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Tools, Equipment, and Tips for an Ideal Prepper’s Workshop

Tools, Equipment, and Tips for an Ideal Prepper’s Workshop

The intention of this article is to provide a valid approach to some special considerations we may have for long term use of our gear that arose when I was advising someone about using power tools.

We are going to be in deep need of tools and knowledge for some maintenance and repairmen work in our equipment. Therefore, special care must be addressed before setting up a workshop for the long term. Meaning with this a post-apocalypse stage, as long as you believe it could be, just remember how we prepared and the collapse was so large that we had to leave the country. Miscalculations are on you.

Assess what equipment you have already to figure out what you need.

This said, we should already have a general idea about the direction we want/need our homestead or compound must be directed in the future, regardless if we are there or not.

We should already have an inventory of all of our equipment and the more used spare parts, repairmen and maintenance manuals, and a workshop as small or as big as you need it, able to accomplish most of such tasks, with a proper set of tools that would last a lifetime.

If you decided to build a biodiesel small scale facility, complete with an alcohol distillery, you should be ready to maintain it without too much hassle. Or if you have a wood gas genset (something that I like a LOT by the way) running with a small, simple, reliable and efficient engine with a huge flywheel to minimize the wasted kinetic energy, everything should be in place to service that setup.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Power Grid Failure Will Totally Disrupt Your Life: Lessons From Venezuela

A Power Grid Failure Will Totally Disrupt Your Life: Lessons From Venezuela

You must be already aware of the terrible water situation that people in most of the cities in Venezuela is facing. This is the product of the combination of several factors that I will try to explain. But please! Understand that we suffered the consequences of a weirdo military chief that NEVER had any clue about governing like a civilian, but giving orders and commands, and he ordered to seize all the companies and put them under control of the “State” because everyone should have access to water. Indeed our laws say that water is free; I mentioned this in a previous article. Companies therefore quickly found a turnaround to capitalize the right to ADDRESS, extract, and direct the water to the customers who did not pay for the water, but the work of having it “transported”. This is quite important for the reader to accept this. I have that feeling that sometimes people just refuse to believe this sort of things happen in some place in the world, much less in the same American continent. And yes, it happens. It happened to us, and it was about to happen to people in Chile, too, back in the 70s with Allende.

Things that were once easy to get in Venezuela are now impossible to find.

This said I hope you can have a more complete view of what happens when instead of motivated employees, highly trained and well paid, you have underpaid, sad, ill-mannered government employees wearing a T-shirt with Hugo´s face. Well, that happened in lots of companies, originating the disaster we are facing now.

Defending a Venezuelan Homestead: “Eventually people will come for what you have”

Defending a Venezuelan Homestead: “Eventually people will come for what you have”

My cousins there in the open country of Venezuela tell me that nights are dark. The government cut the power, and hungry people use this to go to the farms and see what they can steal.

Don’t rely on your elaborate systems too much.

I must tell you that those who rely on power and water off-the-grid, are wrong. Use it while you have it, but plan for when you stop having it. You will not be able to get supplies for your systems.

Oversize your systems; use industrial and heavy duty equipment. If you can afford buying some additional meters of extra pipe and have storage space, do it. It won´t rot and can be very useful. Design with time. Learn to get pleasure from customizing your designs, and discuss it with your family and like-minded friends over a couple of beers. I used to do this with my dad and we both enjoyed it a lot. I miss him.

The quality of the tap water is……similar to what you could get in a third-world nation. Not surprising. Therefore, I would not recommend you tie yourself to replaceable filters. Use the kind of filter that could be cleaned properly with a hard brush if needed. I would invest in UV lamps for the sterilizer and direct the money to a good quality battery pack.

A crossbow is a fine investment

I mention this because, on my wish list back in the homeland, there was a good, simple, and robust crossbow with a sight and a night vision scope. Maybe even three or four would be better, just in case. Use a tall tree for a camouflaged surveillance post, and leave the crossbow there with enough arrows to make a real mess in a roving band.

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Electronics for Preppers: Simplicity Is Reliability

Electronics for Preppers: Simplicity Is Reliability

I read an interesting history some time ago, where a prepper, an ex-lieutenant, retired and headed to the hills with his dog in a big rig. This one was heavily modified: beefed up suspension, oversized diesel engine with redundant fuel lines, and all kinds of smart but at the same time simple conveniences.

He proudly referred to it as having “expeditionary quality”. That phrase remained in my mind. Expeditions have been characterized by being highly risky. Nowadays we have lots of high-end technology, and even with these gadgets, people suffer accidents and get themselves in all kind of dangerous situations. Without our equipment, we are just weak and frightened meat bags, lost in the wilderness.

Well, I feel like that, at least (nothing like listening to the roar of wild red monkeys almost your size to make this feeling arise). Pretty sure lots of guys out there have Rambo-like skills, training and such. I won’t get into details regarding the mind setup of a prepper. Don´t misunderstand the main objective of this article.

I myself am an advocate of using technology, especially for homestead defense purposes. I prefer an induction kitchen over an open fire, without any doubt. And I know that given the fantasy of the need of an endless-expanding market, things are designed, engineered and manufactured for failure. This is because of the need of being sold at an affordable price and keep the money flowing. YOUR money, flowing from your pocket to theirs. No matter if you decided to use some “excess” of money you may have, in buying a new microwave, or some other stuff. Keep reading, please.

Simplicity is reliability.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Venezuelan’s Guide to Off-Grid Power

A Venezuelan’s Guide to Off-Grid Power

My dear fellow preppers:

I have used these last few weeks in my freelance work some ingenuity, in order to accomplish some goals. Therefore, I have come to think a lot about how I could provide a roof for mines, if for some reason, God forbid, our coming back to Venezuela is delayed.

I just saw a website about a businessman refurbishing old bunkers, and another about greenhouses. Living now in a different climate has made me appreciate the need for heating, for instance, and understand how paramount it is for people living in such climates.

Therefore, I have some suggestions that I have compiled and adding some things that I learned firsthand with the Venezuelan collapse as well as what I have learned in engineering school and my former job.Some interesting stuff is in my mind that I will share with you.

Power rationing is getting worse in Venezuela

The lack of power is getting increasingly common in my home country. Those without a good battery pack and solar panels to charge it are going to be powerless. The norm of the rationing now in Venezuela is just like the 4 hours a day of power in Cuba.

Soon, it will be even worse. The lack of maintenance to our dam and hydro power facilities is going to generate a breakdown of the system.

As a side comment, a former functionary of the Chavez era called Nervin Villalobos was Viceminister of Electrical Energy, and he is determined to be the biggest responsible in this crisis.  If some of you still believe that we deserved this, perhaps this will change your mind. A thief is a thief, Democrat, Republican, or Communist.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Engineered Collapse of Venezuela Was the Beginning of a War on the Free World

The Engineered Collapse of Venezuela Was the Beginning of a War on the Free World

I have a certain degree of acceptance for some things. However, these last two weeks my ability to be surprised has been superseded. The price increase in everything and the difference between the salaries in Venezuela is something unbelievable. How the people have not started to burn down government buildings is a mystery for me.

This is no political analysis; is a common sense article. If a gang of thugs arrived in your neighborhood and started to charge fees and ration food, electricity, water, and gas, how much time would be necessary for the neighbors be so pissed off to start shooting? Even without guns they would make a huge mess.

But I believe that our gene pool was decimated thoroughly, and our civil wars consumed already the warrior genetics needed to get rid of that coward gang, that shoots in the head a pregnant woman like they did with the wife of the Rebel Pilot, Oscar Perez one year ago.

We need to be aware, even those with the most combative genes, of everything that comes after an economic collapse. Good military can become rogue. Jail gates can be opened, and the worst of the worst can come out, after paying a good fee to some corrupt employee that needs the money to get his family out of the city. Entire supermarkets can start to close their doors and refuse to sell if things get really nasty. The managers and employees will buy whatever is left on the shelves if they can make it safely to the shops.

Inmates have been freed as a control mechanism.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What Life Is Like for Venezuelan Refugees: The Crisis Isn’t Over When You Escape the Collapse

What Life Is Like for Venezuelan Refugees: The Crisis Isn’t Over When You Escape the Collapse

I find the most difficult aspect of survival is to keep a positive mindset. Definitely, it is. The crisis is not over when you escape the collapse. While I expected when I got my family out, our struggles were over, they have just begun.  Once you have been a successful professional, with an entire life ahead of you, and a good amount of the road already left behind, and find as refugees in a foreign country…this is where you really know about how strong you can be.

Or how weak, in my case. Don’t misunderstand me, please. I have been much more fortunate than many of my people, and I give thanks to God for that.

Some reflections, some advice.

These days have not been easy. There are a lot of people already in the labor marketplace around here, working for less money than they should, and rents are increasing because of the people looking for a place…and somehow finding something to work close to home has been uphill. My reserves have been in a slow decrease, and I am starting to worry a little bit.

I have you, unknown friends, but a wonderful prepping community that has avoided that the water covers my nose, and I appreciate that much more than you would believe (Receive our blessings please!). I had some cash stashed away that worked for buying my ticket and left just in time. I hold a professional degree that many people would kill to have, and skills that made me earn some degree of respect everywhere I arrived to work at some facility. I wanted to use this opportunity to spend some more time with my young kid, as a regular engineering work consumes a lot of time, and I was without my son ¾ of a year…but you know how it is.

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Life Without Medical Care: How the Public Health System Collapsed in Venezuela

Life Without Medical Care: How the Public Health System Collapsed in Venezuela

Editor’s Note: People who have been through a collapse, like Jose and Selco, know for a fact what it is like to live in a place where there are no hospitals, little medicine, and few professionals. In this article, Jose gives us a glimpse of what life is like without medical care as he shares how the public health system in Venezuela collapsed. ~ Daisy


The access to the public health system in Venezuela hasn’t been good since the middle 70s. In the bigger cities, things were more or less decent until the middle 80s. This system, based on mere profits as quotas or portions from the oil revenues, while the population was not very large, reached a critical mass level. The crumbs from such revenues (where most of this income was stolen or sent outside of the country) allowed us to avoid the total collapse of the health system. Despite being bigger every year, the infrastructure of the system could not hold up against the corruption.

In such a fast-growing population as ours, this was the prelude to a total disaster. At first, people thought this was not important; money and work were enough. The major concern of the people was finding a place to live (buying a plot and building a house with their own effort was something that people did not do, except for some eccentric persons that earned the respect and admiration of their neighborhood). If the government built the house and you ended up paying an insignificant quota, much better. Usually, in 4 or 5 years the inflation would eat that debt, like it happened with our mortgage. Anyway, this was more or less the general status quo in the middle 80s.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What Happens When Your Money Is Worthless? Living with a Devalued Currency

What Happens When Your Money Is Worthless? Living with a Devalued Currency

This is one of the most important and valued articles to help you prepare. I think it could be useful, based on our experience with the economic collapse and its effects on the currency. Let me tell you what life is really like when your country has a devalued currency that is nearly worthless.

How do you buy things with devalued currency?

These last few days I was asked by a fellow prepper overseas how our internal trading, with such a devalued currency, was going on. He asked if we used silver coins and bartering. I answered him that we use mostly US dollars and Euros for large transactions like vehicles, land, and housing, as far as I know. But the reason people are mostly selling is that they are desperate to get out of the country, and the wealth they have accumulated in previous years vanishes, with the bad deals they seem forced to accept.

On the other hand, for day-to-day payments, bolivars are still used, but the prices go up (always UP by the way) depending on the black market dollar price. This is, though, a perfect evidence that this black market dollar is controlled by the government: look at the evolution price, and you will find it stable just before any important election, political campaigns and such.

This is no surprise, those who benefit the most from this black market are those “companies” that aligned with the dollar river…and nowadays that stream is getting dry.

Bad news for oil industry workers

I received very bad news for those still working in the oil industry. So you can understand what is in store for the employees, I have to explain some background first.

As part of our monthly payment, we received a savings incentive: the company retained the 12.5% of our salary in their accounts until the end of the month, and provided another 12.5% (it sounds like a lot but it is not). So, by the end of the month, we had in the corporative account an additional 25%.

This was one of the main benefits for the oil state workers, and that helped to deal with the high performance demanded by the industry. This money, during better times, was kept there until the end of the year, for a new car, or starting a side business,  some fancy vacations, and stuff. However I never used it for traveling overseas, but invested in land, some prepping gear and equipment, assisting my parents and my wife’s family, and short family trips from time to time to the beach, or my folks’ place and such.

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The Collapse of Venezuela Was “a systematic destruction to seize our freedom”

The Collapse of Venezuela Was “a systematic destruction to seize our freedom”

Editor’s Note: As we begin to become more concerned about the possibility of our own economic collapse, it’s important to see what has happened in other countries. Today, Jose explains how the collapse of Venezuela was deliberately engineered to make the populace bend to the will of a dictatorship. It didn’t happen all at once and most people never saw it coming until it was too late, and they were starving, oppressed, and dying. ~ Daisy


In this article, I would like to expose how this government-induced collapse has affected the psychological health of the population. And I would like to make special emphasis on the word induced.  The nature of the corruption cases has been so large, and the damage to our economy has been so wide, with such devastating effects, that there is no any doubt that this could never have been generated by ignorance, lack of the needed aptitudes and skills, or plain and simple negligence, nor combination of all these factors.

This was a systematic destruction of our institutions, our government structure, and way of life, to allow the government, against the will of the people, to seize our freedom and our democratic system.

What is a crisis?

Let’s formally define what a crisis is.

A harmful, hazardous situation lived by a person or community as a consequence of an unexpected and sudden change in their living conditions. This situation is a threat to their welfare; physical integrity, social and economic stability, and the usual way to face adversity.

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Anxiety, Anguish, Anger: How It Really Feels to Survive a Collapse

Anxiety, Anguish, Anger: How It Really Feels to Survive a Collapse

Hello to all those readers interested in learning from my personal experience of surviving an economic collapse.

I decided to write this article, the first of a series of several similar that will be posted because I am experiencing these days a huge emotional mix. I am not embarrassed in any way for this, I am a normal person, I have feelings and emotions like everyone else, and until not long ago I had a home, a job, and a conventional, peaceful life like perhaps many of you are enjoying right now.

May God keep it that way!

As a former oil worker, one learns to control emotions, because being in this business, a bad decision in the field if there is danger present, could cost one’s life. Or someone else’s. This said, when we made the decision (as a family we discuss all this of course) and, once my salary stopped being useful for three weeks worth of food, we decided that was the inflection point. After 14 years in one of the most profitable industries in the world (except in Venezuela), I was left with nothing in my bank account. The hyperinflation ate away all the little money that was there. The next step, fleeing to a foreign country (yes, I had savings in hard currency) and trying to find some stability was relatively easy, as my sister-in-law and mother-in-law were already here, and they had some space. So I started a small business (mainly private lectures) just to meet the ends, and it became more or less profitable. A phone call every two days to home, to speak with my family, and long, newspaper-like emails, social networks sometimes. (We decided to not disclose my departure because of OPSEC).

Anxiety

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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