Episode-326- Listener Questions 11-30-09 — 17 Comments

  1. Jack good show.A tip on dogs a lot of people know the only thing you haft to do to shut a dog up is feed them.So if you can train or have a dog trained not to take food from other people it may make a difference.A friend of mine moved here from California and at that time people were giving pit bulls food with poison mixed into them.Another tip if you have a dog that is trained to voice command dont train it to typical or common attack words.Another friend house was robbed he got a dog kept it inside and he was trained also not to take food and his attack word was NICE DOG.What do you think a criminal will say to a growling dog.

  2. I can’t find the link right now, but I know there was a big discussion on the forums (which you should join!) regarding the best home defense weapon to use where guns were not available or permitted.

  3. @radar,

    While propane and most gaseous fuels have lifetimes that are greater then 100 years tanks, fittings, etc do not. My concern with propane sitting fully unused is more about the containment and storage systems then the fuel itself.

    Imagine a very slow leak over 4 years happens one day you need it and you have 10% or less then what you thought you had, may be none. I guess you can check the levels often and they do make the gas smell so you SHOULD detect a leak. To me though leaving any system wholly unused for years and expecting it to just work when you need it is risk I personally am uncomfortable with.

  4. Just got to the part about the electric versus the gas ranges. There’s a reason the saying is “Now you’re cookin’ with gas” – it’s so much better that it’s become a catch-phrase.

  5. Jack, I posted something similar to this in the forum today, but in addition to the $65K the military offers, military officers (and anyone in public service) are eligible for student loan repayment programs which are limited to a certain percentage of monthly income, and which entails debt forgiveness after a period of years. I believe the military also has some debt forgiveness programs. I think these options really change the calculus as to whether the individual you were responding should try to pay down his student loan debt. I think if he is planning for a career in the military, he should plan to utilize these programs in his decisions about how to pay back his loans. If he is eligible for debt forgiveness on the back end, it doesn’t make sense to pay heavily on the front end.

  6. FYI O2 absorbers and vacuum sealing is prob not a good idea. Mylar will tear if you pull too hard of a vacuum on it. I tried it with rice, and it pulled the bags into the rice grains so hard that they were penetrated, and the bag lost the seal.

  7. @LandRaider

    Well, yes, but you wouldn’t vac seal mylar, I don’t even think that would work. I was saying you could add a small O2 absorber to a vac sealed bag, as in the heavy type that works with a sealer. Over kill may be but damn cheap extra insurance.

  8. Joey.….

    Jack… I agree. I vacuum sealed mylar, and it works great. When I put in the O2 Absorbers into the mylar, and vac sealed them it was too much for the mylar. Now I just use 3.5 gallon buckets, and 1 gallon mylar bags. I portion all the bags that I am going to pack, line them all up. Then I open the absorber pack, and drop them each in, and seal them up to minimizing the time that the absorber is open to atmo. I usually pull a light vacuum on them with my lungs, and then seal them up with the clothes iron.

  9. Jack, regarding the bit about natural gas… I recently read that it is possible to install a large-capacity tank that is fed by the gas company. When you use gas normally, the tank is constantly refilled. If the gas pressure from the company ever shuts off, a back-flow valve maintains the pressure in your tank, giving you a decent reserve supply. I have no idea how much this option might cost, although it sounds like an ideal medium-term solution if you can afford it.

  10. @Mel

    Really cool, I will have to check into that, I know you can’t easily store natural gas like propane but if this option exists it may provide a great deal of redundancy.

  11. Regarding the Gas/Electric Stove, there is also the option of a “dual-fuel” stove, which I’ve got. My oven is electric – more even, constant heat – and my range is gas – all the reasons Jack listed that it is better. Cost a little bit more, but you get the best of both worlds, and up until a big SHTF, one of the two sources is always working.

  12. Jack,

    Good show.

    I agree with your analysis of the improved stability of the natural gas supply relative to the electric supply. In this regard, I purchased a kit to convert my standard 4kw generator to a tri-fuel generator…petrol, natural gas and LP.

    The LP has a long shelf life relative to petrol so its good for short term outages but still have the convenience of petrol for planned uses. For medium term outages (e.g., I was in Chas., SC when hurricane Hugo hit and had no elec for 13 days), I tie into the gas line and have fuel well beyond what is stored. I do like the natural gas storage concept that mel mentioned.

  13. Just a couple thoughts and points on natural gas vs. propane. Propane is significanly more expensive per BTU than natural gas, but both are significantly less expensive than electricity for operating appliances like water heaters and furnaces. Propane is more dense than air, natural gas is less dense than air. The consequence is that if you have all your appliances in a basement and get a leak, you may never smell the gas as a warning to get out, where natural gas will find its way into the rest of the house and give you warning. There are now propane detectors available, so if you go the propane route, be sure and get one.

    Most furnaces, stoves, and water heaters can be converted to either natural gas or propane by changing the orifaces. While you should absolutely never hook up a propane stove to natural gas without the conversion, I think the ultimate security is to put in natural gas to your home, but learn how to change out the orifaces and have a propane tank available for emergencies. A pair of 100 pound tanks could get you through several months, depending on the part of the country you live in. Additionally, you could run your gas grill off a tank and it would last all summer to help you rotate your gas as Jack suggests. Just remember to top it off when winter returns.

    Long term, SHTF, do a search for biogas and you’ll find that methane produced on a small farm may make you energy independent easier than you can imagine. If you raise pigs, you have one of the best starter fuels in the world just waiting to be tapped. While this is not a solution for the urban survivalist, on a few acres with a variety of barnyard animals, it may be a permanent solution to your heating and cooking needs.