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A natural offshoot of the ZetaTalk website was discussions on how to survive the pole shift predicted by the Zetas.
This evolved into the Troubled Times website and discussion groups,
which had as its mission to brainstorm survival solutions,
and solutions for life in the Aftertime,
and post them on the web for the world to access.

Hundreds of people offered solutions, which were aggressively discussed,
so the process was not simply a matter of posting theories or an idea,
but posting suggestions that had gone through the gauntlet,
challenged, supported, and survived, in essence, a grueling exam.

Troubled Times divided solutions into categories, each of which have dozens of topics, each of which have dozens of individual postings.
Primary categories are Food, Shelter, Energy, and Health.

A nonprofit was formed to help get the word out,
and has published a booklet based on the gist of this mass of information.
This is available for $5, including postage, which is below cost.
A twinset CD, one which can be read and browsed by an Adobe Reader and another in web format,
is also available at or below cost, for $4.10 including postage.
A combo package is available for $7.50, taking advantage of a single posting.
There is a link to where to order these items from the Blog home page as well as the ZetaTalk home page.

The cover of the booklet expresses the philosophy well.
I quote:

This booklet presents issues which a family or individual would be presented with in the event of a global catastrophe such as a pole shift.
This booklet is not intended to be a survival guide, but a guide to information sources, an overview of problems, possible solutions, and options available.

After such a catastrophe, there would be a loss of government and utility services such as power and clean water,
Volcanic gloom with dust polluting the ground and well water, and a lack of fresh food.
But healthy living through and after such a catastrophe is possible.

Mankind has lived through these before.
A family of individual can be helped to keep a cool head during troubled times, if armed with knowledge of the steps they can take to better their chances.
Panic should be avoided, particularly when young children are involved, and serves no good purpose.

With knowledge, a family or individual can be empowered with a sense of control over their circumstances.
Each family of individual must think for themselves, as only they know of their special circumstances, matters particular to their environment, and their ability to prepare.

Some families or individuals will find themselves on foot, with no or few belongings.
Others will find themselves with a safe place to go to, which can be stocked with supplies, but even these settlement can find themselves overtaken and robbed.

Basic survival assumes surviving the pole shift itself,
which involves avoiding coastlines, flood plains, mountain building or volcanic areas,
and structures which can fall upon and crush one.
ZetaTalk has advised being in a shallow trench,
covered by a well secured tin roof or sod covered board roof,
so that winds carrying debris will pass over.

Worst case, a survivor will find themselves completely unprepared, or with scant notice of what is coming.
Given a last minute notice, what are the items of prime importance.
Homeland Security advises a 3 day supply of food and water, a flashlight, and other family items that might be needed in the short term.
Bad advise for living through and past a pole shift, and utterly short sighted.
In fact, Homeland Security advise would not even get one past the days leading up to the pole shift when travel and shopping will be virtually impossible.
And certainly, Homeland Security is not addressing life after a global catastrophe,
inferring that rescue, after 3 days, would occur, when there will be no rescue.

ZetaTalk: Last Minute Panic, written on Aug 15, 1995
In spite of denial and suppression of talk about the approaching cataclysms, when the earth slows and then stops in its rotation the truth will be known. Those who have prepared and placed themselves and their loved ones in safe places will not find themselves overrun at the last minute. This is not because last minute stragglers are not trying to join them. This is because the stragglers cannot reach them.

Imagine the situation. On one side of the Earth the Sun is not setting. Temperatures rise. Machines break down. The telephone lines are jammed, and highways blocked with disabled cars. Those on foot don't last long in the heat. Essentially, all is heat-locked. People will seek a cool spot and wait for whatever comes.

On the other side of the Earth perpetual night is reigning. Here activity is not heat- locked, but is rather sleep-locked. Businesses do not open as everyone is confused. Are the clocks broken? Telephone lines are also jammed, and lack of coordination is evident everywhere. The night shift goes home, eventually, exhausted, but the day shift never shows up.

The traveler attempting to drive somewhere finds gas stations unattended and cars out of gas blocking the roads. So those becoming aware of the situation at the last minute do not go anywhere, essentially, whether they want to or not.

What do the Troubled Times team recommend you gather, for an emergency pole shift survival pack?

- small shovel for digging a trench, preferably a military type shovel
- an ax to cut and split wood
- a wok for boiling and cooking food, and to act as a serving dish
- a meat cleaver, also can be used to create tinder slivers from wood when starting fires
- pliers, vise grips, and heavy-duty sheet metal shears for rescue and shelter building
- spools of wire, brass to avoid rusting, to making traps to snare small game, and fish hooks
- water distillation rig,
- book on edible wild plants
- first-aid kit
- matches or fire starting flint

These are not the items that many might throw in a backpack - candy bars, change of underwear, and flashlights, but the long term, rather than the very short term, are being considered.

Those with only such a backpack cobbled together at the last minute will be assumed to be on foot, and walking a lot.
It is advised that those on foot should pay particular attention to their feet, changing their socks frequently to keep the feet dry.


The immediate needs of those on foot will be something to eat and clean water to drink.
In this regard, eating bugs and weeds and distilling your drinking water are recommended.
Be prepared to eat bugs, those that fly, crawl, and in particular grubs which can be found in rotting wood.
It's part of our evolutionary past, a natural.

ZetaTalk: Vegetarian, written on Jul 15, 1997
Humans are designed, due to the influence of food availability during evolution, to eat either vegetables and fruits or meat, but not both at the same time. This is a fact not widely recognized or understood by humans, and thus they do themselves damage by eating both foods at meals, routinely. Imagine the cave man on the road, traveling to lush fields of vegetation where fruits and grains and tubers could be located with ease. The troop kills a deer or elephant, and feasts on nothing but meat and blood for days, consuming the entire kill before it can spoil. They do this repeatedly while on the road. When they arrive at their destination, they find they no longer need to take the physical risks that hunting invariably presents - flailing hooves and charging frightened beasts. They become vegetarians.

Modern man misunderstands what the cave man ate while lolling about during their vegetarian periods. They did not live strictly on vegetables and fruits and grains. They ate any and everything that was handy, and this included numerous insects and slow moving life forms such as mollusks and possums. They ate less meat, but the diet was highly varied and included occasional small bites from sources other than plants. Thus, those modern humans who try to live what they interpret to be a strictly vegetarian life suffer from malnutrition - poor immunity, anemia, lack of strength, and inability to deal with stress. Man was not designed to live by vegetables alone, and must accommodate their body with protein sources from living creatures other than plants, or suffer the consequences.

Eating bugs is a much overlooked source of protein and fat. Many recipes exist.

Insects as Human Food,
from Ohio State Fact Sheet on Entomology
The eating of insects has yet to become a day-to-day activity for most people in the United States and Europe in spite of the superior nutritional content of edible insects compared to other animals. Other cultures around the world have made insects a main ingredient in their diets, providing an excellent source of protein. Insects are an inexpensive substitute for meat in many developing countries.

In Mexico, grasshoppers and other edible insects are sold by the pound in village markets and are fried before being eaten. Many are sold in cans as fried grasshoppers, chocolate covered ants, etc. Tortillas are served with red and white agave worms in many Mexico city restaurants.

Columbian citizens enjoy eating a variety of insects such as termites, palm grubs and ants. Ants are ground up and used as a spread on breads. Popular insects eaten in the Philippines are June beetles, grasshoppers, ants, mole crickets, water beetles, katydids, locusts and dragonfly larvae. They can be fried, broiled or sauteed with vegetables.

In parts of Africa, ants, termites, beetle grubs, caterpillars and grasshoppers are eaten. Some insects such as termites are eaten raw soon after catching, while others are baked or fried before eating. The giant waterbug roasted and eaten whole is a favorite food in Asia. It is easily collected around lights at night around bodies of water.

Sago grubs are popular for cooks in Papua New Guinea, most often boiled or roasted over an open fire. Other edible insects eaten in this country include larvae of moths, wasps, butterflies, dragonflies, beetles, adult grasshoppers, cicadas, stick insects, moths and crickets.


I was surprised to find that many of the weeds I was pulling out of my garden were not only edible, but delicious.
Pigweed, also known by other names, was sweet, far tastier than lettuce.
Lambsquarters, dandelion, and plantain, are also completely edible and plantain sky high in Vitamin A.
I quote from the Troubled Times booklet:

Kudzu produces edible roots.
The ripe pollen from cattails can be used as a flour substitute.
Lichens are edible.
Puffballs are great when fried.
Burdock roots can be harvested out of wet mashlands and are like potatoes.
Chickweed can be used raw as a salad green, as can any weeds in the mustard family.
The leaves of violets can be used as a green salad, or cooked and eaten like spinach.

Highy recommended are books on wild edibles in your locale.
Get your hands on these books while you still can!
Plugging the words 'wild' and 'edible' and 'weeds' into a search engine should bring them up.

As the Rolling Stones say, from their ALBUM Hot Rocks, in their SONG You Can't Always Get What You Want, 'but you get what you need'.
Well, I think they're talking about drugs here, but many city dwellers are addicted to soft living, and will be in the same kind of shock after the shift. Withdrawal shock.


Hunting will only go so far, as if all are hunting, wildlife will soon disappear.
But for those areas supporting hunting, the options are to have guns, which will run out of bullets soon enough,
or more primitive and time honored methods such as slingshots or bow and arrow or cross bow or traps.

Fishing methods are also tried and true, and time honored, and include trawling, where a net or basket is dragged along the bottom for crawfish or crabs, bait on a line, bait in traps, or casting nets.
I quote from the Troubled Times pages.

In Australia we don't use bait when fishing for freshwater crayfish, we trawl for them. To make a basket to trawl them, you just need to shape chicken wire into an open basket and strengthen the top with heavy duty fencing wire in a rectangular shape (to stop it from collapsing while dragging it), attach two ropes to corners, like crossover handles, then attach a long rope to the center of these handles and it's finished. Throw the basket out into the pond and wait awhile then start pulling the basket slowly over the bottom towards you. The basket picks up the crayfish out of the mud.

There are books on how to construct bow and arrow, or crossbow, such as
The Traditional Bowyers Bible, by Jim Hamm


Distilling drinking water not only gets rid of germs, due to the boiling process,
but also heavy metals such as mercury and lead,
and pollutants such as gasoline that may be in the ground or well water.

Water distillation can be a simple matter, as described in the Troubled Times booklet:

You can distill water with an ordinary household pot with two potlids. Boil water in a pot covered with the first potlid. When water condenses on this potlid, it is distilled water. Replace this first potlid with a second one, and flip the first one over, bottom up, so that all the condensed water collects in the lid, then pour this into a cup. Just keep repeating the steps until you have a full cup.

A second easy and portable distillation method is to have stacked pots, the upper pot holding cold water forcing condensation on its bottom while the bottom pot boils. In between, a pie pan with a drain hole and tube to catch the distillate. This method produces a gallon of distilled drinking water in 2 /12 hours, and in the end, you've got a pot of hot water for washing in the top pot.

ZetaTalk: Safe Water, written on Aug 15, 1995
After the cataclysms mankind's problems with his water supply will take a quantum leap. Water, from all sources, may be poisoned, with the old standby, rainwater, failing to provide potable water. During the pole shift volcanoes, old and new, will violently explode. The resulting ash will sift down from the upper atmosphere for decades, poisoning ground water. Humans driven to drink this gritty water will find more than grit between their teeth, they will find their nervous system beginning to fail them, their eye sight fading, and their digestive system intolerant of any food they may find. We are speaking here primarily of lead poisoning, which is not a problem man expects from the water nature provides. Lead settles and over eons settles down out of the way, but after a cataclysm the lead heavy mantle has been spewed out over the landscape, most of this vomit in the form of fine billowing dust.

Will the ground water not be safe? Depends. During the cataclysms the ground is heaved and jerked, and any wells or piping will be shattered. In that the ground water is as likely to carry poisons as the surface, having filtered down from the surface, what looks like pure water from underground may be, again, a slow death. Ground water also is subject to contact with the lead heavy mantle, which most often does not make it all the way to the surface during eruptions. If one cannot trust the usual water supply, what to do? Distillation processes or recycling water known to be pure are two approaches likely to provide a steady supply of water. This may seem tedious to those so used to taking fresh, pure water for granted, but those who prepare for the times ahead will not find themselves suddenly without one of life's necessities.

Lead poisoning can be counteracted by eating a diet high in iron and other minerals, a process called chelation.
Should you find yourself or your loved ones suffering nerve damage from lead poisoning,
from drinking ground water polluted with volcanic ash.
Vitamin C is also considered important in this process.
Vitamin C is available in more than orange juice. Scury grass, the tips of pine needles, Sorrel, a weed, and many garden vegetables such as peppers and cabbage are sky high in Vitamin C.
Eat raw, so as not to destroy the Vitamin C with heat.


Hygiene, handy toilet paper, soap, toothbrush and paste, and disposable diapers, is something modern man has come to take for granted.
What did the cave man use, or what to today's hunting and gathering tribes use?
There are a number of options for toilet paper, including sand, ashes, leaves, or moss, and my favorite, sitting on a pine branch such that is swiffs backwards as you stand up.

Moss also makes a good diaper filler, if washing diapers is not convenient, and this applies to menstrual periods also.

A toothbrush can be fashioned from a furred end of a branch, and rinsing with salt and water can kill germs.


Assuming you did not have time to grab a tent, creating shelters while on foot is still possible.
These can range from sleeping under a tarp, creating a tent from saplings and branches, or finding a rock overhang or cave.
I quote from the Troubled Times pages:

Another good Indian trick for temporary shelter is to find a cluster of saplings and bend them over and tie them to each other without cutting them down. They are already anchored down and after being bent can be thatched, etc. to provide reasonable cover. When you leave just remove the rope you used to tie them up and everything is restored to its original natural state.


Addressing medical emergencies in the absence of a doctor or dentist can be scary,
but there are many books on these matters,
some put out by the US Army or armed services of other countries and are readily available.
Some examples are:
Where there is No Doctor, by the Hesperian Foundation
Where There is No Dentist, also by the Hesperian Foundation
Special Forces Medical Handbook, by the US Army
Ditch Medicine, Advanced Field Procedures for Emergencies, by Coffee
Emergency War Surgery, by Bowen.

War surgery? Many survivors of the pole shift will feel that term applies.

Magots can be used to eat dead flesh that will create sepsis if not removed, and can be found where flies have laid their eggs.
Leeches also help improve circulation in injured extremities.
Just remove when the job is done.
I quote from the Troubled Times pages:

Doctor! There's a maggot in my wound!
BBC Online, March 6, 1999
Maggots can help to clean ulcers and other wounds. Maggots have had a bad press. Normally associated with disease and rotting flesh, doctors now realize they can treat infections. The squirming larvae were first found to have curative properties during World War I. Maggots were getting into the wounds of people injured on the battlefield. Instead of making the wound worse, they helped clear it up.

With the advent of antibiotics in the 1940s, the therapy went out of fashion. However, they are now making a comeback because of concerns about infections that are resistant to antibiotic treatment.

Maggots clean wounds by eating dead tissue. They first spit out enzymes that liquefy the tissue and then suck up like soup. They are put on the surface of the wound and then sealed in with a bandage. The maggots only feed on the dead tissue. During the course of a three-day treatment, the maggots' bodies, full of dead tissue, expand from an average length of two millimeters to three times the size. They leave wounds pink and healthy.


Congratulations! You've survived your first few days after the pole shift!
You've either died of your injuries or healed, starved to death or managed a diet by what nature provides.
And as a survivor, you've lost that fat and are lean and taut, in shape, and due to eating many foods raw, are probably feeling better than you can remember.

Now you're ready to start thinking about forming or joining a community,
or perhaps you've had time to plan, and are already in that setting.
Settlements bring the advantage of gardens.

For settlement gardens, the requirements are primarily seed and secondarily gardening tools.
If you don't have viable seed, you're going to be stuck eating those weeds for a long long time.
Just as important as securing the seeds in the first place is knowing how to SAVE them, as this is a recurring necessity.

For some plants, such as beans or corn or grains, this is ultra simple. Simply let dry on the plant and gather.
For other plants, the seed requires fermentation or it will not germinate.
This is the case for tomatoes, where the seeds needs to be placed in vats and allowed to cover over with white mold,
stirred for several days like this, and then rinsed and dried.
The reason for this process is that the seed assumes it is still in the tomatoe, is still covered by the slime there,
and until this slime molders off, it CONTINUES to assume it is still in the tomato.

Quoting from the Troubled Times web site:

Mother Earth News, Sep/Oct 78
As in just about every other aspect of seed production harvesting procedures vary from one vegetable to the next.

Beans, Peas, and other Legumes:
Let the finest pods on the most vigorous plants remain on the vine until they're completely dry. At that time they should be brown or yellow - depending on the variety - and the seeds should rattle. Then just pick and shell.

Pulpy Fruits and Vegetables (tomatoes squash cucumbers melons peppers eggplant and okra):
Pick fruit when it is dead ripe. Scoop out the seed-bearing pulp and place it in a container with enough water to cover. Next allow the mixture to sit - and ferment - at room temperature for 5-7 days. By then, the seeds should have separated from the pulp and fallen to the bottom of the container. After rinsing the seeds until they're clean spread them out in a cool place to dry.

Corn (sweet corn, field corn, popcorn):
The ears should remain on the stalks until the kernels are hard and dry ... about 3-5 weeks after the eating stage. Shell the ears only when the kernels have completely dried.

Many plants such as cabbage will put up a stalk with delicate pods that shatter easily and toss the tiny seeds about. Mother Earth suggested:

Mustard-Family Crops (cabbage, kale, collards ,cauliflower, kohlrabi, broccoli, brussels sprouts, mustard, radishes, rutabagas and turnips):
Cut the seed stalks before their pods have completely dried out. Then hang them indoors for 2-3 weeks to finish curing.

But be prepared to find those tiny seeds on the floor, so have a tray under the pods just in case.

All seeds from fruits, such as tomatoes or peppers or melons or squash -
are best if from fully ripe fruits.
For instance, a green pepper will have immature seed, so let the pepper ripen until fragrant and red and just about ready to fall apart into a rotting state.

Organic Gardening, Sept/Oct 1992
Peppers are the easiest. The seeds are mature after the peppers have changed color to their final stage of ripeness. Cut the peppers open, scrape the seeds onto a plate, and stir twice daily to ensure even drying and to keep them from clumping together.

Other seeds, like lettuce, will fly away like dandelion heads if not harvested almost daily.
Amaranth drops ripe seeds readily, so the seed head should be put in a paper bad and shaken, periodically.
But most seeds can be located and harvested and dried readily.
Spinach seeds stick to the stalk, pumpkin easily scooped out and washed and dried.

Some seeds need a resting period before they will germinate, nature's way of ensuring that they not confront the Winter as young spouts, but wait until the Spring before sprouting.
Store seeds very dry in a cool dark place, capped or sealed tightly in a jar or zip lock bag as moisture can ruin them.

Seed lasts for years, some seed like onion lasting only a year or so, others for an amazingly long time.
In general the percentage of seed that will germinate reduces, steadily, year after year.
I recently did a germination test on some non-hybrid meal corn, harvested 5 years ago, and found the germination over 95%.

I highly advise everyone to get their hands on Suzanne Ashworth's book, Seed to Seed.
And PRACTICE the art of seed gathering, starting NOW.
If you are a city dweller, and protest you have no opportunity, you're not noticing what you're trashing.
Are you eating acorn squash, melons, and peppers, and trashing the seeds?
Are you eating tomatoes, and eating the seeds?
Ripen that pepper in a window sill, alongside a bowl of moldering tomato seeds.
Scrape out and clean those squash and melon seeds.
Don't toss that bunch of Indian corn used as a decoration at Fall, but shuck and store the seed.
You'll be gathering the seeds you'll need for your future garden, right NOW.

A note on bee keeping, and the need for pollinators.
Many many bugs pollinate plants.
I've seen wasps and bumble bees and beetles and ants crawling all over flowers in my garden, and they were more numerous than the wild honey bees.
Also, some staples like tomatoes and beans are self pollinating, requiring only a gentle wind to make it happen,
and other plants like corn are wind pollinated.
So don't panic if you don't have a bee hive nearby.


Chickens, ducks, rabbits, and goats eat almost anything.
If you're tired of eating bugs, while on foot, you'll find switching to chickens and eggs a delight as THEY eat the bugs, instead.
Chickens and ducks love bugs.
Chickens free range, scratch the ground for worms, and ducks turn themselves upside down nibbling at what lives and grown along the bottoms of ponds.
Both eat vegetation also, melon rinds or carrot tops, things we pampered humans think of as garbage.
Rabbits can be added to the stew pot, reproduce with alacrity, eat grass of any other vegetation handy, and are easy to keep in pens.
Quiet, too.
Goats are so omnivorous they are known to eat poison ivy, and as herds have the advantage of bonding with their herdsman, and will follow him anywhere.
Goat milk, and goat cheese, are second to none, superior to cows milk and cheese in many respects.
An of course, keeping sheep will provide mutton and wool.


Settlements may form where farmsteads used to be, with the possibility of a well handy, or one can be put in at a likely spot.
I quote from the Troubled Times pages:

I grew up on a farm. For years my family used manual pumps. I remember watching uncles and community members take turns pounding metal pipes with sledge hammers, threading the pipe manually with a small vice held threader and connecting the 10 foot lengths of pipe by hand. There was a strainer attached to the first segment of pipe that kept the pipe free of most debris and when water was reached the water would gush out mud, sand and small rocks that might be trapped in the pipe. I remember the water shooting off like a small oil well. The family would just let it flow until the sand stopped coming up. I remember once the sand did not stop and the well digging had to continue 20 or 30 more feet. When water was reached (usually about 65 - 100 feet) a manual pump was installed, and primed. We as children got a kick out of pumping the water. The only small problem that I remember was that you had to keep a small amount of water present at all time to prime the pump.

Hand pumps are inexpensive to buy, and should be one of the first items purchased by anyone thinking seriously about survival communities.
They range from small sink-side pumps to more robust pumps,
and range in price from about $50 to $1,000
Brass fittings are best, to avoid corrosion.
Hand pumps seal the edges of the working parts with leathers, which periodically need to be replaced but this is an item a community could fashion for themselves.
All parts of the hand pump assembly, including pipe sections long enough to reach the water at the bottom of the well, should be in hand and on site prior to the shift.
As with electrical networks, the missing part can prove to be a show stopper.


12 V electricity is the way to go, as it can use your car batteries and headlights,
and camping and boating lighting systems are 12 V systems.
12 V systems also require less juice, so any windmill or water wheel system established to generate electricity will go farther.
In a pinch, one can use the rear wheel of a bike gen rig combined with an alternator, to recharge batteries.

Crank-up devices, as a means of powering a radio or flashlight, are also available.
I quote from the Troubled Times pages:

A Crank- Up Radio Helps Africa Tune In
New York Times, Feb 8, 1996
For about six weeks now, a small factory in [Milnerton, South Africa], just north of Cape Town has been cranking out radios with cranks. Give the handle a few aerobic turns and the Freeplay radio holds forth for half an hour. ... It weighs six pounds, it's built like an overstuffed lunch box, and it has a tinny speaker. But its wholesale price is only $40 and it gets AM, FM and shortwave.

Windmills and waterwheels taking advantage of natural wind and water flows will be a more permanent source of electricity.
All these rigs require a lot of parts and expertise, may require a battery system, so are not a casual undertaking.
Steam is also a time honored way to generate electricity and transportation, as in the old steam trains that puffed across the praires, but steam carries the caution of potential severe burns from burst pipes.
As a replacement for gasoline, wood gas or biomass fuels are used TODAY.
I quote from the Troubled Times pages, a report from Olli in Finland:

My cousin got a wood gas powered car as a gift a couple of months ago. It is a Volvo 245 station wagon with a 2.1 liter engine year model 1974, modified to use wood gas some time in the early 90's. I personally am quite impressed with the performance: top speed 100+ km/h. I expected much less. We have used pieces of birch wood as the fuel. It MUST be dry or it won't work. With the car we got quite good documentation of the wood gas system with drawings.

Almost all non-military trucks and buses in Finland were operating with wood gas during the second World War and even up to the early 50's. All gasoline available went to military use. I have heard that the Finnish army used a couple of wood gas powered trucks even in 1964. In a local magazine there was recently an Article on wood gas equipped cars. The story says that there are about 40 wood gas equipped vehicles in Finland today.

The diagrams that came with Olli's wood gas burning car are available on the Troubled Times web site, by the way,
and are included with those $4.10 CD's that include all of the Troubled Times pages.
Print them off and have them handy!


Hand tools, not those items run by electricity, will be a necessity.
Many hand tools, such as a cross cut saw for only $20 from Harbor Freight, can be purchased.
Often yard sales will produce hand tools from the past,
something grandpa used but now considered trash,
replaced by modern drills and saws that WILL NOT WORK when the grid is down.
Be sure to include plenty of nails, screws, and bolts.
Jacks and pulley systems can move heavy objects, so don't forget plenty of rope and chain.


Settlements bring the advantage of gardens and domesticated flocks and herds, but also bring back the issue of sewage.
Outhouses can be placed in the fields where crops will be grown, and moved along the rows, spreading the fertilizer as it were.
I quote from the Troubled Times pages on the specs for building an outhouse:

You need a 4' x 4' x 5' deep pit. You make a reinforced 7' x 7' concrete slab with integral rings on the top and the sides so you can move it later. You build an outhouse building over it, with a toilet box, and a vent or ventilation slates in the sides of the building. When it fills up you drag the whole structure to a new spot and cover the hole over with fill that you took out to build it in the first place.

To avoid a run to the outhouse in the middle of the night, the old fashioned chamber pot can be used, and any covered pail will do.
I myself use this method as we have only one bathroom in this old house, and to avoid running stairs, I use a covered pail. It's quite painless.


Soap making is simply cooking animal fat with lye, perhaps adding some scent.
Lye is gotten from draining water through ashes, hardwood ashes best.
The mixture is cooked down and poured into pans, and cut into bars when cool.
I quote from the Troubled Times pages, which relied heavily on the Foxfire Book series:

* Making lye water from ashes is similar to making drip coffee. Place paper or corn shucks to act as a filter along the bottom of a V or funnel shaped container and simply pour water in the top until it drips out the bottom into a pail.
* The mixture, which is stirred continuously, should turn white or whitish and thicken. The mixture should be stirred while lye or water is being added. When using lye water made from ashes, the soap mixture must boil longer before the water is reduced to where the mixture will make solid, rather than soft soap.
* Pour the mixture into a pan lined with cloth and let it sit for a couple days. This curing is an important step, as uncured soap can contain free lye in places that will irritate the skin. The cured soap may be covered with a white powder, which should be brushed off as it likewise may irritate the skin. When hardened the soap can be cut into bars or blocks and stored indefinitely.

Vinegar is another cleaning product, also a food.
Place an acid fruit or juice into crockery and allow to ferment while in a dark warm place, then strain through cloth to clarify.
Apparently, fermenting vinegar in iron, aluminum, or plastic containers is not advised.


Needle and thread will go a long way toward repairing clothing and blankets, but eventually, new clothing will have to be manufactured.
Time honored methods include making clothing from leather, after tanning the skins, and cloth from various fibers,
such as flax, cotton, or wool.
Flax stems are laid in water to rot off all but the fibers, then combed. Flax today is used to make linen.
Cotton and wool are carded, placed between two brushes that are pulled in opposite directions to straighten the fibers.
The fibers can be spun into yarn or threads by many methods,
but the essential steps are to create a single thread twisted in one direction, perhaps clockwise,
and then to take 2-3 of such strands and twist them together in the opposite direction, perhaps counterclockwise.
This gives greatest strength to the thread.

I personally have had the advantage of learning to spin and weave when young,
something my mother felt impelled to ensure that I would learn, for some reason.
I've greated detail charts of the process, using a spinning wheel and loom, for the Troubled Times pages,
in the Clothing topic in the Shelter section.
For those wanting this handy, it's also included, as is ALL of the Troubled Times web site pages,
In the $4.10 twinset CD's that the nonprofit offers.
Spinning and weaving still taught and practiced in many Appalachian states, and wheels and looms can be purchased from many sources.

Making leather involves stretching and scraping the skin to remove fat and flesh from the underside, and if desired, hair from the outerside.
The hide is then smoked to allow the next step, braining, to penetrate the skin more readily.
Tanning is done using the brain of the animal killed, or any brain apparently, as a mash.
I quote from the Troubled Times web site.

After thoroughly fleshing, de-hairing and scraping, the hide is ready to be brained. The more thoroughly liquidated the [brains are, the ] more efficient the tanning solution. It is also a good idea to mix them in warm water. Use just enough water to cover the hide. Pre-smoke. The smoke is like an enzyme that strips the glues from the hide therefore allowing more efficient penetration of the brains.

You then soak the hide in the brains about 15 minutes, working and wringing the hide in the solution. You then take the hide out and thoroughly wring it out using a fence rail and a stick or whatever works. Wringing is very important to good brain penetration. Soak and wring several times within an hour. It shouldn't take longer than this for a good braining.

You can tell when you have good brain penetration when you can stretch the hide on any part of the hide in any direction and it stretches 2-3 inches. The brains also bleach the hide out white and it is also at this time that any left over epidermis will show up yellowish and any missed hair follicles will look like pepper all over the hide.

The hide is then stretched and dried.


Herbal medicine is time honored and where debunked by the pharmaceutical companies,
I can attest that they are astonishingly effective.
My personal story is with comfrey leaf to cause new skin to grow.
A family member had a cyst removed from his tailbone, a deep incision that had to heal from the inside out.
As a result, due to uneven skin alignment, there was a piece of flesh an inch square without skin at the end of the process.
After a couple months, this had only progressed to a purple patch with a whitish cover, and I feared this would fill in with scar tissue only.
I chopped a comfrey leaf to make a compress, and taped it there for the day.
At the end of this first day, the skin had turned light pink.
Chopped another leaf for compress, and at the end of the second day, the center part of that raw flesh area had raised, and become a deep pink.
Chopped a third and last leaf for compress, and at the end of that day, normal skin.
I know of no pharmaceutical product that can do that.
My second report is second hand, from someone who had endured whiplash and was on painkillers for the headaches.
Seeking to get off painkillers due to the side effects, they turned to feverfew. This in fact fixed the relieved the headaches, as effectively as the pain killers.
My recommendation? Get herb seeds, plant them if you're in a permanent place, and get some herb books to learn how to use them.


Those who have had more time and opportunity to prepare will most likely be looking to rebuild homes after the shift,
as the combination of earthquakes and hurricane force winds will bring down most existing housing.
Some structures, such as basements or grain silos or even trashed cars and vans might be good temporary homes,
but several existing construction techniques could be utilized.
These include:
- adobe brick homes
- straw bale homes
- rammed earth homes
- and houseboats.

These require supplies like boards and bags of cement dust, and tools like hammer and nails.
To show how comprehensive the brainstorming done in the early days of the Troubled Times was,
I give you a recipe for Portland Cement.

If limestone is heated red-hot for a long enough time, it turns into chunks of lightweight, white substance called quicklime. This is mixed with water which makes a chemical reaction (as in Portland cement). I think they called this slakes lime. To this bubbling white goo they added sand for mortar, or sand and gravel for cement. To waterproof it they liked to add volcanic ash, but since that was rarely available they used crushed clay tiles instead. The red clay in the tiles made their mortal pink. So, when I can't buy a bag of Portland cement anymore, I at least know how to make it.

Glue can be made from boiling down animal protein, due to the collagen in the protein.
The old adage about horses hooves going into the glue pot.

After the cataclysms, building materials such as wood or stone may be in short supply, and using earth to extend the available concrete may be just the thing.
I quote from the Troubled Times pages.

Terra Firma
June 2, 1996
San Francisco Examiner
For all of recorded history, dirt has been the primary source of building material. As many members of our species grew up in caves, it was natural that humans would fashion earth into walls, as they did in the Kasbah of Morocco, in the Great Wall of China, in the Alhambra in Spain and in the ancient Anasazi pueblos in what would become the American Southwest. Earthen walls - poured and compacted into wooded forms - can last a millennium. In some rural regions of France, 90 percent of buildings are made of earth.

Rammed-earth walls are built 18 to 24 inches wide - that's two to more than three times as thick as conventional framed walls - which keeps the building cool in the summer and warm in winter. ... Rammed-earth homes are built with moist soil mixed with a small amount of cement into a form and ramming it until it's hard and only about 50 percent of its original volume.

When finished, the rammed-earth wall is essentially reconstituted sedimentary rock. Its strength rivals concrete. ... The resulting walls are fire-proof, rot proof, termite proof and nearly soundproof.

The dome shape has many advantages, and is reputed to rebuff tornadoes and high winds as the tornado simply goes up and over the dome, as thought it were a hill.
I quote from the Troubled Times pages, regarding Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes, from a book called Bucky Works.

All domes share certain advantages, whether or not they are geodesic. Their compound-curved shape is inherently strong, giving a self-supporting clear span with no columns.

Field experience has shown that home-size domes use about 1/3 less heating fuel than an equally well-insulated conventional home of the same floor area, built of the same materials.