Defcon 3

Crazy enough, in the midst of our scandalous Presidential election, we have managed to get up to Defcon 3 in a battle of wills with Russia.  Our Defcon (defense readiness condition) system is more or less as follows:

5:  normal readiness.

4:  increased intel and strengthened security measures.

3:  Air Force ready to mobilize in 15 minutes.

2:  next step to nuclear war, in less than 6 hours.

1:  nuclear war imminent.

We rarely get up to Defcon 3, that is serious, and could run up to nuclear war very quickly.

I am not prepared.

I am more or less prepared for another global economic collapse.  Nuclear war is an entirely different problem.

I assessed my risk and have taken steps to soften the downside of living near nuclear targets.  I looked at projection maps both for possible targets and wind patterns.

Better than expected, I am a few miles outside the zone where only 25 percent of people are expected to die in the initial blast, and I would have a few minutes to get to shelter.  My shelter must be very close, though.

I would need to stay in the shelter for 3 days minimum to more appropriate 2 weeks.  Then I can make quick trips out but should continue to sleep in the shelter.

Shelters cost a large amount of money and we are already at Defcon 3.  In reviewing tinier emergency shelters, I realized that 2 of my adjacent raised beds meet some basic shelter requirements.  The floor is concrete, keeping moisture and wildlife out.  Each side is 15 feet long, with 2 feet of soil and 16 inches of concrete and gravel (in process).  It is only 24 inches tall, 4 feet would be more comfortable.  Still more comfortable than dying on the first day or two of a nuclear war… I will deal with it.

Raised Beds 7 and 1

Raised Beds 7 and 1

It needs a top.  I have 4x4s, 2x4s, plywood, and gravel for the top.  Chimney for an air vent.  The entire space is 4 ft wide by 2 ft tall by 16.5 feet long.  Enough for bare survival for one old woman and a 10 pound dog.

Today I started filling the concrete blocks with gravel, and managed 1 1/2 of the 15 foot lengths.  I knew I could not finish this in 30 minutes!  I also filled 9 one gallon pots to set aside for the ends.  More to come.

Side benefit, I planned to fill the blocks with gravel for the raised beds anyway, so this is something I worth doing.  I looked at raising the sides, but this is not a permanent structure and beyond an emergency, I will not keep it.

My partially underground cabin would be a better solution one day… but today is not that day.

Back to work tomorrow, I hope to finish filling the four 15 foot lengths.  Then a wood support for a gravel covered roof.  It will need a tarp to stay dry inside.  I plan to bag the gravel on the roof to make it easier to remove later.

For food and water, I have 20 gallons of bottled water and various canned foods, jerky, nuts, crackers, etc.  Basic things that can be eaten without heating.

Sigh, I have never had to prepare for a possible nuclear strike… and could seriously live without it and surviving a couple weeks to come out to major devastation, just is not my idea I found a good time.  Lying in a hole for a couple weeks is not funny.

Dead even less so.  If you are potentially at risk, please take care of yourself.

In my review of these things, I saw research being done on the possibility of creating a 3 to 10 year nuclear winter to offset global warming (side effect would be a massive decrease in population from crop failures and initial death).  Considering 100-200 nuclear bombs designed to max firestorns.  Hunh.  I wish I had never read the Georgia Guidestones.


About rebeccatreeseed

I am a naturalist raised by naturalists. Treeseed is my earned name, while Rebecca is my birth name. I am of Northern European descent, with a quarter Irish.quarter thrown in. I suspect I was a product of northern invaders into Ireland into Ireland. but hard to say since DNA disproved the family story about Apache blood! I have found some odd ancestors to replace them. Last year I bought 5 acres of pinyon-juniper forest on the side of a mountain in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. I am fulfilling a lifetime dream of a cabin in the mountains and a food forest that will feed me and local wildlife. I want to share this new phase of my life with others that might be interested.
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17 Responses to Defcon 3

  1. Rebecca: I’m so glad you are back. I have missed your posts, always interesting and informative as they are. I thought of you recently as I visited an exhibition of the works of Georgia O’Keeffe at Tate Modern in London and discovered her beautiful, luminous paintings of New Mexico.
    But what is this about nuclear war – and, utterly beyond comprehension, nuclear war as an antidote to global warming???? Where has the decision re: Defcon 3 come from? Is this another step in the US habit of frightening its citizens half to death, I wonder, with the suggestion of all the awful things that could happen if…if… and if…? (Human beings are highly suggestible and no doubt many will go out and start buying – well, what – more weapons?)
    I guess you and I are about the same age. So here’s a different approach: do all you can to ensure the safety of the young generation (children, grandchildren), never mind about our generation – we had our chance and, if this needless disaster happens, blew it – comprehensively.
    Reading about O’Keeffe, I was struck by the great hardships of her early life, much like the experiences of my grandmother’s generation in Britain: war, untreatable infectious diseases, economic melt-down etc. I think we should reject the scenario you describe, even if it costs us our lives – why agree to walk back into catastrophe when we’ve only just emerged from the C20 holocaust, 1914 to Vietnam to Afghanistan to Iraq?

  2. cobgoddess says:

    Dear Rebecca
    Even if the news are really scary lately we must envision a better outcome for our future and the future of our next seven generations.
    I agree with Sylvia’s comment.
    Besides we should not fear death .
    Courage and much Love

  3. Sylvia
    It occurs to me that a major economic collapse has often become a war to keep citizens subdued. Problem is, Russia in their distress and the US in our distress both are rattling their nuclear sabers. I live 1500 miles from the children. Perhaps I should sell up and go home. They also live in a “first strike” location. In fact, I have lived most of my adult life under this threat, just not at Defcon 3.
    As far as the research about nuclear bombs and fire storms causing a nuclear winter to stop global warming, with widespread loss of life, that was accidental, I had no idea anyone was studying that as a serious antidote to global warming. As a subtext, it would also lower world population dramatically. I found research papers, not conspiracy sites.
    Governments research a lot of things, but in the middle of Defcon 3 I do not find it heartwarming to notice that my President can go hide under a mountain and live out a 10 year nuclear winter that would kill billions of people as a harsh solution
    to global warming and over population.
    I am incredibly put out by the entire concept.
    Nuclear war is not survivable for most of us, but those who can initiate it can also survive it, one crazy leader is all it takes.
    How crazy is Putin, Obama, Kim Jong Un, never mind Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton?

  4. I wonder who is funding the research? I don’t suppose for one moment that it’s being carried out for the sheer fun of it.
    I have lived with different forms of terrorism in a number of countries since the early 1970s, not to mention endless wars right on my doorstep in the Middle East since 1986. There were about two years of peace somewhere around the year 2000, I think. Maybe if citizens of the US had more direct experience of war there would be much greater caution about rattling the sabres. I doubt if President Putin would ever take untenable risks – Russians know the reality of war, it’s in their DNA.

  5. US government, for one, is funding research. I don’t think Putin is necessarily wanting nuclear war, but can be pushed too far. Never forget that the US pushed Japan into Pearl Harbor through oil disruption. The big reason Japan went heavily into nuclear power after WWII. Saudi over pumping oil has damaged Russian economy and starved Venezuela as collateral damage. US backed that.
    Not great to push people into desperation.
    I hear ya about being in to middle of terrorism and war, we are sissy babies in that arena. Others may think sitting on nuclear stockpiles is strong, but it makes Americans sick with anxiety too. Never mind all our nuclear plants are ancient and long overdue for Chernobyl events.
    Anyway, it does not seem that our government is particularly responsive to citizens, we seem to have been relegated to corporate support structures, I.e. consumers.
    Sigh. I will go out and shovel more gravel, and this part is good for my raised beds anyway.

  6. Helen says:

    Glad you’re back on WP, Rebecca, but saddened that it is to discuss nuclear war. The US has managed to forge a little piece of land for itself near me (basically it’s for spying, so no doubt a target for interested parties and I doubt a few machine guns would stop whosoever’ planes, should they breach British air defence systems).

    Maybe it’s a case of enjoying the moment and appreciating what we have……

  7. Helen
    I love embracing the moment.
    My only true “missing” is family. I like to use big upsets to re-evaluate my life and make sure I am doing what makes me happy. I moved more gravel today to fill my concrete block raised beds. Just the beautiful day, vitamin December uptake, and exercise was very pleasant. We are supposed to have a moderate warm and dry winter this year. It will be pretty but I will miss the moisture.

    • Helen says:

      You must be torn but I can understand your drive to do what you are doing in New Mexico.

      • Thanks Helen
        You know it isn’t what I would want, but only a nod to reality. I keep hoping the situation will de-escalate. I am not quite finisjed, but close. Good to see that the pile of crusher fines (gravel) is disappearing from the middle of my proposed living room and will extend my growing season as part of my raised beds.

      • Helen says:

        I am sure it will calm down – the US might implode but I don’t think Armageddon is on the cards – good to have worked on your raised beds etc.

      • Helen
        I am always torn apart by being away from my family. Truth is that I cannot afford acreage in the Seattle area. Few people can, it is grossly overpriced.
        Perhaps it will settle down after the election, but probably not… too many have fed the beast and will continue to do so for their personal gain.
        It is beautiful outside even though we had a hard frost last night. My garden is over for this year! I did get Indian corn seed mature enough for planting next year, from 20 seeds used in my second planting, I got about 160 seeds of best adapted for my dry, short season high elevation garden. A start.

      • Helen says:

        Yes – sounds a good start. I would love to move from where I am but am confounded by the price issue, too.

  8. Cob Goddess
    Perhaps my anger and annoyance is fear based.
    These folks are definitely on my last nerve.
    I certainly expect a better outcome, but I will still create a cubby holeand look forward to your laughter at my expense!

  9. I can’t speak for Cob Goddess, but I don’t think any of us will laugh at your expense. I do understand your anxiety: in the surreal atmosphere in the US right now, I can imagine how you feel rattled by Defcon 3. Who can put their trust in the economic/political/military-industrial “elite”?

    But surely one of the lessons of the C20 is that citizens allowed a slide into war by not sufficiently challenging the dominant narrative, especially with WWI. Every time I see the dreadful war cemeteries here in Egypt (there are many) I am moved to tears by the foolishness of the slaughter. I’ve just seen another such cemetery, on a smaller scale, in Sicily. Bottom line is, I can’t accept another generation of young people sacrificed in whatever form by the selfish stupidity of their elders. Nor can I understand why, when western nations led by the US emerged as winners from the co-called Cold War, we would not show generosity towards Russia and share the peace dividend with wise magnanimity. It would have benefited us all.

  10. Sylvia,
    This is my “heart” blog where I talk about plants, a food forest, and a sustainable life inside a circular economy. I talk about my deepest belief that we are a part of this planet and strength lies in honoring that.
    I am also active politically and spend part of each day on more political sites arguing for sanity. I work for candidates from time to time. Overall, I see a rise of fascism that is so irrational it cannot be stemmed by facts or discourse.
    Hence, under Defcon 3 I am working in part in improving 2 of my raised hugelkultur beds (positive future) and in part on creating survival in the case of threatened nuclear war. Sometimes being a positive person means ensuring survival in the face of reality.
    I have boxed thousands of seeds to go in with me.
    Today I will pick up hundreds of pine nuts for planting or eating. I will also continue moving gravel.
    I fight the battle every day but as in Germany, the force of evil plays dirty, lies endlessly, and threatens violence and extremism at every turn. Good people made jokes and lost. It is such an obvious replay that I do not feel covering my head while Obama and Putin are having a pissing contest.
    One mistake and nuclear bombs are launched.
    Tragic as that would be, if I crawl out of my hole, I will start cleaning up the mess. I have a good treatise on cleaning up radioactive soils written by someone I worked with in the past. I cleaned up arsenic, I can clean up radiation. Wish people would take more care of our home.

  11. Well said. We need more, actively committed people such as yourself in the world. I’ve been thinking of a project in Egypt but I’ve never got it off the ground; I should be inspired by you!

    • Sylvia,
      I hope you get to work on your project, it never turns out exactly like you imagine. It is incredibly fun to jump in and do something you dreamed up, no matter how small or large the start.

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