News roundup for Fri, Apr 01, 2022

April is FEMA’s National Financial Capability Month

FEMA’s link with some decent info.

On TP, start here: Why personal finance is critical for preppers and tips on money management

Rainy day funds and how much cash to have on hand
Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain for preppers
Gold, silver, and other precious metals for sane preppers

War in Ukraine

Ukrainians have retaken Irpin and are trying to evacuate Mariupol. Russian troops have withdrawn from Chernobyl but others are still focusing on the separatist-controlled regions.

Mariupol then and now:

Clean up efforts are starting in some cities:

The number of refugees fleeing Ukraine has reached 4 million. 2 million of them are children:

Refugees are particularly vulnerable to theft as well as human trafficking, and sexual exploitation.

The White House has intel that Putin has been lied to by his advisers about the performance of his troops and the economy in order to keep him appeased. And a Russian commander has been killed by his own troops. Things don’t seem to go too well for Putin.

Latest maps, graphs, pictures.

Gas, energy, and supply chain

Biden plans to release 1 million barrels of oil a day for the next 6 months. This would be the largest release in the near 50-year history of the SPR:

Explainer: What is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

Biden is also to invoke the Defense Production Act to encourage domestic production of minerals required to make batteries for EVs and long-term energy storage.

Poland bans Russian coal and it will stop all oil imports by the end of the year.

Germany and Austria are taking the first steps towards gas rationing. Germany urged consumers and companies to reduce consumption, while Austria said it was tightening its monitoring of the gas market. This “early warning phase” is the first of three steps towards rationing. Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned that immediate oil bans would plunge Germany and the rest of Europe into recession. Inflation in Germany hit a 30-years high.

Climate change

Water scarcity has become the new normal in California, according to California’s secretary for environmental protection. California asked water suppliers to activate Level 2 of their 6-tiered water contingency plan in order to prepare for a 20% water shortage. At Level 2, local suppliers can reduce the number of days that residents can water outdoors, for example. Here’s an up-to-date drought map of the US.

…and wildfires are the new normal in Colorado. Understanding wildfire lingo.

Coastal home buyers are ignoring rising flood risks, despite clear warnings and rising insurance premiums.

A new analysis shows that American taxpayers spend tens of millions of dollars every year on subsidies that encourage farmers to plant on land that floods repeatedly. Climate change causes more flooding, drought, and extreme weather, and payments for drought-related losses rose 400% from 1995 to 2020 and 300% for flooding-related losses over the same period. Of the $143 billion in settlements paid to farmers, more than two-thirds were for drought and rain damage. If the same unproductive lands were left fallow, they would actually help fight climate change by storing carbon that’s otherwise released when farming.

New data suggests forests help keep the Earth at least half of a degree cooler, protecting us from the effects of the climate crisis. The band of tropical rainforests spanning Latin America, central Africa, and Southeast Asia generate the most local and global benefits.

Lismore, AU, flooded again. Australia has highly variable rainfall, and as the world warms, the atmosphere can hold more water and that means we are more likely to see larger floods. In La Niña years (2022 is one of them) floods are more likely, and large floods are more likely to come in clusters with dry periods in between. Climate change is causing floods that do occur to be more frequent and more intense.

New Jersey is closing its last two coals plants by May 31 with the intention to replace them with greener projects such as battery storage facilities.

Summer temperatures in England have been steadily rising and the Met Office in England raised the temperature threshold to declare a heatwave by 1 degree.


Community member July Lewis shares tips on how to prepare for a severe case of Covid at home.

The Shanghai lockdown is causing panic buying:

The rest

Two or three CMEs might be hitting Earth by April 1 and could generate G2 or G3 (moderate) geomagnetic storms:

John Deere unveiled a self-driving tractor. The price has not been set yet but it might be around $500,000.

Another way you can save up on gas is by using an e-scooter.

Experts warn that the Azores might have an eruption like las Palmas. The island of Sao Jorge experienced more than 22,000 small earthquakes in the past days. If the volcano erupts, it would be the first eruption since 1808. Many have left the island.

BTW, why can’t we throw all our trash into a volcano and burn it up? Good question. In short: lava burns at different temperatures and not all of them are high enough to burn everything we’d thrown in it; there aren’t that many volcano lakes that would make dumping trash in it easy; it would be dangerous due to heat, dangerous gases, and the risk of operating on lava crust.


    • brownfox-ffContributor

      What you can do about it:

      • Review your finances. Create a budget. Pay yourself first. Think of your personal life as a business: you want to run it to make a profit. That profit is money you can invest in yourself (or your preps).
      • Think about your life goals. What is your mission? What do you want to do with your life? If you’ve never done so: take some time to think about it. Write down some of your values and your goals. Consider writing a personal mission statement or plan for what you want to do.
      • Store some water
      • Research your local sources of water. How robust or vulnerable are you to drought? Where does your water come from?
      • Get ready for wild fires. Keep your Go Bag ready. Clear brush and plants around your house (within 100 feet). Keep your vehicle in working order and have several evacuation routes .
      • Prepare for heat. Think how you will create shade, circulate air, and stay hydrated.
      • Plant a garden
      • Plant some trees. Every tree counts.
      • Keep working on that pantry
      • Get some exercise

      Have a productive weekend.

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      • JB brownfox-ff

        If some places are already experiencing wildfires now, we are in for a long and widespread fire season this year.

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    • Bill Masen

      UK energy prices rose by 54% today, along with increases in Local (state) taxes, National Insurance etc, our pips are being squeeked.

      Oh bu**er was planning a vacation to the Azores this summer, think I’ll go for Madiera instead.

      Ref English weather, its still a case of its raining or just stopped raining or is about to start raining.   we have either Wet n cold, Wet Windy and Cold, or Not so wet or cold. 🙂

      Ref E scooters, I’m advised these things are getting popular on the US west coast among commuters and preppers alike.

      TRANSPORT Electric UBCO-2x2-utility-bike-

      Transport cake-makka-electric-scooter

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      • JB Bill Masen

        Those electric scooters look pretty fun. I wonder how powerful the motor is and how it does with hills when there is a rider and a full backpack of groceries.

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      • Bill Masen JB

        All the info you need on the UBCO 2×2

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      • Bill Masen Bill Masen

        All the info you need on the Cake electric bike

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      • JB Bill Masen

        Wow! That looks even more fun seeing it in action. Definitely looks like it can hold up to whatever I could throw at it too.

        But at $7000… that’s the price of a small used car. But there is many things this scooter can do that a car cannot. This scooter could be charged off a small solar system and give you an off-grid vehicle solution. And with rising fuel prices, the value for a scooter like this only goes up.

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      • Bill Masen JB

        Looking at global events social, political, natural etc if you live some place warm(ish) these powerful off road machines make perfect sense. $7K to buy then run off sunlight.   Ideal prepper transport later on in a changing world.

        FYI some preppers on the US western bit I used to know have solar power recharged electric golf buggies to get around on.


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      • JB Bill Masen

        That would be a fun, resourceful, and good preparedness project to have a solar powered golf cart. 

        The first one I looked up on a classifieds page is only $700. I bet I could find one for much cheaper if I waited and haggled, then a few hundred into the panels and other electronics and I’d have an off-grid vehicle for under a thousand.

        Screenshot from 2022-04-01 14-37-19

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      • Eric JB

        Cake starts a bit lower at $4k and offers a finance option at $175 per month. If it ends up being cheaper to operate than a car, due to gas prices, this piece of equipment might pay for itself.

         I’ll probably pass though. I like the safety (vs collisions), cargo capacity, and range (300 miles) of my car. I’ll probably pick up a regular bicycle for shorter distances (mostly for exercise). Not sure I need something in the middle of those options.

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      • JB Eric

        They have sub $200 gasoline engine kits to throw on a bicycle. Those would sip fuel so even if gas was $10 a gallon, it still wouldn’t be that expensive to run it.

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    • Captain Peanut

      In 2020 the US was using 20 million barrels of oil a day, and it’s probably around the same amount still in 2022. I get there is politics behind his decision to look like he is doing something to ease the rising costs to the people but is this really the best course of action? 

      According to the article up above “What is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?” It says that there currently is 568 million barrels in the reserves. By releasing an additional 1 million barrels a day for 6 months ~ 182 million barrels that will leave only 386 million barrels in the reserves. It just kind of scares me from a prepping perspective to use up our supplies. Think of it like using up 32% of your food storage. I guess that’s what it is there for though.

      On another note, in that article it describes how they withdraw that oil from the reserves. It sounds like an absolute environmental nightmare.

      Oil is lighter than water — ….. To remove oil from the reserves, water is pumped into the salt caverns, making the crude float to the surface, where it is captured and sent through pipelines to refineries.

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      • Bed Captain Peanut

        Hopefully whatever’s taken out of the Reserve is eventually put back in. You can’t take 1M barrels a day and just not refill it. I get why the WH is doing it, but 1M/day for 6mo is gonna remove a semi-worryingly huge chunk…

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      • JB Bed

        I just can’t fathom what ONE MILLION barrels actually would look like. I’m thinking a large 55 gallon metal drum, I’ve seen those before. Now think of 10 of those, then 100, then 1000, then 10,000, my mind starts to blow at the 100,000 mark and there is still so much more to go to a million. That is SO much oil.

        How the heck are we using 20+ million of those a day (and that’s only the USA), and not choking down on some severe pollution?

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      • The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is for dire emergencies and it’s not totally clear that the US itself is in a dire emergency yet.

        It makes sense from a political perspective if Biden wants to make the argument that he did something to try to lower gas prices. But we’re not yet in an emergency in which we really need those extra barrels.

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    • Captain Peanut

      “Biden is also to invoke the Defense Production Act to encourage domestic production of minerals required to make batteries for EVs and long-term energy storage.” – This is good news! I like hearing cases where places are reducing their dependence on foreign supplies, it makes them more resilient in my opinion.

      I like that website! It tells you how to get free testing, free vaccines, and free N95 masks! What we wouldn’t have done for this resource two years ago. Thank you government for providing these wonderful things to keep us safe.

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      • Bill Masen Captain Peanut

        I hope the US is not dependent on imported Nickel which is at crazy prices through other nations stockpiling the metal, its essential for battery production.

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      • Hardened Bill Masen

        Apparently Tesla is a prepper company and is in good shape regarding nickel.

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      • Bill Masen Hardened

        Excellent news, great forward planning by Tesla, clearly they are into prepping as you say.

        Lets hope they start making SUVs and Vans with integral roof and hood mounted solar panels.  Though my van does 55MPG it still costing me a fortune to fill it with diesel being £9.63 a Gallon ($ 12,63)

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    • Bill Masen

      Ref Chernobyl / Pripyat   Looks like the Russians made have made a terrible mistake, UK media is reporting that one of the reasons Russia is giving up on Chernobyl  is that the Russian troops are suffering from Radiation poisoning, caused by them digging defensive trenches and bunkers in the heavily contaminated soils .

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      • Hardened Bill Masen

        I really hope that’s not true but few things would surprise me at this point.  Time to bring back the Darwin awards.

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    • Hardened

      Interesting opinion found via the linked Twitter thread:

      I believe China is now teetering at the edge between barely containing BA2 wave of COVID-19 and completely losing control like it has in Hong Kong—which we know could spell horrible conditions outcomes and huge economic difficulties and disruption to the most critical manufacturing and export centers of the world. Thus, this bodes extremely poorly for the rest of the global supply chain crisis and economic stability. And it could even spillover into the Russian-Ukraine driven inflation crisis. What happens in China over the coming weeks will affect the world. COVID is not over — with the world acting slowly only further endangering the world.

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      • Bill Masen Hardened

        Hmmm in relation to this piece you provide I’ve read both India and China have been massively stockpiling core essential from Rice, Wheat, Iron ore, Zinc, Copper, Tin, Oil, Gas etc as though they were ” EXPECTING” major global problems????  Food for thought.

        China Stockpiling Enough Grain: Xinhua

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      • Eric Bill Masen

        “as though they were ”EXPECTING” major global problems????”

        I am almost certain that they were not only expecting this specific problem, but also eager to make the problem worse for the rest of the world.

        Putin warned China in advance about this war, and his plan for how to use that war to damage NATO. China is both protecting itself and also contributing to the economic problems that Putin has created.

        Food and material shortages are bad, but not the worst part. The worst part is an attack on the social ties and goodwill that hold USA and European countries together. We all remember how the Syrian refugee crisis pushed Britain out of the EU and generally increased extremism in European politics… Russia caused that refugee crisis and is doing the same at larger scale by forcing Ukrainians to flee their homes.

        Watch how these problems compound each other. Not enough food for citizens and we’re taking care of millions of refugees? Tempers will run very hot, exactly as Putin planned.

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      • Bill Masen Eric

        Eric I agree but I would also add Chinas intent over reclaiming Taiwan, and the continuing COVID crisis probably also played a part in China going into full blown food and fuel stockpiling.  Half of Beijing 26 million people are in lockdown with the other half just about to join them. The shops and supermarkets in Beijing have been stripped bare. And those darm exports we in the west like so much aint moving again.

        BTW most of us were for Brexit because the EU was getting less and less democratic.   Imagine is the wonderful US was governed from say Brazil in a Pan American Union, and by unelected Burocrats. The ” elected” representatives did NOT make the laws they could only rubber stamp them, and the US was required to pay $20 billion dollars just to be a member oof the club.

        And on top of it Anyone in that American union from Tierra del Fuego to the Baring sea had the AUTOMATIC right to come and live in the US, vote, recieve benefits and get freed education and healthcare.

        If the EU had remained as what it was promised to be A COMMON MARKET, a simple FREE TRADE ZONE , chances are we would still be in it.

        Guys if this is classified as political and unacceptable instead of an observation please delete it.

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