Last week, we discussed natural and nuclear-weapon-induced electromagnetic pulse, and some things that individuals can do to protect homes and electronics. While lightning-induced EMP normally affects limited areas near each strike, nuclear EMP affects everything within hundreds of miles of “ground zero.” While electronics in Faraday cages may survive, we'll need the backup power systems of installments 316-321 to run electronics after nuclear EMP.
While nuclear EMP might be avoided, overspending on government WuFlu fixes and new Federal programs already triggered inflation. Food, stocks, building materials, real-estate and fuel prices have already jumped sharply, and we expect more price hikes by year end. Powers in DC are pushing for even more spending, if enacted the inevitable effect will be that of pouring gasoline on the inflation fire-driving prices far higher.
During inflation, incomes rise, but lag behind prices-until late stages when economies fail and incomes cease. When Russia went through inflation in the late 90s, pensioners found an entire month's benefit would cover one day's food-I saw them lined up outside metro stations holding up spare clothes trying to raise food money. Similar things happened elsewhere whenever governments debased the currency or overspent from fourth century Rome through the 21st centuries in countries from Austria through 1923 Germany to Zimbabwe. The U.S. is not immune, the Revolution, Civil War and Carter era all saw sharp inflation, and (see shadowstats.org) if the price index were computed as in 1980, today's inflation is nearing 15 percent.
We store consumables, emphasizing food, because stored consumables may save our necks as inflation soars to hyperinflation.
Once started, inflation never ends quickly; expect at least a couple of years.
After food, what other consumables should we store? First, non-food consumables for our own use, and second are trade goods that others may need.
In Europe, soaring natural gas gave high electricity prices. High prices closed fertilizer plants-creating shortages of carbon dioxide and dry ice needed for food processing and distribution; this drove U.S. propane exports and prices up. U.S. propane, gasoline and diesel prices have soared since January, with “climate crisis” as excuse for production restrictions.
We use a lot of fuel for heat, cooking and transportation.
Colorado gets cold in winter, consumables include fuel. We've discussed utility-independent backup heat such as propane, kerosene, 12-volt pellet, or wood stoves, and how we must install and test systems before they are needed. We should store enough fuel for the heater we chose for at least one or two winters. Store fuel properly, firewood must be dry to burn well, wet pellets decompose to sawdust, and propane requires a steel tank. Fuel needs for a winter vary with home size, insulation, thermostat setting, and weather; heating even small houses may burn 70-100 40-pound bags of pellets, 3-6 cords of wood or 500 gallons propane for heat alone. Propane users average another 250 yearly for hot water and 50 for cooking.
We also discussed utility-independent cookstoves, such as propane RV or camp stoves; since a year's cooking may burn 50 gallons, these need adapters and hoses for 20-pound (5 gallon), 100-pound (25 gallon), or larger tanks instead of 1-quart disposables.
Heat and cooking fuel stores better than transportation fuels because stored alcohol-laced gasoline oxidizes forming “varnish” that clogs carburetors and fuel injectors. Stored gas and diesel needs stabilizers, with gasoline expected losing volatile components in under 6 months; aviation gasoline stores better but contains lead that damages catalytic converters and exhaust-oxygen sensors. Driving 10,000 miles a year can burn 500 gallons-far beyond 5-gallon cans-making an outdoor farm tank essential if gas or diesel is stored.
Propane in 20-pound tanks, firewood, and pellets may also be good trade goods.
To reduce winter fuel needs, we lower thermostats, use extra blankets, and wear some winter clothing indoors like fleece-lined jeans and flannel shirts; these in addition to heavier clothes for outdoor wear while walking to school or work.
As walking replaces driving, shoes wear faster. Acquire multiple spare pairs, including ones with soles having good tread.
Stored clothes and shoes should be chosen for fit, durability, and warmth, not fashion. Those with children may also store larger sizes for use next year. Clothes and blankets may double as trade goods, but shoes have limited tradability because size is critical.
Toilet paper, paper towels, tampons and pads are consumed in large amounts by Americans, but can be in demand as trade goods when economies flounder. We should store a year's supply of TP and feminine hygiene products, and plan switching to cloth reusable towels.
Oct. 12, 2021, 9 a.m. 238,421,217 infected (4,860,593 dead). U.S. 44,461,752 (714,242 dead); India > 33.99 million; Brazil > 21.58 million. Delta in the last 28 days: 3.13 million in U.S., 696K in India, 942K in UK. Colorado 694,349 (7,996 dead) mostly India/Delta B.1.617.2. Fremont County 7,885 (state), Fremont County shows 7,711 (273 in 7 days), 4,477 in community, 3,234 in prisons, 21 in hospital, 84 dead. Neighbors Chaffee 2,148, Custer 333, El Paso 95,581, Park 1,287, Pueblo 23,473, and Teller 2,613.