Tuesday, 25 August 2015

08:14 – One of the interesting aspects of offering a free sample chapter of the prepping book is all the emails I get from people whose names I don’t recognize because they never post comments here, including a disproportionate number of women. Maybe 1% of my male readers ever post a comment here; for female readers, it’s probably more like 0.1%. Given that my readership is probably 10:1 male:female, that means we see very, very few comments from women. Perhaps I’ve made this journal unfriendly to women. If so, it’s not intentional and I regret that I seem to attract mostly you crotchety old bastards who are always commenting.

Yesterday’s stock market crash seems to be leveling out, although a significant minority of observers believe much worse things are imminent and even most of the optimists appear to be badly shaken. If one thing is clear, it’s that China is out of control. Yesterday wasn’t the big crash that a lot of people are expecting, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong. The big crash is coming, maybe not today or next month or even this year, but it is coming. And when it comes it seems likely that it will start in China and quickly flood over the EU like a tsunami. The US and Canada are the only real havens. They’ll both take severe hits, but nothing like the rest of the world.

Barbara’s first day back at work yesterday was uneventful. She’s turning things over to the several people who will replace her, teaching them what she does. It sounds like her final five weeks at work will be relatively calm, which is a good thing.

If you’d like a PDF copy of Chapter 1 of the prepping book, email me at thompson (at) ttgnet (dot) com with the subject line “book sample”. I’ll send you the PDF.

10:34 – At Lynn’s suggestion, I just added the following text as a sidebar in Chapter 1.

What About Cooling?

Cold can kill, but so can heat, particularly the elderly, infants, and others who are less able than most people to tolerate high temperatures and humidity. With power down, the lack of air conditioning can be a lethal threat to these vulnerable people.

Unfortunately, it takes a lot of power to run a whole-house air conditioning system, much more than is practical for most people to make provision for. Keeping whole-house air conditioning running during a power outage requires a very large generator and the fuel to run it.

If you must have cooling, there are two practical options:

First, you can buy a high-efficiency, inverter-based generator1, store enough fuel to run it for the expected duration of the power outage, and use it to power a small portable or window air conditioner to cool one room.

Second, you can do what our ancestors did before there was air conditioning. If you still have running water, use cool water for frequent cooling baths or showers. Utility water usually comes from the tap at about the average year-round temperature for your location. For example, the annual average temperature in Dallas, Texas is about 67 °F and that of Boston, Massachusetts is about 52 °F, so utility water temperatures in those cities are normally within ±5 or 10 °F of those temperatures. (Oddly, the water temperature is usually somewhat higher in cold months and somewhat lower in warm months because it takes six months or so for air temperature changes to penetrate the soil to the depth at which water pipes are usually buried.) Utility water at 65 or 70 °F is far enough below body temperature that bathing or showering in it will cool you down quickly. In fact, spending too long in cool water can produce hypothermia.

If you don’t have running water, use whatever water you do have. Other than shallow ponds, the temperature of natural water sources like streams, rivers, and lakes is usually much lower than the ambient air temperature.