Your Computer May Not Survive a Collapse But These Off-Grid Archiving Strategies Will
I will admit that I am not the most technologically “savvy” individual, and I’m certainly not armed with all the modern “conveniences” that most people take as a necessity. Cell phones, Kindle devices, M-pad/I-pod/UFO-whatever-for-music…don’t use ‘em. That being said, I know they have their merits, but it’s the same type of lesson I tried to impart to my son when he went into the service.
He picked up one of those high-speed wrist compasses…the digital kind…but I constantly remind him to use that “old-fashioned” lensatic compass as his mainstay. He listens, although he prefers to use his gizmo. I’m just happy he carries the lensatic with him and knows how to use it. I made sure he knew how to use it.
Create a Survival Library with Hard-Copy Notes and Archives
In this light, remember that all of our technology can collapse in the blink of an eye. The collapse can be precipitated by any number of things…grid failure/brownouts, an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) strike, a nuclear war, or just a societal collapse that has a “downtrickle” of losing critical infrastructure and modern power systems. In that light, it is best to take your digital and electronic libraries and ensure they are duplicated into hard-copy. Consider investing in a typewriter to pass this valuable information on. Let’s give some suggestions, and you can take them, and tailor them to suit your needs.
- Whenever you watch any kind of training video/DVD, you should always take notes and summarize it. Pick up the key points, supplementing them with your own notes and diagrams to help clarify the instruction. A composition-type notebook works well for this. I take rough notes on a sheet of paper, and then recopy them into the notebook.
- Summarize books and other works: Turn a 300-page book into 8-10 pages of intense notes…summarize and shoot for brevity and clarity in your notes. This is not to say, “don’t keep books,” but rather, read them and take good notes that you can glance at to glean any important information you may need to use.
- Print out the important how-to’s and “archive” notes: don’t just store it on hard drive or jump drive! Although that is important, you want to make sure your information is printed off. Strive for accuracy, compactness, neatness, and organization in all of your notes.
- File similar subjects in a binder/common protector: This is especially important when you’re dealing with things such as first-aid and medicine. Protect the info, and keep it well-organized
- Military Med Chests: Yes, made out of strong aluminum, these stackable canisters are perfect to place your archives and books inside after wrapping them up in plastic…preferably contractor-grade bags around 6 mils in thickness.
- Durable plastic bins: These can work if they’re really tough and are water-tight. The biggest problems with notes, archives, and books are water, mildew, bugs, and fire, in that order. You want to make sure everything is in plastic and sealed up tight.
- Duplicate everything…1-6 up there? You should have one copy out for your general use, and another sealed up in a safe place.
The last measure mentioned is not just for you and your family. The last measure is to provide information for those not here with us yet, or those not old enough to use the information right now. Think beyond yourself and your own lifetime, or even the lifetimes of your kids. You want to leave a legacy? Who cares if they know who you are? There will still be those who will thank you for leaving records and how-to’s they can use. Want a good example? Read the book “Lucifer’s Hammer,” by Niven and Pournelle. Be more than a student, or a secretary. Be a custodian…of information…. a caretaker, taking care for future generations. Hard copy for all information…to include books!…is the way to save the knowledge. Stay in that good fight! JJ out!
Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.
Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.
Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.