Dying Time Newsletter Volume 20

Terrorists are poisoning America's water supplies using an Environmental Cleanup company as a cover. When ousted CEO Nick Kuiper hires a beautiful con artist and her legendary grifter father to get his company back they tumble to the plot and all hell breaks loose.

America will reel from this blow like she was struck by the fist of God.

Go to my website at to read a sample chapter.


I hope you'll give my latest book here a try. And if you do, don't be shy. Tell me what you think about it and post reviews on Amazon and GoodReads, okay?


My wife is still recovering from her surgeries so I haven't been writing. But she is getting better (baby steps are adding up) so I hope to resume writing on Book 3 in October. I will do my best to get it out this year but I can't make any guarantees as I've discovered life can throw major obstacles in your way. I will get it done as soon as I can.

On the positive side I'm now an official Amazon Bestseller. The Dying Time: Impact recently hit #2 in Dystopian Fiction and #2 in War and Military. 


Meanwhile, I'd like to suggest you give my friend and occasional co-author Duane Lindsay's book a try. His Missing Amanda is available for free on his website. It's a 1950's era private eye tale with a surprise twist at the end and a lot of humor and unconventional action throughout. When I was editing it for him I found myself chuckling--a lot. Here's a link to his website:

Author Duane Lindsay




This article is reprinted with the kind permission of Gaye Levy whose Backdoor Survival Blog is an endless font of superior information for all Preppers. Here’s a link to the blog. 

Article begins

How much do you know about storing household batteries for the long term?  Until I started prepping, I did not have a clue.  Even after I started to prep, I was unsure, although it did make sense to store batteries at room temperature, not too hot and not too cold.  Still, when the topic came up while out with friends, some wise guy mentioned keeping batteries in the freezer and I was lost.

Shortly after that, I check and learned no, batteries should not be refrigerated or frozen.  Snopes is not always correct so I decided to ask my pal Ron Brown for his opinion.  Ron is a retired industrial engineer and my go-to person when it comes to this kind of thing.

Rather coincidentally, he told me he had already performed a battery test using standard run of the mill flashlights and run-of-the-mill carbon zinc batteries.  Here are the results of his testing.  You might be surprised.  Or not.

Flashlight Batteries – To Refrigerate or Not to Refrigerate

I had a childhood friend that, when he needed flashlight batteries, got them from his mother who retrieved them from the refrigerator. Later, when I mentioned this to a college roommate, I was informed that HIS grandmother went a step further. She kept unused batteries in the freezer.

As preppers, we should probably all know the answer to this question: Can we extend the shelf life of flashlight batteries by refrigerating or freezing them? What do you think?

One thing is certain. If you freeze or refrigerate batteries, you must let them thaw for a couple of days and come up to room temperature before using them. Your car battery, for example, might crank on your hard-starting car for 15 minutes in the summer before dying but only two or three minutes in the winter. Cold saps a batteries’ strength dramatically.
But that’s in use. In storage, cold will slow electrical activity (leakage, in the case of batteries) and, in theory, stop the battery from running down. Or slow the battery from running down. Nothing will stop it completely. “All energy systems run downhill,” as they say.

As a child, comparing the performance of my flashlight to my friend’s flashlight (equipped with refrigerated batteries), I never saw much of a difference. But what if I conducted a controlled experiment? Would refrigeration make a measurable difference?

So, a while back I went to the store and bought six “D” batteries. They were neither dollar-store cheapies nor expensive alkaline batteries. They were Eveready-brand carbon-zinc batteries. I marked the date on the packages and put two in the freezer, two in the refrigerator, and two in the cupboard over the kitchen stove. Because of cooking heat, the last two were slightly above room temperature, both summer and winter, for the duration.

After two years, eight months and three days, I decided it was testing time. So I laid all the batteries on the dining room table for two days to thaw out and equalize in temperature. As regards the batteries stored above the kitchen stove, I really thought that they would die after just a couple of hours.

I tested them all simultaneously, side by side. I used three Rayovac-brand flashlights, all purchased at the same time, all equipped with standard bulbs (not LED, not Krypton). The flashlights were carefully labeled as to which batteries they contained.

The first thing that impressed me – amazed me, really – was how long the batteries lasted. When first started, they all appeared to give off the same amount of light; they were of equivalent brightness. After SIX HOURS they had all dimmed and needed replacement. SIX HOURS of continuous burning after 2.5 years of storage! I had expected two or three hours.

At the end of six hours they were all burning with equivalent brightness but had all dimmed. I would have been somewhat reluctant to have gone to the mailbox or out to the barn with any of them.

At the end of eight hours, they were all down to glowworm status. At this point the room-temperature batteries gave only a pinpoint of light and the refrigerated/frozen batteries a brighter glow.

BUT, as a practical matter, they all reached the end of their useful life at the same time (six hours) at which point they had equivalent brightness. You could have switched the labels around on the flashlights and no-one would have been the wiser.

I concluded that attempting to extend battery shelf-life by refrigeration was, and is, a waste of time. And that’s worth knowing, is it not? This was not, and is not, armchair theory. This was a real test with real batteries. If you repeat the test, you can expect the same results. Call it the “scientific method” in action.

Checking This Out Further

One thing that surprised me about this test was that refrigerated batteries lasted just as long in real use as the room temperature (or better) batteries.  I am still wrapping my head around that, since doesn’t an automobile battery discharge itself more quickly in the dead of winter than the heat of summer.  Perhaps it is my imagination.

Also, the idea of condensation would seem to be a detrimental factor when it comes to cold storage.  Here is what Energizer has to say:

“Storage in a refrigerator or freezer is not required or recommended for batteries produced today. Cold temperature storage can in fact harm batteries if condensation results in corroded contacts or label or seal damage due to extreme temperature storage. To maximize performance and shelf life, store batteries at normal room temperatures (68°F to 78°F or 20°C to 25°C) with moderated humidity levels (35 to 65% RH).”

The Energizer web site included some other tips.

When stored at room temperature (i.e. 70°F/ 21°C), cylindrical alkaline batteries have a shelf life of 5 to 10 years and cylindrical carbon zinc 3 to 5 years. Lithium Cylindrical types can be stored from 10 to 15 years. Prolonged storage at elevated temperatures will shorten storage life.

A battery tester (loaded voltmeter) is a simple and effective way to determine if a battery is “good” or “bad”. Most testers place an appropriate load on the batteries and then read the voltage.  A voltmeter without a load can give very misleading information and is not recommended for this purpose. Note that testers are typically not capable of providing reliable run time estimates.

At the end of the day, I do concur with Ron.  Refrigerating household batteries is a waste of both time and refrigerator space.

On a similar note, as much as it makes sense to store household batteries for emergency preparedness purposes, nothing beats using rechargeables.  My favorites are the Panasonic Eneloops but I also have had good luck with the Amazon Basics brand.  What I like about these batteries is they can remain fully charged  and ready for an extended period of time without discharging themselves.

Because I tend to forget to charge up my drawer full of batteries, this is a huge plus.  I have a marathon charging session and I am good to go for a long, long time.

The Final Word

It was fun to get all of the benefits of the battery storage test with none of the work. My thanks go to Ron for his willingness to share his work with my readers.  He seems to have this intuitive sense of knowing the answers to my questions before I even ask.  Pretty cool.

Of course those of you that have been around for awhile are familiar with Ron and his 5-part Propane for Preppers Series as well as his series of books on Non-Electric Lighting.  He really knows his stuff!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to email updates.  When you do, you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-Book, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.  Also check my Facebook page regularly for links to free or almost free eBooks that I personally reviewed just for you. 

Article Ends

That's it for this month. By next month I hope to have American Jihad out on Amazon. It's book 2 in the War Corps Series (with Tap Doubt being Book 1). American Jihad is already written (years ago) and just needs some updating, editing and formatting before being uploaded and published. Some of the characters you meet in Tap Doubt will be in American Jihad. You can read blurbs and sample chapters of these books on my website, which is listed in my contact information below.

Thanks for reading and I hope you live well and prosper until we meet again next month.


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