Thank you all for great letters at Cyfranogi
! They are very stimulating and
we're making progress in thinking about community currencies.
I spoke today with Lucas Gonzalez Santa Cruz. One of our main concerns
now regarding bird flu http://www.fluwikie.com
is to make people aware
of the possibility of a global panic that we should prepare for now.
(We're assuming that it is likely that within a year or two the virus
infecting birds will mutate so that it passes easily from human to
human.) Lucas and I agree that such a panic will be rational. With a
highly contagious disease that may have a 5% mortality rate (and perhaps
higher to start with) it is reasonable for people to want to flee, to
quarantine others, to keep others out, to mistrust people, etc. Such
thinking is responsible - people will look out for themselves and their
loved ones. I think we saw a poll that 60% of people would flee.
Hurricane Katrina shows the amazing mobility of people - 80% of the
city's population fled BEFORE the hurricane hit. It also shows that an
"every neighborhood is out for itself" mentality is natural. Now imagine
every major city in the world being hit at roughly the same time!
The message that Lucas and I want to share is that, when emergency
strikes, we would like to be able to help others. In order to be ready,
we have to prepare now to take care of ourselves. We take care of
ourselves now so that we can help others when there is an emergency.
Lucas and I want to put together a list of questions that would help us
all make sure if we are ready. They might include:
* For a two month period, would I be able to provide myself with water?
food? medicines? heating? what else? How much do I need? And what
precautions should I take now? (For example, getting water cannisters
and jugs now, and filling them up later.)
* How much electricity do I need and for what?
* There is a simple treatment that is enough for most people to survive
the bird flu: get plenty of fluids. However, we may very likely be so
sick that we can't get out of bed and we can't drink fluids. So we need
somebody to drip fluids into our mouth for a week or two. Of course,
that requires a brave person who is not afraid to do that for us and
risk getting sick themselves. So we need to tell others that we would be
willing to do that for them, and ask them if they would be willing to do
that for us. See "The Bird Flu Preparedness Planner" by Grattan Woodson,
* Do I have what I need to work from home?
* Do I have what I need to take care of my children and others at home?
* Do I have an alternate home if I should leave, and are they waiting
* Do I have the money that I would need for two months? Or do I have
people who agree to help me if I can't work?
* Do I know what authority I might best report to and work for in the
event of an emergency? And do they know me?
Lucas also asked about community currencies, and we're starting to
think. I suggest that we consider some items that would have "intrinsic"
value during an emergency. Traditionally, cigarettes are used as a
community currency in concentration camps, prisons, etc. (Of course, the
smokers die first because they trade everything away for cigarettes -
one of the hazards of smoking - survival of the fittest - quit now).
Hard liquor is popular and I think beer might work, too. These are all
parts of the "gift economy". For example, a pack of cigarettes (or a
carton) might help you get passed a check point. Or get some gasoline.
However, it would be nice to think of wholesome alternatives. The lists
below (from Sarajevo) may help us think. Some ideas that come to mind
are: toilet paper, electricity (starting with batteries, rechargeable
batteries, and moving up to generators - note that people will want to
charge their cell phones, so even a little bit of electricity will be
appreciated), bottles of clean water - perhaps hermetically sealed, and
items for fighting the flu (drippers, masks, gloves, etc. ?).
By preparing now, we can help others rather than be helpless.
What can we do online to help? Perhaps we can help organize people with
"global village" self-sufficiency, for example, power generators,
farmers, well owners. They can be the issuers of community currency
(backed by electricity and other basic items) as Kevin Parcell is
+370 (699) 30003
*Tips From Sarajevo: 100 Items to Disappear First*
1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky.
Noisy…target of thieves, invites marauders; maintenance etc.)
2. Water Filters/Purifiers
3. Portable Toilets
4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 - 12 months to become dried,
for home uses.
5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce,
6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.
7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.
8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.
9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar
10. Rice - Beans - Wheat
11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking) Without it food burns/must be boiled
12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (Will become scarce suddenly)
13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain.) Any size. Small: HARD
CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY - note - food grade if for drinking.
14. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur.
15. Survival Guide Book.
16. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, ect. (Without this item, longer-term
lighting is difficult.)
17. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula. ointments/aspirin, etc.
18. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)
19. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)
21. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is
dangerous without this item)
22. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products.
23. Thermal underwear (Tops & Bottoms)
24. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil)
25. Aluminum Foil Reg. & Heavy Duty (Great Cooking and Barter Item)
26. Gasoline Containers (Plastic & Metal)
27. Garbage Bags (Impossible To Have Too Many)
28. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels
29. Milk - Powdered & Condensed (Shake Liquid every 3 to 4 months)
30. Garden Seeds (Non-Hybrid) (A MUST)
31. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST)
32. Coleman’s Pump Repair Kit
33. Tuna Fish (in oil)
34. Fire Extinguishers (or..large box of Baking Soda in every room)
35. First aid kits
36. Batteries (all sizes…buy furthest-out for Expiration Dates)
37. Garlic, spices & vinegar, baking supplies
38. Big Dogs (and plenty of dog food)
39. Flour, yeast & salt
40. Matches. (“Strike Anywhere” preferred.) Boxed, wooden matches will
41. Writing paper/pads/pencils, solar calculators
42. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in
43. Workboots, belts, Levis & durable shirts
44. Flashlights/LIGHTSTICKS & torches, “No. 76 Dietz” Lanterns
45. Journals, Diaries & Scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings,
experience; Historic Times)
46. Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage, water, transporting - if
47. Men’s Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail
48. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient)
49. Fishing supplies/tools
50. Mosquito coils/repellent, sprays/creams
51. Duct Tape
54. Laundry Detergent (liquid)
55. Backpacks, Duffle Bags
56. Garden tools & supplies
57. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies
58. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.
59. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)
60. Canning supplies, (Jars/lids/wax)
61. Knives & Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
62. Bicycles…Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc
63. Sleeping Bags & blankets/pillows/mats
64. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)
65. Board Games, Cards, Dice
66. d-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
67. Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets
68. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks)
69. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & Antibacterial soap (saves a lot of
70. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc
71. Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave)
72. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels)
73. Soysauce, vinegar, boullions/gravy/soupbase
74. Reading glasses
75. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
77. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens
78. Boy Scout Handbook, / also Leaders Catalog
79. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO)
80. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky
81. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts
82. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)
83. Lumber (all types)
84. Wagons & carts (for transport to and from)
85. Cots & Inflatable mattresses
86. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
87. Lantern Hangers
88. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws,, nuts & bolts
92. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal etc)
93. Paraffin wax
94. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
95. Chewing gum/candies
96. Atomizers (for cooling/bathing)
97. Hats & cotton neckerchiefs
*From a Sarajevo War Survivor:*
1. Stockpiling helps, but you never no how long trouble will last, so
locate near renewable food sources.
2. Living near a well with a manual pump is like being in Eden.
3. After awhile, even gold can lose its luster. But there is no
luxury in war quite like toilet paper. Its surplus value is
greater than gold’s.
4. If you had to go without one utility, lose electricity - it’s the
easiest to do without (unless you’re in a very nice climate with
no need for heat.)
5. Canned foods are awesome, especially if their contents are tasty
without heating. One of the best things to stockpile is canned
gravy - it makes a lot of the dry unappetizing things you find to
eat in war somewhat edible. Only needs enough heat to “warm”, not
to cook. It’s cheap too, especially if you buy it in bulk.
6. Bring some books - escapist ones like romance or mysteries become
more valuable as the war continues. Sure, it’s great to have a lot
of survival guides, but you’ll figure most of that out on your own
anyway - trust me, you’ll have a lot of time on your hands.
7. The feeling that you’re human can fade pretty fast. I can’t tell
you how many people I knew who would have traded a much needed
meal for just a little bit of toothpaste, rouge, soap or cologne.
Not much point in fighting if you have to lose your humanity.
These things are morale-builders like nothing else.
8. Slow burning candles and matches, matches, matches.
9. More matches