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November 20, 2014

It’s late, my brother is coming over, and I’ll have a fairly full plate tomorrow too, so the next post will wait a while.

In the meantime, inspired by a number of comments, missions.  it’s a lot easier to plan a ‘space if you have a decent idea of what you want to do with it.  Here we go with a few:

Radios.  It was pointed out communications is important, and transistor radios in the bands we like aren’t too hard, and don’t necessarily need microchips.  Thoughts?

Vehicles.  Lots of stuff you’re not gonna wanna lug on your back in the quantities needed, so making sure you have other ways to get around is important, and that means being able to fix stuff.

Guns.  From clearing jams to armorer level maintenance and making parts.  Also fancy munitions, napalm, explosives, etc. when the time comes.

Food.  Helping the poor unfortunate souls around you, and keeping field rations ready.

Any other clear missions?  Some of these can be undercover, some can be sneaked around in trailers or whatever, some can happen in garages.  But, if you decide to do something, that helps you figure out what’s needed and prepare.


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  1. Covert recovery wards for recovering wounded

    Need to be easily sanitized

    • AKA an empty house or barn, with water and power. Get rolls of sheet plastic and some duct tape. Add a portable window AC unit with heat pump and HEPA filters. Field expedient positive pressure sanitary room. Add beds – its a recovery ward. Add the MASH unit shopping list from over your transom, and you have surgery. Put the surgery in the barn or garage, and use the house for the recovery ward. A coat of high-gloss enamel paint also allows for sanitizing with bleach solution..

  2. h h permalink

    I did a open source building block machine a few years ago. I can contribut the plans. the files fan be lasered pretty easily as they are vector PDF.

    It makes 20k psi blocks using soil and 7-11% cement powder.

  3. Stu Redman permalink

    All those are good.
    You’ll need a classroom, a kitchen, and a commons area.
    ‘Applied chemistry’ classes would be helpful.
    Ever considered airplane stuff? Small planes are awfully handy.

    • Guy permalink

      Sorry, FS, I posted before I had coffee.

      The space should really be used to make a strong community and capable people. The items you produce there are a side benefit.

      Some general mechanical and electrical courses would help the cause.
      Bushcraft and battlefield tactics courses would also go a long way, as would psyops, detainment, and security.
      +10 for anything related to hunting, food production, and preservation. +10 for Medical classes.

      Some of the old world skills like timber carpentry, blacksmithing, animal husbandry, and other farming stuff could be good for long-term stability, and those skills help people learn critical thinking and problem-solving skills in any case. They’re also good for the body- they’re labor intensive and build strength. Other infrastructure material, like large-scale power production and water purification would be awfully handy.

      And yeah, I was serious about airplanes. They’re easy to build and useful for lots of things. Admittedly, you’re probably not going to build anything that can dogfight.

      • Twenty years ago I was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Technological Research in Sao Paolo, Brazil. The folks there were still proud of the fact that during a revolution against the Brazilian government, the Institute had built an airplane for the rebels. It takes some know-how, but it can be done.

  4. Grenadier1 permalink

    Second the Medical idea. Something I was churning around was an open source medical telemetry device. Something that monitored BP, Pulse and Blood Ox levels. Having a module that could push meds through an IV would be nice too. These things are existing devices and in most hospitals these days but getting them into a covert ward prior to a SHTF would be costly and problematic. There are other set ups that need to be looked at as well from a medical perspective.

    • ken permalink

      those durable medical goods go missing all the time, getting them out of a hospital during troubling times would be easier than taking candy from a baby, especially for someone dressed the part

      • Grenadier1 permalink

        We cant count on that…Remember I am thinking of steping stone devices. So if you start out with something, upgrades and modifications lead to innovative developments. The end state for this path is a medical “bot”. Carried in a pack or carried with a crew the bot is connected up to a wounded fighter and does some analysis based off bio-feedback. Its capable of pushing a small number of meds immediately and monitors vitial signs. This allows a medic to leave the wounded connected and attended by a relatively untrained individual and move on to additional patients Confident that if the wounded goes into shock or experiances a change in condition the bot will detect it and provide feedback. This feedback could be meds or fluids or O2 or it could be warning indications and suggested treatments.
        The idea is basically an AED with much more capabilities.
        FREEFOR cant count on a large number of medical personnel. What we can do is find ways to expand the capabilities of the people we do have. Training is easiest but why not utilize technology to do what we can? Medical devices are one of those things the FDA ruthlessly regulates and suppresses. If we dont need the FDA we can accomplish a lot.

    • There are reliable electronics to use for control, just need designs and to get it tested. A paramedic robot would also be something you could make a lot of money off of eventually.

      • Grenadier1 permalink

        Right, getting some of the existing designs and figuring out how to streamline them would be the quickest route.

  5. I am an old school tool and die maker blacksmith woodworker farmer leather worker etc.i am barely able to get on the internet.i have no computer controlled machies I do have digital readot on my milling I know lots of old shool things but not many new things.i ave made a living mostly making wood woring tools axes and I geuss whatim askingis woud I fit in with your plans you friend truckwilkins

    • SemperFi, 0321 permalink

      Hey, there’s a few of us with old skills that will still be needed. I’ve spent yrs building old flintlock longrifles, building log homes, logging, and hewing logs with a broadaxe. I’ve also spent yrs working on tanks, machineguns, milling machines, lathes, barrel drills, and Autocad drafting too. A little bit of this and that is not a wasted effort.
      Wait til the electricity quits!

    • Mr Wilkins, Sir, you and your ilk are worth your weight in gold, ammo or groceries, anytime/anywhere. Live long and prosper.

  6. sonofasmith permalink

    Power. Generators, windmills, solar and maybe even turbines run on steam from a boiler fueled by anything that burns. Besides food and security, having power in the “green zone” is the big difference between surviving and thriving. Not only could you keep the machines running, but you can have refrigeration, lighting, coms etc. Power is big.

  7. Demolition tools. Not explosives, but the stuff you need to cut things apart and put holes in things. I’m thinking both sabotage of civic structure and “winning the hearts and minds” sort of things that this guy does:

  8. Don’t put off figuring out what you want to be able to do when the time comes. Make your decisions and prepare.

    • Stu Redman permalink

      And another thing-
      You can’t have too much funding. You may as well set it up to run like a legitimate business. Sell memberships. Produce more than you can use, and sell the excess to buy supplies and stuff you can’t make. Set up a moonshine still. Ethanol is a great chemical to have on hand- lots of uses, it’s cheap to make, and it’s popular right now. Plus, you can even do it legally.
      Sell radio kits with instructions.
      Sell tactics books. It’s a good way to get a standardized message out to locals.
      Sell produce from your garden (bank your seeds).
      There are many ways to keep the lights on.

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