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Get Prepped Newsletter: August 10, 2012

Get Prepped is Ready Nutrition’s weekly newsletter focusing on getting you prepared for life’s unexpected disasters. In our 49th week of this preparedness series, I will discuss in length the signs and effects of radiation on the skin and provide you with some tips and suggested preps to add to your preparedness supplies to be ready for this type of disaster. Further, we will discuss also discuss EMPs and ways to prepare for off-grid survival.


Hello Everyone,

It’s hard to believe that there are only 3 weeks left until this preparedness series is completed. It is my hope that many of you have become more prepared as a result of these newsletters. Some of you have asked what’s next after 52-Weeks in over. Rest assured that the newsletters will not stop. I have a new preparedness series that will start up right where 52-Weeks of Preparedness left off. I may take a little break in between newsletter series, but there is much more to come. So, stay tuned.

We have all read articles and books, and for that matter watched movies pertaining to the threat of nuclear and EMP (electro-magnetic pulse). No doubt many of you have done research on your own about the health effects of radioactive fallout. In our 49th week of this preparedness series, I will discuss in length the signs and effects of radiation on the skin and provide you with some tips and suggested preps to add to your preparedness supplies to be ready for this type of disaster. Further, we will discuss also discuss EMPs and ways to prepare for off-grid survival.

I wanted to thank all of you for making suggestions for article subjects you would like for me to write about. My goal is to make Ready Nutrition a go-to hub for preparedness and self-reliance information for the community. Your voice counts! And just by making a suggestion, you are contributing to the betterment of the community. So, don’t be shy!

Feel free to follow us on Twitter or Facebook. I love to link to great articles that I find on the web in addition to getting to know all of you in the preparedness community. It’s also a great way to get in touch with me if you have any questions.


Tess Pennington


Be the change you wish to see in the world.


Week 49 of 52: Nuclear and EMP Preparedness

Some believe that the subject of nuclear and EMP preparedness is all hype. However, those who have observed history know this threat is real and should be addressed. Since the dawn of nuclear weapons, we have always been wary of a trigger happy world leader hastily pushing a nuke detonator. However, according to history the two worst nuclear events that occurred were accidental. Chernobyl, being the first event, had a fire and explosion that released large quantities of radioactive contamination into the atmosphere, and spread over much of the Western USSR and Europe. The second largest nuclear event is the infamous Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that occurred in 2011.

And what about EMP’s occurring? If you look back into history around 1859, you will read about a solar flare that was so intense that the explosion itself was visible to the human eye. Even more disconcerting, telegraph systems worldwide went haywire. Spark discharges shocked operators and set the telegraph paper on fire. Even when telegraphers disconnected the batteries powering the lines, aurora-induced electric currents in the wires still allowed messages to be transmitted. This ferocious geomagnetic storm was dubbed the Carrington Event. So you make the decision, are these types of disasters all hype or merely sensationalism?

Nuclear Disasters

Each day we are exposed to nuclear radiation, some naturally and some through un-natural means. Those of us who live close to nuclear power plants are exposed more than others. Those that live near nuclear power plants should be especially concerned with nuclear disaster preparedness; especially individuals who live in areas where natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes) could damage the nuclear facilities.

If radiation leaks occur, they will affect us one way or another. If you think that the Fukushima emergency is over and done with, think again. We are still dealing with the aftereffects of this one. For instance, the Fukushima nuclear disaster has already affected our food supplies, water sources, and even our health have become affected from the radiation dispersed into the water and atmosphere. Radiation tests conducted since the nuclear disaster in Japan have detected radioactive iodine and cesium in milk, beef and vegetables produced in California (Source).  This video is a great source that explains how radiation gets into our food supply.

Although the idea of preparing for an EMP or nuclear disaster is not something we want to think about, there are multiple ways to prepare, prevent and protect ourselves from the effects of radiation.

  1. One of the easiest ways to minimize the effects of radiation is knowing where our food comes from and limiting our exposure to radioactive foods and water sources. Keep in mind that foods, especially seafood from the West coast will be the most affected by radiation.
  2. An  electroscope that gauges how much radiation you are receiving daily can be a useful tool. A Kearny Fallout Meter can give daily readings of radiation levels in your area.
  3. Thoroughly wash your produce. Despite arguments to the contrary, you can wash radioactive particles off of produce.
  4. Adopting an anti-radiation diet can provide natural alternatives to assist the body in ridding itself of radioactive toxins. Foods such as kelp, rosemary, spirulina, miso soup and niacin all assist the body in fighting radiation damage.  Other foods that may help in combating radiation sickness are foods that naturally detoxify the body. Foods that are high in potassium such as apples, oranges, pineapples and pomegranates are foods that are also good cancer fighters. Foods that are high in antioxidants will also assist your body in ridding itself of radioactive particles. Foods such as green and black teas (make sure that your tea is not from Japan), garlic, cumin, nettles, dandelions, ginseng, lentils, collards and mustard greens are also suggested.
  5. Any food or water stored in sealed containers that have any fallout dust is safe to consume as long as the fallout dust is brushed or rinsed off the outside of the container. Take caution not to allow the fallout dust to get inside the container.
  6. If you are concerned about your water sources, use filtered water in everything, including brushing your teeth and sponge bathing. Purchase a reverse osmosis water filter with extra filtration cartridges. Remember, it is important to replace your filters after multiple uses.
  7. Drinking apple cider vinegar can also assist in flushing toxins and  radiation from the body. Baking soda and water is another option as it also flushes radiation and cleans the stomach lining. You can also put baking soda in dish soap, body soap, laundry detergent as the radiation will bind to the baking soda which neutralizes it.
  8. Did you know that the Spiderwort plant is Nature’s gieger counter? This plant naturally has very dark purple flowers and when they are exposed to radiation or near an area where radiation is high, the flowers turn pink. Planting these in your yard will be a great way to know if you are taking in excess radiation.
  9. Knowing in advance how much radiation you are  exposed to radiation through natural and un-natural means can help you calculate your annual radiation dose. To find this out, click on the Annual Radiation Calculator.

For a more in-depth look at what you should do if you are exposed to radiation, the symptoms of radiation sickness and how to prepare for this type of emergency, click here.

Electro-Magnetic Pulse

EMP’s are another force to reckon with. An Electro-Magnetic Pulse can be the result of natural events (solar flares) or a man-made attack (a nuclear bomb detonated) and would cripple our way of life. Either type of EMP event would take out the electrical transformers, as well as any unprotected devices (anything electrical – cell phones, computers, cars, electrical appliances, etc.). In other words, we would be thrown back to the pre-electricity days of the 1800’s, without the benefit of homes that were built to run without electricity.

If an enemy of the United States plans to attack the U.S. by means of an EMP, all he needs to irreparably cripple us is a small-scale, five to ten kiloton weapon detonated 200 miles above Nebraska, or a few weapons detonated 50 miles or so above the eastern, western and central United States. The lasting effects would be nothing short of disastrous – literally the end of the world as we know it.

This means that we would not only be without electrical power until transformers could be replaced, but that once they were up and running (a prospect that could take years),  all unprotected and unhardened electrical devices would be left useless and would eventually need to be replaced due to the circuits and boards being fried beyond repair. A way to combat this issue would be to purchase or construct an enclosure made of conductive material that blocks both static and non-static electrical fields. This is also called a Faraday cage. For tips on how to construct a Faraday cage and what items to put into one, click here.

All aspects of our way of life would be effected. The greater overall affect of this is that:

1.)  Food processing and transit would completely cease.

2.)  A vast majority of people would no longer be able to heat or cool their homes.

3.) We would not be able to access money in banks.

4.)  All manufacturing would completely cease.

5.) You would not have access to vital medication or medical assistance.

6.) Your personal security could be threatened.

Over the course of this series, I have often emphasized the importance of being ahead of the pack in terms of preparedness. The faster you can react to the disaster in front of you, the more quickly you can be prepared. Once an EMP outage occurs, your paper money will be worthless within a matter of days. Don’t hesitate to spend it. Last minute purchases could include:

  • Ammunition and weapons
  • Climate appropriate clothing
  • Practical shoes/boots
  • Long-term storage food
  • Seeds and gardening tools
  • Bottled water and gravity fed water filtration systems
  • Fuel such as propane and kerosene
  • Medications, both prescription and over the counter
  • Solar devices
  • Candles, solar yard lights and other alternative light sources
  • Gold or silver
  • Batteries in multiple sizes

I have also stressed that it’s not about the preps that you acquire, but your skill level and knowledge with in working with what you have. Taking this a step further, in an EMP survival situation, you would be taking those skills and applying them to an off-grid environment. For example, if you have non-working electrical appliances from the EMP detonation, you will be canning and preserving your food off the grid. Have you practiced that technique? Click here for some pointers.

In conclusion, the threat of nuclear disasters and EMPs are real and we must prepare ahead of time in order to survive the aftermath.Having all of your items prepared and in place before the disaster will keep your family or group safe and ready to bunker in more quickly.

Recommended Research:

For instructions on how to prepare for an imminent nuclear attack and how long to bug in place, click here.

For more information on nuclear disasters, click here.

To learn more about what radiation does to the body, click here.

One Second After by William Forstchen

Jericho TV Series (Available on iTunes, Netflix and Amazon Instant Viewing)

Patriots by James Wesley Rawles

Preps to Buy:

You will of course need:

  • Long-term supply of food and water
  • Medical supplies
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Emergency lighting sources
  • Heat sources
  • Emergency communications (at least a hand-crank or short-wave radio)
Refer to the 52-Weeks to Preparedness List for emergency list suggestions.

In Quantity:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Epsom salt
  • Ingestible bentonite clay
  • Duct tape
  • Activated carbon
  • Soap, sponges and/or bristled brush (vegetable scrubbing brush)

For each group or family member:

  • Geiger counter
  • Kearny fallout meter
  • Potassium Iodate (KI03) tablets for all family or group members
  • Nuke suit
  • N95 particulate respirator masks
  • Hooded rain ponchos for all family or group members
  • Home air filter
  • Gas masks with extra filters
  • Filtered ventilation system, powered with manually-powered back up
  • A nuclear shelter that has an entrance designed to reduce fallout exposure.

Action Items:

  1. Do an inventory on your food, water and preparedness supply to see where you are in terms of short and long-term preparedness. At this point, you should have a multi-level stock of preparedness foods to last long-term (up to 12 months).
  2. Consider purchasing more freeze dried goods (They last for 25 years, so it’s a great investment in your long-term preparedness).
  3. Find out if you are near a nuclear power plant and use the annual radiation calculator to see what your levels are.
  4. Start practicing those survival and homesteading skills!


In the Home:

We have been doing quite a bit of hiking and playing in the local swimming holes lately. We love taking in the sights of our town and have met some great people along the way. As the children are playing in the river, my husband and I are strategizing and looking at trails and possibilities for back up retreats. Of course, we are happy at our ranch and are working at making the land work for us, but one can never have too many back up plans.

I have also been taking advantage of my pressure canner that I received as a Christmas present. So far, I have put up some 6 quarts of beef vegetable soup, 4 quarts of chili, 4 quarts of chicken soup, 2 quarts of canned chicken with broth and 4 half pints of fresh salsa.

We have decided to pick all the blackberries around the property and freeze them. The plan is to try our hand at making some blackberry wine. So far, we have picked two gallons of blackberries. Whatever amount that is leftover from the frozen berries, we will make jam out of. It’s a good thing we have such a large supply of these bad boys: check out this amazing article on their health benefits.

Family Preps:

With all the fun I am having with my pressure canner, I realized how quickly those canning lids and bands run out. I decided it was time to invest in some reusable Tattler lids since it is almost time to put up some of the fruit from our fruit trees. I purchased 3 12-packs of Tattler lids for wide mouth jars.

Last weekend, the family and I went to a couple of garage sales and found an off-grid saw that was being sold for $20. What a great find!

We also found the Latter Day Saints distribution warehouse and invested in some food for our long-term pantry. I have a feeling that next week I will be putting away a lot of instant milk and sugar.

In the Garden:

My seedlings for the Fall garden are doing well. In fact, I think it’s time to transplant some of the beans as they are looking a little leggy.

I also constructed some very simple trellises from leftover bamboo stalks. I think the beans are going to love their new trellis supports.


Bug-Out Boot Camp

Keeping Your Mind Present in the Midst of Chaos

Fermented Foods: And No, They Won’t Get You Drunk!

Topical Home Remedies the Easy Way

Add Some Solar Flare to Your Cooking

A Step-By-Step Guide For How To Make a Kearny Fallout Meter

Ten Unconventional Additions to Your Emergency Medical Kit

Are You Ready Series: Nuclear Disaster Preparedness



Below is a list of which countries have nuclear weapons and how many.

The US

has around 9,962 nuclear weapons with 5,735 classed as ‘deliverable’, on submarines, boats, planes and on land. Most weapons are located in Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, Washington, Nevada, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Missouri, Texas, Louisiana, South Dakota and Colorado. The US also has some 480 of these positioned in Europe: Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey and the U.K..

The Russian Federation has 16,000 nuclear weapons with 5,830 classed as deliverable: including strategic, tactical and bomber capability. These are all located in Russia in Aleysk, Dombraovskiy, Kartaly, Kozels, Tatschevo, Bershet, Kostroma, Krasnoyarsk, Drovyanaya, Irkustsk, Kansk, Nizhniy, Novosibirsk, Teykobo, Vypolzovo, Yoshkar-Ola and Yurya.

The UK

has 200 weapons all of which are deliverable located in Coulport and Faslane, to be delivered by its Trident submarines. The UK also hosts 110 US-owned tactical nuclear weapons at RAF Lakenheath. UK Trident submarines typically go to sea with 48 warheads-equivalent to 380 Hiroshima bombs. Late in 2006, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he intends to build new nuclear weapons to replace the current Trident system, while joining the US programme to extend its life. The UK government has already started construction on facilities to build a new nuclear bomb.


has 348 nuclear weapons all deliverable, and four ballistic missile submarines, each with a load of 16 missiles with 6 warheads each. The stock is stored in Luxeuil, Istres, Landivisiau and L’Ile Longue.


has an estimated stockpile of around 200 nuclear weapons, with some 145 classed as deliverable.


has an estimated arsenal of 100 weapons all of which are considered deliverable. It comprises mostly non-strategic (tactical) weapons deliverable by several types of aircraft including F-4 Phantoms, F-16s and F-15Es. There is also concern that Israel has equipped its conventionally powered submarines with cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads.


is estimated to have a stockpile of between 40 and 50 nuclear warheads. India has several types of aircraft that could be used to deliver nuclear weapons including the MiG-27 and the Jaguar. India, like its neighbour Pakistan, is also developing missiles with sufficient range and capacity to deliver a nuclear payload.


is estimated to have 50-60 nuclear weapons. It may also have produced a small quantity of weapons grade plutonium, sufficient for an estimated 3-5 nuclear weapons. These weapons are designed to be delivered by nuclear capable aircraft, but Pakistan is working hard on a long range missile that can deliver a nuclear payload as well.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

(North Korea) is estimated to have up to ten nuclear weapons. In early 2005, North Korea announced it had produced nuclear weapons.


hosts 480 NATO US weapons.

Germany 150; the UK hosts 110; Italy 90. Turkey 90; the Netherlands 20; and Belgium 20.





Do you have a preparedness question? One of the perks of my job at Ready Nutrition is to address questions and/or concerns that you may have with your prepping endeavors. Feel free to ask anything that is on your mind because no question is too big or small. You can email questions to: getprepped@readynutrition.com

This week’s letter addresses long-term food sources

Good afternoon Tess, 

I am interested in investing in a solar battery charger for different battery sizes. Can you make any suggestions?

Eli G.


Hi Eli,

Solar battery chargers are a great choice for more sustainable preparedness measures. Many preppers say that beecause they use trickle charging, the charging time is more time consuming. But purchasing additional chargers can expedite the process. Another way to speed up charge time is to find a compatible charger that hooks up to a photovoltaic panel.  Having a solar panel around also means that you can power small scale appliances if you had to.

If you live in a humid or rainy environments, consider a charger that is weather resistant. You do want to make sure that your solar battery charger can charge a variety of battery sizes and has smart capability.

The Accumanager 20 is a great charger that works with multiple battery sizes. I own two of these and bought them for around $35 each. It comes with comes with AC & DC (car) adapters and charges up to 6 batteries at a time. Best of all, it is compatible with solar panels, so you hook it up  and let the sun charge your batteries. You can read more about it online.

If you would like to read more about alternative power sources during shtf scenario, click here for some suggestions.

I hope this helps.


Best of luck,


Tess Pennington

Ready Nutrition

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on August 10th, 2012

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