sure that you scout out possible watering spots when you plan your routes.
Lakes, rivers, streams, melted snow; even man-made water sources can be
planned on but should never be counted on. Constantly refill (if water is available)
at every stop. Once your barrel is full, add nearly 1/4 cup (2 oz.), or 5-6 Tbsp (180
drops/tablespoon) of pure chlorine bleach. It will dissipate from the water quickly,
so be sure to cap the drum tightly. Make a note on your family calendar to check
the contents at least once every six months. Cover the barrel to protect it from
sunlight, this will extend the life of the barrel and will minimize the growth of
algae, etc., in the water. To extend the life of the stored water, you can add pure
chlorine bleach every three months or so. Exchange the stored water for fresh at
least once or twice a year. An average hot water heater holds 25-40 gallons. The
back of your toilet tank, from 2-5 gallons. A spa or hot tub holds 300-500 gallons
or more, depending on its size. However, you should not count on these, because
they could be damaged, especially during any type of serious natural disaster.
Other sources of water supply can come from ice cubes, frozen containers of
water, your hot water tank or your toilet tank (not the bowl). Do not drink from
the toilet tank if a chemical disinfectant or purifier has been added to the water.
Make sure your water heater is strapped or secured to a wall to keep it from
falling. Be sure you know where to shut off incoming water to avoid any chance
of contamination. To obtain a free flow of water from the hot water tank, it is
sometimes necessary to open the valve at the top of the tank as well as the faucet
at the bottom of the tank. The flow of water will also be increased if any hot water
faucet in the home is turned on before draining water from the hot water tank. Be
sure to turn off gas or electricity to the tank before draining off water for
emergency use. Stored water will probably not be fresh from the tap when you go
to use it. Before drinking it, you should purify it. There are three methods, each
with advantages and disadvantages. You also invest in some type of water testing
kit. Heat Treatment Boiling kills pathogens after three minutes and removes most
dissolved gases (chemicals). It uses considerable fuel and it does not remove
solids or dissolved solids. Chemical Treatment There are basically two varieties of
chemical treatments: iodine and pure chlorine bleach. Iodine is available in local
stores. For clear water, use 5 drops per quart for cloudy water, 10 drops per quart.
Do not use iodine if a member of the family has thyroid problems. Pure chlorine
beach is readily available. Make sure you purchase a brand that does not contain
any additives. For clear water, use 2 drops per quart for cloudy water, 4 drops per
quart. Stir or shake thoroughly. Let stand for 30 minutes. When using chlorine,
you should be able to smell it afterwards; otherwise, add more. You can also buy
commercial purification tablets. They will usually contain iodine or chlorine and
are typically more expensive than either of the other options. While killing
pathogens, chemical treatment does not actually remove them. Neither iodine nor
chlorine remove solids or dissolved solids. Chlorine bleach is a safe, inexpensive,
proven method. After you add the bleach, you can help rid the water of the
chlorine smell by pouring it back and forth between containers, or by letting it sit
for 24 hours. This is not necessary to make the water safe to drink. Tap water
already contains small amounts of chlorine added by your city water department.
Then use a filter to remove solids and, if you like, the now dead pathogens. You
should probably purchase a replacement cartridge at the same time. Store your
filter with your water. Filters Filters come in two types: micropore (usually
ceramic or another like material) and adsorption (typically activated charcoal).
Micropore filters remove pathogens but not dissolved gases or dissolved solids.
The filter has a finite life--it can filter only so many gallons before it must be
replaced. Adsorption filters remove dissolved gases and dissolved solids, but do
not kill or remove pathogens. Some filters will do both. It is a good idea to first
treat stored water chemically to kill any possible pathogens. Do not drink pool or
spa water until it has been filtered for both pathogens and chemicals using an
adsorption-type filter. To the surprise of many, the need for water is much higher
than for food. Many people have lived for 30 days with no food, but without
water, after three or four days you are in serious trouble. People tend to
underestimate how much water is actually needed to perform normal, routine tasks
of daily living. Drinking water is the primary need, but you may need additional
water for baths, cooking, flushing toilets, cleaning eating utensils, washing clothes
and other chores. Water availability is affected in natural and man made disasters.
In every disaster, the majority of the general population is totally unprepared for
even a small interruptions in normal utility and food distribution services. In most
disasters, the victims expect and sometimes demand that "someone" provide
needed protection, water, shelter and food. There are myriad ways the water
supply can be disrupted. The most common way is due to lack of electricity. With
no electricity, there will be no water from water purification plants or your well--
unless it is a non-electric well. The second most common way is a water main
rupture. Recently, more than 10,000 people in the southeastern United States were
out of water for over two weeks due to such a rupture. Wells can be contaminated
by flooding, and well pumps can become damaged by flooding. Freezing weather
also takes its toll on well and city water lines. Local streams are never safe during
disasters because raw sewerage and polluted surface water can enter the streams.
During a recent hurricane , the wind blew an excessive amount of leaves into the
affected area's reservoirs. The water turned yellow for three weeks and acquired
an objectionable taste due to the abnormal amount of leaves that were
decomposing. Container storage -- certain plastic containers such as drywall
buckets and plastic trash containers are not intended for food contact and may
leach undesirable chemicals into stored water. These containers should be used for
transporting water or for storage of water not used for consumption. Although the
5 gallon drywall bucket is not good for storing drinking water, it is an excellent
choice for transporting water and for storage of water not used for consumption.
Any container used for transportation or for storage needs a top. during
transportation, the top reduces spillage. Tray transporting water in the care trunk
in a bucket without a top and you will see how much sloshes out. During storage,
the top keeps out dirt, dust, insects, etc. The 5 gallon buckets used by restaurants
for food products are excellent for storing drinking water. If no containers are
available, plastic sheets or bags can be used to line porous containers for storing
water in emergencies. A depression can ever be dug in the ground and lined with
plastic to hold water temporarily. In storing water for emergency uses, most
authorities recommend a minimum of 2 gallons per person per day. This should
include one half gallon for drinking and the balance for other uses. It is preferable
not to ration water in a survival situation because this may have adverse affects on
the health of people involved. I store non-drinking water for dishwashing, toilets,
washing clothes, etc. in 5 gallon plastic drywall buckets. My drinking water is
stored in out bleach bottles and plastic milk jugs. I add 16 drops of liquid bleach
(4-6 percent sodium hypochlorite) per gallon of clear water to protect it during
storage form the growth of micro-organisms. I suggest storing an extra jug of
bleach to purify any new water that is of questionable quality. Be careful not to
misidentify bleach bottles as containing drinking water if you also have bleach on
hand. This is especially dangerous where children are involved. Always remove
the bleach label and replace it with the word "WATER" in large indelible letters
on the jugs in which the water is stored. The Utah State University Extension
Service offers the following instructions for heat sterilization when using glass
containers to store water: "fill clean fruit jars with water, leaving one inch of head
space at the top of the jar. Place clean sterilized lids on the jar and process the
water in a boiling water bath as fruit juice is processed. Quart jars should be
processed 20 minutes. Two quart jars 25 minutes." Whatever the container used, it
is probably a good idea to date each container with a large magic marker or other
marking instrument. I'm glad I did mark my first water storage jugs because I now
have water that is 8 years old. Water is used on a first- in first-out basis. My water
supplies have been used many times in the last 8 years. Since I do own a
generator, a power outage will shut down my well. No electricity, no electric well
pump. On several other occasions, my well pump had maintenance problems and
the stored water came in very handy while the pump was being repaired. Don't
store plastic containers near fuels, pesticides or similar materials. The vapors from
these can penetrate the plastic and contaminate the water. Also, store water in the
dark to protect the plastic from sunlight. One problem commonly encountered in
water storage is inventory control. You must be diligent in replacing the water you
use and rotate your inventory at least every several years. Use the oldest inventory
first. Any questionable water you have in storage can be used for non-drinking
purposes. The local county extension service will test your water for purity. This
is a good idea when you have water supplies that have not been rotated for several
years. If you have enough advance notice of a coming water emergency or
possible emergency, fill up extra empty mill cartons, jars, bathtubs, sinks, wading
pools, trash cans and or any other available container. Obviously water in garbage
cans would be used for non-drinking purposes unless filtered and purified.
OTHER WATER SOURCES -- You can use the water for the toilet tank (not the
bowl) and it will offer several gallons. You may want to look in your tank right
now to see if it needs a good cleaning. Trapped water in house plumbing lines
offers several gallons of clean water. As soon as the water pressure goes off, be
careful to shut off your house lines from the street. This action will insure you do
not draw in contaminated water or allow your trapped water to flow back into the
connecting municipal system. Next, turn off the heat sources to your water heater.
To gain access to trapped water in the house line, crack the faucet at the lowest
level and drain the lines. I have installed a faucet in my basement to insure I can
collect the water from the lines that run under my house. The basement is where I
plan to be during a weather alert. Your water heater tank holds 30 - 40 gallons.
Check your water heater tank because it may have a foot or more of sediment in
the tank bottom. Sediment removal is a good reason to drain the tank every year.
In addition, the removal of sediment will improve the water heater's efficiency.
The hot water tank can be drained by opening the faucet at the bottom of the tank.
You may need to open the hot water faucet elsewhere in the house to allow the
release of the vacuum to allow a free flow of water. The water inlet valve (faucet)
should be turned off if you doubt the quality of the inlet water. If the inlet valve is
turned off, you may need to vent the water tank by opening the "pop off" valve
lever that is used to allow over heated tanks to vent excessive pressure. The faucet
at the bottom is threaded to receive a regular garden hose. The water in a water
bed can also be used. Only use this water for non-drinking purposes because of
the possibility of algaecide chemicals in the water and plastic chemicals being
leached into the water. A swimming pool offers a large volume of stored water for
non- drinking use. In one case a swimming pool provided a whole neighborhood
with water after a hurricane. The neighbors set up a temporary shower in the
backyard next to the pool. Others who lived nearby carried the water back home
in any containers they could find. If it rains, place buckets or barrels under rain
gutter down spouts. You may have to cut or disconnect them so the water can flow
into the container. If your container is not clean, you can line it with plastic such
as a clean garbage bag. Plastic sheets can be placed on a hillside or be strung
between trees to funnel water into your containers. PURIFYING WATER --
Pollution can affect ice, snow, water in streams and in shallow wells causing these
water sources to be unsafe. Even clear streams can have parasites in them.
Unpolluted water must be boiled to assure complete destruction of any dangerous
organisms. Properly stored water is the safest in an emergency. If you have to use
water from an unknown source or of unknown quality, be aware that the following
methods of purifying water do not guarantee the safety of the water but will
reduce the risks involved. Boiling water is one of the safest methods of water
purification. It should be boiled for at least 20 minutes to insure that bacteria are
killed. Boiling does not remove pollution. The boiling process will make the water
taste flat since some air has been driven out. To add back the oxygen and to
improve the taste, pour the water several times from one container to another.
Another method is to pour the water into a closed container and vigorously shake
it. A small piece of wood or a pinch of salt can be added to the boiling water to
improve the taste. Learn how to start an outdoor fire to be used in boiling water.
Do not depend on electricity or gas for your heat source. Only use chemical
purification for questionable water if boiling is not possible. Understand that
organic matter in the water increased the amount of chemical needed. The colder
the water, the more time needed for the chemical to work. Add 16 drops of bleach
per gallon of water for clear water and double that amount for cloudy or sediment-
filled water. Mix well and wait for 30 minutes before using. You should be able to
smell the bleach after 30 minutes. If not, repeat the process until you smell the
bleach, otherwise do not use the water. If you leave the container uncovered for
several hours, the chlorine taste will be reduced and the water will be more
palatable. Always use fresh liquid bleach because it will lose its strength over
time. Double the recommended amounts if the bleach is over one year old and do
not use it if over two hears old. Water purification tablets can be used to purify
water. They are readily available from sporting goods stores and military surplus
outlets. Use fresh tablets. Normal shelf life for iodine tablets is 3 to 5 years if
unopened. iodine tablets work better than bleach or halazone tablets for certain
intestinal parasites.In addition, halazone tablets have a shelf life of only 2 year.
Commercial filters combine a filter substance and active ingredients to filter and
treat the water at the same time. Some brands are not as effective as they claim.
Clear water should be used whenever possible when purification is needed. If
sediment is present, it will settle out in time and the clear water can be poured off
or the water can be poured through a cloth or coffee filter to speed up the process.
A novel method to clear up water is to use a cloth siphon arrangement. Place the
full cloudy water container higher than the empty clean water container. Roll up a
clean dry piece of cloth and put one end in the upper container and the other end
in the lower clean container. If the cloth in the lower container is several inches
below the cloudy water's water line, then a siphon effect will begin and the water
will be filtered. This is a very, very slow process, but is good to know about. In
the distilling process, questionable water is boiled and allowed to condense into
safe water. One method is to allow the water vapor escaping out of a tea kettle to
enter an inverted milk jug. The water vapor will condense in the milk jug and run
out into a pan set nearby to collect it. Another method is to run the water vapor
through copper tubing (same as used in your house) to condense the vapor into
pure water. For quantity production, try to visualize a moonshiners still. Use a
larger closed container heated over a fire with copper tubing coiled several times
to make such a still. CONSERVATION -- The more you conserve your water in
an emergency, the less you will use or need from storage. For example, toilets use
3-4 gallons per each flush. Add several bricks in the tank to reduce usage (be
careful not to have too much waste for each flush). And toilets need not always be
flushed after each use. You might also want to build an outdoor toilet trench such
as is described in "The Boy Scout Handbook" or other publications. Stretch out
the periods between your baths or showers, or use a Navy type shower procedure,
where you turn on the water to wet down, turn off water, soap up and then turn on
the water to rinse off. If water is very limited, take a sponge bath when ever
practical. Do not waste water washing clothing other than under clothing. Before
you wash, leave clothes outside over night and they will pick up additional
moister reducing the amount of wash water needed. A heavy dew will make a
wash towel moist enough to use for a sponge bath. It is even better to roll the
clothes in the dew to make them very wet before beginning the wash. Never throw
water away without figuring out other uses for it. For example, use the tub water
for flushing a toilet. Save the water when you wash your hands and use it for the
initial clothes washing water. Do not dispose of dirty water just because it has
sediment in it. You will be surprised how much sediment in dirty water will settle
out over night or in several days if left undisturbed. The clearer surface water can
be used again for non-drinking purposes. Finally , it is very important to wash
hands when preparing food. Intestinal problems can rapidly dehydrate the body
and cause severe health problems. As you can see, water storage is very simple to
accomplish. A little advance preparation can add a great deal of security in our
current water-sensitive and highly technological times as well as in any
emergency situation.

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