Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Book: APOCALYPSE: How To Survive A Global Crisis

Could Humanity Really Survive
A “Falling Skies” Invasion?
Expert Compares Real Life
Living Off-the-Grid to Fictional Tales of Disaster

Dan Martin hasn’t actually lived through an alien invasion, but chances are he could.

A former serviceman who fought in Operation Desert Shield, Martin has lived most of the last decade off the grid, completely cut off from society – not entirely dissimilar to the “resistance” fighter portrayed in TNT’s popular new Steven Spielberg-produced TV series Falling Skies. Author of the book Apocalypse: How to Survive a Global Crisis (, he believes that mankind could live without common conveniences, even though the TV equivalent makes it look easier than it really is.

“When I went off the grid shortly after 2000, there were no electric lines, no telephone lines, no garbage or sewer service, no mail, no city water, no cell service, not even a road to the property on which I lived for six years without outside goods, assistance or services of any kind, what so ever,” Martin said. “I built the home I shared with my wife in the shape of an octagon without walls, completely open to the surrounding landscape so that we could live ‘with’ nature. We lived off rain water catchments. We hunted/trapped wildlife and raised, bred and slaughtered goats, chickens, catfish, turkeys and ducks for food. We made our own fuel and grew underground fruits and vegetables using hydroponics.”

Now, none of these changes took place overnight. Martin believes that with any global crisis, be it a natural disaster, a financial meltdown or, yes, even an alien invasion, a progression of realities will begin to present themselves.

“First, people will have to come to grips with the elimination of some basic conveniences and technologies,” he said. “It’s likely that the cell network will be down, so cellular phones will be useless. However, satellite phones that bounce their signals directly off of satellites will likely become the communication tool of choice. However, being expensive and not in wide use, they will likely be scarce and difficult to obtain. Moreover, you won’t be able to plug them into any outlet to charge them, because it’s likely that electricity may become temporarily or permanently unavailable, so portable generators will need to be employed to help restore basics such as lighting and refrigeration to maintain a relatively safe food supply.”

As shown in the TV show, looting will be the first method of stocking up on provisions, which means there will be an immediate need to find supplies and secure them, according to Martin. People who seek to take what you have will likely use weapons as their primary means of acquisition, so you’ll likely need to have weapons, as well.

“In the TV show, the first thing many of the survivors of the first attack wave made a beeline for armories, abandoned police stations, crippled military bases and anywhere else they could secure weapons,” Martin said. “That part of the story is pretty true to real life, because no matter how you find food and shelter, it’s likely that some unwanted post-apocalyptic guest will want to liberate those survival tools from you.”

Finally, people will need to wean themselves from a reliance on leftover perishables to fresh food from livestock and hydroponic gardens.

“After a year or even two years of surviving on what can be foraged, people will have likely settled into long-term shelter situations and will need to come to grips with the fact they’ll need to start raising their own livestock and growing their own fruits and vegetables,” Martin said. “Whether it be for safety or because farmland isn’t readily available, much of this will have to take place indoors, and so the decades of hydroponic technology pioneered by those growing illegal substances can be put to use feeding the populace. We haven’t gotten to that part of the series, so I am looking forward to seeing how they introduce that particular advance.”

About Dan Martin

Dan Martin, a retired Boeing aerospace engineer, has written more than 40 how-to books dealing with everything from harnessing renewable energy, producing your own fuel, natural building methods, living off the grid and more. He is a consultant and speaker who has consulted on more than 50 projects around the world and given dozens of workshops over the last four years on the subject.

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