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Mel Tappan’s Personal Survival Letter # 14

Issue No. 14

Editor’s note: Recent world developments and private intelligence have caused us to give increasing credence to
the nuclear threat. This is the first in a projected series of articles by Dr. Bruce Clayton in PS Letter and I urge you
to consider the implications carefully.

Dr. Clayton’s new book, ​Life After Doomsday (Paladin Press) deals with the subject at length and I commend it to
you. I have some reservations about the projected fallout areas contained there, and I flatly disagree with the
recommended equipment for communications, but the book is must reading for any serious survivalist. I
wholeheartedly agree with his central point that nuclear war is not only a disaster which most of us can survive but
it may be far less demanding than some other scenarios.

The articles in PS Letter will not be a rehash of the book. Instead, they will break new ground, so I suggest that you
read L​ ife After Doomsday for general background orientation as soon as possible. You may find that what you
think you know about the consequences of nuclear war is pure twaddle. M.T.

The Probability of Nuclear War


by Bruce D. Clayton, Ph.D.

On November 9, 1979, we almost fought World War III.

It had been a very tense day. In Iran, the Ayatollah Khomeini had demanded the return of the Shah in exchange for
the lives of sixty hostages in the American embassy in Tehran. In the United States, there were anti-Iranian riots
and demands that the President take some action, possibly military, against the Iranians. In the Soviet Union, just
across the border from Iran, military officials were tense and watchful as the day drew to a close. They expected
some form of reaction from the Americans, and did not know what it would be.

Early that evening, staff officials in the War Room at the Pentagon looked up at their computerized world situation
screen and were shocked to see hundreds of Soviet bombers and missiles coming over the pole toward the United
States. There was no doubt- the screen showed a full-scale surprise attack. Following standard procedure, the
officers immediately ordered Strategic Air Command bombers, fighters and tankers into the air to prevent their
destruction on the ground.

Ninety seconds later the first jets climbed into the night sky and turned north toward the Soviet Union. Across the
northern and central plains, dozens of SAC combat crews in buried Minuteman missile command capsules were
alerted to be ready for an emergency war order. In cruising submarines around the world, captains received
instructions to ready their missiles and stand by.

This was no drill.

At the Pentagon, an officer reached for the red telephone. Only the President could give the order releasing the
nuclear strike force for a counter-attack. The White House was on the line in seconds. The first Soviet missiles were
already nearing Washington.
Suddenly, the big screen flickered and the attacking forces were gone! The screen showed only the SAC aircraft
heading north in ever-increasing numbers. A top-priority message arrived from the North American Air Defense
Command Headquarters (NORAD), hidden deep under a mountain in the Colorado Rockies. It was all a mistake!

A technician had accidentally run a test program on the NORAD computer, a program designed to simulate the
appearance of a full-scale Soviet attack. The images of incoming planes and missiles had been generated by the
program. The Soviet attack was an illusion.

But the SAC counter-attack was real!

By the time the mistake was discovered, we were six minutes into World War III. Nearly one hundred B-52
bombers were already in the air or were rolling into position at the end of their runways. This activity did not go
unnoticed by the Soviet high command.

The Russian generals stared at their computer displays in disbelief. They were expecting some military gesture
from the Americans, but not a nuclear attack! They hastily alerted their air defense forces and ordered the Soviet
missile force to stand by. Then, fortunately for us all, they saw that the SAC planes were turning around and
returning to base.

For a total of about ten minutes, western civilization tottered on the very brink of the worst kind of nuclear
exchange, an unpremeditated, unexpected war in which both sides react as if they had been attacked first. In such a
war, neither side would attempt to shoot at the other’s weapons, but would launch punishing “retaliatory” attacks on
the other’s cities instead.

We were within moments of a true holocaust, and only good fortune saved us. If the NORAD error had gone
undetected for even a few minutes more, the situation might have passed the point of no return. One side or the
other would eventually have launched its ICBM’s.

How likely is a nuclear war? It is impossible to calculate an exact probability, because the calculation would
involve an extremely large number of variables, many of which cannot be measured anyway. We do know that
opportunities for a nuclear war to get started seem to arise with distressing frequency. The November 9 incident is
just one example.

Another instance occurred during the closing days of the Nixon administration, when then Secretary of Defense
Schlesinger quietly took away the President’s power to order a nuclear attack, fearing that Nixon was becoming
unstable.

Prior to that was the SAC alert during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, when it looked as if the Soviets might try to help
their embarrassed Arab allies. Farther back was the Cuban missile crisis of the Kennedy administration, and before
that were the US-Soviet confrontations over Berlin. These were the better-known incidents.

Together with the lesser-known confrontations, there have been a total of nineteen occasions in all when we have
made threatening gestures with our nuclear forces to underline some message to the Soviets. Most people know
only of the Cuban crisis.
The following list describes over a dozen possible ways in which we could become involved in a nuclear war. Most
of these are drawn from Herman Kahn’s ​On Thermonuclear War (Princeton, 1961); the last one has become
possible only within the last few years. The list is not arranged in any kind of order as to probability. The scenarios
are:

1. A false alarm from our early warning system might lead us to launch a mistaken retaliation, forcing the Soviets to
attack in self-defense (or vice versa). This is what almost happened November 9, according to the official
explanation.

2. A nuclear attack might be ordered for no rational reason by a mentally unbalanced President or general.

3. A true mechanical or human error might accidentally launch a missile.

4. A nuclear war could develop through the escalation of a conventional war. Whoever was losing would be badly
tempted to use nuclear weapons to salvage the situation.

5. “The rationality of irrationality.” The Soviets might try to bluff us, thinking that if they sounded irrational
enough, we would give in to their demands in a gesture of appeasement. Hitler used this tactic with great success in
the years prior to the outbreak of World War II.

6. The Soviets might decide that they can survive a counter-attack with acceptable losses, and press forward with
plans for a disarming surprise attack. The USSR has the most advanced civil defense program in the world (I’ve
read their textbooks). If they ever get the idea that they could withstand our retaliation, that would be the end of
deterrence. It doesn’t matter whether they could really survive our attack or not. What they think is what counts.

7. One side may develop the fear that the other is about to launch a surprise attack, and will feel compelled to shoot
first. The advantages of being the first to launch are very great, and could be very tempting. This is especially true if
the apprehensive side feels that it could not strike back effectively after suffering an attack.

8. One side or the other might be forced to attack as part of a pact to help an ally in distress. This is what NATO is
all about.

9. A political crisis in the United States, such as the election of an extreme hawk to the presidency, might make the
Soviets nervous enough to launch a preemptive strike. It works the other way, too. There will be new national
leaders in both nations within a few years.

10. An ambitious dictator with a nuclear arsenal might start a war to further his own ambitions. Would Hitler have
used atomic weapons to win World War II? (After all, we used them!)

11. A third nation, like China, might decide to trick the US and USSR into attacking each other. A Chinese
submarine at the North Pole launching missiles at both countries would probably leave China as the most powerful
nation in the world.

12. A third nation, like Israel, might, in desperation, fake a nuclear attack on itself to draw us into a local war.
Imagine that in the next Arab-Israeli war, things are going badly for Israel. Arab columns are forcing their way into
the country in spite of fierce resistance.
Suddenly the Israelis abandon a key defensive position in the desert and minutes later an atom bomb explodes
there. “Look at what the Arabs did to us!” they might cry. We would never know whose bomb it really was. (This,
too, cuts both ways. If the Arabs lose again they may use the same trick to undermine support for Israel.)

13. If one side gained a decisive lead in the arms race, there would be tremendous pressure to attack before the
other side caught up. This is of concern in terms of the Soviet’s growing strategic lead.

14. Finally, with the spread of atomic and thermonuclear weapons to smaller and smaller countries, a very
dangerous possibility is that two small nations will have their own atomic war. One envisions North and South
Korea, Israel and Egypt, or even England and France eventually lobbing warheads at each other. There is also the
ultimate affront: a third-world nation might use a homemade atom bomb on the United States! (Would Ayatollah
Khomeini or Idi Amin be above such an escapade?)

In ​Life After Doomsday I discussed another chilling fact about the likelihood of a nuclear war. According to the
mathematics of probability, we are bound to have a nuclear war sooner or later. I won’t go into the details here, but
the central idea is that by giving an unlikely event unlimited opportunities to occur, we assure that the event will
eventually take place.

For instance, if we arbitrarily declare the probability of having a nuclear war to be only 2% in any given year, there
will be a 70% chance of the war happening sometime within a person’s 75 year lifespan. (The probability becomes
90% by the 114th year, and 99% by the 227th year.) Even though the chance of having the war this year may be
remote, the chance of having it happen to you may still be very high!

With enough time, the occurrence of the war becomes a virtual certainty. This is the law of compounded
probabilities, and there is no arguing with it. It is the fundamental flaw in our policy of deterrence. By striving to
make a nuclear attack unlikely (instead of impossible), we have created a situation which is bound to produce a war
sooner or later.

One of the more immediate threats to continued peace is the Soviet Union’s growing lead over the US in terms of
strategic weaponry. The current interest in the MX mobile missile is a direct result of this trend. United States
military authorities fear that by 1982 (or so) Soviet missiles will become accurate enough to hit all of our
Minuteman missile silos in a single sneak attack. This would destroy most of our retaliatory capacity.

It is tacitly admitted in aerospace circles that our 350 aging B-52 bombers stand almost zero chance of penetrating
the massive Soviet air defense network. (Imagine these few 25-year-old sub-sonic bombers lumbering in against
12,000 anti aircraft missiles and 2,600 jet interceptors.) The bomber force does not represent a very convincing
deterrent. With the land-based missiles and the bombers presumed to be knocked out, that would leave only our
submarines to deter Soviet aggression.

That brings up the one major unknown factor in this discussion. Enormous sums are being spent on both sides of
the Iron Curtain to find a way to locate submerged submarines by satellite. Will the Soviets succeed in their efforts
within the next few years? If so, we may lose our ability to deter Soviet aggression entirely, and we will become
vulnerable to a disarming sneak attack.
If the Soviets wanted to really catch us napping, they could begin by secretly sending one or more of their missile
submarines to the vicinity of Mexico’s southern coastline on the Pacific. The next step in preparing the attack
would be for Soviet naval vessels and hunter-killer submarines to begin to shadow our Poseidon submarines. With
the ships in position the stage would be set for the final attack.

The critical flaw in our early warning system is that it does not pay enough attention to the skies to the south of us.
We have radar installations constantly scanning for incoming missiles from every direction except through Mexican
airspace.

Even one Soviet submarine lying off Acapulco could launch enough missiles to initiate a successful surprise attack.
These missiles would approach the US over Mexico, and would not be detected until they were almost above their
targets. Even a few well-placed detonations could blind our radar installations and disrupt our command and control
structure sufficiently to cause a serious delay in our retaliation.

While the surviving military commanders were busy verifying that Washington had been destroyed, the remaining
Soviet missiles would be arriving over the North Pole. Around the world, brief and very one-sided naval battles
would be taking place as our submarines were taken by surprise and destroyed. Only a few minutes of confusion
would be sufficient to make the attack a total success.

This scenario isn’t meant as a prediction. I personally think it is a little glamorous, but there is nothing in it which
requires too great a stretch of the imagination. The only factor not theoretically feasible right now is the detection of
the submarines, and by 1982, even that may be old news.

The real danger lies in the knowledge that a scenario like this may soon be possible. Our proposed MX missile
force is designed to prevent a disarming attack by multiplying the number of our missile silos beyond the capability
of the Soviets to hit them all. This system is scheduled for completion in 1986. If the Soviets acquire the ability to
locate our submarines before the MX is operational, they will be sorely tempted to attack us before they lose their
unique advantage.

United States strategists will be sorely tempted, too. They will feel the need to attack first, before the Soviets can
launch a disarming strike. Remember that until the MX is operational, our side will be haunted by the fear that the
Soviets may achieve the ability to detect submarines at any time. The Soviets will know this, and will be on their
guard against the possibility of a preemptive strike. Those will be four very tense years.

What if someone at NORAD accidentally runs a test program then?

Mel Tappan has described our ailing economy as the one threat which will definitely throw survivalists on their
own resources if nothing else does so first. Nuclear war poses a similar threat. If nothing else cripples our
civilization first, a nuclear war will eventually take place. The next few years are going to be especially dangerous.
Survivalists should be making preparations now. Subsequent articles in this series will describe how.

Biographical Note

Bruce Clayton is a scientist and survivalist whose primary concern is the development of nuclear war survival
skills. His nuclear war survival manual, ​Life After Doomsday,​ has just become available from Paladin Press.
Footnote

The official Pentagon press release covering the events of November 9, 1979, insists that in the six minutes during
which the officers thought World War III had begun, the only action they took was to scramble ten fighters.
Clayton regards this as a diplomatic lie. “Neither the bombers, the President, nor the Pentagon itself have a life
expectancy greater than four to seven minutes in a sneak attack. If they were six minutes into a full-scale attack and
they hadn’t launched the bombers or called the President, they completely failed to carry out their duties.

I prefer to think that President Carter was called during the first two minutes of the alert, was advised of the
situation, and was asked to release the weapons. No matter whether he sad yes or no, his answer would be a
political bombshell, as well as the most important military secret in history. That’s why the Pentagon press release
sounds so damningly incompetent. They have no choice but to conceal what really happened. On the other hand, if
they really didn’t do anything during those six minutes, our deterrence policy has been completely discredited.”

Editor’s Subscript: It is interesting to note that the official explanation of this incident is hardly credible to those
knowledgeable in such matters. Training programs, such as the one allegedly fed into the systems by inadvertence,
carry a distinctive electronic pulse readily identifiable by anyone familiar with these procedures. It seems hardly
likely that the “error” could have gone undetected for more than a few seconds by trained supervisory personnel.
M.T.

Intrusion Detection/Alarm Systems


Alexander Jason

In this article I shall be describing the various types of intrusion detection/alarm systems, as well as discussing their
respective advantages and disadvantages. I want you to be aware that, although I may point out the relative points
of a particular system, I do not want to leave you with the impression that the only system worth installing is the
one to which I give the highest recommendation.

What you should remember throughout this piece is that a home equipped with any sort of working alarm system
which lets the intruder know he’s been detected is substantially and measurably more secure than a home without a
system. In interviews I have conducted with professional burglars, they invariably state that they do indeed regard
the presence of an alarm system as a deterrent.

While a few of them bragged that if they were already inside when the alarm went off they might still make a mad
dash to grab something of value before they ran, they all admitted that they would much prefer to burglarize a
house without an alarm system.

The important thing to understand is that instead of wasting time being critical of alarm systems because you can
fantasize techniques the KGB or the Flying Wallendas might use to beat a typical home security system, realize that
your home is not the White House, Fort Knox, nor the Louvre, and will not likely attract that kind of talent.

The lowlife types you are trying to keep out of your house will be most eager to avoid your home and move down
the block if you will make things a bit difficult for them. The philosophical outlook you should develop regarding
your security is not to “make it impossible”, but to “make it difficult”.
Making your home “impossible” to burglarize is, in a practical sense, impossible. But making your home “difficult”
to burglarize is indeed possible. And a good home security system is an excellent way to make your home a
difficult target.

Internal or External System

Although there is an enormous variety of intrusion detection sensors and systems, the first choice you must make is
to decide between a completely internal intrusion detection system which only sounds a local alarm and an
externally-connected system which will directly notify others outside the home of the intrusion.

The benefits of an internal system are that they can be relatively inexpensive, installed easily by the homeowner,
and quite effective- especially if the homeowner is at home during the intrusion or if he has cooperative neighbors
who will be. The internal system is very popular and is in wide use throughout most metropolitan areas, particularly
by small retail stores.

The primary reason for their popularity and effectiveness is simply that most burglars will drop everything and run
when the bell or siren goes off. But the weakness of this system is that some burglars will ignore the noise and
continue working because they have learned that the bell or siren does not necessarily bring the police or anyone
else.

This is particularly true in urban areas where local residents of commercial and industrial districts have become so
accustomed to alarm signals that they have come to regard the noise as just another big city sound. (And besides,
who cares?) As anyone who has lived in a major city knows (Manhattan is a good example), those bells go off all
the time.

The reason you will often hear alarm signals is because: (A) With cheap, poorly installed alarm systems false
alarms are very easily triggered by all sorts of environmental (wind, rain, humidity, lightning) occurrences as well
as by someone shaking the door or the vibrations of a passing truck and; (B) These cheap systems will usually
continue to sound until someone with a key comes over and turns the damn thing off- which may be several hours
later.

This is much more common in commercial areas late at night, where a criminal can break a store window, grab
items, or make a quick run in and out of the store. In residential areas this is less likely to occur, as a criminal
knows that a response by a neighbor is probable.

So, in areas where alarm signals are frequently heard, these occurrences serve to undermine one of the basic
premises of an internal intrusion detection/alarm system: that an alarm signal will in itself generate a quick response
from the police. Some criminals are aware of this fact and are therefore undeterred by noise. And it’s also
significant to note that most city police officers, like the local civilians, are generally unenthusiastic about
responding to audible alarms.

I remember very well one of my first nights out as a rookie cop when over the radio came the report of “an audible
alarm at...” My eyes lit up at the image of catching burglars in the act and I braced myself, as I expected my more
experienced partner would immediately punch the pedal to the floor and code-three our way to the crime scene.

It didn’t happen that way at all. I was shocked to see that he regarded the call as nothing more than a nuisance (like
a barking dog complaint) until a few weeks later when I came to realize that (literally) 98% of audible alarms were
false alarms. All we could do was to check the doors and windows and to try to have headquarters contact the
owner or the alarm company to come over and turn off the bell.
The point is this- you must not put too much faith in an intrusion detection system which only sounds an audible
alarm, especially if you live in an area where there are many commercial establishments with audible alarms. While
most burglars will run at the first sound of an alarm, there are situations in which a burglar might not.

If your home is in a rural area and your neighbors are too far to hear the alarm, this fact will be obvious to the
criminal who will not likely be much deterred by the noise.

The other type of security system, externally-connected to either the police or a private security company, is far
superior to the bell-ringing only system. The advantages are significant, primarily from the fact that a proper and
prompt response will be made should an intrusion occur. With this type of system, you have both the audible alarm
to deter those who are easily deterred and an appropriate response by someone prepared to take action against the
intruder.

It is interesting to note that while the installation of almost any security system is recognized by most insurance
companies to be of sufficient value to warrant some reduction in premium charges, the Insurance Institute
recommends a two percent discount for a system which only activates a local alarm and ten percent for an external
system connected to a central monitoring facility.

An external system is connected to an outside agency by a special telephone line, which will be installed and
maintained by the local telephone company. In some rural areas, the police department will allow you to connect
directly into their facilities but in most metropolitan areas, the police departments simply do not have sufficient
room to accommodate all those who would do so. In most densely populated areas you must utilize the services of a
private alarm monitoring firm like ADT, Burns, or Honeywell.

These firms will install an intrusion detection system in your home, connect it directly to their central office and
monitor it 24 hours a day, every day of the year. According to your agreement, they will either notify the police
and/or send one of their guards whenever the alarm is activated. Utilizing this type of service virtually guarantees a
response and, if nothing else, that response will limit the time a burglar has to search through your home and pack
his car with your possessions.

Having an intrusion detection/alarm system directly connected to the police or a private security company will
provide the greatest degree of security and peace of mind- especially when you have to leave your home or vacation
house unoccupied for long periods of time. Keep in mind that your security system can easily include fire, freeze,
and/or water sensors which can minimize the non-criminal hazards which threaten an unoccupied home.

Some people mistakenly believe that these externally-connected systems can be deactivated and made useless
should a burglar cut the phone line before entering. This is untrue because a cut (open) line will immediately light
up the board in the central monitoring station, which knows to regard open lines in the same manner as a break-in
signal.

This type of service is more expensive than having your own internal system. A private security company will
probably charge you from $200 to $500 for the installation of an intrusion detection system and the monthly charge
for monitoring your line will range from $15 to $35.
You will also have to pay a monthly charge for your special telephone line; the phone company will bill you on the
basis of your distance from the security company’s central monitoring station.

If you already have an internal system or if you plan to install your own system and then have it connected to the
security company, you should check with them first.

Some firms will not allow systems which they have not installed to be connected into their central station. Some
will allow it after an inspection, to make sure that your system is up to their standards. You can find these firms
listed in the Yellow Pages under “Burglar Alarms”. Read the ads carefully as many of the largest ads are often
those of the smallest companies, which only install internal systems. Look for the ones which specifically offer
“24-hour monitoring”.

When choosing among the listed security firms, I suggest you stick with the larger and long-established ones (ADT
and Burns are quite good). The best ones will have a UL-certified central station; this is important so ask about it. If
you have a choice (in some rural areas you may not), you don’t want to have the security line monitored in the
makeshift back room of a small answering service or in somebody’s bedroom (I’ve seen both).

By contracting with a security service you are placing a great deal of trust in their reliability and competence. If you
have any doubts about a company, visit their central station and have a good look for yourself. A central monitoring
station should be a modem, well-equipped, and highly secure facility and this is one of those cases in which the
biggest company is likely to be the best.

When you talk to a prospective security firm, I strongly suggest that you ask them who some of their other clients
are. They should be eager to tell you as most of the large industrial users (banks, supermarkets, warehouses, and
manufacturing plants) will have deterrent warning signs and decals all over their facilities.

If you run into a slick-sounding representative who will only “hint” at client’s names and who will explain in a
dramatic whisper that he is under a strict vow of secrecy- watch out! While reputable and established firms will not
give you the names of all their clients, they will be proud to list at least some.

One point which the security company must clearly explain to you is what, exactly, they will do when they detect
an intrusion at your home. Often the procedure is to call your home to verify the alarm- if there is no answer or if
whoever answers the phone falls to give the prearranged code word, they will notify the police and/or send one of
their own men to your home.

The best procedure is to have a guard respond with a key to your house but with the understanding that if the house
is locked-up, he is not to enter until the police arrive to accompany him. You may not like the idea of allowing
someone to have a key to your home, but many security companies will rightly insist.

This is another good reason to install high security lock cylinders in your doors (Medeco, Fichet, Norman, etc.), as
it makes your keys very difficult (or virtually impossible) to duplicate without your authorization.
Another point to consider is that the externally-connected systems will allow you to have a “panic” button in your
home, which can silently trigger the alarm and effectively summon the police with just a touch. Many systems
include a concealed panic button near the front door and perhaps one in the bedroom.

Even if an intruder should see you push the button, there is no way for him to recall or cancel the signal once it has
been sent. (Generally, you can cancel the signal by calling the security company with a special code or by pushing
another concealed button located away from the panic button.)

And a very important point is that an externally connected system can include smoke or heat sensors, which can be
cheaply and easily integrated within the intrusion detection system.

This provides you with a very valuable degree of protection towards preventing the destruction of your house by
fire. An unchecked fire can do much more damage than any burglary.

I must point out that during massive disruptions of social order (riots, looting, etc.), the external element of a
security system will be worthless. The security companies will be overloaded with alarm signals and it is not likely
that they would send their few guards into disrupted areas. The police too will be overtaxed and over extended;
alarm signals will be given very low priority or just disregarded as they often were during the riots of the Sixties.

But while both external and local alarm systems will have significantly reduced deterrent effect on the various
forms of potential intruders during a breakdown of law and order; the intrusion detection system itself (whether
external or local alarm) will be a very valuable asset to anyone intent on personally defending his home against
intruders.

The same system which was designed to alert an outside agency can now alert you to intrusions. If for some reason
you have a “silent” alarm system (i.e., a system which only notifies the central station and does not sound a local
alarm), I recommend you insist that they give you a switch which will allow you to bring a bell or siren into the
system when you decide it’s necessary.

Field Report: General Update on Small Arms


by Jeff Cooper

I am just back from a week’s consultation in one of the world’s hot spots, and now anxious to get my most recent
impressions down on paper.

As the years accumulate it becomes more and more difficult to maintain an open mind, and one must guard against
the tendency to find, in all new experiences, mere confirmation of what one had previously decided. I try to avoid
this and yet, established precepts, principles, and maxims about weaponry seem to hold good despite much new
material seen in print. In the forward areas people are not concerned as much with faddism and marketing as they
are with staying alive, and such places furnish excellent food for thought.
Man-against-man conflict does not change as much as army-against-army, and in all these WW III battles now in
progress the small scuffle is the rule rather than the exception. In reading ​The New Yorker magazine (which I do, so
as to have a window opening into the minds of “Those People”) one gets the impression that the city slickers think
that we must be either (1) at peace, or (2) involved in the nuclear reduction of mankind.

I could tell them, if they would listen, that right now, during their three-martini lunches, many men -probably better
men than they- are fighting deadly little actions against other men, and for better ideological causes than sent us
into either WWI or WWII. These little actions are fought primarily with small arms, plus a modicum of high
explosive and cold steel.

Radar, lasers, nerve gas, tanks, artillery, and beam-riding missiles are conspicuous in their absence. There is a good
deal of aviation, but no Backfires nor Eagles -just light stuff plus some helicopters used mainly for communications
and logistics.

Regardless of their primitive nature, these fights are deadly. People die in them, and the world death rate remains
the same as ever- one per customer. And the tactical aspects of small arms do seem pretty constant, despite my best
efforts as my own “Devil’s Advocate”.

Let us consider these weapons by type:

The Pistol

The heavy-duty military-type auto pistol, in the hands of a competent marksman, remains the great comforter.
When you move in daily risk of surprise attack by any of the various sorts of creeps who prey upon those they hope
to be helpless, unarmed, or unaware, that big gun on your belt is your Linus-blanket. It is the prime “stopper”, as
quite a number of terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, and other scum have found out- to their terminal astonishment.

Types do not change much, as the .45 Colt, the P35 Browning, and the SIG 210 continue to hold their own. The
reduced versions, cut down for greater concealability, do not seem to offer much improvement, since the full-sized
pieces conceal almost as well and shoot a bit better.

Trigger-cocking (“double-action”) autos and large magazines provide more theoretical than practical help. The long
trigger stroke is distracting to many, and a couple of heavy blows -well placed- are always more decisive than a
larger number of light ones.

Pocket pistols have proven to be weak reeds indeed.

Above all, ​skill is the issue with any pistol. A handgun in incompetent hands is a hazardous nuisance. Wielded by
an alert and determined expert, it can be a dreadful shock to the human hyenas which infest the world.

The .22

The ubiquitous rimfire is often dismissed from consideration as a completely inadequate fighting tool, and it is true
that we would hardly choose it first if we had an alternative, but in all sorts of ragged situations it turns out to be the
only thing available. And it works quite well if used with care.
A .22 pellet between the eyes will stop a fight just as quickly as a shotgun slug. The problem is to put it there, and a
very cool hand -man, woman, or child- can do so if the range is as short as it usually is in a defensive confrontation.
We don’t junk those little .22 pistols; we just don’t use them the same way we use our big ones.

Neither should the .22 rifle be cast aside. In riotous situations it provides a neat and unobtrusive way of tagging
leaders. A long-barreled .22 (with a closed action) makes a very mild pop on discharge -almost inaudible in a
noisy street scene- and a man with a .22 in his lung is going to be out of the line-up for the duration of the game.

He will shout no more orders for a while and he will definitely need a doctor. His usefulness to “the cause” will be
seriously impaired, as he can be both identified and questioned in the hospital. (Also he may die, so we don’t regard
the .22 as “non-lethal weaponry”.)

The Shotgun

The combat shotgun (and the “fowling piece” as well) hits a solid blow, and shotguns are almost as common
throughout the world as .22’s. Few people, however, understand their capabilities and limitations, and optimum
ammunition is not always available. Birdshot will do well enough if the range is right, but buckshot and slugs
improve the social utility of the scattergun very considerably.

The odd thing about the “social shotgun” is that it must be used with greater care at short than at long ranges. It is
comically easy to miss with a shotgun at conversational distances, simply because the pattern has not opened as the
shooter thinks it has. The shotgun must be aimed like a pistol up close, but not one shotgunner in ten knows this.

Here again, in the sharp corners of the world we do not cast aside what is available because we have seen an ad for
something that may be better. Specifically we do not put down the double-barreled shotgun because the “in thing”
is the eight-shot auto. Better a cool hand with a single than a flibbertigibbet with a repeater.

I know of an elegant “threesie” brought off with two rounds from an exposed-hammer double, followed by a single
shot from the back-up .45. Very good work indeed! As usual, it is the man, not his equipment, that makes the
difference.

The Machine Pistol

I long ago reached the conclusion that the squirt gun is an essentially frivolous weapon, and this last little adventure
gives me no reason to change my mind. Except for certain very particular situations, involving specially trained
personnel, anything that can be done with the MP can be done more easily and just as conclusively with the
handgun. After all, they use the same cartridges, don’t they?

A pistol is a reactive instrument, with the overriding characteristic of readiness. It thus must be restricted to a small
package and a cartridge of modest power. When we shoot a pistol cartridge out of a two-handed piece that must be
packed around on a sling we are just being silly. When we attempt to make up for low power by adding the
full-auto option we are being even sillier, in that we are giving ourselves an illusion of might that just isn’t there.

After five or six training sessions the various MP's were no longer in evidence at roll calls. (And this is not because
the instructor could not show off with a squirt gun- rather to the contrary.)
The .223

Generally speaking, this is a dismal cartridge. It does well on jack rabbits, geese, and turkeys; and it is a great
comfort to an isolated, non-shooting-type housewife with a gang of thugs in her kitchen garden, but in a battle tool
it just won’t do. I understand that in today’s American army, as portrayed in “Beetle Bailey”, few recruits can read
or write beyond the comic book level and fewer still have ever walked a whole mile without resting.

For that sort of army I guess the .223 is about right, but for a real soldier it is simply embarrassing. After working
on a sackful of M-16’s in a partially successful effort to get them into fighting trim, our armorer looked at me
sorrowfully and sighed, “Wouldn’t you hate to give one of these to a man going to war?”

My own suggestion was to make up a package and drop the lot on the enemy. If we hit somebody with it we would
have killed two birds with one stone.

We finally tried a suppressive spray technique from the choppers, but when we found that we couldn’t spot our
strike without tracers we gave up even that.

My clients had taken the view that .223 equipment would be advisable since it was “official” in that place, but I did
what I could to convince them that even a limited supply of .308 ordnance was far better than an ocean of
inadequate firecrackers.

The Rifle

Now here we have something. Once people get used to a robust .30-caliber rifle, and begin to understand what can
be done with it, they usually fall in love with it. It hardly matters whether it is Phase I (e.g. Mauser 98), Phase II
(e.g. U.S. M-l), or Phase III (e.g. HK G3). The three categories do not serve exactly the same purposes, but what
they do they do very well indeed.

They all hit a solid, truck-stopping blow, and they all do so just as far out as their user can hit. And, with certain
annoying type-exceptions, they always work.

They are heavy; yes, a bit heavier than the “poodle-shooters”. And that matters very little when your life is on the
line. The emergency hurdle is type selection. When the militia assemble, we see a fearful muddle of actions, sights,
triggers, slings, feeding systems, bipods, and stock designs. We can sort this out but it takes time.

If we could insure that every rifle had a good trigger -military or single-stage, but crisp- that would be a start.

If we could insure that every rifle were equipped with serviceable sights -either a strong, solid aperture like that of
the M-1 or a strong low-mounted, low-powered, non-variable, forward-placed telescope- that would be better.

If we could insure that every rifle were fitted with a proper shooting sling, or, failing that, a bipod, that would be
still better.

If, on top of these things, we could be sure that every magazine rifle had a couple of spare magazines and every M-l
had plenty of clips- well, we would have the war almost won!
The 7.62 NATO -the .308- seems the way to go. It is not the best cartridge in the world but it is a very good
cartridge and, like Everest, it is there. Even in backward .223 countries you can scrounge up plenty of .308. And
after watching a good man show off with, say, a BM-59 or an SSG, one will not complain about this round.

Thus it comes to pass that either (1) I am a victim of creeping codgerism, or (2) principles remain principles.
Naturally I favor (2), but not for personal reasons. There were various cool heads in attendance on this last rumpus,
and we were not just in accord- we were unanimous.

Black Death- Can It Return?


by Mel Tappan and “Doc”

Editor’s Note: Over the coming months we plan to bring you several articles covering various phases of coping
with medical emergencies when there is no physician available. This form of emergency medical cure differs from
ordinary first aid in one important respect. First-aid is meant to support the patient until the doctor arrives;
survival medicine presupposes that no additional aid will be forthcoming.

Consequently, in this series, we will get into procedures that should never be attempted by a layman when
professional cure is available, but which may be necessary under the circumstances contemplated here. We trust
that you will not be tempted to use the information gained here as a substitute for consulting your family doctor
when the need arises.

If you are going to learn enough to deal with such threats as poisoning, snakebite, serious cuts and puncture
wounds, infections, and, perhaps even some modest surgery, such as amputating a gangrenous toe, it will require
more than casual study and you will need to consult some technical medical literature. For that reason, we are
making no attempt to popularize the articles published in PS Letter. You might as well start learning the vocabulary
and some of the basic procedures now.

There are some helpful popular books on health cure available now such as the ​Well Body Book and ​The Barefoot
Doctor’s Manual​, but they are not enough. You should begin building a basic medical library as circumstances
permit and at a bare minimum you should include: D ​ orland’s Medical Dictionary, The Merck Manual (13th ed.),
​ ray’s Anatomy​, M
the latest edition of G ​ anagement of Medical Emergencies by Sharpe and Marx, and C ​ utting’s
Handbook of Pharmacology​ (5​ ed.).
th​

At the outset, some of these volumes may appear formidable, but approach them with Dorland’s in hand and you
will find them manageable. The vocabulary is the single greatest hurdle. You can learn the basic medical
procedures. You will not have either the skill or the judgment of a trained physician, but we do what we can and
you will be surprised how much you can learn to handle if you must.

Malpractice suits being as common and frequently without merit as they are presently, physicians are
understandably concerned about signing their names to articles on medical treatment intended for laymen.
Consequently, most of the articles in this series will be written by me after prodigious consultation with
well-qualified physicians in the various fields.
My medical background is somewhat more extensive than the average layman’s but I have never practiced
medicine. I suggest, therefore, that you ask your own physician to read the articles and make whatever
modifications he thinks are prudent, particularly with respect to your individual medical needs.

We are beginning this series with the following article on poisoning, in the belief that accidental ingestion of toxic
substances may be one of the commonest and most hazardous medical emergencies to be faced in retreat,
particularly if children are present.

Storage of dangerous materials is likely to become lax, based more on convenience under trying circumstances
than on thoughtful security. Containers of kerosene, gun cleaning solvent, and various cleansers are apt to be
abundant and, possibly, all too available to small, curious people.

Even under present circumstances, as the doctor who researched this material points out in a letter, “[poisoning]
... is the most common cause of death in the 2 to 6 year old age group. (The age that a child has much mobility and
little sense.)”

Many people may feel that they want to have a supply of tranquilizers and/or sedatives around for the crisis and
such a decision may well lead to accidental overdoses or possibly attempted suicide by some. These, then, are the
kinds of poisoning which the retreater is most likely to encounter and, fortunately, as my doctor friend reports, “In
a survival situation, very nearly the same things can be done for such patients that can be done in an emergency
room of a hospital.” He points out, however, that one major resource will be lacking: access to a Regional Poison
Control Center.

He says, “[at the retreat] your poisoning agent is... much less likely to be a traditional poison and much more
likely to be a common household agent. Some of these are particularly toxic and many have formulas which differ
from that printed on the label. Therefore, ingredients are best retrieved with a computerized system."

Because of the complexity of such compounds I would suggest that you now consider making a list of the most
common toxic agents that you plan to store at your retreat, then contact your regional poison control center by mail
for a list of ingredients (include an SASE). The address is available from your state medical school. Check them
​ he Merck Manual and note the proper procedure to
against a poison book or the list of toxic substances found in T
follow with each one. M.T.

At the outset we must clear up a problem of terminology. The dictionary defines “plague” as contagious, epidemic
disease which is deadly, or as divine punishment as in the plagues visited upon Egypt at the time of the Exodus.
According to this definition, many diseases including cholera, typhoid fever, and smallpox would be defined as
“plagues”.

In medical terminology, however, plague refers to a specific disease caused by the bacterium ​Yersinia pestis.​
During the Middle Ages the specific disease was known as the black death and is today known by most laymen as
the bubonic plague. Bubonic plague, however, refers to only one of three clinical forms of the disease (bubonic,
septicemic, and pneumonic). Ironically, bubonic plague is the least deadly and the least contagious of the three
forms of the disease.
Historically, plague has been one of the great scourges of mankind. Diseases are described in the Bible which are
believed to be plague and during the Roman era a great pandemic of plague occurred. During the Middle Ages, the
Black Death spread throughout Europe several times.

During the 15th Century, an estimated one-fourth of the population of Europe was killed by the plague. In England,
one-half to two-thirds of the population are believed to have died of the disease during one pandemic. The last
recorded worldwide pandemic of plague began in China about 1867 and spread throughout most of the world. It
was introduced into the United States in San Francisco in 1900, New Orleans in 1914, and Galveston, Texas and
Pensacola, Florida in 1922.

Epidemiologically, plague has two different forms. These are endemic (sylvatic) and epidemic (urban) plague.
Endemic plague occurs in rural areas with transmission occurring among wild rodents and their fleas. Some of these
species are capable of living and transmitting plague for several years after infection.

Urban plague, on the other hand, is spread to man by means of domestic rodents and their fleas. Both the roof rat
and the Norway rat, common domestic rats in the United States, are capable of transmitting this disease, which is
spread between rodents by flea bites and directly to man, an incidental host, in the same manner.

Focci of endemic plague exist throughout the world. In the United States, fifteen of the Western States have been
infected with endemic plague for a number of years. The disease is endemic in wildlife of the area, mainly in
ground squirrels, rabbits, and prairie dogs. In the western United States isolated cases may occur, principally among
hunters who are exposed to fleas from ground squirrels or among those who otherwise have contact with prairie
dogs or other wild rodents.

In the United States, plague has been on the increase over the last thirty years. During 1975 twenty cases of plague
with three deaths were reported in the United States (fourteen in New Mexico, three in Arizona, one each in
California, Utah, and Colorado). All other western states have, at one time or other, reported cases of plague.

While endemic plague might cause us trouble in a survival situation, particularly if we are located in the highly
endemic areas of New Mexico and Arizona, the real danger comes when plague spreads to domestic rodents. As
everyone knows, rat populations can be very high in our inner cities.

The breakdown of rat and insect control programs during a crisis situation and the increased crowding and poor
garbage disposal will bring large numbers of urban people into contact with increased rodent and rodent flea
populations, resulting in the rapid transmission of plague in these situations. This circumstance could lead to death
rates from urban plague similar to those seen in the Middle Ages, or in China and Manchuria during the last
pandemic.

Indeed, as much as half of the population of our cities may be devastated by plague should this economic and
sanitary breakdown ever occur. For anyone who is foolish enough to try to remain in the cities throughout the
breakdown, studies of urban plague in China and elsewhere during the last pandemic indicated that a sensitive
indicator of the potential for human plague is the flea index. This is the average number of fleas per rat.

Unfortunately, anyone trying to survive in the cities through these conditions will have little time or inclination for
capturing rats and counting their fleas. The first practical indication of plague in the city will probably be large
numbers of dead rats. If this occurs do not wait. Your only chance is to get out of the city. The next sign of plague
in the city will be large numbers of dead people.
Of more relevance to most of us is the potential for the spread of plague in a rural survival homestead. The term
urban plague is itself something of a misnomer, since it refers to the spread of the plague to man through domestic
rodents. As we know, rats are ubiquitous and it would be a rare homestead that did not have at least a few.

Indeed, a survival homestead in an area endemic for plague could be just as dangerous in this regard as an urban
area. In this setting, domestic rodents have a higher probability of contact with plague-infected rodents or, more
specifically, their fleas. In addition, cats and dogs have been known to become infected with plague by ingestion of
infected rodents.

In a rural homestead situation in a plague endemic area, it is indeed possible for cats and dogs, as well as rodents
themselves, to introduce plague into the homestead rodent population.

Prevention of plague in a rural homestead

Although a vaccine against plague is available, it is not 100% effective and requires frequent booster immunization;
therefore, the mainstay of defense against plague remains rat and flea control.

A killed vaccine prepared from cultures of ​Yersinia pestis can produce immunity in the majority of persons
inoculated. The primary immunization series consists of two one-half cc doses administered intramuscularly four
weeks apart followed by a third dose of 0.2 cc four to twelve weeks after the second. In order to maintain immunity,
booster doses of 0.2 cc should be given annually for a total of five doses and subsequently every other year as long
as exposure continues.

Severe local inflammatory reactions are frequent with this vaccine and occasionally severe life threatening systemic
reactions do occur. Accordingly, current recommendations in the United States are that the vaccine should be
reserved for persons in high risk areas, that is, those who are engaged in active military or other field operations or
activities that must be carried out in areas endemic for plague in situations in which control of exposure to rodents
and fleas is not possible.

With these restrictions, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to find a physician willing to administer the
vaccine to you in preparation for living on a survival homestead. Therefore, the cornerstone of prevention of plague
is control of the rat population.

To control rats we must first dispose of garbage and other household and farm wastes in the proper manner. Piles or
heaps of garbage or other waste provide both food and shelter for rats and tend to attract rats in large numbers.
Garbage which can not be composted should be carted away or buried.

A particular attraction for rats is any enclosure providing a food source and also a small place for hiding. Such an
enclosure may be a board or plank close to the ground on which garbage cans are kept. Where stands for refuse
containers or other containers are needed, it is suggested that these stands be built at least 18 inches off the ground.
This tends to discourage rats because they do not find such a large space conducive to easy hiding.

Similarly, areas under all buildings, including house, barn, and woodshed, should be at least 18 inches high. The
presence of domestic dogs or cats tends to discourage the rat population. The presence of these dogs or cats,
however, is not without risk since dogs or cats may contact the wild rodent population and introduce plague to your
homestead.
Rat-proofing of buildings is an excellent way to help control the rat population and prevent the spread of plague.
We hope to have more on rat control in future issues since rats are very important not only as vectors of disease
such as plague and typhus, but also because rats can be very destructive to stored food supplies.

Recognition and treatment of plague in humans

As previously stated, plague has three clinical forms: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic. The most common form
is bubonic plague. Fleas, most commonly the rat flea, transmit plague from rat to rat and can transmit it to man if an
infected flea bites a human. Infected fleas develop a blockage of the proventriculus, which prevents the flea from
taking an adequate blood meal. The flea bites multiple times on whatever food supply is available. This food supply
might well be man.

Because of the blockage, each time the flea wants to take a blood meal, it is unable to suck the blood into its
stomach and only succeeds in distending its contaminated esophagus. The blood then regurgitates back into the bite
wound inoculating the host with a large number of plague organisms.

After an incubation period of two to six days (occasionally shorter), there usually is sudden onset of symptoms with
temperature averaging 102 degrees F, pulse up to 120 per minute and rapid respiration. The patient is usually
prostrate and a larger temperature rise usually occurs on the following day. Occasionally a small pustule or
encrusted lesion may be seen at the site of the bite but usually this finding is absent.

The first distinctive clinical sign is usually the bubo. These lesions usually occur at the site of the lymph nodes
draining the region of the flea bite. Frequently the bite is in the leg so that the bubos occur most frequently in the
inguinal (groin) region.

They may, however, occur anywhere, with the next most frequent sites being in the axilla (armpit) or the neck.
Most bubos develop one or two days after initial symptoms but may develop earlier. They are usually exquisitely
tender and the overlying skin is tense, hot, and purple. The surrounding skin is pink but is not tender or hot.

Usually the disease tends to spread and eventually ends up in the blood stream. This is known as secondary
septicemia (bacteria in the blood), and is followed by spread of the infection throughout the body with localized
manifestations in many organs including possibly the brain and the lungs.

When the infection spreads to the lung this is known as secondary pneumonic plague. This is extremely dangerous
because it permits airborne spread of the disease from man to man by means of cough without the need for an
intervening vector such as the flea.

Approximately five percent of patients having primary bubonic plague develop secondary pneumonic plague. As
the disease progresses hemorrhagic and necrotic focci develop throughout the body and through all organs and
tissues. There is circulatory collapse, bleeding, abnormal clotting of blood and death. The appearance of the
hemorrhagic and necrotic lesions, when close to the skin, is black in color. This leads to the term black death.

Primary septicemic plague comprises only one percent of all plague cases. This form of plague occurs when
organisms enter into the bloodstream without the formation of any detectable bubos. This form is very difficult to
diagnose and mimics many other diseases. The knowledge of existence of plague in the area, or of exposure to dead
or dying rodents or small mammals is helpful in making the diagnosis in this type of plague.
Primary pneumonic plague follows the inhalation of plague bacilli, usually as a result of exposure to bacilli
expelled by another patient with pneumonic plague (primary or secondary). Once inhaled the plague bacilli spread
rapidly throughout the lungs and into the bloodstream, directly seeding other organs in the body. Bubos are not
normally seen in primary pneumonic plague.

Pneumonic plague, either primary or secondary, is extremely dangerous because it can be transmitted from man to
man without the intervention of a vector flea. It is not unheard of for an entire household to die of primary
pneumonic plague after it is introduced by one member with bubonic plague who goes on to develop secondary
pneumonic plague.

Primary pneumonic plague has a somewhat shorter incubation period, usually two to three days. The patient
becomes ill very suddenly and in twenty-four to thirty-six hours the temperature has risen to 103 or 104 degrees F
with a pulse rate of 110 to 130, there is extreme prostration and clouding of consciousness. A severe headache often
develops, the face is often flushed and bloated or dark and dusky in color. There may be moderate pain and a
constricted feeling in the chest in some cases.

For the first twenty-four hours no cough may be present but then cough and shortness of breath appear along with
production of small amounts of blood tinged sputum. Later frothy and bright red colored sputum are produced in
great quantities. This sputum contains enormous amounts of plague bacilli which may be aerosolized by coughing
or breathing and can thus be easily transmitted to another individual. Delirium and/or coma occur frequently.
Almost 100% of untreated cases of pneumonic plague die. Obviously it is of great importance to prevent the spread
of pneumonic plague in a household or survival homestead. This problem will be addressed after we discuss
treatment.

Treatment

As always, if professional medical help is available, it should be sought immediately. It is foolhardy for a layman to
try to treat a life-threatening disease such as plague when professional help may be available. On the other hand,
one should not delay in beginning the treatment of plague. Patients who seem in relatively good condition with only
fever and tenderness at the site of bubos can deteriorate and become moribund in a matter of hours.

Fortunately plague bacilli are sensitive to several antibiotics, but treatment must be started early for it to be
effective. Streptomycin, tetracycline, or chioramphenicol may be used in treatment. Tetracycline is usually
considered the drug of choice except where a patient has progressed to an immediate life-threatening situation
requiring the use of streptomycin. Chioramphenicol is also a useful drug for the treatment of plague.

This drug is considered dangerous because it can cause aplastic anemia and it is therefore unlikely that it will be
available in a survival situation. Tetracycline also has the advantage of being able to treat murine or epidemic
typhus fever, another life-threatening disease transmitted by rats and their fleas, or by human lice.

Since that disease may be mistaken for plague clinically, as well as because of the presence of rats, tetracycline will
cover both possibilities. Streptomycin, tetracycline, or chioramphenicol may also be used to treat tularemia, a
disease closely related to plague which can be contracted by handling or skinning infected animals such as rabbits.

Tetracycline is a readily available, relatively inexpensive antibiotic which is useful in treating multiple diseases.
Caution should be taken, however, in storing tetracycline (or its derivatives) for long periods of time in a survival
homestead. Unlike most other antibiotics tetracycline deteriorates into compounds which are toxic and can damage
the kidneys.
Never administer outdated tetracycline. Administration of tetracycline which has passed its expiration date may
result in kidney damage and death. For treatment of plague, tetracycline should be continued in a dose of one gram
(two 500 mg capsules or four 250 mg capsules) every six hours around the clock for 14 days. If chioramphenicol is
used, dosages are the same as for tetracycline.

Many authorities recommend that if the patient has been febrile for more than a few hours, tetracycline should be
administered intravenously in a dose of one gram over about thirty minutes.

Since intravenous administration of tetracycline or even the availability of an intravenous tetracycline preparation
would be unlikely in a survival homestead situation, it would be best to use streptomycin if the disease has
progressed beyond several hours after the onset of symptoms. Streptomycin must be given by deep intramuscular
injection. Streptomycin is not available or useful in an oral preparation.

Great care must be used in the administration of streptomycin. This drug rapidly kills the plague bacilli, causing the
release of toxic materials from the interior of the organism. If too much streptomycin is administered, many plague
bacilli will die and release their toxic materials at one time and this will kill the patient. Therefore, one must be
careful to use the exact dose of streptomycin indicated and not to increase the dose of streptomycin.

The initial dose of streptomycin is one gram intramuscularly. This is followed by ½ gram (500 mg) every four
hours until the temperature returns to normal. The dose is then reduced to 500 mg every six hours for five more
days. With these doses of antibiotics the plague patient should respond rapidly. Occasionally some patients
experience a brief febrile episode on the 5th to 6th day accompanied by arthritic pain in several joints. This does not
by itself call for a change in the drug management.

One should be aware that some strains of Yersinia pestis can develop resistance to streptomycin. If the patient
develops fever and appears to be getting worse, switch to one of the other two recommended drugs.

Prevention of the spread of plague

Naturally when a case of plague occurs it is very important to prevent the spread of plague throughout the
homestead. The first requirement is to insure the destruction of any fleas on the patient or in his possessions.
Clothing should be sterilized by boiling for at least 10 minutes. Insecticide which has been proved effective against
local fleas should be used on the patient. In many locations fleas are resistant to DDT and alternatives have to be
used.

Two percent Diazinon or 1% malathion are two recommended preparations. One must be cautious when using these
potent insecticides, however, since they are highly toxic. You should be careful not to poison the patient or other
individuals. The patient’s clothing, baggage, and other possessions must also be boiled or dusted with appropriate
insecticide. One must also spray the patient’s living quarters and one would do well to dust the entire house with
appropriate insecticide to kill any fleas that may be present.

Both the building in which the plague patient is located and his usual residence should be quarantined. Anyone who
had contact with the plague patient since the time of the supposed bite should also be dusted with appropriate
insecticide to prevent the spread of plague through infected fleas.
Because of the possibility of development of pneumonic plague, anyone who had contact with the patient (was in
the same room with the patient) from the time of onset of fever should be quarantined. In the multi-family
homestead all individuals who have visited in the house with the infected patient should remain there and not return
to their own homes until at least 10 days after the last case of plague.

Persons in contact with the plague case should take their temperatures four times daily (before each meal and at
bedtime) and any elevated temperature should be reported immediately and treatment begun with streptomycin, if
available, since this may be a case of pneumonic plague.

Temperature taking should last at least 6 days after the temperature returns to normal in the last case of plague.
Continuously be aware that cases of bubonic plague can develop secondary pneumonic plague and become highly
contagious by the airborne route.

Any patient with plague who develops chest pains, shortness of breath, cough, or production of sputum should be
regarded as a case of pneumonic plague and any case of plague whose onset is without the appearance of bubos
should be assumed to be primary pneumonic plague.

All those in contact with either primary or secondary pneumonic plague should be placed on prophylaxis as
follows: Tetracycline, 250 mg., four times per day or sulfadiazine, 500 mg. four times per day until six days after
exposure is terminated. Temperature should be taken at least four times daily as noted above. Triple sulfa may be
substituted for sulfadiazine. Sulfadiazine or triple sulfa are safe and effective drugs, are relatively inexpensive, and
store well for long periods of time without appreciable problems of deterioration or toxicity.

As with most diseases, it is best to prevent the illness rather than to have to treat it after it occurs. As we have seen,
plague is a serious, life-threatening illness which continues to have a five to twenty percent mortality even with
treatment. Elimination of rat habitats and rat-proofing of buildings is the primary defense against plague.
Immunization against plague may also be useful if one is willing to risk the side effects of the vaccine.

Editor’s footnote: Obviously one of the continuing concerns of the survivalist should be eliminating rats and
ground squirrels as nearly as possible from his retreat. Shotshells in .44 Magnum work well for both inside
buildings and 2 ½” .410’s with 7 ½’s for rats outside. Ground squirrels, though easier to hit, usually present
themselves only at long pistol or rifle range. I’ve been using a .357 Magnum carbine at the ranch with great
success but a .22 rifle will do, most of the time.

Be careful not to use more gun than you need around the barnyard or near structures. One reason why I prefer the
.357 from a rifle to a .22 is that, with properly-designed bullets, the .357 is less likely to produce dangerous
ricochets. The CCI Long CB caps are also a possibility for indoor rats in some circumstances.

Letters from the Editor


This issue is a bit later than it might have been because of our decision to rearrange priorities and begin our series
on nuclear preparedness before we had intended. As soon as we commissioned Dr. Bruce Clayton to prepare some
articles for us, we also began research into various protective and detection devices.
I will prepare a detailed report as soon as possible, but for those of you who want to take action now, I suggest that
you purchase at least the following items: one low-range field survey meter (Geiger counter), one dosimeter
charger, and a dosimeter for each member of your party. One survey meter and dosimeter charger will serve a
family unit but each individual should have a dosimeter to measure his personal exposure. Each should also have a
decontamination kit with respirator. A high-range survey meter would be highly useful and so would high-range
dosimeters, if circumstances warrant.

We have almost completed our tests on shortwave radios and expect to issue an in-depth report in PS Letter 15. In
essence, our recommendation will be for two sets: a very high-performance general coverage receiver in the $450
range and a small, highly-sensitive inexpensive portable. Alternatively, we will suggest some medium-priced
($400-$700) portables that will do almost everything.

Survival Wheels
Rick Fines
Continued from Issue 13

Vans

If your particular survival application may be best-served by a van, the choice is still simple- buy a Ford. For some
reason, Ford remains the only manufacturer who uses a full-frame under their vans. Ford suspensions are also a bit
simpler and stronger than the competition. The differences really are not very important for day-to-day use, but
could be quite a bonus in our applications. If you cannot abide the thought of a Ford, go to GM. Stay away from
Chrysler.

Four-Wheel-Drive

In the area of new equipment, some new products and some changes have recently come about.

Again, some of the machines you should not buy must be noted. The Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the “forget-it”
machines. Back in the late ‘60s and early 1970s, the Toyota was a good buy. It wasn’t a great machine, but the rig
you bought then was a bit better than the one you buy today. Other than a roll bar and a 4-speed transmission,
about the only real changes have involved emissions equipment.

The biggest change of all involves price. I bought a new 1973 Land Cruiser for $3,395. The truck was
well-equipped and a reasonable buy. The same vehicle today will cost nearly $9,000 to buy. One of the best
selling points Toyota had to offer in those days was that their product was about $1,000 cheaper than a
comparably-equipped Jeep. Prices are now, if anything, a bit in favor of the Jeep.

The engine used in the Toyota is a six-cylinder close-copy of a mid-fifties Chevrolet engine. That should not be
much of a surprise, since Toyota built Chevrolet engines and vehicles under GM license starting in the mid-1930s.
That sort of engine should be about perfect for a vehicle the size of the Land Cruiser, but it has been plagued by
valve problems which have been widely-reported.
The particular example I owned had no valve problems, but simply blew up twice in 5,000 miles, which caused me
to become rather bored with the whole project. The fact that there are about a half-dozen kits on the market to
facilitate conversion of the Toyota to Chevrolet V8 power should tell you something.

Some few years back, Toyota management all carried grins like Pearl Harbor raiders because they were selling
Land Cruisers at list price faster than they could build them. Parts availability was dealer-only and lousy even then.
Now that Land Cruiser sales are moving about as fast as Japan’s military offensive of late 1944, dealers are even
less enthusiastic about tying up money flooring parts inventory for machines that don’t sell.

To add the final insult for Toyota-lovers, I believe you may count on seeing the Land cruiser disappear from the
American market within the next year or so.

Toyota’s latest product, which will no doubt replace the old Land cruiser, is their small pickup with 4x4 capability.
It’s too early to make any endorsement or condemnation of this product, although evaluation and opinion will
follow when we have some contact with the product. The same applies to the Chevrolet LUV 4x4 pick-up.

International Harvester has been marketing the Scout for nearly twenty years. It’s still as ugly as ever and still has
not one feature or specification going for it to make it interesting. The same I-H parts problems apply, so it should
be avoided. The early Scouts were such incredible mechanical abominations that they should be shunned like tax
auditors.

While I want to make suggestions relating to new machines, one vehicle which is -at least by my standards- still
almost new should be considered. The Ford Bronco built in the days before the current corpulent Blazer copy is
truly an excellent survival 4x4. Ford came out with the “old” Bronco in the very early 1960’s, and kept it until
about two model years past. They took a very hard look at the Jeep CJ-5 and the then-new Scout and came up with
an excellent machine.

Among other things, it was light, had a very tight turning radius, and excellent departure and approach angles. The
entire package was designed from a clean sheet of paper as an off-road machine. Ford then took a thoughtful and
conservative approach to keeping the machine up to date. The older Bronco compares very favorably with a Jeep
CJ, and offers more comfort and space. If we compare late-model Jeep CJ’s to Broncos, the Bronco offers the very
real advantage of Ford engine parts availability compared to American Motors parts chasing.

I would find it very difficult to suggest a more suitable light survival 4x4 than the recent Bronco. Ford has now
scrapped the superb design they had, however, simply because the American public insisted on buying GM’s
non-design, the truncated fat pickup called the Blazer.

I’m really sorry for what I have to say about the Chrysler 4x4’s. Other than a few Marmon-Herrington Ford
conversions of the late 1930’s, Chrysler literally invented the practical 4x4 truck. During World War Two, Dodge
produced about 500,000 ½, ¾, and 1 ½-ton all-wheel drive trucks of superb design.

The M37 military truck, which evolved from the WW2 machines, was produced with no changes from 1949 to
1967. All the Dodge GI trucks are still in service all over the world.
The current products are a sad comment on what went before. While the same parts problems plague the 4x4’s as
other current Dodge products, there are other difficulties. It seems that every accessory component the Chrysler
people bolt on to their perfectly acceptable engines, have a habit of breaking or falling off long before they should
do so. I can suggest no current Chrysler products worth buying.

If you wish to “zero-time” an old 4x4, there are probably no better machines to be had than an M37 ¾-ton GI
weapons carrier or a WM300 4x4 pickup (essentially a civilian hybrid of the GI machines) built from 1946 to 1967
with virtually no changes.

Dodge, sorry to say, along with Plymouth, also builds a Blazer look-alike. It does nothing any better than the
original, so why bother.

As you may have gathered, I am no fan of Chevrolet’s overweight Cowboy Cadillac. For some reason, this
non-whatever appeals to a tremendous number of people who would like to say they have a “four-wheeler”, but
have not the faintest inkling of why they need one. Visibility over the hood stinks, as does one’s ability to see out
the sides.

Departure and approach angles are about what you would expect of a vehicle designed by ad executives rather than
engineers. If pressed to say something good about the Blazer, I can think of several things. The most important
concerns the fact that the Blazer is possessed of the tremendous durability and parts availability inherent in the
Chevrolet engines. On second thought, I can think of nothing else good worth saying.

The subject of full-time four-wheel drive should be discussed. In a word, don’t. The system was designed expressly
for those who have such a limited grasp of off-road driving that they are unable to understand the task of shifting a
vehicle into four-wheel drive. The full-time system costs money to buy and consumes more fuel to keep all those
gears and chains and gadgets spinning when they are not needed.

As a matter of interest, one of the first products to hit the market after the introduction of full-time four-wheel drive
was a kit to convert your full-time machine to conventional part-time four-wheel drive. The full-time system
consumes enough extra fuel that most manufacturers will likely drop it to enable them to boost their EPA-average
fuel figures.

Land Rovers are well built, soundly designed machines that should be avoided at all costs. For all practical
purposes, they are no longer imported into this country (bureaucrats again) and parts are becoming most difficult to
obtain. They do nothing any better than other readily available equipment. Do not count on a Land Rover as a
survival machine.

The current Range Rover is very likely the most advanced light 4x4 in the world today, but we are not destined to
find out in this country. Our Government Protecteth Us.

Jeep products are probably the best of all in terms of the product range they offer in 4x4 equipment. Their pickup is
still the only machine around designed from the ground up for all-wheel drive, and features lower center of gravity
combined with better ground clearance than the competition. The Jeep CJ-7, a stretched CJ-5, is an excellent
compromise between the space limitations of the standard Jeep and the heavier equipment represented by the
Cherokee and the Wagoneer series.
For those of you who wish to build up an old machine, the same advice applies. The only qualification concerns the
old F-head, four-cylinder engine used for a good many years in the CJ-5. It’s something of an oddball, and parts are
about extinct. For the weight involved, and the time and money spent chasing parts, you had just as well install a
small Chevrolet V8.

Another engine which Jeep offered in a number of their machines in the 1960’s was the V6. When Kaiser built
Jeeps, they bought all the tooling from Buick, who used the V6 in a compact from the early 1960’s. The V6 is still
well suited to the application, parts are no problem; and the engine should be retained.

As another sad comment on how Big Brother sees after our interests, it should be noted that Volvo, Mercedes, VW,
Fiat, British Leyland, Nissan, and others all build excellent, advanced off-road equipment which we can not buy in
this country. The new VW 4x4, designed as a military successor to the Thing, would be of particular interest to us.

To Be Continued In Issue No. 15