Ask Tess: How do I protect my animals from radiation?

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Tess,

So if I’m all protected with gas masks etc. how do I protect my animals?

A Reader

 

Answer:

Reader,

Thank you for sending your question in. One of our Ready Nutrition writers, Jeremiah Johnson wrote about the very subject you are asking about. In the article, he provides an excellent excerpt from the government regarding livestock and poultry.  The source is PubMed, and here’s the link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3895719:

Farm livestock shows no measurable effects from being exposed to ionizing radiation unless the level is greatly in excess of the natural background radiation. Possible sources of ionizing radiation which might affect livestock or contribute to radioactivity in the food chain to humans are reactor accidents, fuel reprocessing plant accidents and thermonuclear explosions. Most data on ionizing radiation effects on livestock are from whole body gamma doses near the LD 50/60 level. However, grazing livestock would be subjected to added beta exposure from ingested and skin retained radioactive particles. Results of attempts to simulate exposure of the Hereford cattle at Alamogordo, NM show that cattle are more sensitive to ingested fallout radiation than other species. Poultry LD 50/60 for gamma exposure is about twice the level for mammals, and swine appear to have the most efficient repair system being able to withstand the most chronic gamma exposure. The productivity of most livestock surviving an LD 50/60 exposure is temporarily reduced and long-term effects are small. Livestock are good screeners against undesirables in our diet and with the exception of radioisotopes of iodine in milk, very little fission product radioactivity would be expected to be transferred through the food chain in livestock products for humans. Feeding of stored feed or moving livestock to uncontaminated pastures would be the best protective action to follow.

Livestock faces the same challenges that we do

Here is what needs to be done:

  • Suitable shelter needs to be prepared for them with some type of air-filtration system and enclosed with heat
  • All food and water need to be pre-stored for them and protected from the radiation, as well. This is a true challenge because a correct estimate of consumption needs to be prepared.  They need at least one year’s supply of food and water and must remain indoors under protective shelter for at least one month until most of the radiation decays.
  • Decontamination: supplies need to be pre-positioned, and there is also manure/offal to be disposed of regularly…perhaps in a location that is also secured if you’re to turn it into compost.
  • Existing structures need to be modified: Most barns will (depending on the roof type) at the minimum protect from Alpha particles. The windows need to be closed off and sealed, and the challenge will be to provide air that is filtered and circulating in their living quarters.  Henhouses and chicken houses need to be assessed for the ability to keep fallout from reaching the poultry.
  • Minimum subsistence and breeding stock: Your biggest challenge will be to support the minimum amount of a population of livestock to be used for breeding to replenish the herds and flocks. Your hens will still lay eggs that can be used for food, and unexposed/safe cattle for milk (watching out for U-238 and Strontium-90 that can go into milk).  This is a long-term goal of protection for you to undertake for them.
  • Mines, caves, and other possible shelters: You could use these if nothing else, should you not have the type of protection available on your property. Just a suggestion, but the last resort.

“The Earth Still Turns,” meaning: you still have to take into consideration the seasons and all of the related problems with them, such as frozen drinking water and extreme cold with (grid down following EMP or war) no electric heat.

Geiger Counters and Dosimeters: to be used to monitor radiation for them.

If you haven’t already done so, I strongly recommend getting a copy of Cresson Kearney’s “Nuclear War Survival Skills.”  Even though this piece discusses livestock, the principles of a nuclear war and the scientific breakdown of shelter construction and radiation hazards still applies to them.  Most of the country still has some time before winter sets in to obtain extra supplies for the livestock and take extra measures to protect them.  It is better to do something than just sit around behind a keyboard and skeptically inform others of how nothing can be done.  It can be done: you are the ones who can do it if you resolve yourselves to take action.

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Ask Tess: Are military personnel who were vaccinated against the plague protected from the airborne strain of the plague?

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Hi Tess,

For those of us who served in the military & received vaccinations for plague I & II, are we covered for this???

A Reader

Answer:

Hello,

What a relevant question you asked. I realize with the current state of the airborne transmission of the plague, many are concerned. Vaccinations are a way of life in the U.S. Military. While service members are vaccinated against various plagues, the vaccine administered may not be effective in the prevention of airborne infection. The addition of antibiotic prophylaxis is recommended for such situations.

Many of the antibiotics suggested in the article can be purchased online or through pet stores. If you are concerned with coming in contact with this outbreak, I would also gather some supplies listed in this article.

Following is a list of pandemic supplies for your home:

In the event of a pandemic, because of anticipated shortages of supplies, health care professionals and widespread implementation of social distancing techniques, it is expected that the large majority of individuals infected with the pandemic illness will be cared for in the home by family members, friends, and other members of the community – not by trained healthcare professionals. Bear in mind that persons who are more prone to contracting illnesses include people 65 years and older, children younger than five years old, pregnant women, and people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions.

I hope this helps!

Tess

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Ask Tess: Can I Give My Cat Dog Food in a Disaster?

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Hi Tess,

We are in the hurricane (Irma) right now and I ran out of cat crunchies and wanted to know if I could give my cats some pedigree small dog crunchies until I can get to a store in a few days?

A Reader

 

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Hello Reader,

First of all, I hope you stay safe during this awful storm. For a few days, you could probably get away with giving your cat a small sized dog food, but understand that the nutritional requirements may be off. Cats require more protein than dogs and do not digest corn or grains well.  If you plan on giving your cat the small dish of cat food until you can make it back to the store, I think that’s fine. But if you have some cat food alternatives handy, you could try and provide your pet some of these alternatives.

Meat is the number one element of homemade cat food. Bones are also a very important addition to the feline diet – this is how your cat gets enough calcium. Liver is an excellent addition to your homemade cat food but should not make up more than 10% of their intake. Much of the waste that you would throw out when preparing a whole chicken for your family would be a welcome addition to the cat food dish.

Use this ratio to create your own cat food, based on the items you have on hand.

  • Meat:  3 parts
  • Organs: 1 part
  • Grain: 1 part
  • Veggies: ½ part

Some cat approved vegetables include: lightly steamed broccoli, carrots, zucchini, caulifower, or any other vegetables that your cat happens to enjoy. Some cats even like the taste of fruit such as melon, mango or apple, and if your cat enjoys these healthy treats it is fine to supplement their diet this way.

The meat in this mixture can either be lightly cooked or raw.

 

I hope this helps ~ Stay dry and safe!

 

Tess

 

 

 

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Ask Tess: I’m Vacuum Sealing Food For the First Time

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Hi Tess,

I am a first timer and I am wondering if I need to freeze my peas, beans and lentils before I vacuum pack them in the jars and vacuum bags? Also do I need to put oxygen absorbers in the bags and jars? Thanks.

A Reader

Answer:

Hello,
Vacuum sealing is a great way to get your long-term food stores stocked up. Congrats on taking those first crucial steps!

Many people freeze there long-term food items to kill off any insects or eggs that may be inside the packaging. If you are worried about insects getting on the long-term food items, then you can freeze them for 24-48 hours and then vacuum seal them. When I vacuum seal my dried goods, I always add an oxygen absorber in with the food. This helps the food stay fresh for the long-term. Also, if you live in an area that has high humidity, you might want to consider adding a desiccant packet as well. This helps absorb any moisture that is present inside the food sealed bag.

Since you’re a first timer, here are some articles that you may find helpful:

I hope this gets you on the right path. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me.

Good Luck!
Tess

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition