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Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/08/2009 12:04 PM

I have recently been thinking and preparing for the loss of power and transportation during an economic collapse.

Problem: Electricity runs everything. Food and medical supplies are delivered on a daily or weekly basis to retailers. Most technology will have to be hand powered.

Needs: calories, water, heat and light (possibly medication that must be refrigerated)

Solutions: 350 lbs of rice supplies 1500 calories for one person for one year, 2 barrels of kerosene and converter kits to make wood stoves out of the barrels, a kerosene heater, hand pump for a well, candles and kerosene lamps, canned goods, hand crank grain grinder, bicycles and tire pump, perhaps a diesel vehicle if fuel can be stored, guns and ammo in case law enforcement breaks down and for trading stock.

What am I forgetting and does anyone know any good books to read?

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#1

Re: Engineering issues in an economic collapse

12/08/2009 12:09 PM

I do not know if you are a survivalist, but....

350 lbs of rice supplies 1500 calories for one person for one year,

You also have to look at not only the energy but the nutritional values.

perhaps a diesel vehicle if fuel can be stored,

Did you consider the storage life of the fuel.

p911

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Engineering issues in an economic collapse

12/08/2009 2:14 PM

Right. You're not going to want to eat rice for a year either, even if it is the only food around.

Have you looked at websites like ready.gov?

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#23
In reply to #2

Re: Engineering issues in an economic collapse

12/09/2009 5:58 PM

Thanks for ready.gov. It looks like medical stuff. Good idea.

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#22
In reply to #1

Re: Engineering issues in an economic collapse

12/09/2009 5:57 PM

Yes, 1500 calories of rice for a year is not a good thing. I would plan to start with that and then augment it with other grains, canned goods and locally available produce. I would save the balance of the rice for trading or charity.

Diesel lasts much longer than gasoline but I would add fuel preservatives if there are any. I can't decide if I should buy a diesel vehicle or not. Maybe a Kabota tractor with a bucket.

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#3

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/08/2009 3:54 PM

You are forgetting the other 99% of the population who do nothing, then take what you have so diligently collected for themselves.

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#4

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/08/2009 10:41 PM

You're still thinking the old fashioned way. Modern problems aren't solve by actually "DOING SOMETHING" as it was called.

They're solved by forming committees, creating photo opportunities, getting celebrities on board and by giving accountant driven market forces a free rein.

Just make sure to stand back when the correction hits.

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#5

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/08/2009 10:53 PM

Land, open-pollinated seeds, livestock...

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#16
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 12:32 PM

Also enough supplies for you and your neighbor. People will be the biggest asset and the biggest liability. Silver for trading. Toilet paper.

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#19
In reply to #16

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 2:36 PM

Silver for trading: Toilet Paper. Very true... I have a belief that silver for trading would also be Cigs and Booze. However, I have trouble imagining what they could have that I want or need!

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#25
In reply to #19

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 6:04 PM

I'm thinking ammo for trading as well. Probably 45 cal, 7.62 nato (308) and 223 (not sure where the decimal goes.

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#34
In reply to #25

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 10:06 PM

I'm not an expert by any means, but 7.62 mm equates to caliber .308 and 5.56 mm equates to .223 caliber (the decimal is a leading decimal).

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#24
In reply to #5

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 6:01 PM

Our neighborhood is rural with about 25 acres of pasture among 4 families We have beef, sheep and chickens. The open-pollinated seeds are a good idea.

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#6

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 2:15 AM

Move in with an Amish family :-D

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#7
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 7:45 AM

Since you broke the ice, I'd definitely join the Mormon cult religion. Less restrictive life style and Mormons all carry guns already. They have huge stockpiles of food and supplies put away, too.

Ok, all Mormons don't carry guns all the time.

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#10
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 8:55 AM

Have you visited a modern Amish family of late......not what you would think.

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#31
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 7:55 PM

Hi P911, Actually, I have. I lived near an Amish community for several years, and still own a home there. I am always amazed at how well folks can live without so many of the "modern" conveniences we use every day. But, without opening a religious debate, it has also been interesting to me how the Amish can "take advantage" of modern conveniences without breaking their "code' ... gasoline generators to run milking machines, mobile phones (in some areas), not opposed to hiring automotive transportation to get to where they need, and so forth. STILL, in the crisis hypothesized, it is good to know there are still communities of folks who remember the basics of farming, domesticating animals, hand-craftsmanship, preserving foods, etc. It's not that we've all forgotten, but if the power were to be cut in most homes today, I think most folks would have a real difficulty surviving for long. Kind regards ...

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#32
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 8:54 PM

We raised Belgain Draft Horses, In the winter timwe keeped tem working inthe woods logging, In te summer, wedidn't have enouh time for all of them so we' send he younger ones to a Amish farm to work them for the summer.

Also, My dad stayed a Amish Farmily in Indiana (once a year, his vacation ) while he went to a huge Auction (Held twice a year) . When he got back, he would say 4:30 Each morning a big Detroit diesel would fire up to run a huge Hydraulic pump that powered the Silo unloaders, Barn Cleaner,, ect...... It seems they do not use electrc motors, but Hydraulic is ok

one phone and that was out in the barn. He enjoyed the stays, He would bring them about 200# pited cherries, and come home with baked goods.

And the kids, given the chance to ride in a truck was a gift to them.

Interesting life.

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#35
In reply to #32

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 10:12 PM

Where in Indiana? I live (sometimes) west of Fort Wayne, in Columbia City. Shipshewana is about 36 miles north of there ... one of the more 'popular' Amish communities nearby.

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#36
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/10/2009 10:05 AM

Shipshewana,

yes, full of coopers, wheelwrights, smiths and most of all cabinetmakers, beautiful work.

The auction we go to is held twice a year and last 5 days, well my dad is gone about 5 days , The horse auction is held on Good Friday and the Friday after Thanksgiving.

p911

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#37
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/10/2009 7:58 PM

I bought a couple of horses in Shipshe ... but, not my best deals, probably because I was not experienced enough. Over the years, we've owned 12 or so head, one, two or three at a time ... mostly saddle horses. Yea, Shipshe was a great place for the weekends. I've never been to the auction, but the flea markets every week are always interesting ... a challenge to sort through the 'junk' to get to the 'gems', but always fun ....... then we'd head for Middlebury to the ice cream parlor ... okay, okay ... too much nostalgia ... time to work :-)

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#8

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 7:56 AM

If you have firearms and 2000 rounds of ammunition, you can pretty much get whatever else you need.

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#11
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 9:02 AM

Until you're down to 2 rounds left!

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#26
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 6:05 PM

Scarry!!!

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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/15/2009 3:03 PM
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#9

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 8:42 AM

For what duration are you planning, what region or climate, and would this be for a city, urban, or rural locality?

For testing purposes, load everybody up and go camping or rafting for a few days in different weather conditions to get a feel for (relatively) primitive conditions and how people change under stress. When planning, always take into account the human factor.

Good luck!

PS: DCaD's idea is not without merit! :)

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#27
In reply to #9

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 6:09 PM

We are rural, northwest, western Washington. I'm thinking one year so we could get out a crop cycle.

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#33
In reply to #9

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 10:02 PM

Thanks for clarifying your situation. I don't know what the odds are on an economic collapse happening or how long it would last and I certainly don't know what the ramifications might be, but I reckon it doesn't hurt to be prepared. Better to have a plan and not need it, etc.

As far as books go, look for "Life After Doomsday" by Bruce Clayton. It discusses a range of potential events, economic collapse among them. Mel Tappan, another writer, had some very interesting ideas. The Boy Scout Handbook and the old Foxfire series are good references. Back in the day (late 70's) everybody and his pup had a "survival" book out, so be advised to read everything with a grain of salt. You might even check with FEMA, they should have lots of material on crisis management, etc.

Again, good luck with your endeavors. If you want to, check my profile and shoot me an e-mail and let me know how it goes.

Logan

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#12

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 9:51 AM

These thoughts have crossed my mind, but wfga's thinking is selfish. As engineers we have an obligation to our fellow man, and we should be thinking about what we can do for society in event of collapse. One of the hallmarks of our profession is to consider the Societal Implications of our work.

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#13
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 10:00 AM

I think wfga is a radical person. Selfish, maybe. But, If we are really confronted with anarchy, as he fears, the self-survival instinct will kick in and all our lofty goals and, "the Societal Implications of our work" will take a back seat to food and shelter.

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#14
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 11:45 AM

Ok, its down to the three of us, and we're hungry, we have to eat each other. .....volenteers.

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#17
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 12:41 PM

Am currently reading "Collapse" by Jared Diamond. The idea is to recognize dangers in isolated (and Integrated) environments and face them. Some societies, like certain polynesian islands in the Pacific ignored the dangers to their peril. There was a civilization SE of Phoenix AZ that simply vanished, in relatively recent time. Yes, evidently they do turn to cannibalism. I fear we have such societies on the brink today.

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#18
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 12:49 PM

actually they do exist today, as did in the past.

There was one organization that controlled the actions of man by using fear as a tool.

That organization was called religion.

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#29
In reply to #18

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 7:00 PM

It's Islam as expected has most of the world in fear today.

What organized religion can compare to those lovable Moslem's eh?

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#30
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 7:23 PM

When I say religion, I don't mean beliefs the people have, I mean the organization.

You look at the radical Moslem's, how different is that from the Spanish Inquisition.

Or how the Catholic Church actually held back any advancement in science and technology if it conflicted with its own perceived beliefs.

p911

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#28
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 6:15 PM

Actually, I am thinking about what I can do to benefit society. I am the highest ranking public official in my area. I assume I would have some responsibility if the worst happens. The only local government is the rural fire dept. My son is a fireman as I used to be. I have tried to visualize a process to organize public services, neighborhood protection, medical assistance, etc. Unfortunately I can't leave my family unprotected and it won't help if I starve or freeze to death.

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#15

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 11:56 AM

Read Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. It does a decent job describing what people do in the event of an apocalyptic collapse of society. It would also give you some more ideas of how to prepare.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucifer's_Hammer

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#20

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 2:46 PM

If you don't already have then get several reference books on survival. There are so many I can't give you a list. Read them now, not later when you might need the info.

you need gardening supplies,including open pollinated seeds and for protein, trapping supplies. Trapping is much less work than hunting. I also suggest you learn how to make a fire without matches or lighters.

Files for metal work. without electricity working metals is all hand work.

reloading supplies for weapons.

Do you have a portable shelter in case the cause of the economic collapse knock your house down?

the books will clue you in on needed supplies

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#21

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/09/2009 5:30 PM

Get a ocean-going self-sustaining sailboat and get out to sea as soon as possible before someone else steals your sailboat.

Like Waterworld. Do not forget to desalinate your urine before you drink it

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#38

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/15/2009 11:40 AM

Fortunately I live in rural North Dakota.

When the economy collapses we just cut the power cords to the rest of the country, power our state off of our own in state hydro electric and wind power we currently have, save all of our surplus crops in the the bins we already have and drive around on our fuel we pump and process in our state. Heck even our cell phones and internet will probably still work just fine!

And trust me we have no problem guarding our boarders either with the two air bases and most of the countries big bombers here. And we do have an above average number of good old boys who can drop anything that moves with a hunting riffle from so far off your not even sure where the shot may have came from! And we know how to make and reload our own ammunition too!

You big city folk can come and run amok for a season in our fields if you want. The winters here will quickly thin out the less capable and we will just plow them under in the spring to use for all natural fertilizer!

We got our backs covered and then some already!

Bring it on!

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#39
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/15/2009 2:36 PM

In the midst of the bantering swagger don't overlook an EA6B Prowler big-boy, we're a union of united states.

ND may stand alone without us for a short while but she'll not stand against us for a minute.

http://www.america.gov/

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#43
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/15/2009 5:48 PM

Yea but we are big state with a tiny population. You will plow more fields than hurt people!

Plus do you really want to be getting nasty with a bunch of farmers who have nukes buried under their fields?

We are a windy state too! Tearing us up would be sort of like peeing into the wind. At first you think your making a point but soon after you start your shoes and pants are all wet for your efforts.

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#44
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/16/2009 12:53 AM

I've always liked ND, I made a huge investment there in the late 1970's and have been very pleased but of this and and the former post you've no idea what it is your laughing about

A silo could be an excelent hide away though, better than a hole in the riverbank

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#45
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/16/2009 7:31 PM

Admittedly not a clue. I have no idea what a EA6B Prowler big boy is.

My closest guess is its either military fire power, a vacuum tube, or some very oddly named set of bureaucratic paper work.

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#46
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Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/16/2009 7:39 PM

EA6B Prowler maybe you don't fit the description of a big boy

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#41

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/15/2009 3:07 PM
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#42

Re: Engineering Issues During an Emergency

12/15/2009 3:32 PM
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