Monday, January 31, 2011

Survival Related Blogs and Webpages

The Survivalist Boards
The Survivalist Boards is one of the biggest forums online for Survival and Self Sufficiency. The forum is organized into categories about general preparedness, man-made and natural disasters, wilderness survival, urban survival, financial preparedness, weapons of mass destruction and a number of other categories. On this forum you can find answers to most questions, the only disadvantage is that the size of the forum and high number of posts can make a little hard to navigate so make sure that you use the search function. The founder of the Survivalist Boards Kev also writes a blog called Survival Gear Review and Forum and also have a channel on YouTube.

American Preppers Network
The American Preppers Network (APN) was established in 2009. APN have a forum, chat rooms, articles and free E-books available on their site.

Survival Related Blogs
Club Orlov is blog that is written by Dmitry Orlov author of “Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects”. Orlov can also be seen on in the talk “Social Collapse Best Practices”.

Daily Survival is a blog that search web and publish articles written by other different writers.

Perkeles Blog is an interesting blog about Bushcraft, Survival, Outdoor activities and Knives.

Survival Blog is most likely the biggest blog about survivalism online written by James Wesley Rawles author of “Patriots: A Novel About Survival in The Coming Collapse” and “How To Survive The End Of The World As We know It”.

Surviving in Argentina is an interesting blog about life in Argentina after the 2001 economic crash.

The Survival Mom is written by Lisa Bedford with a focus on survival from a mother’s perspective.

Survival Tips and Tricks - A Daily Roundup up Useful News and Tips to Help You Be Prepared

Practical Survivor is an interesting blog that provides interesting information and guides like the Hobo Stove Guide and Emergency Toilet Guide.

CollapseNet is Michael Ruppert’s new site that was launched in 2010. Ruppert have also written the books “Crossing the Rubicon” and “Collapse”. The book “Collapse” was made into a movie in 2009. Ruppert has also written the newsletter “From The Wilderness”.

The Transition Network is a new project launched as response too issues like resources depletion and Peak Oil. The project has focus on sustainable development and how to help communities to make a transition towards a more self reliant system.

Equipped to Survive is Webpage by Doug Ritter were you can find product reviews and other many interesting articles like the Tarp Guide.

Animated Knots by Grog - Learn how to make knots for Climbing, Hiking, Camping, Fishing and many other situations.

A new page that lists the 50 top blogs about Survival has emerged called Survival Top 50. This is an excellent place to find other survival related blogs.

The Deliberate Homesteader

Economical Preparedness, Gold and Silver
Gold is Money - The Premier Gold and Silver Forum

WebPages for Research
The CIA World Fact Book presents up to date statistical information about the countries of the world.

GapMinder is a nonprofit web page launched by Hans Rosling. The Webpage presents the change in countries over time based on statistical information. The goal of the project is to show how the state of the world really is and break old myths. Rosling has used this platform on TED in Talks “The best stats you’ve ever seen”, “New Insights on Poverty” and “Global Population Growth”.

Freedom House is an American Organization devoted to democracy and Freedom. The Organizations rate all countries in the World based on the Political Rights and Civil Rights of the country. The Organization present this information very year in the report “Freedom in the World”, this makes it easy to go back and track change within a country. The site can be a great tool for research before you go to another country.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an American Agency with the mission to help improve the disaster preparedness in America. The Agency has around 4.000 employees and interacts with other organizations and agencies. is a WebPage launched by the FEMA as part of the Ready Campaign in order to help citizens and businesses to be prepared for disaster scenarios. On this site you can find guides for making plans and suggestions for evacuation kits.

TED is page where you can find Talks from many of the leading researchers within different field and watch them online through a YouTube like videos.

United States Geological Survey (USGS) is Webpage where you find information about natural disasters and many other fields. The organization also has very large database if you want to research previous natural disasters and events.

Los Angeles Fire Department – Emergency Preparedness Guide
Peak Oil
The Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) is a Webpage that provides information from different researchers within the Peak Oil movement.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

List of Survival Related Documentaries and Videos

There are many documentaries directly or indirectly related to the subject of survival and crisis preparedness. In this post I will list some of my personal favorites with a little information about movie or documentary. All of the videos from TED can be streamed for free; this is one of my favorite WebPages were you can find a number of interesting talks with many of the leading scientists and researchers from different fields.

2210 The Collapse?” by National Geographic based on the book by Jared Diamond. Also includes a number of different researchers like Joseph Tainter and Dan Gilbert. I also recommend the “Guns, Germs and Steel” National Geographic documentary based on the book by Jared Diamond, it has basically the reverse approach to Collapse and focuses on how human societies have developed.

Home”, 2009 documentary by Yann Arthus-Bernard. Peak Oil, Resource Depletion, The Population Explosion and Global Warming. The movie is available for free online through YouTube. One of my favorite documentaries.

Michael Rupperts “Collapse”. Based on the book with the same name; Peak Oil, The Economic Situation and The Population Explosion.

Blind Spot” 2008 documentary about Peak Oil with a number of different researchers like Joseph Tainter, Richard Heinberg and Kenneth Deffeyes.

After Armageddon” from the History Channel. Fictional documentary about a Collapse after a major epidemic; includes a number of different researchers like Joseph Tainter.

A Crude Awaking”, 2006 Peak Oil Documentary featuring Matthew Simmons and Colin Campbell.

The End of Suburbia” 2004 Documentary about Peak Oil and Sustainable Development with Michael Ruppert, Matthew Simmons, Richard Heinberg, James Howard Kunstler and many more.

"The Joy of Stats" is a one hour long documentary about Statistics and Development by Hans Rosling from 2010. The documentary can be seen for free on the Gapminder homepage.

"Crash Course" by Chris Martensson is a series of documentary videos about the Economy, Energy, Peak Oil and Climate Change. 3 Hours and 20 min in total.

"Into Eternity" – 2010 Documentary by Michael Madsen about nuclear power and the process of finding sustainable safe solutions for nuclear waste.

National Geographic – "Doomsday Preppers". A documentary about four families and their efforts to prepare themselves for potential large scale disasters. The family of Lisa Bedford how writes the blog The Survival Mom is one of the families that participate.

"The Collapse of Complex Societies" by Joseph Tainter

TED Talks
Why Are We Happy” by Dan Gilbert, 2004

The Walk from Yes to No” by William Ury, 2010

"Global Power Shifts" by Joseph Nye, 2010

How People becomes monsters… or heroes” by Philip Zimbardo, 2008
"A healthy take on time" by Philip Zimbardo, 2009

Why Societies Collapse” by Jared Diamond, 2003

"The Best Stats You´ve ever Seen" by Hans Rosling, 2006
"New Insights on Poverty" by Hans Rosling, 2007
"Global Population Growth" by Hans Rosling, 2010
"The Magic of Washing Machine" by Hans Rosling, 2011

"The Security Mirage" by Bruce Schneier, 2010

"The Earth is Full" by Paul Gilding, 2012

"Why I must speak about Climate Change" by James Hansen, 2012

Lawrence Rice: "Energy and National Security"
Jeff Rubin: "Oil and the End of Globalization"
Dr. James Schlesinger: "The Peak Oil Debate is Over"
Bianca Jagger: "Beyond Petroleum: What Are The Options?"
Ralph Nader: "Energy and Policy"
Nassim Nicholas Taleb - "A Crazier Future"
Dmitry Orlov - “Social Collapse Best Practices
Tom Murphy - "Growth Has an Expiration Date"

Media Reports
ABC News - "The Survivalists"
ABC News - "Surviving Economic Armageddon"
ABC News - "Suburban Survivalists: I Just Want To Be Prepared"
Newsweek - "Survivalism Lite"
Evan Allen - "We Stand at Armageddon"

National Geographic - "Doomsday Preppers"
Discovery Channel - "Doomsday Bunkers"

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Basic Mindset for Survival

This is the first of the articles in the series “The Psychology of Survival”. The articles will describe some of the problems to you might face during a survival or crisis situation. This article will describe the nature of a crisis and what kind of problems that you may have to overcome.

The will to survive is by many experts considered to be the single most important factor for making it through a survival situation. There are many examples of people how have survived horrible situation and hopeless situations, pain and suffering, people how have kept going and against all odds made it through. Few people have died because they have continued to fight, but many have died because they stopped trying.

Any crisis or survival situation will be a difficult situation to cope with. A crisis is a situation where urgency is important, there is a threat and action must be taken fast. A crisis presents a threat against basic values like life, health or property. A crisis also results in uncertainty; the scope of the disaster is seldom known right away. It is also often unclear what current and future consequences the event will have. These three factors make it into a difficult task of handling a crisis: for individuals but also for government agencies and the media.

Some examples of possible threats that can result in a crisis or survival situation can be found in the chapter about Risk Assessments. By familiarizing yourself with different types of Risks you will get a more realistic perspective on what effects such a situation might result in and what can be learned from previous situations. It also helps you to mentally prepare for what you could expect from these situations but also gives you a chance to plan ahead and take precautions in order to avoid or minimize the effects from such risks. However some disasters may be threats that no one has seen coming or been preparing for, these situations present much larger challenges when it’s hard for the affected people to understand what is happening and government agencies may lack both routines, training and equipment to deal with the situation.

Possible challenges
• Sleep Deprivation and Fatigue
• Loss of property or economic loss
• Personal Injuries
• Disease
• Fear and Uncertainty
• Exposure from wind, cold or heat
• Dehydration or lack of food
• Stress
• Injuries or death to friends or loved ones
• Unfamiliar threats and situations

It’s up to you
In some situation government agencies may be able to provide healthcare and other needs like shelter, water, food and security. But during a large scale disaster no government has enough resources to provide immediate help to everyone that needs it. Infrastructure like the electrical grid, water, sewage, roads, railways and airports may be damaged. This can make it hard to transport the resources and supplies needed to an affected area. It may also result in a situation with secondary effects like the outbreak of disease, no access to clean water and dangerous or damaged buildings. In these situations you must help yourself. There may be days, weeks or even months before outside assistance will be provided. During large scale disasters help is normally provided from both national government agencies like first responders, police, fire fighters, military, national guard but also from Non Governmental Organization (NGO:s) like the Red Cross. If the situation is extremely severe help may also be provide by other nations and international organization like the United Nation World Food Program (WFP).

Staying positive is extremely important and this can be very hard if suffer from exhaustion, sleep deprivation, stress, injuries, disease or if you just lost someone that you care about. If let you self become negative the risk is much bigger that you will only see problems, if you try to stay positive the chance to you will be able to find solutions for different problems is much bigger. This also makes it easier to improvise and work with the terrain. Your own knowledge, health, experience and equipment will also make it easier to find solutions.

The nature of a crisis situation makes it very likely that both government agencies and the media may misinterpret the situation when they have to make decisions based on incomplete information under time pressure when people lives and property are on stake. Even if experts and journalists have access to modern communications and training no one can get everything right during this type of situation. This is the nature of the situation and you must take this is into consideration when you receive information.
• It’s of no use to become angry or feel despair if information about help turns out to be incorrect, this must be expected. Keep your focus on the situation at hand.

Adapting to the situation
• Try to stay positive
• Do not complain, especially not if you are in a leadership position. Your reactions will affect others as well.
• Make sure that you keep busy. Work continually to improve your situation, ensure that you have the access to shelter, water and food.
• If you are in a group make sure that everyone has a task to do and that everyone is included in the work and that everyone has access to the information available about the situation.
• Don’t second guess yourself; keep the focus on the situation at hand. What can you do to minimize the consequences and improve your situation?
• Try to stay alert and calm.
• Plan your actions and take risk into account – if you injure yourself during a survival situation because you’re careless your situation might become much more difficult.
• Take care of your friends, family and the other people around you.

Be Ready
It’s impossible to be prepared for every possible threat, but by getting knowledge, skills and experience you will improve your chances to survive a crisis situation. Equipment and supplies can also make it much easier to deal with crisis situation if you have access to water, means of purifying water, food, equipment to prepare the food, a radio so that you receive messages, different sources of light, first aid and other medical supplies and so on.

A Survival Knife, Pocket Survival Kit and Get Home Bag (GHB) can provide you with equipment to deal with a crisis or survival situation in your everyday life.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Upcoming Themes during the Spring

During the spring I am planning to write a series of articles about The Psychology of Survival. This is a subject that I have only touched indirectly and would like to develop a little more. The series will have minimum three parts:
• The Basic Mindset for Survival
• Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
• The Psychology of Evil based on the work by Philip Zimbardo and other researchers.

I am also planning to write an article about Hurricanes for the section about Natural Disasters much like the previous articles about Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis.

I will also create some pages with recommendation for other resources that can be found like forums, blogs, documentaries, movies, books and other resources. The Blog List and Book list on the side of the blog is too short for listing all the sites I would like to recommend.

If you have any comments or suggestions for future articles that you would like to see leave a comment or write me a PM on The Survivalist Boards.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


The Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) has started a web based platform where lectures from different researchers within the Peak Oil movement can be streamed online for free called ASPO TV. On this Webpage you can view many of the experts within the field from the 2010 World Conference on Peak Oil. This is a perfect source for anyone how would like to learn more about the subject.

The speakers that are currently available for free are:
Lawrence Rice: "Energy and Security"
Jeff Rubin: "Oil and the End of Globalization"
Dr. James Schlesinger: "The Peak Oil Debate is Over"
Bianca Jagger: "Beyond Petroleum: What Are The Options?"
Ralph Nader: "Energy and Policy"
Ken Zweibel: "The Law of Energy, Technology and Scale"

The following speakers are also availble for ASPO members
Sharon Astyk: "Can We Fill The Gap?"
Dr Anthony Perl: "Can We Fill The Gap?"
Dr. Charles E. Schlumberger: "Can We Fill The Gap?"
Dr. Tad Patzek: "The Laws of Energy, Technology and Scale"

Friday, January 7, 2011

Responding to an Emerging Crisis

A crisis or survival situation may manifest either without any previous warning or after a series of warnings. If a warning is given before a crisis the warnings are often mixed with conflicting information making it very hard to estimate how serious a threat really is.

After a disaster the information that goes out to the public can contain contradicting information about how serious the incident or situation really is. This is often even more serious if the threat or situation is something that is unfamiliar. Unknown threats present large problems for first responders but also for politicians and other leaders of a community that lack the experience, routines and possibly equipment to handle the situation. Researching different kinds of potential threats can make it easier for you to understand what is going on during a crisis situation and what you can expect. It’s important that you continually try to keep yourself updated and review the situation as its changing.

Responding to an emerging crisis situation
• Try to stay updated by following the news in the media and through the radio. Write down information as it comes in, make a timeline.
• Make a check with family and friends and get an update of their situation.
• If the situation might call for an evacuation check Bug Out Bags and Vehicles. Check potential escape routes; is there any information that suggests that these routes may be blocked or inaccessible?
• Is there any other specific tools or equipment that the situation may call for in addition to the supplies that you’re Bug Out Bag contains?
• Make an inventory/check of the status for water, food, light, storage of gasoline and medical supplies. What specific needs may this threat call for? Is there anything you can do to improve these needs or minimize the consequences?
• Fill up water bottles, water containers and additional water storage if possible.
• Make some additional research about the threat, previous events and lessons learned.
• What is the weather forecast for the coming days?

A crisis or survival situation will be both stressful and frustrating. Sometimes help from outside sources may come very fast from first responders but in other situation the scale of a disaster may overwhelm a society and you may have to make do with what you have. If external help is not available you will have to manage the situation yourself. Information that goes out during a crisis is affected by the ongoing situation. Even if government agencies are planning to send help to a region damaged infrastructure or lack of resource may delay or prevent the help from arriving. Traveling with airline, bus or train may also be problematic and delays should be expected.

The importance of being Prepared
If you can can’t keep warm or get access to water a bad situation may get lethal in case of a long lasting emergency or natural disaster quite fast. If you do not have access to food, light, medical supplies and a way of receiving information like a battery powered radio your situation will be much more uncomfortable and the sense of insecurity larger than it would otherwise be. The equipment and preparations that you have made before a crisis can mean the difference between life and death. It can also prove to be the difference between having to endure a crisis under extreme hardship or with ease.

[ ] Sleeping bags, blankets, clothing and some kind of heater?
[ ] Equipment to start a fire?
[ ] Water and equipment to collect and purify water?
[ ] Food that does not have to be stored in a refrigerator?
[ ] Some kind of stove that can be used to prepare food in case of black out?
[ ] Sources of light? Spare batteries and extra fuel?
[ ] First aid kit and basic medical supplies?
[ ] Some kind of radio that can be used in case of a black out?
[ ] An emergency toilet?

Keeping a log
It’s important that you keep a log of the information that you are receiving. When did you receive the information and from what source? Can any other source confirm this information? If you make contact with friends or family members make sure to write down the time when you made contact with them, what their situation was, what their plans are and how you can make contact with them again.

If you are in a larger group or with your family I suggest that you have a briefing every night and morning about what has taken place during the day, what new information that has become available and what the plans are for the next day.

No matter the situation it is very important that you
• Try to stay positive, alert and calm
• Don’t second guess yourself or think about what you could have done differently to avoid or divert the situation, keep the focus on the situation at hand.
• Keep planning and taking steps to reduce the consequences of the disaster. The situation will most likely continue to change and it’s important that you stay updated.
• Keep a regular update on water and supplies – what should your priority be right now?
• Make sure that everyone has a task to do and get organized. Just sitting around and waiting will not improve a bad situation. Make sure that water gets collected and purified, that food get prepared on regular times if possible, take care of hygiene and try to keep the location you’re in as clean and organized as possible.
• How one should handle a situation if there is children present can be difficult. But I would recommend that you explain the situation as best you can and explain what you are doing to make it better. If you don’t know answers don’t be afraid to say so.
• Look after your friends and family.