MESSAGE FROM TESS
I want to thank all of you for being patient with me while my family and I moved cross country. I grossly underestimated how time consuming the move was going to be. But now I can finally say we are settling in fine and I am so happy that we have taken such a bold step in our journey to be more self-reliant. In the coming months, I cannot wait to share what I have learned with all of you. Now that we have officially moved, I am ready to get back to helping you get prepped.
This week, Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy of www.DoomandBloom.net have been kind enough to contribute to this week’s topic of medical preparedness. This husband and wife team have shared with the preparedness community their experience and knowledge on how to utilize traditional medicine, alternative remedies, and medicinal/survival gardening in emergency situations. Their medical manual, The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook, contains a wealth of information that gives the layman the practical answers and strategies we have been searching for to equip ourselves with medical information and develop skills that could be needed when we least expect.
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.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
PREP OF THE WEEK
Week 47 of 52: Emergency Medical Supplies
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING…A COLLAPSE!
BY JOE ALTON, M.D. AKA DR. BONES AND AMY ALTON, A.R.N.P., AKA NURSE AMY
As a retired physician and nurse team whose entire focus is figuring out strategies for survival situations, We are often asked what medical issues are the most likely to be encountered in times of trouble. The answer depends somewhat on what event you expect to throw society into disarray. Knowing what situations to prepare for and making provision for it will make you a more effective medical resource and might save lives.
Are you expecting:
Economic Collapse? If some event causes us to collapse financially, it stands to reason that food from farm areas will cease to be delivered to supermarkets (who’s paying the truckers?). As such, you’ll be dealing with malnutrition among your people. Besides food storage, you should be stockpiling multivitamins (either commercial or natural) to prevent deficiencies that cause disease, such as Scurvy (lack of vitamin C), Beri-Beri (lack of vitamin B1) or Rickets (lack of Vitamin D in children).
Civil Unrest? Many collapse events will be fraught with episodes of civil unrest, so you should be well acquainted with how to deal with traumatic injuries such as fractures and hemorrhagic wounds. Supplies here will be lots and lots of gauze bandages (keep old sheets, they can be used to improvise), antiseptic solutions such as betadine, and some method of closing wounds (butterfly closures, Steri-strips, surgical or super glue, staples, and/or sutures) when appropriate.
You can expect that many wounds will be contaminated with dirt and debris, and therefore bacteria or other microorganisms. It is essential to know when to close a wound and when to leave it open; this is much more important to understand than how to throw a stitch or place a staple. The young Georgia woman in the news who had a laceration from a zipline injury had her wound closed with 22 staples. Doctors unwittingly sequestered bacteria deep in the injury that caused a serious infection called “necrotizing fasciitis”, costing her a leg and threatening her life.
Pandemics? If your area is invaded by a superflu, you will need plenty of extra masks (both N95 and standard) and gloves (nitrile is less allergenic than latex). You will have to know how to plan out a sick room protocol that will isolate the ill members of your group and you might consider antivirals like Tamiflu. Tamiflu is helpful in decreasing sick time if taken early, and may actually has a preventive effect. Be sure to ask your doctor for a prescription for each member of your family each flu season.
Radiation events? Meltdowns, dirty bombs, nuclear apocalypse, EMPs, Coronal Mass Ejections, whew! If this is something you’re concerned about, learn how to make a shelter in your home that will block radiation effects. Learn about “halving-thicknesses”, the thickness of a material that will decrease your exposure by half. These multiply as you add additional thicknesses of a substance (1/2 x ½ x ½ x ½ = 1/16 total exposure, for example). Here are the halving-thicknesses of various materials:
- Lead: 0.4 inches or 1 centimeter
- Steel: 1.0 inch or 2.5 centimeters
- Concrete: 2.4 inches or 6 centimeters
- Soil (packed): 3.6 inches or 9 centimeters
- Water: 7.2 inches or 18 centimeters
- Wood: 11.0 inches or 30 centimeters
Also, consider the accumulation of Potassium Iodide (KIO4) tablets. These will help prevent certain thyroid cancers which can be a long-term complication of radiation exposure.
You may ask, “How can I know what medical issues I’ll have to deal with if the you-know-what hasn’t hit the fan yet?”. Well, many physicians have found themselves in this circumstance and learned the hard way. Responders to the Haitian Earthquake, Peace Corps caregivers and Doctors Without Borders are just some of the medical personnel that have compiled this information for us. In no particular order, here is a top ten list from one physician that spent 15 months as the sole medical resource in a remote and austere location:
- Minor Musculoskeletal injuries (sprains and strains)
- Minor trauma (cuts, scrapes)
- Minor infections (cellulitis, “pinkeye”, urinary infections)
- Allergic reactions (some severe)
- Respiratory infections (pneumonia, bronchitis, influenza, common colds)
- Diarrheal disease (minor and major)
- Dental issues (toothache, loose crowns and lost fillings)
- Major traumatic injury (fractures, occasional knife and/or gunshot wounds)
- Burn injuries (all degrees)
- Pregnancy (!) and Birth Control
You may have thought of the top nine, but have you given some thought to number 10, pregnancy and birth control? Pregnancy is a natural process and usually ends with a healthy mother and baby, but not so long ago the announcement that someone was pregnant was met with concern as well as joy. Complications such as miscarriage, bleeding, and infection are easily dealt with in most cases today, but were a common cause of maternal deaths in the past. If modern medical care is unavailable, you may find yourself thrown back to that era. Consider birth control strategies such as the Rhythm Method and learn the basics of how to deliver a baby.
You’ll benefit from storing as many medical supplies as you can. How much is too much? You can NEVER have too many medical items in your preps; any “extras” you are willing to let go of will be extraordinarily valuable barter items in a collapse situation.
Accumulate stockpiles of antibiotics as well; these will deal with many of the listed issues above if they are used judiciously. My research shows that some aquarium antibiotics may be identical in dosage, action, appearance and even numbering as those stocked in human pharmacies, and may be purchased in quantity without a medical license from a number of online sources.
All of the above topics are discussed in detail for free on our website at www.doomandbloom.net and more so in our recent #1 Amazon Bestseller (Survival Skills Category) “The Doom and Bloom™ Survival Medicine Handbook”. It’s not your everyday first aid book, as its main assumption is that there are no longer hospitals, clinics or doctors, and that YOU are the end of the line when it comes to the medical well-being of your loved ones in times of trouble. You can find it at www.doomandbloom.net, www.createspace.com/3697264, and Amazon.
Please, as you learn how to treat medical problems in hard times, you are learning a skill, not a trade. The practice of medicine or dentistry without a license is illegal and punishable by law. If modern medical care IS available, seek it out.
Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy
Copyright Doom and Bloom, LLC 2012
Special thanks to Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy for contributing their time and effort on this portion of the 52-Weeks to Preparedness.
Preps to Buy:
An assortment of the following:
- Gauze bandages
- Antiseptic solutions such as betadine
- Butterfly closures, Steri-strips, surgical or super glue, staples, and/or sutures
- Extra masks (both N95 and standard)
- Gloves for treating medical wounds
- Antiviral medicines such as Tamiflu
- Potassium iodide (KIO4) tablets
- Benadryl or allergy medicines
- Anti-nausea medicine
- Electrolyte drinks or homemade electrolyte powders
- Braces for sprains
- Moleskins for foot relief
- Duct tape
- Potassium iodide capsules
- Snake bite kit
- Anti-diarrhea medication (for adults and children)
- Stool softeners
- Petroleum jelly or other lubricant
- CPR mask
- Colloidal silver
- Make a list of the medical emergencies you could foresee occurring during an emergency and research (in depth) the preventative measures, treatment and care.
- Take an advanced first aid or medical course. Many of the preparedness/survival expos going on offer these sorts of classes. Also doing a simple Google search of “survival courses” will provide you with a long list of region specific courses being offered.
- Do inventory and keep an organized list of medical items you have on hand.
- Continue to invest in medical emergency manuals and books in order to familiarize yourself with up-to-date medical information.
- Be proactive and create first response packs for wounds in order to expedite the emergency care process.
- If childbirth during a sudden emergency is a possibility, research and learn the correct procedure in how to assist in the birth as well as ways to keep the baby and mom healthy.
WHAT WE’RE UP TO
In the Home:
The move itself can be summed up by two words: OPSEC nightmare! My husband got very ill two days before the move, so we had to hire movers to pack our belongings onto the moving van – including all of our preps. As they were hauling out all of the 5-gallon pails of food, prep items, and buckets of ammunition, one of them turned to me and humorously said, “Do you know something we don’t know?” I was stunned and tried to laugh it off, but that remark really hit home with me. For the most part, we are very private about who we let into our home and no one sees our preparedness supplies. I felt very vulnerable after that. Luckily, the moving van made it unharmed and our prep items are safely housed in our storage room.
We are enjoying our new home and acclimating ourselves to country life. I was pleasantly surprised to find that we have an abundance of fruit trees on our acreage. I knew that we had a few fruit trees, but I did not expect so many varieties. I am so thankful for these lovely surprises that our house and land are revealing. So far, I have located apples, grapes, pears, cherries, and blackberries. I cannot wait until they are ripe so that I can put some jars of jams, canned fruit and perhaps fresh juice.
In all honesty, the hardest part in this process has been dividing my time between unpacking the house and working on the ranch. There is so much to do, but I feel like I’m on a giant playground. This is the exact environment that I have been planning for and even though there is already a long list of to-do’s, I am loving every minute.
As with any big move, our finances are a bit tight for the time being. Until they equalize, I will be making a list of prep items that I may purchase in the future. Currently, I have my eye on the Eton Blackout Buddy Emergency LED Blackout Flashlight and Nightlight. These little guys double as a flash light and an emergency nightlight. My mother has them plugged in around beds, and in the hallway for quick and easy access. The best part is, they are very affordable.
Before we moved, I bought two drinking mugs for making herbal teas. I loved the removable infuser that you can take out of the tea once it has steeped. I was so excited to unpack them and immediately made a soothing tea of lemon balm which has been shown to relax and soothe the nerves. The glasses worked great and I plan on using them a lot. If you happen to be an herbal tea enthusiast and want to purchase some mugs, these are well worth the $12 price tag.
In the Garden:
On our ranch, there are some raised beds that were already on the property. Sadly, they have been severely neglected and much of my week was spent weeding, pruning and trying to get it back to working order. The soil needs lots of TLC, but it is not completely hopeless. I believe once some soil amendments are put in place, the gardens will work out just fine for our future vegetables. My first garden item I plan on purchasing are earthworms – lots and lots of earthworms! I’ve found that these little guys will do the hard work for me. Although there are some vegetables growing, they will more than likely not bring any substantial produce for us. My goal is to get the soil ready for the Fall.
Here are a few other chores that I completed:
- Cleared parts of the back pasture
- Started a compost pile
- Trimmed back blackberries and lavender bushes
- Trimmed back grapes
- Got the chicken coop ready
You can see some pictures of the ranch that I posted on my Facebook page. I will try and add pictures of the ranch as much as possible to show our progress.
STATS AND FACTS
Did you know that heat related deaths are the number 1 weather related killer in the United States? Now that summer has officially arrived, it’s time to get prepared for and stay safe during these warmer months. Use common sense when out in the heat and keep the following tips in mind:
- Drink plenty of fluids and replace salts and minerals in your body. Do not take salt tablets unless under medical supervision.
- Dress in cool, loose clothing and shade heads and faces with hats or an umbrella.
- Limit sun exposure during mid-day hours and in places of potential severe exposure such as beaches.
- Do not leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car.
- Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.
- Monitor those at risk. Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. So, keep in contact with those you feel may have health effects from heat exposure. Some of those in the “at risk” category are the elderly, infants, pregnant women and those with medical conditions.
If you do find yourself feeling the effects of the sun, why not create a DIY evaporative cooler? Simply by placing a wet cloth over bare skin will act as an evaporative cooler. This instantly begins cooling your body off and the moisture left on the skin will create a cooling effect when it hits the air. Keep in mind that this trick does not work in climates that have high humidity levels.
For more information on heat preparedness as well as some other great tips on heat safety, click here.
LETTERS TO TESS
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: email@example.com
This week’s question addresses well pumps:
I have been following your weekly blogs for months and have found them to be very helpful. My wife and I (both retired) live on 3 acres in the country and have a well and septic tank. Although we have done a lot of prepping, and have two non-identical water purification systems that we can use, I am thinking seriously of purchasing a hand pump for our well rather than hiking the 1/4 mile to and from the nearest stream (which may be contaminated).
Our well is 60 ft deep and the surface-to-water depth is about 30 feet. Do you have a recommendation for which brand of hand pump has a proven track record for reliability? I plan, or hope, to piggy-back the hand pump onto the existing piping system so that we can use the electric pump while we have power, and then use the hand pump for when SHTF.
Thanks for any suggestions you can give on this.
Although I do not have a lot of experience with well pumps. I have heard great things about the FloJak hand pump. FloJak is lightweight, and extremely durable, and has been known to be easily transported by a small car, and quick to assemble.
On their website, it states that their hand pumps can accommodate 50-foot wells and wells up to 100-feet deep. For a small investment you can also buy a kit with 50 feet of extra pipe…or invest in the TP-100. It’s a total pak and has everything you need except PVC cement to be fully prepared.
To see if the pumps are compatible with your existing well, contact the website and I’m sure they will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. Here is their website: http://www.flojak.com/.
I hope this helps. Best of luck to you.