Posts Tagged With: SHTF Medicine

Herbal Medicine Kit: Preparations for External Use

Part 3 of our Go-to Herbal Medicine Kit series.

by Kat Yorba

What is Paradise? But a Garden, an Orchard of Trees and Herbs, full of pleasure, and nothing there but delights. ~William Lawson, 1618.

Spa of Colonial Williamsburg Herbal Experience

Image credit

Welcome Back….

…to another posting of the Herbal Medicine Kit!

Today we will be looking at the various external Herbal Preparations!

Only about 6 in all and then at the end of this post I will be sharing basic, foundational Recipes for many of the Herbal Preparations.  These recipes you can build upon and customize for your specific uses.

Here we go…

Preparations for External Use

Aromatic Waters

Scented waters are used to treat many different skin issues ranging from acne to even burns.  Because there is much dilution of the essential oils used, aromatic waters can be applied directly to the skin without an issue.  They can also be taken internally and they are wonderful to use for herbal compresses.  Having a few on hand is a good thing!

Body Oils

Body oils are made from herbs or essential oils, combined with your oil of choice for your specific condition or use.

Tummy rubs are a great way to use herb infused body oils…especially for children who just will not take that nasty tasting herb!

If you add heat-producing herbs such as cinnamon, clove or cayenne to your oil you have a fabulous liniment for rubbing sore muscles and joints.  I use this after a very long day massaging!  Body oils can also be an excellent basis for making creams and lotions!

Compress

Compresses are quick but very effective for many uses:

  • Headaches
  • Bleeding
  • Bruises
  • Muscle Cramps of all kinds
  • Sore Throats
  • To Increase blood flow for circulatory issues

Compresses are easy, remember?!  Soak a soft cloth in any of the following:

  • Strong Herbal Tea
  • Diluted Tincture or Glycerite
  • Essential Oils
  • Aromatic Water

Wring out the cloth and apply to the skin.  Then sit or lay down for a period of time.  While you’re at it, enjoy a cup of Herbal Tea!

Castor Oil Pack

Same as a Herbal Compress above but soaked in Castor Oil which has been warmed.  The cloth is placed on the skin and a warm hot water bottle or hot pack is placed on top.

Herbal Baths

In my opinion, Herbal Baths should be on the front line when it comes to combating illness or stress!!  Lets look at all the components of an Herbal Bath:

  • Herbs; single or a combination
  • Aromatherapy; herbs and/or essential oils
  • Hyrdrotherapy; Hot or Cold and sometimes both

All of these components are extremely helpful in combating illness and stressful situations in life.  Heat from the water relaxes tight and sore muscles and a cold bath will help in the reduction of inflammation and swelling.  The very act of sitting in a bath and doing nothing while allowing warm waters to relax your body and aromatherapy to fill your senses helps your body to let go of stress.  Stress as we know, is one of the most common factors in promoting disease and illness.  Baths nip that in the bud!

Variations on full baths may include foot or hand baths with the additions of essential oils!  Pure bliss if you have been on your feet working all day or working with your hands all day long.

Poultice

Poultices are similar to Compresses, however the actual Herbs or Clays are applied directly TO the skin.  Then the poultice is wrapped with a cloth or bandage.

Usually the herb is pounded or blended (and yes, even chewed) into a sticky paste then spread on the afflicted area and topped off with a bandage.

Clay Poultices use clays, dried/powdered herbs, essential oil and are usually moistened with Herbal Tinctures or a strongly brewed Herbal Tea.

Salve

A Salve is basically a thick herbal oil.  Olive oil is the most common oil base but others can be used as well such as Coconut oil.  Salves are used for many conditions such as:

  • Skin issues
  • Minor bruises
  • Cuts, scrapes
  • Rashes, eczema
  • Swelling
  • Minor Burns

Note: We will be making several of these during the Herbal Medicine Kit Course

The Basic Recipes

These are basic, generic recipes that will guide you as you formulate your own Herbal Medicine Kit.  Feel free to modify, customize and create as you learn and grow in your Herbal walk.

Tincture Formula

1 ounce dried or powdered herbs

5 ounces Vodka or Everclear

Chop herbs, place in clean jar…do not pack too tightly.

It is important for the Vodka to saturate them.  Cover with just enough liquid so they are completely submerged.  Put on a tight lid and store for 2 weeks.  A dark place is fine, shake contents twice daily.  If you used powdered herbs stir with spoon twice daily.

After 2 weeks strain out the herb pulp, compost, and store in a clean bottle in a cool, dark place.  Tinctures will keep for 6 years or longer.

Glycerite Formula

1 ounce herbs

6 ounces glycerin

4 ounces distilled water

Chop herbs, place in clean jar…do not pack too tightly.

Combine glycerin and water; pour over herbs.  Put a tight lid on and store at room temperature.  Shake contents every day to distribute the mixture.  After 2 weeks strain out the herb pulp, compost, and store in a clean bottle in a cool place out of direct sunlight.  Glycerites will keep for at least 2 years.

Herbal Vinegar Formula

1 ounce fresh or dried herbs

5 ounces vinegar, any kind

Chop herbs, place in clean glass jar, not tightly.  Pour just enough vinegar over to cover herbs.  Put a tight lid on it.  If you lid is metal cover with plastic wrap first so the Vinegar does not cause corrosion.  Keep at room temperature.  After 2 weeks strain out the herbal pulp, compost, and bottle in a pretty glass jar.  Herbal Vinegars last for years.

Herbal Pills

Dried or powdered Herbs of Choice

Empty Capsules

Capsule machine

**I will give several recipes for Herbal Pills as this course progresses.

Simply grind or powder your herbs, put into capsules and take as directed!

Body Oil

2 ounces dried herbs

1 pint Oil

Chop herbs, place in clean glass jar, cover with your oil of choice.

Now you need to heat your oil/herb mixture:

5 hours at 180 degrees with either a double boiler on the stove top, oven, electric turkey cooker or Crock-pot-on the lowest temperature or even on warm (my personal favorite).

When done, strain out the herbal pulp, compost, and bottle in a clean glass jar.  Stored in a cool place the herbal oil will keep several months.  Stored in the refrigerator it will keep even longer.

Body oil can be thickened by adding Beeswax, Shea Butter and heating slightly.

Body Oil with Essential Oils

4 ounces Oil of choice

½ tsp (50 drops) Essential Oils

Combine ingredients and your done.

Healing Salves

1 C. Body Oil

¾ ounce Beeswax

8 Drops Essential oils

Combine Body oil and beeswax, heat mixture just enough to melt the wax.  Add essential oils, stir and then pour into clean glass jars.  Let cool.  Stored at room temperature this salve will keep for 6 months.

Herbal Compress

5 Drops Essential Oils

Small bowl of water

Soft Cloth

Add essential oil to water. Soak cloth in water and wring out.  Fold cloth and apply to afflicted area.

Skin Healing Poultice

1 handful of herbs

4 ounces of water

Blend ingredients in blender into a thick slurry.  Spread on wound, holding the poultice in place by wrapping gauze around it.  Leave poultice on wound for 20 minutes to one hour.

Looking Forward

Next week we will be learning about Herbal Preparations for Bites, Stings and Splinters.  This will include in-depth information on Echinacea Root, Lavender and Bentonite Clay.

Preparations we will cover will be an Oil, Poultice and a Tincture!

Shopping List

Lavender Essential Oil

Echinacea Root

Bentonite Clay

Have on hand distilled water

High proof Vodka or Everclear for Tincture

Small Glass Bottle with dropper for storing your oil preparation

*Check last weeks postings Resource List if needed for your supplies

Blessings to you and yours,

Kat Yorba

Kat Yorba

About Kat Yorba: I am a “red-neck country wife” to one wonderfully amazing man, mother to many outrageous children, daughter of the ONE Glorious God. Learning to be more self-reliant & self-sufficient in a semi-homemade, homesteading way! Connect with Kat on her blog, Simply Living SimplyFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Google+.

Go-to Herbal Medicine Kit series

In case you missed any posts in this series….

Part 1: Go Herbal: Putting Together Your Go-To Herbal Medicine Kit

Part 2: Herbal Medicine Kit: Preparations for Internal Use

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information. Thanks for sharing the stuff!

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Categories: Herbal Remedies, Natural Health | Tags: , , | 13 Comments

Go Herbal: Putting Together Your Go-To Herbal Medicine Kit

I’m excited to introduce Kat Yorba to the Sherpa family of contributing authors! She will be adding value in the herbal medicine realm – an area I’m weak in but have always wanted to tighten up.

This is her first installment and introduction to a series called Herbal Medicine Kit. Please welcome Kat and check out her bio at the end of this article!

Why Go Herbal?

by Kat Yorba

Kat Yorba

Kat Yorba

As Homesteaders, Preppers and people who just want to eat and feel right….we have learned that “Whole” foods are best for us.  If we nod our heads in agreement with that statement, then why do we continue to use man-made chemical pills, syrups and drugs when we get sick?

The best course of action in my opinion would be the “whole” route…granted the road less traveled, but getting busier everyday!  Your bodies were created to break-down, metabolize and use effectively whole foods, plants, spices and the like….so, let’s look at several reasons why it would be good for us to “Go Herbal!”

  • Herbs are nature made…so they are really and truly natural.
  • We know what’s in them; they have a very small ingredient list!
  • Very inexpensive to grow, harvest, create and use.
  • They work!

I am sure there are many more very good reasons but this is an awesome start!  Let’s take a peek at #2 for a minute: The ingredient list….have you looked at that cough syrup you take, lately?  I have been dealing with allergies this season quite badly…and instinctively reached for a leading name brand allergy syrup to relieve my symptoms.  But lucky for me, I have been on this reading labels kick so I did!  Wow…take a look:

Diphenydramine HCI, anhydrous citric acid, D&C red #33, FD&C red #40, flavors, glycerin, monoammonium glycyrrhizinate, poloxamer 407, purified water, sodium benzoate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, sucrose.”

Some of the ingredients I actually know like glycerin and purified water, but the ones I cannot pronounce I am quite sure I don’t want in my body!!

Go Herbal: Putting Together Your Go-To Herbal Medicine Kit

Barrel of medicine

Your “Go-to” Herbal Medicine Kit!

The Herbal Medicine Kit 101 – Your Basic First Aid

So let’s create an Herbal Medicine Kit that you can have in your home for any minor medical emergency and everyday aches, pains and illnesses.  The beauty of this kit is YOU make it; so you know what’s in and YOU customize it for you and your family!  This also means YOU can decide how far you want to go in deploying your Herbal Medicine Kit; bit by bit or cold turkey!

Herbal Medicine Kit 101 will deal with just the basics to get us all started.  But look for future postings for information and recipes for specific ailments, and issues that come with the changing seasons.  These posts will help you expand your Herbal Medicine Kit and create a very personalized kit just for you and yours!

What’s In the Herbal Medicine Kit?

Thought you would never ask.  Here’s a run down for you:

Dried Herbs

Herbs we will look at and use in-depth:

Arnica

Lavender

Tea Tree

St. Johns Wort

Yarrow

Astragalus Root

Baptisia Root

Echinacea Root

Comfrey

Calendula

Yellowdock

Grindelia

Goldenseal

Oregon Grape Root

Essential Oils

Essential Oils we will look at and use in-depth:

Lavender

Peppermint

Eucalyptus

Cinnamon

Clove

Marjoram

Chamomile

Lemon

Tea Tree

Citronella

Pennyroyal

Cedar

Rose Geranium

What products will I make?

Aloe Burn Spray

Arnica Tincture

Herbal Compresses

Herbal Healing Salves

Herbal Liniment

Homemade Aloe Vera Gel

Insect Bite Oil & Repellant

Lavender Smelling Salts

Antiseptic Spray

Poison Oak, Ivy & Sumac Past

Ant Bite Remedy

St. John’s Strain & Sprain Oil

Wound Healing Tincture

Yarrow Tincture

Looking Forward

Once a week, Herbal Medicine Kit will be updated with new information ranging from detailed info on each of the herbs and essential oils listed, recipes for the products listed above and fun trivia and pics thrown in for good measure!  I hope you look forward to traveling down the Herbal Road with me…as much as I do!

As we both become more and more familiar with herbs and gain greater knowledge of them I feel confident that we will all find ourselves turning to herbs first in most first aid and everyday illness situations.  I hope you will enjoy and find useful the tutorials (printable too), in-depth descriptions of plants, tips, tricks and recipes that will be a part of this series.

I look forward to learning with you!

About Kat Yorba: I am a “red-neck country wife” to one wonderfully amazing man, mother to many outrageous children, daughter of the ONE Glorious God. Learning to be more self-reliant & self-sufficient in a semi-homemade, homesteading way! Connect with Kat on her blog, Simply Living Simply, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

 

Categories: First Aid, Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Natural Health | Tags: , , , , | 25 Comments

Elderberry Extract: Nature’s “Tamiflu”

Don’t want to pump your body with mercury and other poisons via the ineffective flu shot? Try this natural medicine.

by Daisy Luther

January 21, 2013

The most important weapon against influenza that you can add to your herbal arsenal is elderberry extract.

Whether you are concerned with the seasonal flu or the potential of a deadly strain of influenza becoming pandemic, elderberry extract is a vital addition to your vault of flu remedies.

Unlike the highly touted flu shot, black elderberry has actually been conclusively proven to be effective.  It is one of the few natural remedies that has been written up in the medical journals.  The studies I’m listing here are based on black elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L) – name brand Sambucol.

According to PubMed:

Sambucus nigra L. products – Sambucol – are based on a standardized black elderberry extract. They are natural remedies with antiviral properties, especially against different strains of influenza virus. Sambucol was shown to be effective in vitro against 10 strains of influenza virus. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study, Sambucol reduced the duration of flu symptoms to 3-4 days.

The Journal of International Medical Research concurs that elderberry extract is a proven treatment, referencing a different study:

Elderberry has been used in folk medicine for centuries to treat influenza, colds and sinusitis, and has been reported to have antiviral activity against influenza and herpes simplex. We investigated the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry syrup for treating influenza A and B infections. Sixty patients (aged 18 – 54 years) suffering from influenza-like symptoms for 48 h or less were enrolled in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study during the influenza season of 1999 – 2000 in Norway. Patients received 15 ml of elderberry or placebo syrup four times a day for 5 days, and recorded their symptoms using a visual analogue scale. Symptoms were relieved on average 4 days  earlier and use of rescue medication was significantly less in  those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo. Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza.

 An Ancient Panacea

The medicinal use of the elderberry is nothing new.  Mentioned in ancient medicinal texts, the humble black elderberry has been used as a multi-purpose treatment for centuries.  In 400 BC, Hippocrates referred to the elderberry bush as his “medicine chest” because of its varied uses, and it was mentioned several times in the writings of Pliny the Elder when he recorded  the practices of the ancient Romans.

To learn more about the historical uses of all components of the elderberry bush, check out this detailed article on Botanical.com.

 How It Works

Scientists have isolated the active compound in the elderberry.  It is called Antivirin and is found in proteins of the black elderberry.  The compound prevents the flu virus from invading the membranes of  healthy cells.

The main flavonoids present in elderberries are the anthocyanins cyanidin 3-glucoside and cyanidin 3-sambubioside,  and are detectable in plasma after oral intake of elderberry extract. A possible mechanism of action of elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza is that the flavonoids stimulate the immune system by enhancing production of cytokines by monocytes.  In addition, elderberry has been shown to inhibit the  haemagglutination of the influenza virus and thus prevent the adhesion of the virus to the cell receptors.  Anthocyanins also have an antiinflammatory effect comparable to that of acetylsalicylic acid;  this could explain the pronounced effect on aches, pain and fever seen in the group treated with elderberry syrup. (source)

 

Avian Flu

This is especially important with something like the Avian flu, which, according to the CDC, has a mortality rate of 60% in the 600 cases reported worldwide.   At this point the Avian flu is rarely transmissible to, or between, humans.  The fear is that a mutation of the virus could change that, instigating a deadly pandemic.  (Alarmingly, the Avian virus has been successfully mutated by scientists, causing public outcry that this “research” could be weaponized in the future, but that’s a different article.)

Since the first avian influenza outbreak, in 1997, there has been concern that the influenza A (H5N1) virus might either mutate and adapt to allow efficient transmission during the infection of mammals or reassort its gene segments with human influenza viruses during the coinfection of a single host, resulting in a new virus that would be both highly lethal and transmissible from person to person. Such events are believed to have preceded the influenza pandemics of 1918, 1957, and 1968. Several lines of evidence indicate that the currently circulating influenza A (H5N1) viruses have in fact evolved to more virulent forms since 1997, with a higher mortality among human cases, different antigenic properties, a different internal gene constellation,and an expanded host range.  (source)

According to a study by Zacay-Rones in 1995, black elderberry was proven to be effective against the Avian flu, specifically Panama B strain.

A standardized elderberry extract, Sambucol (SAM), reduced hemagglutination and inhibited replication of human influenza viruses type A/Shangdong 9/93 (H3N2), A/Beijing 32/92 (H3N2), A/Texas 36/91 (H1N1), A/Singapore 6/86 (H1N1), type B/Panama 45/90, B/Yamagata 16/88, B/Ann Arbor 1/86, and of animal strains from Northern European swine and turkeys, A/Sw/Ger 2/81, A/Tur/Ger 3/91, and A/Sw/Ger 8533/91 in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. A placebo-controlled, double blind study was carried out on a group of individuals living in an agricultural community (kibbutz) during an outbreak of influenza B/Panama in 1993. Fever, feeling of improvement, and complete cure were recorded during 6 days. Sera obtained in the acute and convalescent phases were tested for the presence of antibodies to influenza A, B, respiratory syncytial, and adenoviruses. Convalescent phase serologies showed higher mean and mean geometric hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titers to influenza B in the group treated with SAM than in the control group. A significant improvement of the symptoms, including fever, was seen in 93.3% of the cases in the SAM-treated group within 2 days, whereas in the control group 91.7% of the patients showed an improvement within 6 days (p < 0.001). A complete cure was achieved within 2 to 3 days in nearly 90% of the SAM-treated group and within at least 6 days in the placebo group (p < 0.001). No satisfactory medication to cure influenza type A and B is available. Considering the efficacy of the extract in vitro on all strains of influenza virus tested, the clinical results, its low cost, and absence of side-effects, this preparation could offer a possibility for safe treatment for influenza A and B. (source)

Effectiveness

Sambucol has been shown to reduce the symptoms and the duration of flu sufferers.  It has been tested on both Influenza A and Influenza B strains.  In one study it was noted that subjects taking Sambucol instead of a placebo took fewer over the counter medications to relieve symptoms like fever, aches and congestion.

Thom’s findings were presented at the 15th Annual Conference on Antiviral Research in 2002. The study has been accepted for publication in the Journal of International Medical Research.

The study involved 60 patients who had been suffering with flu symptoms for 48 hours or less; 90% were infected with the A strain of the virus, 10% were infected with type B. Half the group took 15 milliliters of Sambucol or and the other group took a placebo four times a day for five days.

Patients in the Sambucol group had “pronounced improvements” in flu symptoms after three days: Nearly 90% of patients had complete cure within two to three days. Also, the Sambucol group had no drowsiness, the downside of many flu treatments.

The placebo group didn’t recover until at least day six; they also took more painkillers and nasal sprays. (source)

Sambucol will not prevent the flu, but will shorten the duration and severity of the flu.

How to Take Elderberry Extract

In the Israeli study, mentioned above, each day  children were given 1/2 tablespoon of Sambucol extract four times per day, and adults were given 1 tablespoons four times per day.  It’s important to note that the only form of elderberry extract that has been used in studies is Sambucol, which is based on a standardized black elderberry extract.

(NOTE:  I’m not affiliated with the company Sambucol in any way.  I am recommending this product because our family uses it, it is standardized and it is the product used in all of the studies referenced in this article.  I receive no commission or payment of any type from this company.)

There are a few different ways you can take the pleasant tasting liquid:

  • Right out of the spoon
  • Mixed with hot water and honey for a tea
  • Mixed with sparkling water and served over ice for a refreshing “soda pop”-like beverage

 Store your elderberry extract in a cool dry place – we keep our bottle in the refrigerator.

Unlike chemical medications, there have been no reported side effects from Sambucol.  Although you should always check with your physician before taking this or any other remedy.  It is safe for children over 2 and the elderly.  No studies have been done regarding the safety of Sambucol during pregnancy or breastfeeding.  There are no reported contraindications for those taking other medications, or those who suffer from asthma or high blood pressure.

Research is ongoing regarding the use of Sambucol for the treatment of allergies, cancer, inflammatory disorders and HIV.

Author bio: Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

Categories: Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Natural Health, Preparedness, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Preparedness priorities: First aid, part II

First aid.  This area of basic preparedness is covered well over at Living Freedom (Clair Wolfe’s blog). Also, be sure to check out an excellent article over at Backwoods Home Magazine by Clair on the importance of other people in our preparedness plans!

 

Preparedness priorities: First aid, part II

Friday, November 9th, 2012

This is another guest blog from Will Kone, aka BusyPoorDad. His first installment is here.

—–

What are the minimal items to have in a first aid kit?

We have all seen the ads, heard the sales pitches, wallowed in the fear-mongering marketing. “You MUST have this special kit! Your life depends on it!” Which is why companies who sell specialized first-aid kits feel they have to charge so much for stuff they sell. After all, it must be great, it costs a whole lot!

I have nothing against making money selling stuff. And there is value in having someone else doing the work of assembling it for you. But I’m not made of money and I doubt the person I am seeing when I write this is either. I’m a practical guy, and want the lowest price, but highest quality, goods. With that in mind, let’s look at the minimum you want when building a first-aid kit.

First off, what do you know? Are you Dr. Bones or Nurse Amy? A Paramedic? Boy Scout? A fan of House and Grey’s Anatomy? If you have never taken a first aid class, your kit should be a lot smaller than the kit for the ER Doctor. (If you have not taken a first aid class, do that. This assumes you know the very basics.)

Second, who is this kit for? Many commercial kits [Ed note: especially those intended for the SHTF prepper] seem to be marketed towards either the single warrior in the middle of a combat zone alone or the Special Forces Medic trying to care for a battalion from a back pack. This scares off the new prepper. Medical kits seem like some mystic bag of equipment that needs massive training to assemble and use.

They are not.

The most basic need for a kit is one that a person can use on someone else. My home has five people in it. The kit I have today is five times bigger than it was when I was single. Since you are going to use this kit, it should contain items you know how to use and you should have a good idea who you would most likely use it on.

Third, apply a risk assessment. The actual risk assessment is beyond this article, [Ed note: maybe medical risk assessment is a topic for another post; general disaster risk assessment MJR covered here recently]. Odds are, you will say to yourself, “Odds are I will most often need to deal with minor scrapes and cuts.” If you don’t cut your own wood, you are not likely to have a chainsaw accident. If you make your own soap, you are more likely to encounter burns or chemicals.

Lastly, you need to consider how available help is. First aid does not fix a major problem. If you cut off a hand, you are not going to pull something out of that expensive kit that will re-attach it. A large cut, cracked bone, some burns, heart attack, etc. can only be “fixed” by serious medical attention. First aid, and later emergency medical care, are aimed at keeping the problem from getting worse till you can get to a doctor or other medical provider.

Sure, there are people who can re-set that bone and cast it with a toothpick and duct tape. I’m not that person and have only heard about them.

Your starter kit should be enough to help you take care of an injury till help can arrive or you get to the help.

Read the rest here

Categories: First Aid, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Regular Guy Strategy: Escaping Prepper Prison

by Todd Walker

I read lots of folks lamenting over family and friends who don’t embrace prepping. I can’t blame them. Images of being holed up in an underground bunker, sleeping on a canvas cot, crapping in a coffee can doesn’t appeal to them. Me either.

Even though it’s going more mainstream, “prepping” is prison. You feel shackled. You can’t tell anyone you’re storing extra food, bullets, or even band aids. If we don’t observe OpSec (Operational Security) we get labeled “prepper”, “survivalists” – or even worse, extremist. We wake up in a puddle of sweat worried that we’re not ready for TEOTWAWKI and TSHTF because we’re not living off-grid in the boonies with three years of food storage, fuel storage, and the latest weapons. We’re scared to build community – afraid to blow our cover. It’s that OpSec thing again.

Welcome to Prepper Prison. The bars and razor wire are in our minds and souls. Fear rules. Doom and gloom is upon us! The experts tell us how to get ready. What to buy. Skills to learn. Books to read. Where to move. Lists to make. Here’s a news flash: We’ll never be completely ready. You might possess expert knowledge in one area, but no person can do it all. Don’t underestimate the importance of community in making your jailbreak.

I began tunneling out of my cell last month. I felt like “Andy” in Shawshank Redemption. He was wrongly convicted and sentenced to life in prison. He finally quite accepting the institutional ‘authorities’ plan for his life. He planned his escape. He had lots of time and a will to be free. His tools of freedom were a rock hammer, a pin-up poster, and his fellow inmates – “Red” in particular. Pressure and time did the rest. It was a simple choice: “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” He chose living.

I often wonder if I’m good enough. Do I have enough stuff to get me through the next two inches of snow? Don’t laugh my Yankee friends. We shut down around here with a light dusting. A run on bread, milk, eggs, and PBR soon follows.

With Dirt Road Girl not working, we’ve slashed our survival supplies. Honesty is a crazy quality. I’m the first to admit I’m no guru at preparedness or self-reliance. I’m just a regular guy trying to become as self-reliant and prepared as humanly possible. Compared to preparedness experts, and I’ve read many of their books, I don’t even come close to being ready. I don’t own any night vision goggles or fancy optics for my guns. Would those be cool to own? Sure. I just don’t have $3,000.00 extra fiat dollars lying on top of my stash of gold bullion. Dang, I forgot OPSEC! There is no gold in my underground bunker. Now that we are in Great Depression II, I’m guessing many are a little short on money to buy what the ‘experts’ recommend. So I thought I’d share my Regular Guy Preparedness Plan.

1.) Build community. This is a freebie. It cost some time, but that’s it. Building relationships in the community is the most important, yet it’s a glaring weakness of mine. A lone wolf will always object to this strategy. I realize the importance of flying under the radar. Uninvited attention is bad. I got that part. It’s just so anti-me in the other compartments of my life. I’m very social. So are we stuck with the YOYO (Your Own Your Own) method of survival? Not hardly. Retreating to the jungle to live off the land is so Hollywood. Stop the fantasy.

Is mediocre good enough? I hope so. I’m a serial multi-tasker – read mediocre at lots of stuff. I’m also well aware that I can’t provide all that I need for long-term survival. I’m below average at first aid and medical skills. I’m not going to spend time trying to become a combat field doctor or a RN. I’m not that interested in the field. For those that are, great! For our immediate group, we have someone who is medically trained. Then there’s that motor head cousin of mine that can rebuild an engine blindfolded. Not me. I can do the basics. There are other areas that need to be shored up in our group. That’s where building community comes in. But how?

Here are some places to network, build community, and plan your prison-break.

  • Local meet up groups. Face to face and local is both real and productive.
  • Family – if possible. This one is often times the hardest to penetrate in many cases. This is whispered at some Thanksgiving dinners – “Okay sweetie, stay away from crazy Uncle Henry. He totes guns and raises chickens in his yard.
  • Local farmers markets and food co-ops. Buying local builds community.
  • Gun/hunting/hiking/outdoor clubs. It’s easy to bring up preparedness speak with folks sitting around a fire eating beans and sipping rot-gut coffee or bourbon. “Man, what if we had to do this for more than a long weekend?
  • Church, school, and work. Like fishing, you have to go where they are to catch them. Even then, they don’t always take what you offer.
  • Internet prepper groups: Wolfe Blog, Prepper Groups, American Preppers Network, Alt-Market, A.N.T.S. (Americans Networking To Survive). Be wise about sharing personal info until you establish trust. Face to face meetings can follow when both parties are ready. I know, it sounds like online dating.

2.) Regular Guy Skills. People tell me I’m handy – right before they ask me to do stuff for free. I like adding skills to my toolbox. I’m best at those that I enjoy and interest me. You probably are too. Skills don’t cost much, but offer a great return on my time. Here are some Regular Guy Skills I find helpful and relatively cheap:

Chemistry: The most overlooked skill in survival. I’d like to recommend “Caveman Chemistry” by Kevin M. Dunn. Mr. Dunn offers 28 projects to help you become a producer, more self-reliant, and a cool science nerd. Want to make your own mead, gunpowder, soap, pharmaceuticals, and plastics? Get the book.

Build stuff with your hands. If you already do this in your day job, start reading the book above. Or try this one: Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World. Read broadly to stretch your mind outside the preparedness world. Diversify.

For those that are trapped in cubicle hell, find little things to do around the house to shrink that honey-do-list. Make your own gear. Learn to restore and sharpen an axe or other bladed tool. Here’s an old adze I restored last month.

Treating an adze I found at a flea market

I recently made a cedar bench for Dirt Road Girl with pioneer hand tools – I did cheat and use my chainsaw twice. I ended up building a shaving horse in the process. Another useful bonus tool created from this bench project.

Make stuff with paracord.

Learn to sew. Check out my wool hunting shirt I made from a 20 dollar, 100% wool army blanket.

More Dave Canterbury inspired gear

Stock your toolbox. You can pick up pioneer tools and other off-grid hand tools cheaply at yard sales, estate sales, Free Cycle, thrift stores, and grandma’s attic. I like new stuff as long as it’s old. I bought a set of bits and a brace from a guy off the side of the road for $10. The local antique malls charge $25 to $45 for these items. If you buy nice, you only buy once. Avoid cheaply made junk.

Bits for my brace

What’s on your wall?

Wish these were mine. Shot these at the Foxfire Museum this summer.

3.) Regular Guy Priorities. I use conventional wisdom from experts when preparing for SHTF sometimes. Chew on the hay, spit out the sticks. Other times I kick conventional wisdom to the curb. I’m unorthodox. For instance, I don’t store a lot of wheat. Your kidding, right!? No. It’s not something I eat. The experts tell me to stock things that I use in my eating plan now and practice cooking from my food storage. I stock stuff I eat. There’s logic for ya.

I write IEP’s (Individualized Education Plan) for students with special needs. Preparedness should be no different. Each of us should write our own IPP (Individualized Preparedness Plan). There so much information out there that most folks have no idea where to start. Avoid information overload by starting with your unique, individual situation. Throw out the cookie cutter books and build your own IPP. Priorities for your family will differ from our family (ex: environment, finances, mindset, fitness level, diet, health, spirituality, location, etc.).

Start with the basics: water, food, shelter, and a way to protect yourself. This is enough material for an article all to itself. I’ll try to keep it short. Develop your IPP based on your individualized needs. I hope I’m preaching to the choir about self-defense. If you’re not comfortable owning evil guns, develop a plan to defend your family with other tools. Guns are simply tools by the way. No different from your Smart Car, garden hoe, or blender. Your faith may be a roadblock to owning these fine tools. If so, check out Kathy Jackson’s article tackling Christians and Passivism.

If you’ve got a spring or well on your property, water is less a priority than someone who lives in the Arizona desert. My point here is to keep ringing the individualized bell. Break the mold. Be yourself. Prepare for yourself and the unique needs of your family… no matter what the experts tell you. To assume their plan will work for you and me is dangerous and costly.

Think. For. Yourself.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

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Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, DIY Preparedness Projects, Economic Collapse, Firearms, First Aid, Food Storage, Frugal Preps, Preparedness, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle, Self Defense, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Potassium permanganate: The Most Useful Survival Chemical

Today’s post is reprinted with permission from Urban Survival Podcast hosts Aaron and Jonathan who are two city boys with a lifetime affinity for the outdoors, but a love of the city, passion for survival topics, and Libertarian Ideals. Check out their site In The Rabbit Hole with a focus on the things that matter most: What’s likely to happen. Then preparing for it in a rational and productive way.

Refreshing vision gentlemen! If you believe an alien invasion is eminent, their site isn’t for you. If you want help prioritizing your steps to preparedness for life’s curve balls, then you’ll find sound advice.

Doing the stuff,

Todd

__________________________________________

Source: In The Rabbit Hole

by Aaron Frankel on July 28, 2011

Potassium permanganate sample full 300x196 Potassium permanganate: The Most Useful Survival Chemical

When people think about survival tools, chemicals are usually not one of the first things that come to mind. Potassium permanganate should though.

Also known as KMnO4, Condy’s Crystals and permanganate of potash, Potassium permanganate is a jack of all survival trades.When it comes to survival, the more you know, the more you can do with less. Like wilderness medicine, it also often becomes about improvising with less than ideal tools.I first learned about the usefulness of this chemical while watching a Survivor Man episode titled Sonoran Desert. In the Sonoran Desert episode (Season 1 Episode 2), Les Stroud demonstrates how mixing Potassium permanganate and glycerin will start a chemical fire. Intrigued, I did some digging.

Turns out it’s not just good for making fires. It’s also good for:

  • Purifying water.
  • Creating an antiseptic solution.
  • As an anti-fungal treatment for the hands and feet.
  • As a cholera disinfectant
  • Treating canker sores
  • Marking snow as an emergency signal.

Proceed with caution, however. The information provided in this article is intended for emergency situations only. Caution should be exercised when using any of the following information.

Potassium permanganate will start a fire when mixed with a couple of different compounds. Glycerin is the most common, but antifreeze will also do the trick. Antifreeze seems to create a reaction that is a little more violent. Be very careful when using either. The reaction is not always immediate. It can take several seconds for the reaction to start a fire – let it be.

Read the rest here

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Bushcraft, First Aid, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival, Water | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Baking Soda: Splinter Removal And 11 Other Medical Uses

Use This to Remove Splinters — and to Address Many Other Health Needs

Source: Mercola.com

By Dr. Mercola

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a staple in many homes for baking and cleaning purposes – but there’s a good chance you’re not taking full advantage of all that baking soda has to offer.

For instance, did you know there’s a whole gamut of medicinal uses for baking soda, such as safely removing splinters from your fingers, or just brushing your teeth?

It rates right up there with hydrogen peroxide as one of the most inexpensive and safe health tools around (you can buy an entire box of baking soda for about $1), so it makes sense to learn all you can about the many, many uses of baking soda.

A Brief Baking Soda History

In its natural form, baking soda is known as nahcolite, which is part of the natural mineral natron. Natron, which contains large amounts of sodium bicarbonate, has been used since ancient times. For instance, the Egyptians used natron as a soap for cleansing purposes. Later, anecdotal reports throughout history suggest that many civilizations used forms of baking soda when making bread and other foods that required rising.

However, it wasn’t until 1846 when Dr. Austin Church and John Dwight began to manufacture and sell the compound we know as baking soda today. By the 1860s, baking soda was featured in published cookbooks, and in the 1930s was widely advertised as a “proven medical agent.”1 Come 1972, the idea to keep a box of baking soda in your fridge to keep food fresh was born, and it really caught on … raise your hand if you have a box in your fridge right now!

Baking soda was popularized by Arm & Hammer more than 150 years ago, and while many are aware of its versatile qualities for cooking and household use, few people realize that baking soda also has potent medicinal properties.

Baking Soda May Help Fight Colds and the Flu

Some people believe that when taken internally, baking soda can help maintain the pH balance in your bloodstream. This is likely the basic premise behind its recommended uses against both colds and influenza symptoms. In their booklet “Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Medical Uses,” published in 1924, Dr. Volney S. Cheney recounts his clinical successes with sodium bicarbonate in treating cold and flu:2

“In 1918 and 1919 while fighting the ‘flu’ with the U. S. Public Health Service it was brought to my attention that rarely anyone who had been thoroughly alkalinized with bicarbonate of soda contracted the disease, and those who did contract it, if alkalinized early, would invariably have mild attacks.

I have since that time treated all cases of ‘cold,’ influenza and LaGripe by first giving generous doses of bicarbonate of soda, and in many, many instances within 36 hours the symptoms would have entirely abated.

Further, within my own household, before Woman’s Clubs and Parent-Teachers’ Associations, I have advocated the use of bicarbonate of soda as a preventive for ‘colds,’ with the result that now many reports are coming in stating that those who took ‘soda’ were not affected, while nearly everyone around them had the ‘flu.’

Not too certain though about how valid the pH optimizing is as to baking soda’s mechanism of action, as clinically I have frequently used diluted hydrochloric acid intravenously to also help people nearly instantly recover from acute infections. Obviously this is pushing the pH in the opposite direction, yet both appear to work, suggesting that the mode of action may be other than pH mediated.

The administration is easy enough, and is relatively harmless even if you should not experience relief from your cold symptoms. Simply dissolve the recommended amount of baking soda in a glass of cold water and drink it. Recommended dosages from the Arm & Hammer Company for colds and influenza back in 1925 were:

  • Day 1 — Take six doses of ½ teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water, at about two-hour intervals
  • Day 2 — Take four doses of ½ teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water, at the same intervals
  • Day 3 — Take two doses of ½ teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water morning and evening, and thereafter ½ teaspoon in glass of cool water each morning until cold symptoms are gone

11 More Medicinal Uses for Baking Soda

You’ll be amazed at the myriad of remedies you can whip up if you have a box of baking soda handy. Among them:

  • Ulcer Pain: I have personally recommended this to many including family members and have been surprised how remarkably effective it is. This would make sense, as the baking soda would immediately neutralize stomach acid. Dosing is typically 1-2 teaspoons in a full glass of water.
  • Splinter removal: Add a tablespoon of baking soda to a small glass of water, then soak the affected area twice a day. Many splinters will come out on their own after a couple of days using this treatment.
  • Sunburn remedy: Add ½ cup of baking soda to lukewarm bathwater, then soak in the tub for natural relief. When you get out, let your skin air dry, rather than toweling off the excess baking soda, for extra relief. You can also add a mixture of baking soda and water to a cool compress and apply it to the sunburn directly.
  • Deodorant: If you want to avoid the parabens and aluminum found in many deodorants and antiperspirants, try a pinch of baking soda mixed with water instead. This simple paste makes an effective and simple natural deodorant.
  • Enhanced sports performance: Distance runners have long engaged in a practice known as “soda doping” – or taking baking soda capsules — before races to enhance performance,3 a measure that’s thought to work similarly to carbohydrate loading. While I don’t suggest you try this at home, it’s another example of baking soda benefits.
  • Plaque-busting tooth and gum paste: For an incredibly effective tooth and gum paste, use a mixture of six parts of baking soda to one part of sea salt. Place them in a blender and mix for 30 seconds, then place in a container to use. Wet the tip of your index finger and place a small amount of the salt and soda mixture on your gums. Starting with the upper outside gums and then the inside of the upper, followed by the lower outside of the gums then the lower inside, rub the mixture onto your teeth and gums. Spit out the excess. After 15 minutes rinse your mouth. This mixture is incredibly effective at killing bacteria.
  • Insect bites: Apply a paste made of baking soda and water to insect bites to help relieve itching. You can also try rubbing the dry powder onto your skin. This is also effective for itchy rashes and poison ivy.
  • Teeth whitener: For a natural way to whiten your teeth, crush one ripe strawberry and mix it with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Spread the mixture onto your teeth and leave on for five minutes. Then brush your teeth and rinse. This method should be used no more than once a week, as excessive use could potentially damage your tooth enamel.
  • Foot soak: Add three tablespoons of baking soda to a tub of warm water for an invigorating foot soak.
  • Exfoliator: A paste made from three parts of baking soda combined with 1 part water can be used as an exfoliator for your face and body. It’s natural, inexpensive and gentle enough to use every day.
  • Detox bath: Baking soda and apple cider make a wonderful spa-like bath for soaking away aches and pains and detoxing. It also cleans the tub and the drain, as a bonus!

Baking Soda is an Excellent Household Cleaner, Too

After you’ve stashed a box of baking soda in your medicine cabinet, put one under your kitchen sink, in your bathroom and with your cleaning supplies too …

  • Baking soda is great to scrub your bath and kitchen with. Put it in a glass grated cheese container with a stainless steel top that has holes in it, and just sprinkle the baking soda on the surfaces and scrub. You may add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to this. Lavender and tea tree oil have potent anti-bacterial qualities.
  • Baking soda mixed with apple cider vinegar is a bubbly combination that has many uses. As a drain cleaner, sprinkle baking soda down the drain, then add apple cider vinegar and let it bubble for 15 minutes, then rinse with hot water. This is a safer alternative to dangerous drain cleaners.
  • Soak pots and pans in hot water and baking soda for 15 minutes to easily wipe away baked-on food.
  • Use baking soda to scrub your barbecue grill.
  • Clean baby toys in a mixture of 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 quart of water.
  • Baking soda can also be used as a fabric softener in your laundry, or to get your clothes whither and brighter (add one cup to your laundry load).
  • Baking soda is a natural carpet cleaner. Sprinkle it onto carpets, let it sit for 15 minutes, then vacuum it up.
  • To polish silver without using toxic silver polish, fill your kitchen sink with hot water, add a sheet of aluminum foil and baking soda, and let the silver pieces soak until clean. It is an easy and fun way to clean silver.
  • Sprinkle baking soda in your shoes for a natural deodorizer.
  • In the event of a minor grease fire in your kitchen, use baking soda to help smother out the flames.

Not bad for around $1 a box, right?

Categories: Healthcare, Medical, Preparedness, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

Ten unconventional additions to your emergency medical kit

Hat tip to Tess Pennington for adding this outside-the-box post over at her site Ready Nutrition.

Source: Medically Speaking

By Lizzie Bennett

Okay, I am sure you all have a medical kit to be proud of, you’ve got all the bandages, the slings, the ointments and creams, but sometimes, just sometimes, the most mundane items can make life simpler, especially if you need to move fast, or find yourself in a situation where you need to improvise, or, the stuff you have just isn’t right for the job in hand. Here are a few ideas, and examples of what to use them for.

AN OLD CREDIT CARD/ATM CARD

These are great for a good deal more than stuffing in a hole in the wall of your bank. Scraping out a sting with the edge of a plastic card is preferable to fingernails or tweezers, both of which, just by the pinching action pump the last bit of venom from the sting into the skin.

Cut into strips they are excellent splints for broken fingers, and the gaps between the strips allow for swelling. Position either side of the finger and tape into place.

Used whole they can help inflate a deflated lung caused by a sucking chest wound. Put over the hole and tape on three sides only, the card acts as a flutter valve, preventing air from entering the wound but allowing air outside of the lung but inside the chest cavity to escape as the lung inflates.

DUCT TAPE

I love duct tape, it needs to be good tape, not a cheapo one that is not very sticky. Use to secure the card to the chest as described above. It can be used to hold splints on limbs in place, to secure pressure dressings,and even to make a makeshift stretcher to carry a casualty if wrapped around two poles and stuck to itself across the gap between them. There are dozens of uses for this stuff.

A DOZEN MIXED SIZE CLEAR PLASTIC BAGS

Clear plastic bags form a great barrier between a wound and the air, preventing pathogens from getting into the body. They are great for wounds and burns on hands and feet and are carried in ambulances for this reason. Duct tape into place and the wound will stay clean until you can deal with it. This is particularly beneficial if you are near water and you want to prevent contamination.

Use as a flutter valve on large sucking chest wounds. Fix on three sides as described for the card method above.

SANITARY PADS

Sanitary pads make really good pressure dressings. Put over the wound and tape tightly down covering the whole pad with tape, extend the tape a good distance from all edges of the pad to make sure the pressure is maintained.

HALF A DOZEN STRONG TEA BAGS

Tea leaves contain tannin which has anti-inflammatory and vaso-constrictor properties. To wash out an eye make as you would tea, leave to cool and lean forward so the liquid in the container reaches the eye and open and close the eye whilst in the liquid. The tea bag can be placed on the eye afterwards, to reduce any swelling and irritation.

Tannin is a vasoconstrictor, it causes blood vessels to contract and therefore slows blood loss. It would be no use at all for anything major, but for nosebleeds, traumatic tooth extractions and minor cuts and abrasions, it works well. Put just enough boiling water on the tea bag to make it swell to its maximum size and show a little liquid leaking from it, then when it has cooled sufficiently apply it to the tooth socket, cut etc. for nose bleeds roll the bag as small as you can and plug the nostril with as much of it as you can, you can cut it in half if need be and roll so as the cut edge is on the inside of the roll. There is no worry about sterility with a nose bleed.

STRONG SMELLING VAPOUR RUB

There are times when the smells around you are almost too much to bear. Infected wounds, corpses, human waste all give off gut-wrenching odours and dabbing vapour rub under your nose helps a great deal.

I have heard occasionally that a dab under the nose of someone having an asthma attack, who does not have an inhaler with them, helps open the airways a little making breathing somewhat easier. I have no experience of this and therefore cannot vouch for it. Having said that an asthma sufferer without an inhaler will not come to any harm by trying this.

A SECTION OF BICYCLE TYRE INNER TUBE

The inner tube from a bicycle tyre is very stretchy and it makes an excellent tourniquet. It is also possible to use it as a fire starter, and it will burn even when it is pouring with rain, and it burns for a long while, often long enough to dry out a little damp tinder placed very near it.

A SUPER ABSORBANT DRYING CLOTH

These microfibre cloths are very light weight and take up almost no space. They are excellent for drying around wounds so that dressings and tapes stick more easily. As they hold a good amount of liquid, one dunked in water and lightly squeezed out is useful for giving a casualty that cannot sit properly sips of water, they just suck on the cloth.

AN EMPTY SODA BOTTLE

Cut off the top and bottom and then cut it along it’s length. This gives you a sheet of strong plastic that rolls back into a tube when you let it go. These make great splints, keeping clothing etc away from a wound or helping to immobilise a broken bone. Unroll, place around the limb and gently let it go back into its tube shape. Then, very gently, close the plastic up, one edge will slide under the other with little effort. Fix in place with a piece of tape. To store, roll it up tight and secure with a rubber band. We used this method in hospitals to stop babies and toddlers ripping off their dressings, works very well.

A PAIR OF ADULT OVER THE KNEE SOCKS

Get an adult pair of knee high socks and force them over a large, full soda bottle to stretch them. When stretched for a couple of days, roll them down the bottle so what you end up with resembles a donut, store them in this shape so that they can be rolled onto a limb rather than forced up over it causing pain and possibly more injury. They are great for holding a leg dressing in place, and make a good sling for arm injuries. Roll onto the arm, position the arm comfortably and safety pin to the patients clothing in a couple of places, beats messing about with a triangular bandage if you are in a hurry. If they have long sleeves, position the arm and pin the sleeve to the body of their clothing.

Well there you have it, a few conventional items with a few unconventional uses.

Take care

Lizzie

Categories: First Aid, Frugal Preps, Medical, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 4 Most Likely Ways You Can Die If the SHTF

Author: Tess Pennington
Source: Ready Nutrition
June 2011

The subject of survival in a long term disaster goes beyond having stockpiles of beans, bullets and band-aids. Those that do survive during a long term emergency will no doubt be tried and tested with a great many things. One of those trying scenarios is dealing with death.

Zombie attacks seem to be a prevalent theme for preppers to prepare for. In fact, the CDC has even posted a preparedness article on how to ward off zombie attacks. While I believe these zombies will likely take the form of substance abusers, mental patients, chronically ill or diseased, and desperate individuals whose basic needs have not been met, they will die out in the first few months of an onset of a  major disaster, and there presence will rarely be an issue in a long term situation.

In reality, a majority of those that will die during a long-term disaster will be from illnesses brought on by acute respiratory infections due to cramped living conditions, poor water conditions (or lack of), or bacterial infections from wounds. If we survive a major disaster, America would become a third world country and the aftermath of such a scenario will be similar to those living in Africa, Ethiopia and India.

Illness Due to Poor Water Conditions

Typically, any diseases that are brought on by lack of sanitation and hygiene are controllable and preventable. In a disaster where water sources are compromised, people within a 50 mile radius could be adversely impacted by illness and disease if just one person incorrectly handles water or incorrectly disposes of waste.  Contaminated water, poor sanitation and/or lack of hygeine leads to diseases such as Hepatitis A, viral gastroenteritis, cholera, Shigellosis, typhoid, Diphtheria and polio. If these diseases affect enough people, an epidemic will ensue.

Dehydration and diarrhea are also water-related matters to contend with. Those without adequate water conditions and/or are suffering from disease brought on by poor water conditions could quickly dehydrate. These types of illnesses typically affect at-risk populations such as children, the sick and the elderly. Young children in particular are at high risk for diarrhea and other food- and waterborne illnesses because of limited pre-existing immunity and behavioral factors such as frequent hand-to-mouth contact. The greatest risk to an infant with diarrhea and vomiting is dehydration. In addition, fever or increased ambient temperature increases fluid losses and speeds dehydration. Having knowledge beforehand on how to properly clean drinking water and food, and the symptomatology and treatment of these types of diseases can prevent further outbreaks from occurring.

Recommended preparedness items: water filtration systems, water purification tablets, chlorine granules, bleach, electrolyte or rehydration powders, anti-diarrea medicines.

Malnutrition

Malnutrition from either improper water conditions or from lack of nutrients is also a large killer amongst those in impoverished communities.  Medical experts say there is a symbiotic relationship between malnutrition and diarreah.  Malnutrition increases the severity of diarrhea while diarrhea can cause malnutrition. Either way, prevention for both of these health issues is key.

Those that are malnourished are more suseptible to illness and disease. Individuals who are malnourished will also be vitamin deficient and their health is likely to regress further. Those who survive from malnutrition are permanently affected by this disease and may suffer from recurring sickness, faltering growth, poor brain development, increased tooth decay, reduced strength and work capacity, and increased chance of chronic diseases in adulthood. Adult women with this condition will give birth to underweight babies.

Recommended preparedness items: dietary supplements, vitamin powders, seeds for sprouting or  seeds for fresh vegetables and fruits, survival bars, knowledge of alternative means to attain vitamins

Acute Respiratory Infections

Upper respiratory infections (URI) will also be a leading cause of death in a long term disaster. Upper respiratory infections include: colds, flu, sore throat, coughs and bronchitis can usually be cured with additional liquids, rest and nourishment. Allowing the illness to exacerbate will lead to secondary infections such as bacterial pneumonia. The germs from pneumonia are easily spread from an infected person to others by coughing or sneezing or through close contact. A major concern about respiratory infections is that there are many drug resistant strands of viruses, bacterias and diseases (including tuberculosis), that regular medicine will not cure.  In a long term disaster situation, many could perish.

To properly prepare for this type of medical situation, learn about the more prevalent viruses and bacterias in your country and how to prevent them in order to provide a healthy living environment in a long term situation.

Not only are URI’s a concern but other air-borne diseases such as tuberculosis will likely fester during a long term scenario. In regular non-SHTF times, treatment for tuberculosis requires 6-12 months of medication.  In a long term emergency, chances of surviving tuberculosis are slim. The best way to prevent tuberculosis is adequate nutrition, vitamin D and living in a properly ventilated shelter.

Survival groups that have multiple people living under one roof will only increase the likelihood of passing air-borne infections and diseases to one another. In addition, those in an at-risk group (elderly, immuno-deficient, infants) are more likely to catch illnesses.  If a survival group is sharing a home, an infirmary or sick room should be prepared for those who have fallen ill.  Isolating the person who is ill will limit exposure to the other members of the group. Adequate nutrition, water, rest, good sanitary practices and ventilation of the home is essential in curbing this.

Recommended preparedness items: decongestants, expectorants, upper respiratory medicines, antibiotics (for secondary and bacterial infections), knowledge on medicinal herbs, prepare a sick room at your survival homestead

Infections From Wounds

Open injuries have the potential for serious bacterial wound infections, including gas gangrene and tetanus, and these in turn may lead to long term disabilities, chronic wound or bone infection, and death.  Anitibiotics will be few and far between and will be more precious than gold.  Without proper medicines, antiseptic and knowledge on proper medical procedures, many will die of bacterial infections.  Learning medical skills, gaining knowledge on natural medicines and alternative medical antiseptic (i.e., Dakin’s Solution) before a disaster occurs could help people survive from wound infections. Also, ensuring the area that you treat medical emergencies is clean and as sterile as possible may also prevent bacterial infections.

Recommended preparedness items:  stock up on maxi pads for wound absorption, gauze, celox, antibiotics, suture needles and other basic first aid supplies.

Additionally, consider developing the following skills: basic first aid class, sign up for EMT classes in your community, an off-grid medical care class such as those offered by onPoint Tactical. Also, consider investing in books such as When There is No Doctor and When There is No Dentist.

Also look into making your own antiseptics utilizing alcohol distillation, such as the custom made units from LNL Protekt.

These illnesses (provided above) have impacted countries all over the world. These illness and conditions, coupled with unsanitary living conditions such as substandard sanitation, inadequate food and water supplies and poor hygiene, make disaster-affected people especially vulnerable to disease. These illnesses will affect us no matter what part of the world we live in, what socio-economic status we currently hold, and no matter how prepared we think we are.

Understanding what can happen and being prepared when it does is absolutely essential. The last thing we want to do when a serious condition arises is to panic. Preparing your supplies, developing your skills and educating the rest of your family and preparedness group on how to prevent, identify and counteract these serious conditions will provide a significant boost to your ability to survive if the worst happens.

Recommended Readings:

Patriot Nurse: 5 Diseases that Will Explode WTSHTF

Prevention and Management of Wound Infections

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Emergencies

Author: Tess Pennington
Web Site: http://www.ReadyNutrition.com/

Date: June 29th, 2011

Related Categories: Health and Safety, Potable Water, Preparedness, Vitamins and Nutrients

 

Categories: First Aid, Healthcare, Medical, Potable Water, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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