Episode-376- Underrated TEOTWAWKI Skills from the Audience — 32 Comments

  1. A great show idea would be to take each one of the above skills, and dedicate an entire program to each one… with deep research, and interviews with experts in those fields, explaining how to acquire and master the skill for us “survivalists”.

    (example: I don’t know the first thing about Metal Forging… but it would be a fascinating thing to learn)

  2. Hey Jack, thanks for an excellent second segment.

    A little home-made beer and wine would go well with the entertainment and storytelling. Setting up an area where people can meet and socialise (like the taverns of yesteryear)might not be a short-term survival issue but I think, in the long run, it would be an asset to a community.

    The crow dropping the stones in the water remind me of Aesop’s Fable “The Crow and The Pitcher”.

    The point of a counselman seems similar to a village elder, a position that would be important but it has to be a very specific person.

    In a community some sort of communication between the members of the community, some sort of authority to discourage rumours. I think some sort of record should be kept of what is going on for future generations, so they know what happened. History is a terrible thing to lose.

  3. Pharmalogical issues, I agree that not everyone should be on the various drugs to help with mental issues. During the initial part of a crisis hopefully they have a few weeks to a month of the meds but the first little bit WITHOUT those drugs a great deal of them are going to be in serious trouble, as they go through withdrawl. I myself was put on some a number of years ago and I took a trip where I accidentally left my meds there. Note even if I didn\’t NEED to be on the drugs I was on them, and being bereft of them, it took a few days, but my flatmate had to call to have me taken away as the withdrawl did create an issue of acute harm. I did eventually get OFF said drugs, but I had to do it slowly, over the course of many months. The sheer number of people on the medications, and then a number of people going off of them, I would NOT want to be within many miles of that ground zero.

  4. I have yet to find a councilman that wasn’t interested in anything other than JUST making the citizens happy, legal or no.

  5. Great show, Jack (BTW think “loves chant” for my screen name… I’m a Gregorian chant enthusiast.)

    I am very skeptical about the possibility of finding honest politicians… I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule, but they do remain — exceptions.

    In my hometown (pop. about 50K) a friend ran for and won a position on the local school board a few years ago to try to work to reduce waste and improve things. Because he was a vocal critic of some of the corruption he found was entrenched in that (very small) system, he received death threats — and his children were threatened also.

    This is just one case, of course. My point is… I believe corruption extends to all levels of our current government. It is going to take a major change in our society to change this fact. I can’t help thinking I would be very leery of anyone currently in a position of authority leading the way in a TEOTWAWKI situation. They would have to prove themselves to earn any position of leadership or trust first…

  6. When I think of councilman in a TEOTWAWKI, to my mind an Elder NOT a politician springs to mind. The wiseman or woman of the community, not the one with the most friends or the most charisma but the one who is good to turn to for advice. It\’s a shame that these figures seem to have less emphasis in today\’s society.
    Maybe this is just my interpretation.

  7. I completely agree with comment #1. Great show and great show idea about getting an expert on each topic and doing a series of interview shows.

    One reason I really enjoyed reading Lucifer’s Hammer and World Made by Hand was looking at the authors’ perspectives on what skills would be valuable after the crash. Things like knowing how to make concrete from scratch, metal forging, and mechanical skills to harvest and salvage items are seldom seen as necessary now, but in just about any TEOTWAWKI scenario, they’ll be critical skills. I think one could extend beyond Jack’s value assigned to those with sales skills and recognize that there are those in a community who are seen as fair and just who many would turn to to resolve conflicts. Mediators of a sort, if you will.

    I think most people have a lot to bring to the table, but shows like this can lead to recognizing and honing those skills that we sometimes forget about. I think back to my early days with the Forest Service and think about how much of a learning curve there was just to doing what seemed like simple things; swinging an axe, using a two-man cross-cut saw, sharpening tools, and falling trees, but most folks fail to recognize the time it takes to develop coordination and technique. Those that know those skills have value in a community, but those who can teach those skills will be priceless.

  8. Great show today! Skills are seldom taken into account by the mass media when they talk about survivalists in general. The general populace seems to think “as long as I have Beans, Bullet & Bandaids I’ll be fine!”
    As Mad Max says, “I got skills, I can trade those.”

    Also, there was a mention of using asphalt to break it down into petroleum products. A much easier thing to use would be roofing material taken from old houses & flat roofed buildings. It can be salvaged without power tools & easily heated to extract the petrol products. I’m not sure how refined you could make it but it should work as good as coal oil.

    As far as salvaging goes, another good resource is bricks. Making BBQ grills & ovens will be necessary for cooking since gas & electric will be in shortage. The knowledge of “which bricks to use” & how to build these will be in high demand. The Baker mentioned would be hard pressed to make much bread in anything but a large oven & the Butcher will need to cure his meats for longer term storage by either cooking or smoking it since salt will be in shortage soon enough.
    The Candle Maker will need a good fire pit to work his magic & a nice brick one is just the thing.

  9. Jack, Having your wife on the show would be great for us listeners, especially to talk about the medical field. That is something I think about a lot but have not found a good source of information on. It would be great to hear it from someone with a lot of experience.
    Maybe a good way to do it would be to have listeners send in questions and then you could ask the questions to her so it wouldn’t seem like shes on the air all by herself.
    I really do hope we can convince her to do a show with you. I always love the shows you do with other people.

  10. More on the crows…

    I recently read a story of a murder of crows that would swarm and peck the eyes out of live stock wait for the disabled creature to die and later proceed to eat it.

    And its Vee-Tee aero

  11. The chemist thing is huge – since it simply represents the ability to transform one thing into another – something that may be abundant and not needed to something more needed, and lacking.
    It’d be cool to see some informational threads on this – how to turn basic low value stuff into seriously important stuff.

  12. What about emotional preparedness? Hunger, displacement, injury, and lack of necessary items create a lot of stress. Heck, how are we gonna emotionally make it without internet and cell phones?? Is there a method or practice that can help us emotionally prepare for stress? I believe in prayer and meditation and thought I was prepared but ended up with PTSD after a really bad car accident. How do you prepare for that??
    Love the show, thanks.

  13. Jim, completely agree it would be great to have Dorothy on to talk about the medical field. Something both me and my wife would would like (need) to know more about.

  14. @ Adam: I’d recommend taking a look at some of Al Siebert’s books on resiliancy. There is a pool of scientifically backed research on what factors make individuals more resiliant. Also, Amanda Ripley’s book, The Unthinkable, has some valuable information on how to prepare both physically and psychologically to respond better in acute emergencies.

    In most cases the most important thing is training, which creates a mental map of how to respond, which reduces response time and creates confidence. Regarding PTSD, the best thing you can do is educate those around you to the signs and symptoms of PTSD and listen to them when they tell you to seek out counseling. Early intervention is the best treatment and while some folks are more succeptable and others are highly resistant, other than training for likely stressful scenarios, there’s not a whole lot that can be done to prevent things like PTSD resulting from car accidents. It happens to about 1 in 5 who are in serious car accidents, so you’re not alone.

  15. Another interesting show. Keep up the good work!

    I would like to suggest that one unused resource that most people dont talk about is clay. Granted its from nature but it is all around us.

    I took a pottery course way back in High School and learned that even most back yard clay that has reasonable purity(like you often find under fallen tree stumps a couple feet below grade) can be refined into at least a rudimentary stoneware or terracotta type pottery. This is not an earth-shattering(pun not intended) skill to learn either. You should only need water, a bucket and patience to refine it.

    Once thus refined you only need to know how to fire it, which can be done with a wood fire and a crude kiln of rocks. This can provide even the novice some passable dishware.

    I always wanted to try this for a fun project. Maybe Ill finally get off my butt this summer and do it.

    -Ben (Cheshire Cat on forum)

  16. RE: Less than obvious resources… Garbage dumps. We throw tons of shit away, those places are GOLDMINES… Literally, old electronics have more gold in them than you would think.

  17. Adding to the list of necesary skills that are underrated are vehicle mechanics. UNless you plan on doing alot of walking. A simple knowledge of basic vehicle mechanics is essential.

  18. Dorothy…please come on the show! There are so many of us that would benefit from your knowledge. I’m a mother of four (with #5 on the way) and knowing how to better prepare for a pandemic, how to stockpile medication for emergencies, what the most essential over the counter meds would be to store, etc. would be such a blessing for me. Something really valuable, would be knowing how to approach my doctor to ask for an extended supply of medication, or how to find out if my insurance company would support such efforts. Please come on the show girl!

    On another note, thank you Jack. This was a great show. Hubby and I listen in the evenings, when our family has settled down a bit and we can focus on what you have to say. We really appreciate all you do.

  19. I think a skill that is quickly fading in the country is the ability to drive a manual transmission vehicle. Being able to pop-the-clutch on a car or motorcycle with a dead battery could be useful. And even just having an understanding and some experience with a manual transmission (not computer chip driven automatic), may allow you to drive cars and trucks others can’t, for either work or basic transportation.

  20. @NAzPrep

    Sadly most newer vehicles can’t be started that way. In an effort to protect us from ourselves a “safety feature” has been added to many vehicles with a manual tranny. It will work just fine with an old 82 pick up, etc though.

  21. Thanks Jack for your shows. You are a daily treat!

    Here are some other ideas I jotted down while listening to today\’s show.

    One thing laying around that has several uses is old tires. For one they burn really hot. Smokey but hot. Also many things can be made from them. I\’m sure many have seen children\’s swings made from old auto tires.

    Having auto, truck or tractor mechanic skills or technician or new school folks will be very useful.

    Being able to make bio-diesel and know how to mod a diesel vehicle is handy.


  22. Dorothy do come on the show. Just sit and talk with Jack about what you think should go in the home first aid kit. Remember if you don’t like how it turned out you can just tell Jack not to publish the recording
    I would like to know about the possibility of using antibiotics meant for fish in aquariums on people. How would you figure dose?

    On possible resources: Rail Road tracks would make a good source of good steel. Always keeping in mind once the tracks are gone so are your chances of ever seeing a train in that area.

  23. While the legalities will have to be investigated in each state, I highly recommend picking up a set of lockpicks and practicing picking various types of common locks. I say this for two reasons: 1) In a true TEOTWAWKI scenario, there will be no locksmiths for you to call up to unlock your house should you lose your key, or to re-key your locks, and the obvious 2) if you need to scavenge the leavings of mankind, knowing how to pick locks will open more doors for you and save more time than breaking down doors and windows.

    I started by buying a basic lockpick set, several masterlocks. I then sat down and picked the locks while watching TV, and now I know I can easily open those types. My next task will be buying a qwik-set (the most common door bolt on the market) door set and practicing with that.

    There are a TON of resources that show the how-to aspect of lockpicking (The one I used was the MIT lockpicking guide).

    Thanks for the show Jack!

  24. That is one of the reason it is essential to keep a vehicle around that has the older technology.. A jeep with a carburetor will be a great BOV.

  25. Here is an underrated SHTF skill which I don’t recall ever having been mentioned:

    The ability to maintain a hygienic environment when disposable personal hygiene items are no longer available. I am thinking in the context of everyone, women specific, and infant specific. Yeah, it is an ‘unmentionable’ subject, but what will we do when disposable TP, pads, and diapers are no longer available?

  26. As far as the less obvious items, I’d through in automobiles. Sure everyone will very quickly go for the gas, and smarter people the batteries, but there is also a lot of electrical wiring and other components that can be salvaged. Tires, as mentioned above have a lot of uses. Finally, they are build primarily of various types of METAL.

    It would be awesome for Dorothy to come on the show! I’m the more introverted side of my marriage, so I feel her pain, but she has such critical knowledge that we could all gain so much from hearing.

  27. What about paper-making? The store-shelf inventory isn’t going to last long, but paper is still going to be required for many of the things we use it for today. Correspondence, ledgers, agreements, etc.

  28. I know this thread is a bit old, but I just listened to this show recently.
    One skill set that I have never heard of on Jack show, (listened to about 4 months worth) is fasting.

    It might sound odd but fasting is a discipline. Especially when you are surrounded by food. I think, especially in a TEOTWAWKI, if you already have a habit of fasting once a month/ week what have you, rationing will be a piece of cake.

    If one fasted twice a week, your 30 days of stored food goes to 38.5.

    60 becomes 77

    120 becomes 154.

    Going into a TEOTWAWKI scenario already knowing that you can make it to the end of the day without food and even just one meal a day regularly can get you ready to literally tighten your belt a lot sooner.

    Now as far as improving your life even if times don’t get tough. It is widely acknowledged as a spiritual discipline and it is very healthy for your body as well. Giving your digestive system a break once in a while is really important.