Making Sure You Have Water for Survival

Making sure you have water for survival when the chips are down is as necessary as the air you breathe. It’s more important than having food. Some say securing water should be your Number One priority.

Though plenty has been written on this, you’ll find excellent advice in Jackie Clay-Atkinson’s article in “Backwoods Home Magazine for September/October, 2017 (Issue #167). Topics covered include…

  • Bug-out bag
  • Vehicles
  • The home water supply
  • Treating questionable water
  • Amounts of bleach for different containers
  • Conserving water

Take a look at the article excerpt below. Then click the link to read the whole thing.

Your survival depends on water

By Jackie Clay-Atkinson

As you develop your preparedness plans, consider your water supply. You can go without food for weeks but when you lack water for as little as two days, your body begins shutting down.

Water is usually all around you in the form of streams, rivers, lakes, and even ditches. But very little of it is safe to drink without treatment. Even the most pristine, clear mountain streams can be contaminated with bacteria or protozoa such as giardia (which causes severe diarrhea and abdominal pain).


Read the whole article here:
http://www.backwoodshome.com/your-survival-depends-on-water/

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
http://www.backwoodshome.com (541)247-8900.

You might also like The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide.

A Primer on Radiation Sickness

Editor’s Note: As much as we dread and fear nuclear war, we can’t ignore the possibility and consequences of it.

Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones, gives us a primer on radiation sickness in the following article. It originally appeared at DoomAndBloom.net and is reproduced here with permission. – John

 

Radiation Sickness

 

Many consider a nuclear attack an outlandish scenario to which only conspiracy theorists subscribe. Unfortunately, the threat of a nuclear incident, accidental or purposeful, exists, perhaps more than in recent years, due to recent developments in the Korean peninsula.

Atomic weapons can decimate a population from thermal blasts, but it also causes illness and death due to exposure from radiation. Although populated areas have experienced detonations only twice, (Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945), nuclear reactor meltdowns and other events have occurred from time to time since then, such as in Fukushima in 2011 and Chernobyl in 1986.

In an atomic explosion, radiation is just one of the possible causes of casualties; heat effects and kinetic energy damage near the blast will cause many deaths and injuries. Radiation released into the atmosphere, however, can have devastating effects far from “ground zero”.

A nuclear event produces “fallout”.  Fallout is the particulate matter that is thrown into the air by the explosion. It can travel hundreds (if not thousands) of miles on the prevailing winds, coating fields, livestock, and people with radioactive material.

The higher the fallout goes into the atmosphere, the farther it will travel downwind.  This material contains elements that are hazardous if inhaled or ingested, like Radioiodine, Cesium, and Strontium. Even worse, fallout is absorbed by the animals and plants that make up our food supply. In large enough amounts, it can rapidly become life-threatening. Even in small amounts, it is hazardous to your long-term health.

A nuclear power plant meltdown is usually less damaging than a nuclear blast, as the radioactive material doesn’t make it as high up in the sky as the mushroom cloud from an atomic bomb. The worst effects will be felt by those near the reactors. Lighter particles, like radioactive iodine, will travel the farthest, and are the main concern for those far from the actual explosion or meltdown. The level of exposure will depend on the distance the radioactive particles travel from the meltdown and how long it took to arrive.

RADIATION SICKNESS

The medical effects of exposure are collectively known as “radiation sickness” or “Acute Radiation Syndrome”. A certain amount of radiation exposure is tolerable over time, but your goal should be to shelter your group as much as possible.

To accomplish this goal, we should first clarify what the different terms for measuring the quantities of radiation mean.  Scientists use terms such as RADS, REMS, SIEVERTS, BECQUERELS or CURIES to describe radiation amounts. Different terms are used when describing the amount of radiation being given off by a source, the total amount of radiation that is actually absorbed by a human or animal, or the chance that a living thing will suffer health damage from exposure:

Marie and Pierre Curie

BECQUERELS/CURIES – these terms describe the amount of radiation that, say, a hunk of uranium gives off into the environment. Named after scientists who were the first to work with (and die from) radioactivity.

RADS – the amount of the radiation in the environment that is actually absorbed by a living thing.

REMS/SIEVERTS – the measurement of the risks of health damage from the radiation absorbed.

This is somewhat confusing, so, for our purposes, let’s use RADS.  A RAD (Radiation Absorbed Dose) measures the amount of radiation energy transferred to some mass of material, typically humans.

Some effects of radiation exposure (wiki commons)

An acute radiation dose (one received over a short period of time) is the most likely to cause damage.  Below is a list of the effects on humans corresponding to the amount of radiation absorbed. For comparison, assume that you absorb about 0.6 RADs per year from natural or household sources.  These are the effects of different degrees of acute radiation exposure on humans:

  • 30-70 RADS: Mild headache or nausea within several hours of exposure.  Full recovery is expected.
  • 70-150 RADS: Mild nausea and vomiting in a third of patients.  Decreased wound healing and increased susceptibility to infection. Full recovery is expected.
  • 150-300 RADS: Moderate nausea and vomiting in a majority of patients.  Fatigue and weakness in half of victims.  Infection and/or spontaneous bleeding may occur due to a weakened immune system. Medical care will be required for many, especially those with burns or wounds.  Occasional deaths at 300 RADS exposure may occur.
  • 300-500 RADS: Moderate nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and weakness in most patients.  Diarrheal stools, dehydration, loss of appetite, skin breakdown, and infection will be common.  Hair loss is visible in most over time.  At the high end of exposure, expect a 50% death rate.
  • Over 500 RADS: Spontaneous bleeding, fever, stomach and intestinal ulcers, bloody diarrhea, dehydration, low blood pressure, infections, and hair loss is anticipated  in almost all patients.  Death rates approach 100%.

The effects related to exposure may occur over time, and symptoms are often not immediate. Hair loss, for example, will become apparent at 10-14 days.  Deaths may occur weeks after the exposure.

PROTECTION AGAINST EXPOSURE TO RADIATION

Radiation Dosimeter

In the early going, your goal is to prevent exposures of over 100 RADS. A radiation dosimeter will be useful to gauge radiation levels and is widely available for purchase.  This item will give you an idea of your likelihood of developing radiation sickness.

There are three basic ways of decreasing the total dose of radiation:

1) Limit the time unprotected. Radiation absorbed is dependent on the length of exposure. Leave areas where high levels are detected and you are without adequate shelter.  The activity of radioactive particles decreases over time.  After 24 hours, levels usually drop to 1/10 of their previous value or less.

2) Increase the distance from the radiation. Radiation disperses over distance and effects decrease the farther away you are.

3) Provide a barrier. A shelter will decrease the level of exposure, so it is important to know how to construct one that will serve as a shield between your people and the radiation source. A dense material will give better protection that a light material.

DIFFERENT MATERIALS AS BARRIERS

Radiation burns post-Hiroshima bombing

The more material that you can use to separate yourself from fallout, the more likely you won’t suffer ill effects. Barrier effectiveness is measured as “halving thickness”. This is the thickness of a particular shield material that will reduce gamma radiation (the most dangerous kind) by one half.  When you multiply the halving thickness, you multiply your protection.

For example, the halving thickness of concrete is 2.4 inches or 6 centimeters.  A barrier of 2.4 inches of concrete will drop radiation exposure by one half.  Doubling the thickness of the barrier again (4.8 inches of concrete) drops it to one fourth (1/2 x 1/2) and tripling it (7.2 inches) will drop it to one eighth (1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2), etc.  Ten halving thicknesses (24 inches of concrete) will drop the total radiation exposure to 1/1024th that of being out in the open.

Here are the halving thicknesses of some common materials:

  • Lead:   4 inches or 1 centimeter
  • Steel: 1 inch or 2.5 centimeters
  • Concrete: 4 inches or 6 centimeters
  • Soil (packed): 6 inches or 9 centimeters
  • Water:  2 inches or 18 centimeters
  • Wood:  11 inches or 30 centimeters

By looking at the list above, you can see that the same protection is given with 1/6 the thickness of lead plating as that of concrete.

TREATING RADIATION SICKNESS

Eliminating external contamination with fallout “dust” is important before absorption occurs. This can be accomplished d with simple soap and water. Scrub the area gently with a clean wet sponge. Safely dispose of the sponge and dry the area thoroughly.

Internal contamination is a more difficult issue. Emergency treatment involves dealing with the symptoms.  Once the diagnosis is made, methods that may help include antibiotics to treat infections, fluids for dehydration, diuretics to flush out contaminants, and drugs to treat nausea.  In severely ill patients, stem cell transplants and multiple transfusions are indicated but will not be options in an austere setting.  This hard reality underscores the importance of having an adequate shelter to prevent excessive exposure.

Protection is available against some of the long term effects of radiation. Potassium Iodide (known by the chemical symbol KI), taken orally, can prevent radioactive Iodine from damaging the specific organ that it targets, the thyroid gland. The usual adult dose is 130 mg daily for 7-10 days or for as long as exposure is significant. For children, the dosage is 65 mg daily. KI is available in a FDA-approved commercial product called Thyrosafe.

Thyrosafe (Potassium Iodide)

Taking KI 30 minutes to 24 hours prior to a radiation exposure will prevent the eventual epidemic of thyroid cancer that will result if no treatment is given. Radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster has accounted for more than 4,000 cases of thyroid cancer so far, mostly in children and adolescents. Therefore, if you only have a limited quantity of KI, treat the youngsters first.

Although there is a small amount of KI in ordinary iodized salt, not enough is present to confer any protection by ingesting it.  It would take 250 teaspoons of household iodized salt to equal one Potassium Iodide tablet.

Pets may also be at risk for long-term effects from radioactive iodine. It is recommended to consider 1/2 tablet daily for large dogs, and 1/4 tablet for small dogs and cats.

ALTERNATIVE REMEDY FOR RADIATION EXPOSURE

Don’t depend on supplies of the drug to be available after a nuclear event. Even the federal government will have little KI in reserve to give to the general population. In recent power plant meltdowns, there was little or no Potassium Iodide to be found anywhere for purchase

Betadine Solution

If you find yourself without any KI, consider this alternative:  Povidone-Iodine solution (brand name Betadine). “Paint” 8 ml of Betadine on the abdomen or forearm 2-12 hours prior to exposure and re-apply daily. Enough should be absorbed through the skin to give protection against radioactive Iodine in fallout.

Betadine as an alternative for KI

For children 3 years old or older (but under 150 lbs or 70 kg), apply 4 ml. Use 2 ml for toddlers and 1 ml for infants. This strategy should also work on animals. If you don’t have a way to measure, remember that a standard teaspoon is about 5 milliliters. Discontinue the daily treatment after 3-7 days or when Radioiodine levels have fallen to safer levels.

Be aware that those who are allergic to seafood will probably be allergic to anything containing iodine. Adverse reactions may also occur if you take medications such as diuretics and Lithium. It is also important to note that you cannot drink tincture of iodine or Betadine; it is poisonous if ingested.

Although many don’t view a nuclear event as a likely disaster scenario, it’s important to learn about all the possible issues that may impact your family in uncertain times.

Joe Alton MD

Dr. Alton

Find out more about survival medicine with the 700 page Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way. And don’t forget to fill those holes in your medical supplies by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net.

Medical Kits by Doom and Bloom

See Dr. Alton’s follow up article, What is Radiation from a Nuclear Blast?

Go deeper into this and other topics related to protecting your family during nuclear war with Nuclear War Survival Skills.

FANGS! Snakes In The Hood

Editor’s note: Capt. William E. Simpson told me that the CDC and many state poison control centers are being swamped with calls about snakebites. Since this could be of concern to each of us, he submitted the following article as a public service.

Capt. Bill is the author of The Nautical Prepper and Dark Stallions – Legend of the Centaurians, and has been my guest on DestinySurvival Radio. He occasionally contributes articles here for DestinySurvival. – John

***************

 

Fangs!

Author Capt. William E. Simpson displays the fangs of a Pacific Rattlesnake; its deadly venom is seen dripping off the wire.

 

Looks like it’s shaping-up to be a particularly bad year for rattlesnakes and snakebites here in the Pacific Northwest and across America as many news stories are now reporting; here’s one:
http://www.wyff4.com/article/dramatic-increase-in-snake-bites-reported-know-which-snakes-are-most-dangerous/9593029

In fact, we killed 7 rattlesnakes so far just in May around the homestead (here in Siskiyou County, CA) and seen one I let live (seen in the photos in my ‘Mr. Grumpy’ article: read here: http://www.myoutdoorbuddy.com/articles/67877281/mr.-grumpy-rears-his-ugly-head–again.php).

When these pit-vipers (rattlers) are operating in close proximity to people, homes, pets (horses & livestock) accidents can and do happen. In these cases where a venomous snake presents an unacceptable ‘danger-close’ risk, I prefer to eliminate the risk by killing the viper.

Here’s two rattlers (photos below) that my wife Laura killed just 15-minutes apart in her bird garden yesterday (Friday May 26th). She was wearing flip-flops when she noticed the first one that appeared a few feet behind her. So after killing it using a few rocks, she got her boots on and when she returned to finish filling the bird feeders (15-min.) there was another one waiting.

 

Twin Rattlesnakes

Of course, my buddy Mr. Gnome (in photo above) isn’t impressed, he sees-em all the time… he lets anyone into his garden parties.

 

Then, a little later the same day, Jack our trusty McNab dog started a warning bark; he had found another rattler in the driveway… this one was even bigger… maybe 4.5 feet.

And the season has just begun! Families who are planning on spending vacation time at the lakes, rivers and streams (places with water) should maintain an extra careful lookout over children and pets. Like most other snakes, rattlesnakes absorb most of the water they need from their prey. It’s usually their prey that requires the water. However, venomous snakes maintain habitats in the mountains, forests and in driest areas as well, such as the deserts of Eastern Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and yes, Southern California.

 

Snake Venom

When I pulled the fangs forward, venom begins to flow.

 

Large Rattler

 

A large male rattler (photo above) is seen hiding in my wife’s rock garden near the bird feeders/water. This well-camouflaged snake remained unseen by my wife even when I pointed to it. The heat sensing pits on the snakes nose are easily seen (black colored pits)… and allow the snake to strike and hit warm blooded animals with deadly accuracy.

Depending on variables of temp and humidity, Rattlesnakes are most active during the hot days of summer early in the day from around 7:00-11:00 AM and then again early evening from around 4:00PM through sundown and early evening. They spend a lot of time around areas that attract rodents (chicken coops, bird baths and feeders, barns, areas of litter and garbage, etc. Because rodents do require water, and the snakes know this instinctively, places where there is water and food suitable for rodents are prime real estate, and snakes like to lay waiting in nearby shady places in ambush.

The Pacific Rattler is fortunately not as deadly as many other poisonous snakes in America. South and southeastern CA, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Nevada have numerous species of rattlesnakes, including some areas there, which have been known to host the Mojave-Green Rattler, whose venom contains both a hemotoxin and a neurotoxin… a devastating combination!

The Pacific Rattler’s hemotoxin poses an additional threat to folks who are taking blood thinners, and therefore, requires special attention. Attending EMS personnel and doctor(s) should be made aware of any drugs that have been taken during the intake process for snakebite.

As many folks know, I grew-up in the Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon where we had our fair share of Pacific Rattlesnakes. And I have collected and studied snakes as a hobby for decades, so I have extensive experience handling and dealing with them, meaning; don’t mess around with any snake unless you have the knowledge and experience! Handling any venomous snake, even when it is dead is extremely dangerous and should never be done except by expert handlers.

Folks with questions, feel free to contact me via my email contact form.

Snakes are mostly beneficial, so unless you have a rattler near pets, livestock or the house, don’t kill them; they eat mice and rats, which do a lot of property damage and spread disease.

It’s interesting to note that many snakebites are instigated by inexperienced people attempting to kill a snake.

 

Capt. Bill with Bullsnake

Capt. Bill with a beneficial gopher snake.

 

Capt. Bill with Dispatched Rattlesnake

A 5’4″ viper (Pacific Rattlesnake) above; one of the largest Bill has dispatched in Nor. CA/OR…

 

Snake's Buttons

It had 12 buttons… second most, behind a larger Rattlesnake that had 18.

 

Have a safe and fun Summer!

 

Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM Ret.
More about the author here.

 

Controlling Rodents at Home or in Your Bug Out Location

Editor’s Note: Joe Alton, M.D., a.k.a. Dr. Bones of DoomAndBloom.net has written an excellent overview of the disease problems rodents can cause and how to keep them under control. It’s a mini-primer worthy of attention for both your home and your bug out location. – John

 

How to Control Rodents as Disease Vectors

 

>rats-in-a-trap

Brown rats may reach 16 inches in length, including tail

in survival settings, it’s been said that rats will do a better job of surviving than humans. Rats, mice, and other rodents are well-known causes of “zoonotic” infections.  A zoonotic disease is one that can be transmitted from animals to humans.  The animal in question may not have symptoms of the disease itself, but may serve as a “vector”; that is, it carries the disease to a human target.

Rats and mice belong to the order Rodentia, from the latin word rodere (“to gnaw”).  This order contains various families, including beavers, porcupines, squirrels, and gophers.  As you are unlikely to have an infestation of beavers in your home, we’ll concentrate on rats and mice. A pair of rats could produce 1,500 offspring in one year if they all reproduced. Most rats and mice that cause issues for humans come from the “Old World”.  These include:

Brown rats (rattus norvegicus): Also called Norway rats, although they didn’t originate there (Norway has no more rat issues than other countries). Brown rats may reach 16 inches (including the tail) and are good swimmers; the term “sewer rat” was coined for them.

Black rats (rattus rattus): Thought to have introduced the Plague to Europe through their fleas. The black rat, also called the “roof rat”, is slightly smaller than its brown cousin and is an excellent climber.

House mice (Mus musculus): Used to living in close quarters with humans, mice are “nibblers” and can contaminate an entire pantry by taking a few bites out of multiple food items. Mice and other rodents can also chew through electrical wiring, thereby constituting a fire hazard.

Rats and mice are some of the world’s most invasive species. Every year, a percentage of the world’s food supply is contaminated by their droppings, urine, and hair. These items, known as “fomites”, may contain disease-carrying organisms and, as such, render food unfit for human consumption.

hooded rats

Long-Evans hooded rats I worked with in labs help further medical research

Before I go further, let me tell our readers who have rats and mice as pets that they (the pets, not necessarily the owners) are generally clean, intelligent creatures.  I have had the privilege of working with them in university laboratories as a student.  Despite this, it is indisputable that the diseases they may carry are cause for concern.

MEDICAL ISSUES CAUSED BY RODENTS

From a medical perspective, what diseases might one contract from a rodent or its droppings?  These include:

Plague:  The Plague is caused by a bacterium known as Yersinia Pestis. It is carried by fleas. The black rat’s arrival in Europe in the Middle Ages (and with it, its fleas) caused pandemics of the disease that wiped out a third of the population. Even today, Plague exists in developing countries and, there have been hundreds of cases in the U.S. over the past three decades.

Hantavirus: Hantavirus, transmitted by mice in urine, droppings or saliva, causes a serious lung disease that may become fatal without the availability of intensive care.

Leptospirosis: Caused by consuming food contaminated by rat urine, Leptospirosis causes a flu-like syndrome that progresses to kidney and liver failure if untreated.  This disease can also be carried by certain livestock.

Lymphocytic Chorio-Meningitis Virus (LCMV): LCMV may be contracted from mice urine or droppings or from pets in contact with mice, such as hamsters.   It causes a flu-like syndrome that occasionally causes complications in the nervous system, especially in people with weakened immune systems or pregnant women.  LCMV may cause miscarriage or birth defects.

Salmonellosis: Infection with the bacteria Salmonella may occur as a result of handling of pet rats or mice, especially if they have had diarrhea.  It causes severe diarrheal disease in humans, and is one good reason for owners of rats and mice to wash their hands after handling.

Rat Bite Fever: Infection with the bacterium Strebtobacillus occurs from rat bites and scratches or from ingesting food or water contaminated with rat droppings. Abrupt onset of fevers, rashes, vomiting, and headaches are noted at first, with general deterioration afterwards. If untreated, there is a 10% death rate.

RODENT-PROOFING A RETREAT

homestead-cabin-pixabay

rodent-proofing

It’s simply common sense to take measures to prevent rodent infestation in the home and to eliminate those already there. Once an infestation has occurred, much more effort is required to dislodge these unwanted guests. Rodent-proofing a home requires careful evaluation for points of entry from the level of the foundation to the roofline.  This includes sewer lines, bathroom vents, pipes and gutters, doors and windows, and vegetation near concrete slabs.

Some rodent-proofing techniques for homes include:

  • Sealing cracks in building foundations, walls, siding, and roof joints with, for example, mesh hardware cloth or concrete patching. Rodents only need ¼ inch of opening to gnaw their way into your home. Metal mesh scouring pads or galvanized window screening (not steel wool, which quickly deteriorates) may be stuffed into crevices as a temporary solution.
  • Installing vent guards in bathroom or washer/dryer vents.
  • Placing barriers to prevent climbing rodents from going up pipes or gutters.
  • Trimming trees so that branches don’t come close to the roof.
  • Contacting the utility company for strategies to prevent rats from traveling along power lines to your house.
  • Preventing rodents, especially rats, from tunneling under the foundation by placing flat concrete pavers or gravel for the first 3 feet from the base of the house.

Rodent control also involves careful attention to both indoor and outdoor sanitation.  Here are some suggestions for the wise homeowner:

  • Never leave food or water out overnight. Keep your countertops clean and disinfected.
  • Breadboxes may seem old-fashioned, but they are there for a reason: To keep the bread away from rats and mice.
  • Never leave pet food outside, clean all bowls daily, whether they are used inside or out. Rodents love to eat dog and cat food.
  • Clean under kitchen appliances. Even a few crumbs will make a meal for a mouse or rat.
  • Keep garbage disposals and sinks clean with a cup of bleach once a month.
  • Never flush grease down the sink drain.
  • Keep toilet lids down until needed.
  • Store dry foods, even pet foods, in sealed containers at least 18 inches off the floor.
  • Construct barriers around birdhouses and bird-feeders to prevent seed from being accessible to rodents.
  • Remove any fruits or vegetables from your garden that you won’t use.
  • Keep garbage can lids tightly closed.
  • Keep the side and back yards free of debris that might serve as shelters.
  • Deny access to water by fixing leaky faucets.
  • Avoid putting animal products in your compost bin.

IDENTIFYING INFESTATIONS

Rodent droppings

rodent droppings (source: city of Berkeley, CA)

If you’re not sure that your home is currently rodent-free, you might consider:

  • Looking for any partially eaten food, gnawed containers, or nesting material.
  • Inspecting your home’s interior at night with a flashlight; look especially closely at the bases of walls, as rats and mice prefer to travel along them. Little used areas of the home should be especially targeted.
  • Looking for rodent droppings. Mice and rat defecate 50 times a day; if they are in your home, you should be able to find their feces along floorboards, in attic crawl spaces, and in basements.
  • Setting out a thin layer of flour or talcum powder by areas through which rats and mice might enter your home. Place some, as well, along floorboards; rodents prefer to travel along walls. The rodents will leave tracks which will prove their presence.
  • Having cats and dogs as “mousers”. They may or may not be efficient, but they usually will alert you when a rodent is near.
  • Listening for squeaking and scrabbling noises inside walls at night.
  • Check for unusual smells. If there are a lot of rats in your home, you may notice an odor from their urine.

ELIMINATING THE PROBLEM

rats as food

A method of rodent control not discussed in this article

Once you have made the determination that you have rats or mice in your home, it’s time to reduce the population.  It should be noted that long-term control will be difficult if you haven’t followed my earlier suggestions for indoor and outdoor sanitation.

There are myriad mouse and rat-traps on the market and a number of poisons available to kill rodent invaders. It makes more sense to use traps, in my opinion, as poisons may leave you with a bunch of dead, rotting animals inside your walls. The stench may last a month or more, and sometimes deodorizer is needed to be inserted through a hole drilled in the wall.

If you have a lot of rats in your yard, you shouldn’t use poisons, as they may be ingested by neighborhood pets or even children. You should, however, consider trapping boxes. These can be snap traps, electronic “zappers”, glue traps or even catch and release versions. Both rats and mice will readily go for a small amount of fresh peanut butter as bait. Advice to the soft-hearted: Brown rats, black rats, and house mice are not native wildlife; besides other damage, some will cause casualties among endangered songbird eggs and young if released.

Glue traps are popular but controversial.  They are better weapons against mice than rats. Unfortunately, they usually leave you with a live animal to kill.  If you must use them, euthanize the rodent by throwing the trap and animal into a bucket of water or by striking it with a stick several times just behind the head. Another disadvantage of the glue trap is that it loses effectiveness in dusty areas or in extreme temperatures.

Snap traps should always be placed in perpendicular fashion, with the bait side against the wall.  Never use just one trap: Place a number of them several feet apart in the rodent’s usual path. Traps can be fastened to pipes with wire or thick rubber bands.

When cleaning out a building that has been infested with rats or mice, specific safety precautions should be followed to avoid infection. First and foremost, remember that you should never handle a wild rodent, alive or dead, without disposable gloves. Masks should be worn when cleaning. Other steps to follow:

  • Open windows and doors before cleaning to allow it to air out, then leave for an hour.
  • Avoid raising dust if at all possible.
  • Steam-clean all carpeting and upholstery.
  • Clean all surfaces with a diluted bleach solution or other household disinfectant, soaking areas that held dead animals, nests, or droppings.
  • Wash all bedding linens, pillows, etc. and use the high heat setting on your dryer.
  • Eliminate any insulation material contaminated by rodent urine, feces, or nesting material
  • As ultraviolet light can kill viruses, place contaminated items that cannot be thrown away (such as important documents), outside in the sun for several hours. If this isn’t possible, “quarantine” the items for a week in a rodent-free area.  This should give enough time for viruses to be inactived.
  • Dispose of any contaminated items or dead rodents in a plastic bag, and then place them in an exterior garbage can.
  • Thoroughly wash hands after cleaning. Consider showering with soap and hot water.

We share our world with many other creatures. Some of these creatures invade our homes and can damage our possessions and, more importantly, our health. With careful attention to sanitation and the occasional surgical strike, we can eliminate unwanted guests and make our homes safe environments for our families.

Joe Alton, MD

JoeAltonLibrary3

Dr. Alton

Learn more about animal-borne diseases and 150 other medical topics in the Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, now available at Amazon.com.

 

Homeopathy – Overlooked for Preparedness and Survival Medicine

Many of us as preppers are interested in alternative medicine and health. But how much do you know about homeopathy? It approaches health and wellness in a different way than other forms of alternative medicine.

I think homeopathy has been overlooked for preparedness and survival. Perhaps this week’s DestinySurvival Radio and this post can help remedy that.

OK, bad pun.

On this week’s DestinySurvival Radio I explore homeopathy with Becky Rupert, a traditional naturopath and board certified homeopath.

Why Homeopathy now?

An excellent article by Becky about homeopathy can be found on DoomAndBloom.net, the web site for Joe and Amy Alton, also known as Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy. Search their site for homeopathy or click the link below under the Additional Resources heading.)

I applaud Dr. Bones for publishing Becky’s article. It’s in keeping with his attitude of using every tool in the shed when it comes to survival medicine.

I’m familiar with homeopathy because I discovered its benefits for me back in 1995. I’ve been seeing a homeopathic physician for over 20 years. Nonetheless, I can’t claim to be an expert on homeopathy.

But it works. It’s safe for everyone in the family, including babies and even pets.

Remedies aren’t expensive compared to some alternative medicine options. A kit the size of a recipe box can hold an amazing amount of remedies. Becky offers a kit with 40 of them.

And you don’t have to worry about expiration dates.

Upon reading Becky’s article, I realized I hadn’t mentioned homeopathy for preparedness, other than in a casual way. So I contacted her, and she agreed to do an interview for DestinySurvival Radio.

Who is Becky?

 

Becky Rupert

 

Becky Rupert is a Traditional Naturopath and Board Certified Homeopath who has been in practice for 20 years.
She has been a homesteader most of her life and has used homeopathy not only for her family, but also for her garden, bees, and farm animals.

She maintains a full time practice in Northern Ohio, but consults with people all over the united states and abroad.

Get more insight on how she came to pursue homeopathy from our conversation.

What’s So Different About Homeopathy?

In a nutshell, homeopathy calls for a different mindset toward healing.

It uses intensely diluted individual plants and minerals in its remedies. Symptoms of sicknesses and injuries people may have are matched to the symptoms a remedy can cause.

This is different than conventional medicine. If you have a fever, conventional medicine offers you something to suppress the fever.

Homeopathy offers you something that would normally cause a fever. As odd as this may sound, this gives the body a chance to heal itself gently.

Even herbalism seeks to create a result opposite to that which may be happening in your system when you’re ill or injured.

Becky and I talked about the comparison between homeopathy and getting a vaccination. In both cases the body is given something that would normally cause certain symptoms. But there are significant differences.

For example, homeopathy uses one substance as a remedy, not a combination of substances. And there are no additives in homeopathic remedies as there are in vaccines.

Furthermore, it may seem contrary to common sense to dilute substances and expect greater results. But those who understand chemistry will know that dilution can make substances stronger.

So it is with homeopathic remedies. Stronger potencies last longer and work on a deeper level.

Is This for Real?

I know from my own encounters that homeopathy has its share of skeptics.It doesn’t make sense to some, while others consider it nothing more than administration of sugar pills and the placebo effect.

Becky addressed both of those things in our conversation.

Homeopathic remedies can come in various forms, such as pills, pellets or liquid. Becky briefly described how pharmacies make remedies and how various potencies are achieved.

Incidentally, homeopathic remedies are FDA approved.

As for placebo, Becky described giving an ailing horse three different remedies before it got better. If placebo were involved, the horse would have improved with the first remedy, not the third.

This indicates the importance of knowing as much about a given ailment and its causes as possible to choose the right remedy for the situation.

But When Might You Use Homeopathy in a Survival Situation?

When it comes to preparedness, most of us will be dealing with acute situations, such as scrapes, bruises, fractures, colds and so on.

There’s a difference when treating acute symptoms vs. chronic (long term) symptoms. Becky explained this further in our conversation, but she says we can do a lot for acute symptoms with a good book and homeopathic kit.

The name of several remedies came up during our conversation. Arnica is one you’ll certainly want to have on hand. Belladonna is another.

If you can’t keep track of the names, or you’re not familiar with them, click on Becky’s article from the Additional Resources section below.

 

Homeopathic Kit

 

Of course, the goal is to achieve healing. Homeopathy is very individualized. The parent, practitioner, or physician must be observant. Patterns must be looked for.

In other words, if someone has a sore throat, there isn’t one single homeopathic remedy for that which will work for everyone. Is the sore throat on the right or left? Is it red?

The remedy that causes the symptoms exhibited is the best remedy. They’re all safe, so if the first attempt doesn’t work, or it works partially, try again.

Is There More?

I’ve attempted to give a brief overview of homeopathy above, especially for those who aren’t familiar with it. Becky did a good job of explaining things better in our chat. I encourage you to listen to the whole thing because we covered other questions like…

  • Does homeopathy conflict with other medications?
  • Can Homeopathy help cut back on conventional medications?
  • Can medications, herbs or essential oils cancel out the benefits of a homeopathic remedy?
  • How many doses of a remedy should be taken to know whether it works?
  • How does one find a reliable homeopathic practitioner?
  • How can someone learn more about homeopathy?

Listen to my conversation with Becky Rupert when you hear DestinySurvival Radio for February 23, 2017. (Right click to download.)

If you have questions for Becky or want to get the OTC homeopathic remedies or kits she offers, call her office at (419)853-3805. E-mail beckyrupert(at)frontier.com. (Replace (at) with @ in the address.) She also does skype appointments all over the US and abroad.

In conclusion, if you’re new to homeopathy, give it a try. Don’t be afraid of it. Have an open mind. It will fill gaps in your survival medicine strategy. And it can help you keep healthy today as well.

 

Berkana logo - mortar and pestile

 

Additional Resources

Surviving a Fire in a Burning Building

How often do you factor in fire when preparing for trouble? It’s worth consideration.

Buildings can be set on fire by rioters, lightning strikes, electrical shortages, or accidents. Situational awareness on your part could be the key which saves your life in a building that’s on fire.

Joe Alton, MD of DoomAndBloom.net has produced a video discussing some tragic building fires, especially in public venues. He examines what happens in a fire, how fire behaves, and what you can do to increase your chances of surviving the conflagration.

You won’t be dazzled by fancy graphics in this video, but in about 8 minutes, you’ll know what you need to know to stay alive when a fire breaks out.

 

 

Find out more about house fires, wildfires, burns, and much more in Joe and Amy Alton’s Third Edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way.

 

Treating and Preventing Hypothermia

Editor’s Note: Cold weather isn’t anything to take lightly. Temperatures don’t have to get very low outside before you start feeling their impact.

Knowing how to treat and prevent hypothermia could save someone’s life–maybe your own. You could find yourself out in the cold outdoors on a camping or hunting trip, get stranded in your car in winter weather, or you might lose power at home from a snow or ice storm. Whatever the situation, take note of the guidance Dr. Joe Alton of DoomAndBloom.net offers in the following article. – John

 

Dang, It’s Cold! Treating and Preventing Hypothermia

 

Photo

hypothermia (and bad judgment)

 

This winter has already seen deadly cold snaps where people have found themselves at the mercy of the elements. Whether it’s on a wilderness hike or stranded in a car on a snow-covered highway, the physical effects of exposure to cold (also called “hypothermia”) can be life-threatening.

Hypothermia is a condition in which body core temperature drops below the temperature necessary for normal body function and metabolism. Normally, the body core is between 97.5-99.5 degrees Fahrenheit (36.0-37.5 degrees Celsius). Cold-related illness occurs once the core temperature dips below 95 degrees (35 degrees Celsius).

When it is exposed to cold, the body kicks into action to produce heat. Muscles shiver to produce heat, and this will be the first symptom you’re likely to see. As hypothermia worsens, more symptoms will become apparent if the patient is not warmed.

Aside from shivering, the most noticeable symptoms of hypothermia will be related to mental status. The person may appear confused, uncoordinated, and lethargic. As the condition worsens, speech may become slurred; the patient will appear apathetic, uninterested in helping themselves, and may lose consciousness. These effects occur due to the effect of cooling temperatures on the brain: The colder the body core gets, the slower the brain works. Brain function is supposed to cease at about 68 degrees Fahrenheit, although there have been exceptional cases where people (usually children) survived even lower temperatures.

Prevention of Hypothermia

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To prevent hypothermia, you must anticipate the climate that you will be traveling through; include windy and wet weather into your calculations. Condition yourself physically to be fit for the challenge. Travel with a partner if at all possible, and have more than enough food and water available for the entire trip.

It may be useful to remember the simple acronym C.O.L.D. This stands for: Cover, Overexertion, Layering, and Dry.

Cover. Your head has a significant surface area, so prevent heat loss by wearing a hat. Instead of using gloves to cover your hands, use mittens. Mittens are more helpful than gloves because they keep your fingers in contact with one another, conserving heat.

Overexertion. Avoid activities that cause you to sweat a lot. Cold weather causes you to lose body heat quickly; wet, sweaty clothing accelerates the process. Rest when necessary; use those rest periods to self-assess for cold-related changes. Pay careful attention to the status of the elderly and the very young. Diabetics are also at high risk.

Layering. Loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in layers trap pockets of warm air and do the best job of insulating you against the cold. Use tightly woven, water-repellent material for wind protection. Wool or silk inner layers hold body heat better than cotton does. Some synthetic materials, like Gore-Tex, work well also. Especially cover the head, neck, hands and feet.

Dry. Keep as dry as you can. Get out of wet clothing as soon as possible. It’s very easy for snow to get into gloves and boots, so pay particular attention to your hands and feet.

 

st. bernard

Pet the Dog, Skip the Booze

 

One cold-weather issue that most people don’t take into account is the use of alcohol. Alcohol may give you a “warm” feeling, but it actually causes your blood vessels to expand; this results in more rapid heat loss from the surface of your body.

Alcohol and recreational drugs also cause impaired judgment. Those under the influence might choose clothing that might not protect them in cold weather.

Treating Hypothermia

If you encounter a person who is unconscious, confused, or lethargic in cold weather, assume they are hypothermic until proven otherwise. Immediate action must be taken to reverse the ill effects of hypothermia. Important measures to take are:

Get the person out of the cold. Move them into a warm, dry area as soon as possible. If you’re unable to move the person out of the cold, be sure to place a barrier between them, the wind, and the cold ground.

Monitor breathing. A person with severe hypothermia may be unconscious. Verify that they are breathing and check for a pulse. Begin CPR if necessary.

Take off wet clothing. If the person is wearing wet clothing, remove gently. Cover the victim with layers of dry blankets, including the head, but leave the face clear.

Share body heat. To warm the person’s body, remove your clothing and lie next to the person, making skin-to-skin contact. Then cover both of your bodies with blankets. Some people may cringe at this controversial notion, but it’s important to remember that you are trying to save a life. Gentle massage or rubbing may be helpful. Avoid being too vigorous.

Give warm oral fluids if awake and alert. If, and only if, the affected person is alert and able to swallow, provide a warm, nonalcoholic, non-caffeinated beverage to help warm the body. Coffee’s out, but how about some warm apple cider?

Use warm, dry compresses. Use a first-aid warm compress (a fluid-filled bag that warms up when squeezed), or a makeshift compress of warm, not hot, water in a plastic bottle. Apply to the neck, armpit, and groin. Due to major blood vessels that run close to the skin in these areas, heat will more efficiently travel to the body core.

Avoid applying direct heat. Don’t use hot water, a heating pad or a heating lamp directly on the victim. The extreme heat can damage the skin, cause strain on the heart, or even lead to cardiac arrest.

 

Joe Alton, MDAuthorJoe

 

Find out more about cold-related injuries in our Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook, now at 700 pages! Also, fill those holes in your medical supplies at Nurse Amy’s store at store.doomandbloom.net. You’ll be glad you did.