Wednesday’s Words Of Wisdom

“Over the years, Americans in particular have been all too willing to squander their hard-earned independence and freedom for the illusion of feeling safe under someone else’s authority. The concept of self-sufficiency has been undermined in value over a scant few generations. The vast majority of the population seems to look down their noses upon self-reliance as some quaint dusty relic, entertained only by the hyperparanoid or those hopelessly incapable of fitting into mainstream society.” ― Cody Lundin, When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes via SurvivalBlog.com

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About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Propane for Preppers 101

It’s no secret propane is an important element in most family preparedness plans, as it is an excellent option for both comfort heat and cooking food.

For use as a heat source, propane heater heads and commercially available heaters like Mr. Heater are excellent sources of high-BTU heat for your work space.

To use propane as heat for cooking, some propane heater heads feature a burner surface atop the head itself which will work with just about any pot, kettle, or pan. Also available to the consumer are camp-style propane cook stoves that attach to the small propane bottles, and with an adapter, also connect to refillable consumer propane tanks.

What is Propane?

Propane is a gaseous byproduct taken from the refining of both crude oil and natural gas. It is compressed into a liquid at relatively low pressures and will convert back into a flammable vapor under the typical atmospheric conditions found anywhere on earth.

Propane was first synthesized back in 1910, it has been in commercial production since the 1920′s.

Propane has been used as a consumer product for the last 100 years and tight government regulations require propane hardware designs that are fairly fool-proof and reasonably safe to use, when used according to design and manufacturer’s guidelines.

Refillable propane tanks are a highly regulated item due to the potential for disaster upon failure. No one really wants to be in the vicinity of an explosion and fire resulting from a leaking propane cylinder. To help ensure this does not happen to you, here’s what you need to know first about dating and the aging of consumer propane tanks:

Instructions For Finding The Tank Manufacture Date

  1. Locate the collar of your propane tank. The collar is the raised piece of metal at the top of the tank, surrounding the valve.
  2. Stamped on the collar horizontally, look for a string of 4 large digits. This indicates the manufacturing date.
  3. The first two numbers represent the month the propane tank was manufactured. The second two numbers represent the year the propane tank was manufactured in.
  4. Subtract the year that the propane tank was manufactured from the current year to determine the age of your propane tank.

Re-qualified Tanks

If your propane tank has been re-qualified, the re-qualification date will either be printed on an oval sticker and affixed to the collar welded on top of the cylinder, or alternatively the date may be stamped vertically on the collar. If the re-qualification date does not have a letter to the right of it, your propane tank needs to be re-qualified within 12 years of the re-qualification date. If the re-qualification date has a letter “S” to the right of it, then your propane tank needs to be re-qualified within 7 years of the re-qualification date. If the re-qualification date has the letter “E” to the right of it, then your propane tank needs to be re-qualified within 5 years of the re-qualification date.

Expired tanks can be exchanged for new or re-qualified substitutes by visiting any of the major big box stores, or home improvement centers located nationwide. Look for the large white metal lockers filled with empty tanks directly in front of the main building. Simply inquire inside to complete the paid exchange.

Warnings

It may not be safe to use a propane tank that is 12 years older than its manufacture date if it has not been re-qualified until you have it inspected and re-qualified to ensure that it is safe to use.

Never store propane tanks indoors or in any other sealed environment due to the risk of explosion.

Propane is flammable and explosive! Always read, understand and follow the safety directions that come with every propane product you own and use.

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About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Kalashnikov…Made in the USA!

From WeaponsMan.com

That news has the gunosphere going nuts. For the range of comment, you can look at this thread on Reddit — sane and sensible commentary scattered like gold nuggets in a poor vein of, well, the more usual kind of comments. But to the delight of gunnies, the main thrust of the article is that “real Kalashnikovs” will now be made in the USA. That sets the Redditors, particularly, off on jags and spasms of hope and longing for SVDs, SVD-M, Groza, Val and on and on and on…

READ MORE

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About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

When Did We Become so Afraid?

As someone who in the last year has moved from prepper acquisition mode of material goods to prepper acquisition mode of knowledge, one universal thought from the preparedness community has become painfully apparent: When did we all become so afraid? I am certainly not speaking of scary movies, a final exam, or a speech in front of colleagues. What I am referring to here are items of necessity to survival that were virtually the only items taken for granted by our long-dead relatives.

Although I spend what often feels like countless, wasteful hours on Facebook preparedness pages in search of information that will assist in keeping my family alive, I typically “stalk” said pages rather than participate. Why? Of course you would ask because after all, I am a self described harbinger of preparedness prep. The answer is a simple one. So many people have become afraid that they are paralyzed and therefore plunged into helplessness, or so ego-riffic in their fear (“THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN IN MY LIFETIME”) that they are just as paralyzed into non-learning as the helpless.

What often frustrates me the most is fear of pressure canning. Sure, there will be the occasional failure. Yet so many have become completely terrified of a relatively simple process that has been around since 1810. Yes, 1810! Our technology today compared to that of 19th century is that the guess factor has been removed from the equation from tried and true scientific recipes provided by such sources as Ball (canning jar maker extraordinaire,) and NCHFP (National Center for Home Food Preservation.) We are constantly inundated with such information as botulism reigns supreme in any household kitchen. Botulism (spores that can produce a deadly food borne toxin,) can live on soil and in water. However, the truth is that the nearly all of botulism cases in any given year are related to improperly stored baby food and the consumption of whale blubber, not home canned foods, which is so often blamed for botulism contamination. Follow the directions. Store. Heat. Eat. Live.

“I’m afraid to try canning” (food.) “I am afraid of lye” (soap making.) “I am afraid to own chickens” (or rabbits, or goats.) “I’m afraid to tell my family or spouse that I’m prepping.” “I am afraid to start a garden.” “I am afraid to spend money on extra food.” “I’m afraid of guns.” “I am afraid to start prepping and then nothing will happen.” “I’m afraid if I prep, then something will happen.”

These are just a sampling of my favorites. I am sure that you would have heard many of these useless one-liners as well. What is so disturbing about this sense of complacency is really the indicator of dependency. This dependency on some entity or organization is terrifying. Individuals and families are actively, not passively making a choice to leave their fate in the hands of someone else. And this is simply due to some unwarranted fear. Assuming this complacency really means that you believe without doubt that every other entity that exists to be your savior is completely infallible and omnipotent. What I really want to say here is that if your lights go off and stay off, then the lights are going to be off at that imaginary location that is providing the individuals that are supposed to come and save you from your lack of preparedness. You will continue to be dependent on those that show mercy, that is, IF they show mercy. We are all just humans, after all. Savior organization or not.

Considering that our long dead relatives often set out on the open frontier to find adventure, how do we look in the mirror every day and continue to accept dependence? Our great-great grandparents did not have gas stations and interstates to follow and GPS on which to rely. They didn’t have air conditioning and Motel 6. They didn’t have cell phones to call for help and bottled water to drink. They weren’t dependent, they weren’t complacent, and even if they had moments of being afraid of some known or unknown threat such as thieves, war, famine, disease, or wild animals, they weren’t plunged into learned helplessness. Where we as a society take for granted material goods, our Iphone, our laptop or Blackberry, our distant relatives only took for granted their knowledge and their perseverance. They relied on their technology of the day, such as trapping or hunting and preserving their food, sewing, knitting, water purification and the like.

We should take a lesson from our forefather’s rule book of survival: hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Families relied on tried and true knowledge passed down from previous generations and embraced new ideas, rather than expounding on the foolishness of old techniques and letting fear be their un-motivator. In those days, complacency and dependency all too often would lead to death.

For those who are currently looking down the road to find ways to protect their families, I would offer my own simple thought: instead of letting fear conquer you, use it as your motivator. Use your fear as a motivation to learn. Let fear be your guide. For example, from your preparedness list, select the one concept that creates within you the most fear, and make it your prep challenge for the week or month. If you perform, or often have opportunity to be in front of a lot of people, look at this as the best kind of stage fright. Consider this time, right now, your dress rehearsal. And boy, you better have your lines memorized. The worst time to acquire new knowledge is during a SHTF scenario. It is time to give your best performance ever. Not giving this your best effort NOW may eventually result in death, whether it is your death, or the death of your loved ones.

As a mother, I certainly don’t want to look back and think that I could have, or I should have tried harder to protect my family and that my fear kept me from doing so. The stakes are just too high.

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About The Author: MOTH (Mother Of The House) is the Co-founder and Editor-In-Chief of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

How To: Homemade Glowstick Perimeter Alarm

From Riverside | rside.org

“Every Ranger needs to know how to defend his territory and keep the camp safe.  To protect the perimeter one can go with the traditional cans on a trip wire but what if you don’t want to make a whole lot of noise and you are keeping guard for the night?  What if you want to get a look at an animal approaching or you are in the middle of an intense game of nighttime capture the flag, paintball or ghost in the grave yard? Here is the perfect solution…”

READ MORE: http://www.rside.org/glow-stick-perimeter-alarm/

MATERIALS: Rat traps, Glow sticks, Spray paint, Twine

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About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

‘Own The Night’ DVD Preview

Own the Night: Tactical Training for Citizens Vol I

From the back cover:

“People from all over the country are gathering together to combine their vast array of unique talents to prepare for civil unrest. Meet three of them.

First Lieutenant Harry Golden served his country for 12 years. First deployed for nine months in support of Operation Desert Storm. Later he enlisted Army National Guard and attended Officer Candidate School. He was deployed for 20 consecutive months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 3-4 & 5-6. During a six month period while attached to the Second Marine Division, Golden’s 21 troopers of Blackjack Third Platoon 1/104 CAV, 28th ID, earned on Silver Star, three Bronze Stars with Valor, four Bronze Stars and five Purple Hearts for direct combat against al Queda in al Anbar Province, Ramadi, Iraq. Now retired, he lives in the South-West and tends to his flock of chickens.

Dave Womach is a world-class illusionist who has completed multiple world tours, and starred in shows in more than 20 countries.He has headlined on many major cruise lines, and won multiple national and international awards including the Pacific Rim Professional Stage Championship and the Masters of Magic Award. His illusions have been seen on television specials everywhere from the United States to Bangladesh & China. Most recently, he stared in his own show with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey on a two-year tour. Now he combines his knowledge of misdirection, with the dedication of an artist, all while training for the big fight.

Chet Womach dropped out of college and the highly competitive world of division-one baseball, to make his first million from behind a computer and avoid the corporate conundrum. He immediately founded several private LLCs, and hit the ground running to secure his fortune before the economic collapse. His athletic background set the tone for his work-ethic and drive, as he activated a plan to build a permaculture food forest which will soon feed his neighbors and family. Between running his businesses and tending to his farm and family, he still makes time to train in preparation to protect his neighborhood.”

This is an excellent video for those seeking information and visual demonstration of  the correct methods of employing night vision gear during low-light tactical operations. Useful night time training drills that the viewer can replicate are the core of this particular video. The “VOL I” descriptor suggests this is the first of a series of training videos, and more of the series are yet to come.

The DVD is available directly from ThePrepperProject.com for $49.95. Shipping within the US is free.

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About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

How Much Land Would It Take To Feed Your Family?

From ThePrepperProject.com | On Thursday, Nov 21st, 2013

“The classic question asked by nearly all newbies to self reliance is: “How much space do I need to feed my family from my own land?”

The problem with the food GURUs is that NONE of them really like to answer this question. They tell you, “It depends on your soil type, climate zone, number of people, tools available, length of growing season, etc.” While this advice is true…”

READ MORE: http://theprepperproject.com/grow-groceries-review-dvd-review/

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About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

RSW Staff To Appear At Fort Wayne Gun, Knife & Outdoorsmen Show

Friday, November 22nd through Sunday the 24th, the RSW staff will be appearing at the Ft. Wayne Gun, Knife & Outdoorsmen Show in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

This is your chance to stop in and ask us about your preparedness-related questions, share ideas, or inquire in person about our personalized Preparedness Consulting Service!

The show is located in the former K’s Merchandise building,  615 W. Coliseum Blvd. [map]

ATMs, food, free parking, free RV parking, and 24-hr. protection and security will be provided.

Admission is only $5 per person, 3-day passes are $12, 2-day passes are $9, children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult, seniors 60 & up get $1 off, and uniformed law enforcement officers are admitted free. Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

As always, parking is FREE!

Show hours are:

  • Friday 3pm – 8pm
  • Saturday 9am – 5pm
  • Sunday 9am – 3pm
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About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Tuning a CB Radio Antenna

By CrypticCRICKET | On Feb 24th, 2012

In this video I show you how to tune a CB radio’s whip antenna using an SWR meter. The antenna that I tune up in this video is a RadioShack – 64″ base loaded whip antenna ( pt # 21-988 ). In my experience, this antenna should be mounted on a 4″ spring for best SWR’s. This rugged antenna has provided me with excellent service and it gets very high marks in user reviews.
Why tune an antenna? Well because an out of tune antenna can burn up the circuits inside a CB radio if the antenna is far enough out of tune. In an out of tune antenna, RF energy will not leave the antenna and it will be reflected back down your intenna and into your radios circuitry. Some newer radios have some protections built into them but those protections will lower your radio’s output power in order to protect the radios circuits. That means your radio won’t transmit as far. A good antenna, properly tuned, is the secret to getting the most from your Citizens Band or ham radio.

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About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Survival Tips for Wilderness Vacations

From BransonShows.com

A trip into the wilderness can be a fun and educational experience for those who like to seek adventure outdoors. On the other hand, it can also present a number of hazards that are potentially fatal. In addition to freezing or blistering hot weather, falls, hostile animal encounters, and other dangers, there is also the lack of access to nearby help. It may take hours or days for rescuers to come to one’s aid in the event of an emergency, and delays like this can be deadly. It is important, therefore, for adventurers to understand basic techniques for survival in the wilderness.

Cold Weather Survival

  • A person should keep his or her head covered while in the cold to avoid losing up to 45 percent of his or her body heat.
  • Adjust clothing as needed to avoid overheating and sweating in them. Sweating will not only dampen clothing but it will also make the body cooler when it dries.
  • Wear clothing in loose layers for maximum insulation.
  • Before getting into a sleeping bag, place damp boots between its liner and shell to help dry them off.
  • Carry a fire starter and tinder such as a trioxane bar so that a fire can be started quickly in extreme cold temperatures.

Warm Weather Survival

  • Take frequent breaks when walking or hiking to avoid over-exertion.
  • Moisten a bandanna and place it on the back of one’s neck or forehead to cool down.
  • Wearing a hat with a brim will help keep the sun off of one’s face and the back of the neck.
  • Drink small sips of water throughout the day using urine color as a guide. Darker urine is an indication that the body isn’t getting enough water.
  • If feeling the effects of heat exhaustion, such as vomiting, headache, or dizziness, lie down, elevate the feet, and take a few sips of cool, but not cold, water.

Finding Water and Food

  • Dig a pit and cover it with sticks and other debris to create a pit trap for animals.
  • Ice and snow may be melted for drinking.
  • Insects such as grasshoppers, snails, and crickets are easy to catch and edible if unable to catch game.
  • Make finding water a priority as a person can live longer without food than water.
  • Running water is typically safe for drinking, but boil or add iodine to stagnant water.

Making Fire

  • Create a surface that is reflective enough to start a fire by using a bar of chocolate to polish the bottom of soda can.
  • Use caution around oil and petroleum when in extreme cold conditions as they can cause frostbite if they come into contact with the skin.
  • Use a magnifying glass or pair of glasses to start a fire.
  • Keep waterproof matches in a waterproof container on hand.
  • The simplest and most often used method of starting a fire without matches is the flint and steel method.

Finding Shelter

  • The entrance to the shelter should face opposite the direction of the wind.
  • Use caution when building a shelter near a creek as they can rise at night.
  • Do not build a shelter in an area where water may collect if heavy rains begin during the night.
  • If the ground is wet, build a platform made of stout branches.
  • Trees with branches that extend outward can be used as shelter against rain.

Finding and Creating Tools

  • Use rocks from riverbeds or creeks to create cutting tools.
  • Make the first break in the stone by bashing two rocks together in what is called the rock-bash technique.
  • Always wear eye protection when creating tools from rock and other natural materials to avoid injury to the eye from flying fragments.
  • To make arrows, use straight shoots from willow, dogwood, or maple trees.
  • Dogbane, nettle or milkweed can be used to make the cord of a bow.

Finding Help and Rescue

  • Use a whistle to alert rescue teams.
  • Strategically placed clothing can be used to alert planes of one’s location. Clothing should contrast with its surroundings and care should be taken if climbing up a tree or some other high location.
  • The sun and a shiny object such as a mirror can be used to signal rescuers.
  • Partially smother a fire to create smoke. This is best on clear days when the smoke will be most visible to rescuers.
  • Use fire to attract help at night. Fires should be built in elevated locations and in areas with minimal vegetation.

General Survival Tips

  • When preparing for an outdoor excursion, always carry a first aid kit for potential emergencies.
  • Study the lay of the land before heading into any wilderness area.
  • Unless equipped with a compass and knowledge of where they are, people should stay put when lost in the wilderness.
  • Carry a personal beacon when traveling in isolated areas such as the wilderness. This enables Search and Rescue teams to find the wearer.
  • If a person becomes lost he or she should stop and set priorities before taking any action. For example, if it is close to nightfall finding shelter should be a top priority.

Additional Tips

  • Outdoor Skills – Survival: This is a page on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website: The page gives illustrated directions on building a survival fire and also how to obtain water in an emergency. The page also includes links to other survival skills for campers including water safety and signaling for help.
  • How to Start and Create a Fire: This page gives very brief explanation of how to arrange logs to make a fire. It also reviews what is needed to start the fire, such as matches, flint, eyeglasses, etc.
  • British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide: Wilderness Survival – Food and Water: This page discusses various ways that people can find and/or catch food when in the wild. It also reviews how to find water that is safe to drink.
  • Nature Skills: How to Purify Water: Click on this link for an article that discusses the need for protecting oneself from organisms found in outdoor water sources. The article reviews how to purify water so that it is safe drink.
  • United States Search and Rescue Task Force: General Land Survival Tips: This link opens to a page on the United States Search and Rescue website that gives readers information on how to survive in the wilderness. The information is basic and is presented in bullet format.
  • Seven tips to Survive the Frozen Wilderness: This link directs readers to the Ultimate Survival Alaska page on the National Geographic Channel. The article provides tips on how to survive in freezing and frozen conditions. Tips include building a shelter and how to recognize and treat signs of frostbite.
  • Government of the Northwest Territories – Tourism and Parks Wilderness Survival Tips: This page provides basic survival skill for people who enjoy time outdoors in the wilderness. The article lists various topics at the top of the page. The reader may scroll down to review each topic or he or she may click on the topic title to go directly to the information. Topics include signaling, shelter, and staying where you are.
  • The Do-it-Yourself Coffee Can Survival Kit: This page takes readers to directions for creating a survival kit. The article lists what general items are needed in the kit and explains key points to remember when creating the kit.
  • Cold Weather Survival Tips: This page explains what the four basic principles of surviving in cold weather are. Fire types are also reviewed in addition to the physical and psychological benefits of building a fire.
  • Discovery News: Desert Survival Eight Simple Tips That Could Save Your Life: Clicking on this link opens up a page to the Discovery website. The article lists eight ways that people can survive outdoors in the heat or desert-like conditions. Tips range from finding shelter to staying hydrated.
  • Health Concerns: This page reviews what items are important when traveling through a desert or in an area with high temperatures. The need for water to prevent dehydration is the primary topic of discussion.
  • How to Find Water: This article discusses areas where a person might find water in the desert. It also briefly discusses dew as a very limited water source.
  • Mother Earth News — Outdoor Survival Skills: How to Start a Fire: Clicking on this link will take the reader to an article that explains several methods of how to make a fire. Readers will learn how to start a fire by using a bow and drill and flint and steel. They will also learn about materials to use for the bearing block, about a fire board, and material types for tinder.
  • Field & Stream: Seven Ways to Light a Fire Without Matches: Click this link to go directly to the Field and Stream website and learn how to start a fire without the use of matches. The article is in a slide-show format.
  • Men’s Fitness – Twelve Outdoor Survival Skills Every Guy Should Master: This article lists outdoor survival skills that a person should know how to perform if lost or stranded in the wilderness. Listed skills include building a fire and collecting water.
  • Backpacker: Survival Skills 101: This link opens a PDF document about survival skills. The document is an in-depth overview of how a person can survive when in dangerous situations outdoors.
  • How to Make Shelter in the Wilderness: Click on this link for step-by-step instructions on how to build shelter outdoors. The article includes a detailed list of what is needed to accomplish the shelter.
  • Popular Mechanics: Six Key Emergency Survival Tips from Wilderness Experts: On this page readers are given tips on six emergency situations that a person may face out in the wild. Tips include how to protect oneself from hypothermia and snake bites.
  • Wilderness Survival – Cold Weather Survival: On this page readers will find information about surviving in cold weather conditions. The page also includes links to further survival information on the website.
  • Army Ranger Rick’s Outdoor Survival Tips: On this page the reader will find a list of links to tips that will help people survive in outdoor conditions.
  • Alderleaf Wilderness College – Primitive Stone Tools: Clicking on this link will take the reader to a web page that explains how to make tools from stone. The article also discusses how to find materials.
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About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.