The Project

Way back in 1996, when I first got on the internet, I knew absolutely nothing about webpages, webdesign, internet communications, or anything on the web.  I had run a BBS on a tiny toy computer (48k of memory) years and years before, but the web was something entirely new to me.  Within a few months, I started playing with my very first, very tiny, personal webpage on AOL.  Interesting, and useful….the BBS background starting coming back and I found that I was getting the urge again…the urge to SHARE.

Why did I choose the topics of survival and preparedness for my first web SITE?  Probably has a lot to do with surviving SEVERAL close calls with nature, dodgeing some real bullets in a 10 year career as a letter carrier on the mean streets of Birmingham, Alabama, and the fact that I had always liked that by being prepared for things…anything…you can get a lot further in life, no matter who or what is throwing the curve.

Stepping into the interesting arena of civil defense, along with all aspects of natural hazards, nuclear war, terrorism, and even more disturbing things, was natural.  My main concern was shelter from tornadoes, as we had WAY too many close calls with them in Alabama.  Tornado shelter info was very hard to find, but find it I did.  Very little of it, though.  I did start coming across reference to fallout shelters in my “shelter” searches, and started looking into the techical aspects of them.  Made sense, since nuclear shelters in many cases were capable of protecting from blast winds of hundreds of miles per hour from nuclear detonations in tests.

Many years later, with many thousands of dollars spent on collectible material, computer hardware, computer software, books,  videos, and more, plus thousands and thousands of hours of research in every possible venue….on and offline…and I have created the single BIGGEST personal collection of civil defense material *I* know to exist.  Well, guess what….this page is to show you a small portion of this huge collection to get an idea of just HOW I am getting these things online to YOU.

The pictures below were taken during a long ago business trip to Denver…training for my new career managing one of a chain of stores for one of the largest, multinational, service corporations in the world.  My ideas for my site and my goals in life are to have the ability to create content on a moments notice…recording ideas and thoughts WHEN I have them….and to be able to digitize ANYTHING I can in the genre I have chosen.  I have a portable system that I can take with me anywhere I find documents…where I can’t remove them from their source, I can record them right there.  The system consists of Dell Studio laptop, a Canon flatbed scanner, a Kodak C743 7.1 megapixel digital camera with video streaming capability, a Sony HandyCam MiniDV video camera, and a couple of large sized padded computer bags to haul the “stuff” in.

More images will come as time, and projects allow.  I am about to move upstate and commute home on weekends, in a career enhancing move that my family will allow me to persue.  It will give me some more time to work on the projects as mentioned on my websites, as well as more quite time to create an even MORE expansive and useful base of information in entirely new areas and directions…still all connected with teaching and showing everyone how to be safe, stay prepared, and grow skills.

So…enough verbiage for now.  Below are just a small handfull of images for you to see a little portion of what I have for you.  Explanations will be below each image of what you are seeing.

Comments welcome, and suggestions.  Thanks to everyone who, so far, has supported me and this site in making it one of the LARGEST portal sites in the world for preparedness issues.

Richard Fleetwood

Founder – SurvivalRing, Civil Defense Now, and The Blast Shelter.

CAPTION: My workbench.  The Canon scanner in the center of the picture is about slightly more than an inch thick, and is powered ONLY by the USB cable that plugs into the back of the laptop.  The stack of docs on the left of the picture is just a portion of my entire collection,  I am working on an article on Nuclear Preparedness right now, and the shelter docs are quite interesting.  The notes between the scaner and laptop are my outlines for various projects, and directly behind them are a small stack of cd roms with much useful resource on them.  Underneath the Daytimer binder behind the scanner is
several years of notes on what has become my “life’s work”.  In other words, what you see is my life …. that part of it that is NOT family time, eating, sleeping, working full time, or training.

CAPTION: Another angle of the first picture, showing the thickness of the stack of this particular set
of docs.  You can see I have worn a rut into the touch pad right below the keyboard of the computer…
in only a year of use.

CAPTION: A small sample of some of the more hard to find items.  The bottom center title is NOW online in Adobe Acrobat PDF format for YOU to read.  The others….soon.  The top center doc is only the first chapter of NINE on the US’s traning material for prepareing for recovery from nuclear war.  It is the only chapter I have now.  The top right book is from the Swiss government, and is quite interesting in some of the areas of shelter preparation that it covers.  The two books on the left side came directly from FEMA publications…but are NO LONGER available…why is that?

CAPTION: Here is a closeup of the image below, so you can read some of the titles better.  Most were found thru ebay purchases…some came thru individual donations…and some where found in used book stores.

CAPTION: EVERY title here, over 24 unique titles, has SOMETHING to do with FALLOUT
SHELTER.  The blue book on the left side, leaning against the back of the couch, was particularly hard to find. It is from the Association of Civil Engineers, and is called “Design of Structures to Resist Nuclear Weapons Effects”.  At 162 pages, is is a virtual encyclopedia of useful equations that really help you understand the physics of nuclear survival.

CAPTION: These are some older titles from the old Office of Civil Defense. All are from the late  1950’s.

CAPTION: These manuals all have something to do with radiological equipment operations, maintenance, skills, or repair.  Look for these titles soon.

CAPTION: This xerox copies came directly from the Swiss Civil Defense Agency, and are very enlightening. It seems the Swiss have much more interest and skill at helping ALL of their population learn nuclear preparedness skills, as compared to the LACK of same with the U.S. government.

CAPTION: This package of docs came to me directly from the Norwegian Civil Defense Organization.

More items and images to come as time allows.

Again, your comments are welcome.

Founder – SurvivalRing

Updated: February 3, 2010 — 1:07 pm

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 24th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural southern Wyoming, just below the continental divide (long story, that...). Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, many social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises.

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