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#192777 - 01/06/10 05:41 PM Re: History Ch: surviving historic disasters [Re: Arney]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1918
Loc: Washington, DC

If anyone missed "After Armageddon" (I missed it), it will be on again this Saturday, January 9, at 8:00p

#192778 - 01/06/10 05:49 PM Re: History Ch: surviving historic disasters [Re: Arney]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Hikermor: "Deja Vue. Was that Susan I saw carrying out the slops? - instant reminder of her thread."

HA! It was a woman carrying out the crap, wasn't it? TOLD YOU SO!

Arney: "I didn't think the gossip factor was really emphasized enough, although mentioned... how lack of good information created all kinds of anxiety and fear and actions based on that anxiety and fear.

IMO (biased and cynical as it is), our dear government and media supplied all the misinformation, far more than we needed. If it hadn't been for them, people would have thought this year was just another regular flu year.

I recently read the book Survival: How a Culture of Preparedness Can Save America and You from Disasters by Lt. General Russel L. Honoré's, US Army (Ret), and he said that during the entire time that all those people were trapped at the Superdome, it never occurred to anyone to give them some radios so they would know what was going on.


#192783 - 01/06/10 07:31 PM Re: History Ch: surviving historic disasters [Re: Susan]
JBMat Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 745
Loc: NC
Excellent point Susan. The "fog of war" indeed inhibits your information flow. That's why I include a cheapo AM/FM radio in my BOBs and a decent radio to be added at the last minute if we have time. The bug in kit contains another radio. And there are 4 walkie talkies.

Sometimes there is too much information, right/wrong/indifferent while at other times there is no information. I would rather be sorting out the right from the rest than sitting with my thumb up my butt waiting on someone to tell me what is going on.


#192789 - 01/06/10 09:08 PM Re: History Ch: surviving historic disasters [Re: JBMat]
ki4buc Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 710
Loc: Augusta, GA
I just watched "After Armageddon" again. Regarding the batteries, there was a solar array in the complex. Also, from earlier in the show (25 years prior) knew how to hot wire a car. If he had only asked himself to use the ham radio, then it'd be crystal clear he had the skills!

Some nice quotes from the show:
"There will be a core of people who have survivor skills. I think they'll become the leaders in that new age." -- Dr. Robyn Gershon

There was also this one:
"You're going to have to learn skills your grandparents took for granted." -- Michael Bane

"People who actually know how to grow a garden will be far more valuable than someone who knows how to trade on the stock market" -- Kevin Reeve

Has there ever been a thread on this forum of "essential life skills"? Things like knots, starting fires, dehydrating food, etc?

#192796 - 01/07/10 12:04 AM Re: History Ch: surviving historic disasters [Re: Dagny]
MarshAviator Offline
Marsh Aviator

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 70
Loc: Baton Rouge, LA, USA
So, I actualy watched this show last night. honestly, the senarios that were presented I feel were totaly "worst case scenario".

Note there is not now any one kind of environment, there are environments.
Even now some places approximate "Mad Max" while others are placid resorts.

Some urban areas have extreme violence under "Normal" conditions, with virtual combat an everyday occurrence.
Look at some police blotters and it is apparent.

In any normal disaster quite a range of conditions exist.

One can imagine that in some catastrophe; some will exist in near normal conditions initially, others will face immediate extreme challenges and misery.

My main point is that for any given local geography (a small radius of 1 or 2 miles) you can have a disaster quotient hypothetically for example 1 to 10.

1 - being near normal or like the present, 10 - being extreme survival challenge.

Where the center is one question, how many 1's and 10's another (size of the tails).

Presently we live in a highly networked,high complexity, fragile society.
Things like just in time inventory leads to high efficiency, but also many single points of failure.
Most people have no idea just how much potential there is for cascade effects (i.e. one system's failure causing another systems failure). Remember when a communications satellite caused many credit cards to not work.

When regional events (Katrina, Tsunami's) occur in isolation, the resources can be marshaled to help.

A global problem would be different, there are only a small number of MRE's and such to distribute. If a major event caused a nation wide problem.
There will be a distribution of outcomes for any given area, some more self sufficient others utterly dependent.

Help from outside (by definition) would not be coming, the U.S. military will not be dropping off MRE's by the helicopter load.

Law enforcement works when only a small number of people need to be restrained.

Lastly you can't know in advance how bad it will be for a given location, for some Mad Max may an apt description.

I sure wouldn't think this program painted a dark scenario at all, it was very even handed even optimistic.
It may well be a lot more adverse.

People on this site will likely do well along with people in maintenance type professions or farmers.
People who presently are highly specialized will have a hard time adapting with some individual exceptions.

"apocalypse." is a religious term not a practical one, past collapses, die offs and disasters were survived by some individuals.

One thing the show got right was self organizing groups would spontaneously form. Plenty of past history to support this.

#192801 - 01/07/10 01:27 AM Re: History Ch: surviving historic disasters [Re: MarshAviator]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1918
Loc: Washington, DC
I'm watching "Apocalypse Man" right now. Seems Mad Maxish at the outset. Given the show's title that makes sense.

He's like The Omega Man -- all alone in the city. But mutant-free and not as clean-shaven.

Am presently dubious about the show's worth, but am entertained by it, as many on ETS would be. Am going to edit this post as I watch the show.

1. Using a tire iron as a grappling hook to secure to the raised drawbridge the rope that you've tied "butterfly" knots into. [note to self: put "how to tie knots" playing cards in ninjapack] One is to use this rope to swing to the undergirding of the elevated span and climb up. Then you are going to trot down the road to some abandoned, blighted buildings where you are going to shelter in for the night. I have an issue with heights so confess to some bias against the practicality of a normal person trusting that the tire iron has a hold and then Tarzan-like swinging out over the water. Let alone hefting their behind up the rope and over the side. {Note to self: find REI, raft, small tent and someplace other than rat-infested creepy building.}

2. How to descend an elevator shaft using the steel cables. Again, my height phobia comes into play here and I wonder how many normal people without a fear of heights would attempt it or what situation would cause them to need to in the first place. [note to self: find Gold's Gym to increase upper body strength]

It was one thing for middle-aged Shelley Winters (a physique approximating a significant proportion of our population) to swim through the submerged S.S. Poseidon. Would she have lept to the center of an elevator shaft to grab and shimmy down steel cables? Could she? I think most Americans attempting that maneuver would splat on the bottom of the elevator shaft.

3. Instruction on using a library's card catalogue system to find the map section. I'd probably check out gas stations or grocery stores for maps. Or steal them out of cars.

4. Instruction on removing a manhole cover so you can travel through the sewer system. I wonder if he has antibiotics in his backpack. And rabies vaccine. Yuck.

5. Hospital - notes that in the case of a crisis, these facilities will be on the frontline and will be ransacked of meds. Our Survival Dude, however, is not after meds. He's after the backup power generator -- where he's going to make his survival base. Flip all the breakers off (lights in the hospital could draw unwelcome attention). Examine the generator. Find fuel for the generator.

6. Getting fuel from abandoned gas station. Diesel's your best bet because most cars don't use it so you're more likely to find some left. Use garden hose and bike tire pump to siphon diesel. Stay on the lookout for useful items (grab the car battery -- a "force multiplier"). Use generator to charge up the car battery you found. Now you can monitor the hospital's entrances with the closed circuit security TV monitor system. Hospital is now home sweet home.

7. Collect rainwater from the hospital roof. Eat unlabeled canned food. Vienna sausages - yum.

8. Problem of loneliness. He's recounting his experience at POW school. Gotta keep searching for someone for company and to sustain dream of rebuilding. [ commercial break ] Survival is pointless without others. See #9 and e-harmony.com

9. Radio transmitter. Find taxi cab dispatch center. [note to self: ask taxi driver for directions] Grab radio battery (12v dry cell), tape recorder, CB radio, a "step-down" (from a coffee maker). Antenna with magnet base. Have duct tape in your backpack.

10. Find high ground (to use your radio transmitter and escape hostiles). Climbs fire escapes. {This building has stairs so he didn't have to climb up an empty elevator shaft.}

11. Broadcast radio message on CB channel 9. Horizon is about 26 miles out which encompasses about 2000 square miles. Broadcast name, date and time, destination. Record this into tape recorder and hit play. Make sure you get to destination a day prior, settle into "hide site" to see who shows up at your rendezvous point.

I'd have probably shot myself back at the drawbridge. Or drowned. But still enjoying the show.

12. How to hot-wire a car. Car battery (the one you charged back at the hospital and are now carrying around town in your backpack) - find car to use it in (parking garage). New car useless, old car good -- diesel is best (reliable engine and rugged). He found an old Chevy Suburban. Looks 80s-ish, or early-90s. Can make fuel for a diesel engine. The car is a "girl." We got wheels. "Got our girl runnin." Gotta make gas. Find Taco Bell.

13. Grease trap is like gold. Looking for grease trap at fast food restaurant. Scrape off white muck, get "clean" oil underneath (no debris). Cook down the grease. Need fire to thin it out, skim off surface any solid material. Methanol (in anti-freeze) and lye (household drain cleaner). Use 5 parts cooking fat to 1 part methanol (acts as stabilizer). Shake well. Half a tablespoon of lye. Shake. Allow mixture to cool. [note to self: drink it to put self out of misery]

14. Looking for people. Omega Manlike drive down deserted street.

The End.

Hmmm. Interesting. Never did see him use the steel wool. I might have left the room for that. Well, I now know how to approximate biodiesel.

#192806 - 01/07/10 03:03 AM Re: History Ch: surviving historic disasters [Re: Dagny]
Andy Offline

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 378
Loc: SE PA

Please watch the other episodes and make similar great posts. Reading your comments saves time (I don't actually have to watch the show) and provides me with some needed comic relief.

Good job!


In a crisis one does not rise to one's level of expectations but rather falls to one's level of training.

#192808 - 01/07/10 03:12 AM Re: History Ch: surviving historic disasters [Re: Andy]
ki4buc Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 710
Loc: Augusta, GA

FYI, it was filmed on location in Detroit, MI. http://www.michiganfilmoffice.org/Made-in-Michigan/Coming-Soon/Default.aspx

You probably noticed there wasn't much need for a props person or a set dresser. frown

#192809 - 01/07/10 03:17 AM Re: History Ch: surviving historic disasters [Re: Dagny]
ki4buc Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 710
Loc: Augusta, GA
Originally Posted By: Dagny

Hmmm. Interesting. Never did see him use the steel wool. I might have left the room for that. Well, I now know how to approximate biodiesel.

He used it in the first building. He also put cinder blocks around his fire, to reduce the direct light from the fire, and wet cardboard on top to absorb the smoke. No mention I don't believe of where the precious water or wet cardboard came from.

If Discovery Channel/BBC didn't already own "Man vs. Wild", they could have appropriately labeled this "Man vs. Wild: Apocalyptic Edition". Why risk killing yourself jumping across voids? Me, I personally enjoy the thought of lying at the bottom of an elevator shaft enjoying a slow painful death!

#192813 - 01/07/10 03:42 AM Re: History Ch: surviving historic disasters [Re: Andy]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1918
Loc: Washington, DC
Originally Posted By: Andy

Please watch the other episodes and make similar great posts. Reading your comments saves time (I don't actually have to watch the show) and provides me with some needed comic relief.

Good job!



You're welcome, Andy. Does focus the mind to take notes.


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