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Emergency Medicinal Plants: Useful To Have and To Own

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If you run out of medicine in your cabinet, did you know there are other ways to get medicine besides going to a pharmacy? Here are a list of some of the most valued medicinal plants.

1. Aloe Vera

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Aloe Vera is one the most popular medicinal plants because it can be used externally and internally.  Aloe Vera speeds up the healing process and reduces the risk of infections for wounds, cuts, and burns.  This also can treat ulcerative colitis by drinking the aloe vera juice, poor appetite, and digestive problems.

2. Marsh Mallow

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The root of the Marsh Mallow is to be taken internally to help treat inflammations and irritations of the urinary and respiratory mucus membranes, gastritis, and counter excess stomach acid.  The root for external use is to help with bruising, sprains, insect bites, skin inflammations, and aching muscles.  A bonus is the leaves are edible and can be used to help out in the areas of cystitis and frequent urination.

3. Great Burdock

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The Great Burdock can grow shadeless and the root is used to treat ‘toxic overload’ that result in throat infections and skin disease like burns, rashes, eczema, ringworm, bites, acne, herpes, and bruising.  This plant has leaves and seeds that can be crushed to poultice it to bruising, burns, sores and ulcers.

4. Pot Marigold

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As long as this plant stays moist it can grow in almost any type of soil.  It can be very acidic or very alkaline.  It helps with skin problems and the deep orange flower is applied externally to help ease the pain with bites, sprains, wounds, sore eyes, and varicose veins.  For internal use it can help treat fevers and chronic infections.  To help treat corns and warts just crush the stems and it will soon make them easily removable.

5. Gotu Kola

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The Gotu Kola plant is known for its healing process.  It acts on various phases of connective tissue development and stimulation.  It heals ulcers, decreases capillary fragility, skin injuries, and stimulation of the lipids and protein neessary for healthy skin.  The crushed leaves are poulticed to treat open sores.  As well as treat leprosy, increase attention span and concentration, and revitalize the brain and nervous system.

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2 Types of Emergency Evacuations: Urgent & Planned

a young child is standing in the back of his minivan with a backpack on looking outside and waiting for his family to come for a summer camping vacation
a young child is standing in the back of his minivan with a backpack on looking outside and waiting for his family to come for a summer camping vacation

Reasons to evacuate generally fall into 2 camps: Urgent Evacuations and Planned Evacuations. You should be ready for these 2 types of emergency evacuations.

Before you begin packing that emergency kit, you need to first consider why you might need to evacuate. If you have specific scenarios in mind, and then one of them suddenly becomes a reality, there’s a good chance that your brain won’t lapse into normalcy bias, causing you to waste precious minutes or hours.

Planning for the Urgent Evacuation

An Urgent Evacuation is one in which you have zero time to think; you can only react. If you’ve considered this scenario, have planned for it, and have a routine that you’ve rehearsed, your brain will most likely revert to those memories and your actions will become automatic.

The smell of smoke and realization that your home is on fire is not the time to inform the kids how to get out of the house, run around scooping up family heirlooms, cash, and vital documents, and then yell at everyone to meet you in the front yard! Fire spreads too quickly to allow for any of that.

Instead, planning for this particular Urgent Evacuation is simple. Take time to stash valuables in a fireproof safe, train the kids and other family members to get out of the house ASAP, and have a pre-planned meeting place. Make sure that each room has an exit point that can be accessed by everyone, even if that means keeping a step stool or a sturdy chair in the room. My daughter’s bedroom has one window whose bottom ledge is a good 4 1/2 feet from the floor. In her case, she’ll need to stand on something to get out.

What other Urgent Evacuations might you need to plan for? Tornado warning? Natural gas leak? Wildfires or a chemical spill? All of these events will require you to get out of the house as quickly as you can. A few others are:

  • Avalanche
  • Earthquake
  • Explosion nearby
  • Landslide
  • Floods
  • Nuclear event
  • Riots
  • Terrorist attack
  • Tornadoes
  • Tsunami

Here are a few tips to help you plan and prepare for Urgent Evacuations:

1. Have a packed supply bag for your pets, complete with food, bedding, and food/water bowls. If your pet will be transported in a crate, place all supplies in the crate. Everything will be in one place when you need it.

2. Create a “Last Minute Bag” with things like prescription medications, cash, small valuables. Here’s a complete list to help you with this task.

3. Store emergency kits in an easy to access location, such as by the backdoor. They can also be stored in the trunk of your car, along with a case or water.

4. Be in the habit of having your vehicle ready with at least half tank of gas and emergency supplies.

5. Have some sort of signal for the family members, so they know it’s “Get serious!’ time. Kids, in particular, have a way of tuning out their parents, so establish a code that sends the message of, “Urgent! This is not a drill!”

6. Practice this evacuation drill and keep track of how much time it takes to get everyone out of the house. Emphasize that getting people out is far more important than any belonging, or even a pet.

7. Have written lists of what must be grabbed. Prioritize so that no one is searching for something that isn’t strictly necessary.

With Urgent Evacuations, the longer you wait, the more likely you are to endanger yourself and your loved ones. It also increase the chance that you’ll run into major traffic issues as panicked people also try to get away from harm.

The Planned Evacuation

Not every emergency is one that requires great haste. In many cases, you have several hours or day in which to make your plans and put final pieces in place. A Planned Evacuation requires a different mindset — one that emphasizes checking and double-checking and keeping a constant eye on developing news.

The Planned Evacuation is one of prepare and wait-and-see.

For example, a hurricane is a scary natural disaster that can bring with it an enormous amount of damage, but thanks to modern meteorology, we can track these storms. We know, with a fair degree or accuracy, when and where they will make landfall.

These scenarios allow us to time think, review our plans, and get to safety, beating the crowds as well as the expected disaster. Examples of these are:

  • Earthquake — If your home isn’t too damaged, you may want to plan to evacuate, just in case.
  • Epidemic or pandemic
  • Rising floodwaters
  • “Storm of the Century” — Blizzard or otherwise, you may want to get out to avoid the worst.
  • Volcanic eruption — Usually these give some warning before erupting.
  • Wildfires in the area

Along with the tips for Urgent Evacuations, here are a few to help you plan for a more leisurely escape:

1. Make a date on your calendar to review and refresh all emergency kits every 6 months.

2. Have at least 2 different ways to get information, in case of a power outage or if telephone/cell phone lines aren’t working. A shortwave radio and ham radio are both good choices.

3. If you have a smartphone, install phone apps that provide alerts for inclement weather, tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Red Cross makes several, and they are all excellent.

4. If you have larger animals, contact at least 2 locations that could provide temporary shelter as part of your emergency evacuation plans.

5. Give careful consideration how your home can best be protected while you’re gone. You have time to board up windows, drain pipes, etc.

6. Get phone numbers from neighbors, so you can keep in touch and update each other with news. This will be especially important if you do evacuate and want to know how your home and neighborhood are faring.

7. During the school year, contact your child’s teacher and ask for a list of their assignments for the coming week or two.

8. Make sure your vehicle is filled with gas and is ready to go. Pack it with any supplies or gear that you won’t be needing, just in case you decide to leave.

Prep for one, prep for both

The good news about both these types of emergency evacuation plans is that preparation for one is preparation for both. The major difference between the two, other than the actual event, is your mindset. You must be the one to make the call to get out now or wait to see how things unfold. Ultimately, it will be your call. It’s better to err on the side of a quick evacuation if there’s a chance the event could escalate. By then, you might be trapped and unable to get out.

Know which events are most likely in your area and begin planning and preparing.

The post 2 Types of Emergency Evacuations: Urgent & Planned by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

 

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6 Wild Plants You Can Eat

It’s spring, and if you’re looking to supplement your diet with something other than factory processed, chemically treated, GMO, now it is time.  You can do this even if you live in urban  areas you can and should be able to find a few common herbs and plants in your environment.

My dad would tell me to, “Go out and dig up some weeds to eat.”  I think he just want me to cut the lawn and pull some weeds, but there is some truth to his words.

Many wild plants around you are edible and some medicinal. This can be a fun family project to go out into your local world and discover how it feels to become an urban gathering survivor and learn skills to identify edible and medicinal plants.

THE DISCLAIMER: Many plants are toxic, or have toxic parts, or are alternately edible and toxic at various stages of maturity. Also, some people are sensitive to foods that others can consume safely. You need to know what you’re doing when you go out foraging and eating unfamiliar plants. If you have kidney disorders, stay clear. For more detailed information download our free book: Edible Wild Plants, or Wild Mushrooms

Six Common Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants

1:  Dandelion

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The hated dandelion is nutritionally quite dense. It has four times as much calcium, 1.5 times as much vitamin A, and 7.5 times as much vitamin K as broccoli. It has more iron and riboflavin than spinach, and provides vitamin E.  Dandelion greens nutrition facts. It is also diuretic. The tender young leaves are tasty in a salad, and the young blossoms are a real treat when stir fried in butter with a little garlic, salt, and pepper. Show it some love and let it grow, at least in the back yard.

2:  Poke Sallet

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The plant is toxic and must be double or even triple blanched to rinse out the toxins (along with all other nutrients). That’s the official view, anyway; I can’t stand to go to all that work and then just throw out all the food value, so I pick the leaves very young, while the leaf stem is still green and not red, and steam it just like spinach before stir-frying in bacon grease. I eat a spinach-sized serving along with other foods. It has never made me sick, but of course you should experiment very carefully and put safety first, and remember that children are more vulnerable. According to the poke sallet wiki, the lethal dose in mice appears to be about 300 g per kg of body weight. That’s the equivalent of a 175 lb. human eating more than 50 lbs. of the stuff.  Now, if you eat enough it will “clean you out,” if you know what I mean, but sometimes that’s a good thing, right? Just make sure you’re not traveling after your meal.  Don’t eat the roots, no matter how prepared — they can’t be made safe.

3: Lambsquarters

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I love this one. One of my earliest foraging experiences was harvesting lambsquarters with my dad. It grew in dense patches around the farmyard. He prepared them like spinach, and like spinach, it does have a mildly unpleasant “sticky” feel on the teeth. But hey, nothing’s perfect. It tastes better and is a lot less work than cultivating garden greens. It’s also more calorie and protein dense than many of them. Here’s a lambsquarters nutritional comparison with spinach.

4. Dock

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This one is edible, but not all that tasty, with one exception; the stalks are good added to a salad. It’s similar to rhubarb. The roots have a cathartic effect (also called a “stimulant laxative,” in that it accelerates bowel activity; a “laxative” works by softening the stool). The stewed leaves have a laxative effect, but they don’t taste all that good; they’re better used as an herb to flavor gamy meat like grass-fed beef or a tough buck.

5: Wood Sorrel (Sourgrass)

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Wood sorrel is very distinctive and easy to find. It is rich in vitamin C and adds a wonderful tartness to raw dishes like salads, salsas and slaws. My kids pick it and munch on it while doing yard work, and I add it to diced avocado with lemon juice, salt, and onion. It contains oxalic acid, and is officially toxic in excess, or if you have bad kidneys. I think you have to eat a shipload to make you sick, but I’m not sure. You’ve been warned.

It also has medicinal value as a diuretic, antiemetic, appetite stimulant, and relief for indigestion. Further reading about wood sorrel.

6: Thistle

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I used to eat it canned in Europe, but as an adult I learned how tasty it is when fresh. Except for the seeds, every part of the thistle plant provides an edible item. The roots are good if you dig them up when they’re not as fibrous. That’s during the winter when there’s no plant top, which makes them hard to find. The peeled leaf midribs are tricky to get to, but they’re excellent. So are the peeled stalks, picked young, before they get stringy. The ribs and stalks are excellent prepared in a casserole, as you would do for cauliflower. I’ve also baked it like scalloped potatoes. When chopped into two inch pieces and stir fried, they’re superb. Even the flower bud has an edible heart similar to artichoke, but it’s tiny and hardly worth the trouble. Still, it’s good to know.

Source of Plant Pictures and Descriptions: http://www.survivalnewsonline.com/index.php/2015/04/7-wild-edibles-around-your-house/

Have Fun Foraging and Be Safe.  Learn new skills and Plan, Prepare, Protect.

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Nepal’s emergency preparedness saved lives in earthquake aftermath – UN health agency

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Patients at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Kathmandu, Nepal, are taken outside following the second earthquake on 12 May 2015. Photo: WHO/A. Khan

13 May 2015 – The emergency preparedness efforts implemented by the Government of Nepal over the past 15 years have ensured that key elements of the health sector remained ready and able to function during the recent earthquake that devastated large swathes of the mountainous country, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said today.

According to WHO, the practice of hospital retrofitting – a process which involves everything from repairing cracks in walls to installing seismic belts and roof bracing – has been a core part of Nepal’s preparedness plans and helped keep the largest hospitals in the capital city of Kathmandu working throughout the 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck on 25 April and the 7.3 earthquake which rattled the country on just yesterday.

“Retrofitting meant that when the earthquakes struck, hospitals did not collapse,” Dr. Roderico Ofrin, WHO’s Health Response Leader, confirmed in a press release, adding that it was “clear that the investment in time and resources paid off.”

“These hospitals that are standing and were retrofitted went through a process of prioritization,” Dr. Ofrin continued. “Emergency rooms, maternity wards, and operating theatres were some of the first areas where retrofitting was applied.”

WHO has also been critical in assisting Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population during their implementation of emergency preparedness efforts. In 2009, for instance, it focused global attention on the need for safe facilities in emergencies through its World Health Day campaign which underscored the need for building strong health systems able to provide medical care in times of disaster and emergency. The UN agency has continued to promote this aim with direct technical and material support.

However, retrofitting alone is not sufficient for an adequate healthcare response in times of disaster, the WHO has warned. Capacity building and staff training is equally important.

Dr. Pradeep Vaidya, coordinator for the WHO-supported Hospital Preparedness for Emergency Programme, has noted that the response to the earthquake by Nepal’s health care providers was resilient because of pre-planning and training initiatives.

“The most helpful part during the earthquake response was the hospital emergency preparedness plan,” Dr. Vaidya explained. “People knew what to do, where to meet and how things will flow when the earthquake happened. The roster management system worked well.”

In Nepal, the WHO has been placing particular attention on training in triage management, putting into practice its guidelines and strategies in mass casualty systems. Due to the training, the agency said, emergency responders could quickly prioritize the injuries and save lives when large numbers of patients began to arrive in the hospitals following the recent earthquakes.

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Edible Plants in the Wild

How to Find Wild Edible Plants

Please double check all of these plants using other websites before consumption. Wild edible plants are everywhere you turn. Not only it is free food, but eating wild plants is a huge stride toward wilderness self-sufficiency. Once you know where to look and how to prepare plants you find in the wild, you’ll be well prepared whether you’re planning on surviving on free greens or you just want to try some new flavors next time you go camping. Be careful, though: eating the wrong plant could be fatal.

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Know where the best food is, depending on where you live. Keep in mind that if you live in a humid region, the majority of wild food will be in the sun – whether clearing or ‘edge’. In a dry region, such as the Southwest, most of the wild food will be near water.

Pick up a local plant guidebook. Get guides to the most common edible plants in your area, typically referred to as “weeds.” Learn the top 20 or 25 and try to memorize them — they might come in handy later.

Start with the number-one habitat for wild edible plants — your lawn. Any place that is regularly cleared is loaded with weeds such as dandelion, chickweed, plantain, wild onion, violets, wood sorrel, henbit, clover, dead-nettle and sow thistle — all of which are 100% edible.

Start with grass. All grass is edible. Anything under 6″ is easy to chew and digest. The flavor ranges from intensely sweet to mild to bitter – anyone who’s tasted a shot of wheatgrass knows just how sweet grass can be. Grass that’s over 6″ can either be chewed for juice and spit out, or run through a manual wheatgrass juicer for a healthy shot.

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Visit other areas that are regularly cleared. Try roadsides (note warning below), fields, parks, and so on. They will also have tons of edible plants. Chickweed can be picked by the bucketful. Here’s what to look for:

Dandelion (taraxacum officinale): The young unfolding greens in the center are great raw. The entire plant can be steamed. The flower is the best part. Pick it off the stem, and with your fingers pinch off the green base of the flower, so there’s no white sap (the sap is very bitter). You’re left with a sweet, meaty, filling wild food that can be found in incredible abundance.

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Chickweed (stellaria media): The entire plant can be eaten raw. It has a sweet, grassy flavor. If you want to avoid the stems, and eat mostly the new growth, pluck off the tops and eat those.

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Wood Sorrel (oxalis spp): The whole plant is great raw – it has a nice acid flavor, refreshing. The flowers of the cosmopolitan weeds are yellow, but many varieties grow in the wild with pinkish flowers. If you eat it, try the stem, but not the red part as it and the leaves are bitter. This is a plant extremely common not only in lawns and cleared areas, but also deep in the wilderness. It should not be consumed in big quantity as it contains relatively high levels of oxalic acid, which, while is vital for humans, may cause the gastrointestinal upset or illness when consumed in big amounts.

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Henbit (lamium amplexicaule): Another plant entirely edible raw. It’s a Lamium, a very mild mint. Like chickweed, it has a sweet, grassy flavor – pluck off the tops to avoid the stems. This plant will form huge carpets in places, very early in the year, with an understory of chickweed beneath it.

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Dead-nettle (lamium purpureum): Another Lamium, just like henbit. It’s eaten the same way – and will also form huge carpets covering the ground, especially in spring.

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Plantain (plantago lanceolata): Young leaves in the center are good raw – have a slight salty flavor. There’s both a common and an English plantain, that are very similar.

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Sow thistle (sonchus spp): The young leaves are decent – treat it like dandelion, and try and avoid the bitter latex sap. Sow thistle has excellent yellow flowers very similar to dandelion, yet even better, that’s prepared the same way and eaten raw. Unlike dandelion, sow thistle has an upright stalk and a more prickly-looking thistle-like appearance.

Wild onion (allium spp): Very common in areas that are mowed. A very mild onion that is excellent raw. Harvest bunches of it and use it just like scallions.

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Cress (cardamine spp): This is one of the many wild plants in the mustard family common in cities. When young, the leaves are excellent raw, with a mild mustard flavor. As they get older the full plants can be steamed, just as you would prepare mustard greens at home.

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Berries:Look for berries on ornamental shrubs, such as this silverberry.Ebbing’s silverberry is frequently planted in cities as bushes and hedges – but it will escape into any disturbed habitat and form thickets. The stems, foliage, and berries are all speckled with silver. The red berries are excellent when fully ripe.

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Look for berries on trees. Even in the dead of winter, such as on this laurel cherry. Like most wild cherries, these have a long ripening process and aren’t fully ripe until the fruit starts to soften and shrivel.

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Check out ornamental trees. These are planted for their showy flowers — those flowers can lead to fruit, such as cherries or crab apples or plums. They may be small, but can be very tasty.

Look for nuts beneath trees. Walnuts and hickory nuts can be smashed open with a rock and the edible flesh picked out. Fresh nuts are wet and filling and easy to digest, with a lot of flavor. Acorns are abundant beneath oaks — if the oak has round-lobed leaves, the acorns will need minimal to no processing. Some white oak acorns will have no tannin at all. And keep in mind you get used to it and stop noticing it after the first few — it’s how pigeons eat so many acorns.

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Find fruiting trees. Check roadsides (note warning below), forest edges, and beside water for fruiting trees. Fruit needs sun to ripen – there’s not much fruit in deep woods. The ‘edges’ of any environment are the most productive – trees are fertilized and keep a moisture and humidity from the forest behind them, but have access to full sun at the edge of a clearing or waterway. This is where you will find fruit like persimmons, wild apples, mulberries, autumn olives, hackberries, and so on. Below are persimmons.

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Look for plants that grow in wet areas. Search bodies of water for signs of cattail, bulrush, and watercress. Cattail typically needs an area of stagnant water to thrive, though it will grow in streamsides. Cattail can be in preposterous abundance in lakes and bays. The shoots are wonderful raw, and the pollen in early summer tastes like cake flour. You can gather whole bags of it. Pollen is so nutritious it’s considered a “superfood.”

Nibble on safe flowers. Sample the flower petals of plants you know to be nonpoisonous. Flowers are often very mild to sweet and full of antioxidants. Some excellent blooms are daylilies, violets and honeysuckle. DO NOT EAT AZALEAS! Azaleas are deathly poisonous.

#*The base of flowers can be strong to bitter — it’s better to break off petals and not eat the green material.

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Check out thorny brambles for food. Rose, blackberry, raspberry, and greenbriar are good examples. Rose has edible hips (the common weedy thicket-forming multiflora rose is the best – the hip is small and tangy), blackberry/raspberry has berries, and greenbriar shoots and tendrils, as well as berries that are rather tasteless but still edible. Below is a multiflora rose.

Learn your vines so that you can distinguish grape. Wild grapes are found throughout the U.S. and are one of the best wild foods. There’s a variety which you will see everywhere throughout the South called “muscadine” — the grapes are thick-skinned and very large, with a flavor like bubble gum. Wild grapes have both edible leaves and tendrils as well as fruit — the leaves can be steeped in apple cider vinegar and used to make dolmas. Muscadine leaves are tougher and benefit from a week-long glass jar ferment. Grape vines also make very sturdy baskets.

Find deciduous leaves. Try the deciduous leaves of trees like linden, sassafras, Boxelder, sourwood – all are excellent raw. Beech leaves are also highly edible when young, for the first 2 to 4 weeks. You can pull whole salads off the trees. Linden leaves are so large they can be used as tortillas.

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Pick the new growth off conifers in the spring. The young green shoots at the tips of the branches are great raw – a pleasant acid taste. The male pollen cones on conifers are also edible – some are very sweet. And again, it’s pollen – extremely nutritious. Many species of pine have edible nuts in the cones in late summer to fall.

Ignore the hype about spraying. Most clearings are periodically mowed and otherwise ignored — they are not sprayed. Whereas the majority of grocery store food has been sprayed heavily throughout its life, then allowed to sit and gather germs and dust and mold. The wild plants you pick are the purest food possible. The only areas where you might use caution would be in mulched garden beds where they are deliberately trying to keep down weeds. This kale growing in the back of a bed of pansies is an example – but keep in mind that if they’ve just sprayed, the plant will taste awful. If they’d sprayed a while back rain has washed it down into the soil, to be stored in the roots. Don’t eat the roots.

Go slow with mushrooms. Mushrooms are very difficult to learn, and expertise takes years. Stick with the obvious, such as oyster mushrooms, lobsters, chanterelles, morels, boletes, puffballs – these are easy to identify and understand. But keep in mind mushrooms can affect people different ways, and many can be difficult to digest even after long cooking, such as oyster and lobster mushrooms.

Try sampling wild plants on an empty stomach with a clean palate. If you’ve just had a burger and fries, that dandelion is not going to taste like much.

Avoid plants growing in areas that may have potentially been subjected to the dumping of toxic wastes.

Especially if you live in an urban or high-traffic area, avoid plants growing immediately next to roadsides, or anything with a sticky blackish residue. This could be solidified air pollution!

Don’t try eating wild peas. Even though some can look very much like garden peas – most are poisonous.

Avoid the carrot family if you’re a novice, and you won’t have any worries about being seriously poisoned by wild edible plants. Species like water hemlock and poison-hemlock can kill you. Harvesting plants like wild carrot are not worth the risk of confusing it with a deadly relative, unless you really know what you’re doing.

Source:http://www.wikihow.com/Find-Wild-Edible-Plants

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Bioterrorism, Pandemics and Emergency Preparedness

bioterrorism Martha McSally

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ), who chairs the subcommittee on emergency preparedness.

“The risk of a biological terrorist attack to America is an urgent and serious threat,” McSally said. “A bioattack could cause illness and even kill hundreds of thousands of people, overwhelm our public health capabilities, and create significant economic, societal and political consequences. Our nation’s capacity to prevent, respond to, and mitigate the impacts of biological terror incidents is a top national security priority. This hearing will highlight the threat of bioterrorism and ensure we’re taking the needed steps to prepare for and defend America against this threat.”

What can a family do to prepare for such an emergency?

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Biological and Chemical weapons may be the most devastating and uncontrollable weapons ever rendered by man. Biological weapons are any man made weapon caused to disperse viruses, bacteria, or toxins derived from living organisms to cause death or disease within humans. Recent statistics claim that in the event of a future terrorist attack, the means in which the attack would be achieved would be through the use of bio-chemical weapons. This is not hard to believe, considering most bio-chemical agents can be created in ones own home with readily available materials. Due to the nature of biological and chemical weapons, the most widely predicted use for such weapons would be against the populace of a nation, where it may inflict massive fatalities and economic destruction. However this does not mean that a bio-chemical attack is unsurvivable, with proper knowledge and readiness it can very well be a crisis that one can overcome.

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Don’t count on a vaccine being available. The flu vaccine that is currently used for seasonal flu will not work against any Chemical or Biological Attack. New strains of the virus require new vaccines, and these can take months or years to develop and even longer to produce and distribute on a large scale.

Stay informed. Should a pandemic of any kind flare up, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other governmental and non-governmental organizations will provide information on the spread of the disease, as well as updates on vaccines or other medications, tips for keeping yourself safe, and travel advisories. The WHO and CDC, as well as various national governments, already have websites in place to provide useful planning information to the public. Newspapers and TV and radio broadcasts will also help disseminate critical warnings and advice.

Get your yearly flu vaccine shot. While the current vaccine won’t protect you from every flu or any other “new” strains of the virus, it can help you stay healthy (by protecting you some flu virus strains), which may in turn help your body to fight the virus better if you do become infected.

Get a pneumonia vaccine shot. In past Chemical or Biological pandemics, many victims succumbed to secondary pneumonia infection. While the pneumonia vaccine cannot protect against all types of pneumonia, it can improve your chances of surviving the pandemic. The vaccine is especially recommended for people over the age of 65 or those who have chronic illnesses such as diabetes or asthma.

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Use anti-viral medications if advised to do so by a health professional or by the government. Two antiviral medications, Tamiflu and Relenza, have shown the potential to effectively prevent and treat avian flu. These are both available only by prescription and will probably be effective only if taken before infection or very shortly afterward. It should be noted that additional testing is necessary to determine how effective these drugs really are against avian flu. Furthermore, mutations in the avian flu virus may render them ineffective in time.

Use an alcohol-based disinfectant. Since it’s probably not feasible to wash your hands every time you touch something that may carry the virus, you should carry an alcohol-based hand cleaner with you at all times. These cleaners come in a variety of forms, and can be used any time you need a quick touch-up. Keep in mind, however, that the use of these cleaners is not a substitute for thoroughly washing your hands, and they should only be used to supplement hand washing.

Avoid exposure to infected. Right now, the only documented way to become infected with avian influenza is by coming into contact with infected birds or poultry products, and these routes of infection will continue even if the virus mutates so that human-to-human transmission becomes the greatest threat. Avoid handling any thing the infected has already touched, and try to prevent domestic animals (such as house cats/dogs) from coming into contact with Infected. If you work in proximity the dead or living infected, for example–take precautions such as wearing gloves, respirators, and safety aprons. Cook all foods thoroughly, to 165 °F (74 °C) throughout, and exercise proper food-handling techniques, as you would to protect yourself from other threats such as salmonella. Proper cooking kills the most virus.

Exercise social distancing. The most effective way to prevent becoming infected is to avoid exposure to infected people. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to determine who is infected and who is not–by the time symptoms appear, a person is already contagious. Social distancing, deliberately limiting contact with people (especially large groups of people), is a reasonable precaution to take in the event of a pandemic.

Stay home from work. If you’re sick or if others at your workplace have become sick, you should stay away from your workplace even in the absence of a pandemic. Given that people will generally be infected and contagious before they exhibit symptoms, however, during a pandemic it’s essential to stay away from places, such as work, where you have a high probability of being exposed to an infected person.

Try to work from home. A pandemic can last for months or even years, and waves of intense local outbreaks can last for weeks, so it’s not like you can just take a few sick days to protect yourself from workplace infection. If possible, try to arrange a work-from-home situation. A surprising variety of jobs can now be accomplished remotely, and employers will likely be willing–or even required–to try this out if a pandemic strikes.

Keep children home from school. Any parent knows that kids pick up all kinds of bugs at school. Avoid public transportation. Buses, planes, boats, and trains place large numbers of people in close quarters. Public transportation is the ideal vehicle for widespread spread of infectious disease.

Stay away from public events. During a pandemic, governments may cancel public events, but even if they don’t, you should probably stay away from them. Any large gathering of people in close proximity creates a high-risk situation.

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Wear a respirator. The most virus can be spread through the air, so in the event of a pandemic it’s a good idea to protect yourself from inhalation of the virus if you’re out in public. While surgical masks only prevent the wearer from spreading germs, respirators (which often look like surgical masks) protect the wearer from inhaling germs. You can buy respirators that are designed for one-time use, or you can buy reusable ones with replaceable filters. Use only respirators labeled as “NIOSH certified,” “N95,” “N99,” or “N100,” as these help protect against inhalation of very small particles. Respirators only provide protection when worn properly, so be sure to follow the instructions exactly–they should cover the nose, and there should be no gaps between the mask and the side of the face.

Wear medical gloves. Gloves can prevent germs from getting on your hands, where they can be absorbed directly through open cuts or spread to other parts of your body. Latex or nitrile medical gloves or heavy-duty rubber gloves can be used to protect the hands. The gloves should be removed if torn or damaged, and hands should be thoroughly washed after removal of gloves.

Protect your eyes. Some Illnesses can be spread if contaminated droplets (from a sneeze, or spit, for example) and then enter the eyes or mouth. Wear glasses or goggles to prevent this from occurring, and avoid touching your eyes or mouth with your hands or with potentially contaminated materials.

Dispose of potentially contaminated materials properly. Gloves, masks, tissues, and other potential bio-hazards should be handled carefully and disposed of properly. Place these materials in approved bio-hazard containers or seal them in clearly marked plastic bags.

Prepare for disruption of services. If a pandemic strikes, many of the basic services we take for granted, such as electricity, phone, and mass transit, may be disrupted temporarily. Widespread employee absenteeism and massive death tolls can shut down everything from the corner store to hospitals.

cash

Keep cash on hand at all times as banks may close and ATMs may be out of service. Discuss emergency preparation with your family. Make a plan so that children will know what to do and where to go if you are incapacitated or killed, or if family members cannot communicate with each other.

h2o20-main-water-drop            Emergency Water Filter System

Stock up on necessities. In the developed world, at least, food shortages and disruption of services will likely not last more than a week or two at a time. Still, it’s essential to be prepared for such an event. Store a two-week supply of water for everyone in your household. Keep at least 1 gallon (3.8 L) per person per day in clear plastic containers.

Store a two-week supply of food. Opt for non-perishable foods that don’t need to be cooked and that don’t require a lot of water to prepare.

Make sure you have an adequate supply of essential medications.

Seek medical attention at the onset of symptoms. The effectiveness of antiviral medications decreases as the illness progresses, so prompt medical treatment is imperative. If someone with whom you have had close contact becomes infected, be sure to seek medical care even if you do not display symptoms.

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Anthrax

  • Organism accountable (Type): Bacillus anthracis (Bacteria)
  • Method of Infection: Inhalation, Intestinal, Cutaneous (through the skin)
  • Incubation Period
    • Inhalation: 1-60 days
    • Intestinal: 3-7 days
    • Cutaneous: 1-2 days
  • Lethality
    • Inhalation: 90-100% untreated, 30-50% treated (this percentage rises the longer it takes to receive antibiotics.)
    • Intestinal: 50% untreated, 10-15% treated
    • Cutaneous: 20% untreated.
  • Treatment and Vaccine: Antibiotics such as Ciprofloxacin and Doxycycline are available through the centers for disease control, the sooner one receives treatments the higher the chance that they will survive.
  • Inhalation: Initial Flu like symptoms such as; fever, headaches, abdominal pain, chest pain, vomiting, and coughing, but with no nasal congestion. Eventually it will lead up to severe respiratory problems, where the victims will die of asphyxiation from the lungs filling up with blood and fluids.
  • Intestinal: Begins with abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, sore throat and a painful ulcer at the base of the tongue.
  • Cutaneous: At first red itchy bumps begin to form all over the body, then they collapse into painful ulcers which later scab over.
  1. Cover your nose and mouth with fabric, wet fabric if possible, this will filter out a portion of the deadly spores.
  2. Leave area of attack immediately.
  3. Take shallow breaths or if possible, hold your breath until you leave the area of attack.
  4. Limit your movement from a contaminated area to a secure area. Constant movement will spread the deadly spores. Once you reach a safe area remove your exposed clothing and place them in sealed plastic bags.
  5. Take a cold (hot or warm water may open pores) shower as soon as possible with copious amounts of soap. Wash your eyes with a saline solution or just warm water.
  6. Await antibiotic treatment. The key to survival is early antibiotic treatment.

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Glanders

  • Organism Responsible (Type): Burkholderia maller (Bacteria)
  • Method of Infection: Inhalation, Cutaneous/Mucous membranes
  • Incubation Period
    • Inhalation: 10-15 days
    • Cutaneous/Mucous membrane: 1-5 days
  • Lethality: Nearly 100% within 1 month, without any treatment. Rapid medical attention would likely decrease the chances, however little or no medical data is available.
  • Treatment and Vaccine: No vaccine available. Antibiotics like, combined Amoxicillin and Clavulanate, Bactrim, Ceftazidime, or Tetracycline must be consumed for 50-150 days to effectively purge the toxin.
  • Inhalation: Begins with fevers, chills, sweating, headaches, body aches, chest pain and congestion. Later the neck glands begin to swell and pneumonia will develop. Painful open sores start to develop along the internal organs and mucous membranes. Dark pus-filled rashes may also form.
  • Cutaneous/Mucous membranes: Painful ulcers along the point of entry, and swollen lymph nodes start to form. Increased mucous production from the nose and mouth.
  1. Cover your nose and mouth with fabric, wet fabric if possible, this will filter out a portion of the deadly spores.
  2. Leave area of attack immediately.
  3. Take shallow breaths or if possible, hold your breath until you leave the area of attack.
  4. Wash skin with soap and water.
  5. Run your eyes through warm running water for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Await medical treatment from response teams. If you begin developing a fever, seek medical attention immediately.

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Ricin

  • Organism Responsible (Type): Ricinuss communis (Plant derived toxin)
  • Method of Infection: Inhalation, Intestinal, Injection
  • Incubation Period
    • Inhalation/Intestinal/Injection: 2-8 hours
  • Lethality: With a standard high dose, lethality becomes a devastating 97%. Most victims will die within 24-72 hours after the initial symptoms.
  • Treatment and Vaccine: No treatment available except activated charcoal for ingested Ricin. Vaccine is experimental at the moment.
  • Inhalation: Sudden onset of fever, cough, chest pain, and nausea. Then one begins to feel joint pain and a shortness of breath. Respiratory problems begin to get more severe as time passes.
  • Ingestion/Injection: Abdominal pain, nausea, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting.
  1. Cover your nose and mouth with fabric, wet fabric if possible, this will filter out a portion of the deadly spores.
  2. Leave area of attack immediately.
  3. Take shallow breaths or, if possible, hold your breath until you leave the area of attack.
  4. Wash your body, clothes and contaminated surfaces with soap and water, or a mild bleach solution if you have become directly exposed.
  5. Await instructions from medical response teams.

Gas Attacks

Gas attacks have been around since the 5th century BC, when they were used as chemical warfare.[1] Today, the release of toxic gas might also be the product of a terrorist attack or industrial accident.[2][3] While you should hope that you never have to experience this, knowing how to recognize and respond to such a threat could save your life.

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Chlorine Gas

  1. Be aware of any yellow-green gas floating around with the strong smell of bleach. Some soldiers in WWI described it as pepper and pineapple. If you are exposed to chlorine gas, you may have trouble breathing or seeing and will feel a burning sensation.
  2. Move quickly into an area with clean air in order to minimize exposure to the gas.
    • If indoors, exit the building as quickly as possible.
    • If outdoors, move to the highest ground. Since chlorine gas is more dense than air, it will sink to the ground.
  3. Grab a cotton pad or any fabric and soak it in urine. Hold it up to your nose as a mask. The Canadian military survived the first large-scale chlorine gas attack in WWI by using urine instead of water, under the presumption that the urine crystallizes the gas.
  4. Remove all clothing that may have been exposed to the gas, being sure not to let the clothes touch your face or head. Cut the clothes off so that they don’t need to make additional contact with your skin as they’re peeled off. Seal the clothes in plastic bags.
  5. Clean your body thoroughly with a lot of soap and water. Rinse your eyes with water if your vision is blurred or your eyes burn; if you wear contact lenses, throw them away. However, water mixed with Chlorine gas can turn into Hydrochloric acid, so be careful.
  6. Call emergency services and wait for help to arrive.

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Mustard Gas

  1. Be aware of a usually colorless gas that smells like mustard, garlic, or onions–but note it doesn’t always have an odor. If you are exposed to mustard gas, you may notice the following symptoms but they may not appear until 2 to 24 hours after exposure:
    • redness and itching of skin, eventually changes to yellow blistering
    • irritation of eyes; if exposure is severe, there may be light sensitivity, severe pain, or temporary blindness
    • irritation of respiratory tract (runny nose, sneezing, hoarseness, bloody nose, sinus pain, shortness of breath, and cough)
  2. Move from the area from where it was released onto higher ground, as mustard gas is heaver than air.
  3. Remove all clothing that may have been exposed to the gas, being sure not to let the clothes touch your face or head. Cut the clothes off so that they don’t need to make additional contact with your skin as they’re peeled off. Seal the clothes in plastic bags.
  4. Rinse any exposed parts of your body with plain water. Eyes should be flushed for 10-15 minutes. Don’t cover them with bandages; however, sunglasses or goggles are fine.
  5. Call emergency services and wait for help to arrive.

Tips

  • Purchase and use “Self Powered Radios” AND “Self Powered Flashlights”. In anyemergency, especially one of this magnitude, batteries will be unavailable. Get this equipment AHEAD of time. These devices will keep you informed and you’ll also have reliable lighting as well. The latest of these designs will also charge your cell phones as well.
  • Listen to qualified medical responders at all times, even if their instructions contradict this article. This article MAY NOT be 100% accurate, and medical responders probably know best.

Sources

SHTFandGO.COM

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Gear to help you survive the first 24 hours after disaster strikes


By Allison Barrie

Published February 26, 2015

First 24 kit. (Taurus)

If disaster struck, how would you survive the first 24 hours?

A new, lightweight, rugged kit contains key tools that would certainly give you an advantage.

Taurus has created a solution to improve your chances in pretty much any crisis you could encounter; from a natural disaster to a zombie apocalypse. The First 24 Kit contains smart components to help people survive the first 24 hours of any crisis and make their way to safety.

The kit includes: a revolver, a knife, a flashlight, emergency signals, fire starter kit, a compass, some 550 Para cord, as well as a battery caddy and batteries – all contained in a robust, practical case.

Revolver

More on this…

War Games: Surviving a disaster

So many judges carry this revolver for self-protection into the courtroom that this weapon is known as the “Taurus Judge.” It chambers both 45 Colt Ammunition for longer distances and .410 2-1/2″ shotshell for short distances. As the company says, this “Taurus Judge is one decision-maker that lays down the law.”

This compact has a matte stainless steel finish and weighs 29 ounces.  It is fully customized with fiber optic front sights, fixed rear sights and the Taurus “Ribber Grips.” The barrel length is 3 inches and it has five round capacity.

The Taurus Judge also features the Taurus Security System designed to provide instantaneous defense. There’s also the option of simply turning a key to render the pistol inoperable. In this mode, the pistol is secured and cannot be fired or cocked – even the gun’s manual safety can’t be disengaged.

Knife

The CRKT Sting Survival Knife, crafted by knife legend A. G. Russell, and customized by Aimpro Tactical, is a fixed blade tactical knife with two edges.

The 3.197-inch blade starts out as alloy, similar to that used in Samurai swords, but is then amped up even more by hot forging and precision grinding into its final, nearly indestructible, form. For corrosion resistance, a black non-reflective powder coat finish is added. The handle is also hot forged 1050 carbon steel.

The handle is contoured for a comfortable fit for both gloved and bare hands. It weighs 3.9 ounces, and when the blade is open, the length is 6.85 inches.

It comes with a custom nylon-stitched reinforced sheath and a strapping option for gear or a clip for belt, pack or boot attachment.

The knife is a smart choice for a survival kit. “Strap it down and take it into any situation. It’s ready to battle with any environment,” says CRKT.

Flashlight

Brite Strike’s EPLI (Executive Precision Lighting Instrument) flashlight won the NRA’s 2013 American Hunter Gear of the Year – enough said.

It looks like one of those expensive pens seen in boardrooms, but it functions as a water and shock-proof sate of the art flashlight.

Crafted from high-grade aircraft aluminum with a graphite-anodized finish, the EPLI is a slim, just over five-inch long, penlight.

The low setting is just right for your average camp needs. Its special design produces a very bright beam that creates light similar to natural daylight.

But in the event of danger, the third setting can emit a blinding strobe to help deflect the threat.

The strobe setting can also be used to set an SOS. It takes standard AAA batteries and uses state-of-the-art power management to maximize light duration to more than six hours on lo mode.

Emergency Signals

APALS, or All Purpose Adhesive Light Strips, also made by Brite Strike, are basically next-generation replacements for chemical light sticks.

Military special operators were keen to have reliable, long endurance, combat identifiers. APALS were designed as a solution to improve a warfighter’s signaling options.

The APALS can be seen at up to a mile and have three modes: fast strobe, slow strobe, and steady.

They are waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof and can be bought in flexible, lightweight, 1.6-ounce crushproof 10 packs that easily fit in a cargo pocket. This innovative packaging approach is important because chemical light sticks have a tendency to accidentally become activated – this design eliminates that risk.

Highly robust, the strips are designed to operate in the most extreme conditions, from the Arctic to the desert, and provide more than 200 hours of runtime.

This kit includes three colors: red, white and green.

Fire Starter

Fire is always fundamental to survival. Zippo’s new bright orange Emergency Fire Starter Kit included in the First 24 makes lighting a fire impossibly easy. It has a reliable flint wheel ignition to light its water-resistant Waxed Tinder Sticks. Everything stays dry inside the Zippo case thanks to its smart design with a water-resistant O-ring seal.

550 Survival Para cord Bundle

The kit also includes 550 Para cord, a lightweight nylon rope that has a breaking strength of 550 pounds or more. Para cord dates back to World War II parachute suspension lines. In a survival setting, Para cord has innumerable useful applications, from securing things and building harnesses, through to using its strands to make fishing line.

As you’d expect from any self-respecting survival kit, there is also a compass, more specifically a 20mm Spherical Survival Compass.

It also includes a Power Pax Slim Line Caddy, originally designed for pilots. The Caddy holds six AA batteries and can be dispensed with one hand. AA batteries are included in this comprehensive kit.

Case

All of these essentials are contained in the SKB Series 1209-4 Waterproof Utility Case, the final component of the First 24. The dimensions are 12 inches long by nine inches wide with a depth of four and half inches.

It has both a waterproof and dust tight design. In addition to impact damage resistance, it is also resistant to UV, solvents, corrosion and fungus. Taurus provides the case in tan.

Altogether, the First 24 goes for $1,499.

Ballet dancer turned defense specialist Allison Barrie has traveled around the world covering the military, terrorism, weapons advancements and life on the front line. You can reach her at wargames@foxnews.com or follow her on Twitter@Allison_Barrie.

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Wrong Ideas About Emergency Preparedness


1) Must Find Food First.

The answer is WRONG!  While food obviously is important for living long term.  You may not like it, but you can live weeks without food.  Our ancestors while hunting and gathering through the forests, didn’t have grocery stores and starbucks.  You can survive for 21 days on average without eating.  You may get unbearable to be around and be weak, but you’ll be alive.

Shelter and Water are the most important things to find first.  In some climates, shelter may not be harsh as others, but if you get cold and wet, your life immediately in danger. the average personal consumption should be at least 1/2 gallon per day.  In hot climates more and in cooler climates you can survive with less. Remember the rule of 3: You can survive 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food.

2) Just pitch a tent anywhere, that’s just fine.

Nope…Wrong answer  You need not only protect yourself from the elements, but stay warm at night.  The ground is really hard for all of us modern day, mushy, weak and feeble humans.  Now if you’re a hard core back packer, or backwoods, live off nature kind, you may have an advantage.  But most of us are used to sleeping in a bed with the TV on.  You need to stay Warm and Dry.

3) Don’t drink all your water

Save some for later, is absolutely a bad idea.  If your thirsty drink.  Dehydration and sun stroke is very difficult to recover from quickly.  You will be out of commission fast.

Don’t gulp it down, but if you’re thirsty then you need to drink water and use that time to search for other water sources.  Remember water can and should always filtered, boiled, or treated with chemicals to purify it.

4) Go it Alone 

Wrong…  We are an communal  species.  Form a small group with family, neighbors, and people you trust.  The reason society has worked and continues to work is that different people bring different skills to the ready.  We need eachother

5) The animals will get you.

There are only 200 or so cases of people being killed by animal attacks each year in the United States, and this is out of the millions who spend a lot of time outdoors. If you’re stranded you’ll be hard pressed to even find a wild animal, let alone one that is out looking for humans to eat. 

6) Oh look a Cactus

You can’t drink from cacti.  Arid areas and desert vegetation contain very little water even after a heavy rain. Whatever liquid they do have is not drinkable and may actually contain compounds that are extremely unhealthy.

Keeping hydrated is the most important factor when stranded.  To conserve your supplies and energy.  Stay cool.

7) Drink Cool Fresh Water from a Stream

Yes and No… Even the best most refreshing mountain spring could be carrying pathogens that could make you double over and wish you were dead. However if that’s your only water then drink it. There’s a much greater risk of death by dehydration than by a stomach bug. If you do risk it and end up getting sick you’ll likely still live long enough for you to get to help.  Personal water filters, boiling water, or simply bleach can reduce this risk.

8) I think it’s this way

Many people believe that they’ll be able to find they way back if they just start walking. If there’s a chance of rescue, as there will be in most national parks and hiking trails, then the best option by far is to sit tight and wait for help. Walking off in a random direction will drain your water and energy reserves really quickly and could result in injuries. If you do have to move around in order to find/make shelter, keep to the shade and breath through your nose rather than your mouth to conserve fluids.

If you find yourself stranded and begin walking, leave some way of letting others know which direction to went.  Rocks piled up in an arrow for example will work.

9) Fire

Without experience and learned techniques, it is very difficult to start a fire without some kind of accelerant.  If you’re out hiking, then carry water proof matches, lighter, or a modern fire starter.  In an emergency it is possible to start a fire with friction (sticks rubbing together), but you should practice before it’s an emergency.