Is the Sh*t Hitting the Fan Yet?

Sometimes when the news is bad and it seems like every elected official is violating their oath to uphold the Constitution, you have to wonder how close the poop is to the impeller.

My mind is somewhat boggled. So much stuff is happening at once and very little of it is good. I have to ask myself, how far away is our SHTF moment?

When you have a parabolic curve, it climbs slowly, but before you know it is shooting straight up. I can’t help but wonder if we are at that inflection point. I hate to be an alarmist, but some days it seems like we must be approaching it.

There are protests in countries all over the world, including the U.S., France, Iran, Cuba, Guatemala, Tunisia, Australia, and South Africa. I expect they will get worse as shortages increase, prices rise, and we go into more lockdowns. In the U.S., I expect we will see protests as the end of the rent moratorium results in upwards of 12 million people unable to pay their past-due rent and now subject to eviction.

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How to Prepare for Drought and Changing Weather Patterns

The Western U.S. is experiencing a record-setting drought. How can you survive if your water source dries up? What options are there?

Note: The purpose of this article is not to debate the science or the politics of climate change or global warming; its purpose is to help preppers prepare for weather-related natural disaster, including drought. 

Unprecedented Natural Disasters

This year the Western states are experiencing what is or will probably become the worst drought on record. The snow pack in California is almost non existent. Reservoirs are at record lows, and hydropower generation may come to a halt as water levels sink lower. Farmers have had to let fields lie fallow because there is no water to grow crops.

The West is also seeing some of the highest temperatures on record with temperatures over 100 in places like Montana and Washington State. These high temperatures cause evaporation, which means even less water in those reservoirs, lakes and rivers.

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Prepper News Update, July 2

Tropical Storm Elsa Heads Towards U.S.

We’re just one month into Hurricane Season and Tropical Storm Elsa has formed in the Atlantic and is slated to head into the Caribbean, then on to South Florida and possibly continue on up to hit the pan handle or wander into the Gulf. Better keep an eye on this one, folks, as it may develop into a hurricane. This is the earliest storm ever with an “E” name, possibly foretelling a deadly hurricane season with multiple storms.

Drought to Cause Higher Food Prices

Unfortunately, Tropical Storm Elsa won’t have any impact on the drought out west. The Wall Street Journal says, “While high inflation for some goods and services might prove to be transitory, the run-up in prices for food staples such as beef, pork and milk might be extended by the effects of severe drought.” Besides those staples, expect to see higher prices for fruits, vegetables, and almonds, which are grown in California. Global food prices in May were 40 percent higher than last May.

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Do Water Wars Loom in Our Future as Western Drought Worsens?

We’ve fought wars over oil. How much worse does the megadrought have to get before blows are exchanged over water?

As the megadrought in the western states grows worse and threatens not only farmers and crops but the water supplies of cities the house millions of people, we have to ask: Do water wars lie in our future?

Battles are fought in court as water rights, seniorage, and other terms unfamiliar to Easterners are argued and debated. Who can take how much water from what water sources often goes back a hundred or more years.

In the early 1990s, when I interviewed for a job in Las Vegas and looked at houses, the city was already worried about running out of water. Homeowners ripped out water-hungry lawns and landscaping with desert plants. 30 years later, there are more people in more houses, but less water. That’s not a winning combination.

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Survival Diary June 28: Propane Possibilities

Our all-electric house may be getting its first propane-powered appliance. That could be the foot in the door.

As I have mentioned before, our house is all electric, with no propane or natural gas. Apparently, the former owner, who built the house, did not “believe” in propane and didn’t want it in his house. This makes powering the house by solar power difficult, or at least prohibitively expensive, because running the stove and oven require so much electrical power.

Finding ourselves in need of a new cooktop, we are considering propane. Not because we want to make the house easier to power via sola—that’s an added bonus—but because we both like cooking on gas. We would place a tank outside the house and plumb a gas line into the garage and run it up through the floor of the kitchen under the stove.

The immediate benefit is that we could then cook on the stovetop if there was no electricity. Yes, I know gas appliances today require electricity, but that is easy to provide via battery power, solar power, or a so-called “solar generator.” While we can cook on the wood stove, the Coleman stove, our outdoor grill, or an actual open fire, the ability to cook on a traditional stove top during an extensive power outage would be awesome.

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One Hive Down, Two to Go; Plus Cyberattacks on Essential Services

After a clandestine meeting in which I slipped a woman a wad of $20s and she handed me a small, carefully built wooden box, I was the proud owner of some bees.

The first bee hive is up and running. I picked it up early Thursday and brought it home, dodging raindrops. I waited until about 11 a.m. and installed them in their new hive quickly and easily.

Funny thing: By the time I got my jacket and veil on and marched out at the bee yard, my hive tool had fallen out of my back pocket. There I am with the nuc open and no way to pull out a frame. I unfolded my trusty pocket knife and used it to separate the frames and pry them out.

I don’t recommend prying with a folding knife any more than I recommend digging with it, but it held up well. Good knives, like good tools, are worth every penny.

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Extreme Drought Hits Western U.S., Plus New Solar Ideas

Much of the Western U.S. is in a severe to exceptional drought and unless some serious snow falls in their mountains, we could see an impact on the food supply

Food Storage is one of the pillars of prepping. It’s a foundational, meaning something you should have before you stockpile things like extra tools, items for barter, or gold or silver. A supply of potable water for drinking, rehydrating food, and hygiene is even more critical as you will die of thirst far before you starve to death. This is why preppers group them together as food, water, and shelter.

As we head into 2021, an extreme drought in much of the Southwest is raising concerns about water shortages. (See the main image, above, which is part of a larger, more complete report available at https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/.) Because water is required to grow vegetables, fruits and nuts in California and other states, a drought may negatively impact the food supply this coming year. Add to this the possibility that fingers of drought will continue to reach into the Midwest and plains states, and you can see how the grain might also be hurt.

Ironically, last year it rained so hard many farmers were not able to get corn in the ground in a timely manner. This just reinforces the point that our feed supply remains weather dependent.

Speaking of weather, let’s hope the West gets some heavy snow before winter is over; they need it to refill the snowpack and their reservoirs. And let’s not forget that drought conditions also can lead to an increased risk of wildfires.

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