Herbal First Aid Kit part 2 Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio player at bottom of this post! This is a “part two” of last week’s show on first aid kits. Last week’s guest, Chuck Hudson, had a lot of great resources (as he always does) for both ready-made first aid kits, as well as … Continue reading Herbal First Aid Kit part 2
You can stay prepared when there is a sustainable first aid kit in your back yard. Learn the five herbs to get started and begin to build your kit. It is always wise to have a first aid kit with you, whether you are at home or away. There are many options for purchasing them […]
Getting wounded when you have no access to professional medical care and equipment can turn ugly quickly, so it’s important that you take care if it immediately and continue wound care until it’s healed well enough that infection is no longer a danger.
The most critical part after you stop the bleeding is getting the wound clean of debris and bacteria. That’s probably the crummiest part of it, especially for the person who has the wound, but it’s essential to get it clean right away so that your body can start repairing itself.
Keeping it clean throughout the healing process is critical, too, but it’s this first cleaning that will set the tone for your healing. Do it right. In order to make sure that your wound is clean, you’ll need some form of antiseptic, bandages, poultice or salve, clean cloths, and possibly tweezers to remove debris.
The antiseptic is probably the most important ingredient after debris removal because it’s going to kill any bacteria and other bugs that will hinder the healing process, or worse – cause infection. It doesn’t take long for infections to go septic – enter your bloodstream – and if that happens, you’re in serious trouble. That will literally kill you if you don’t have antibiotics.
So. Get it clean. Here are some different antiseptics, how they work, and how to use them.
If you have absolutely nothing else, water will have to do. For that matter, clean water is what you should use to initially clean the wound before using antiseptic. The problem is that if the water isn’t sterile, it can add bacteria to the wound and hurt you way worse than it will help. Simply using water from a lake or pond – or for that matter, rainwater – is a terrible idea.
To prepare water that isn’t straight from a sealed bottle to be clean enough to clean a wound, you need to:
- Filter it if it has any type of debris in it at all
- Sterilize it by boiling or by adding 1 part bleach to ten parts water. It wouldn’t hurt to do both. As a matter of fact, bleach kills 99.9 percent of germs. That’s about as close as you can get to perfect.
- If you’re going to boil it, keep it at a rolling boil for at least a minute, or 3 minutes if you’re above 1000 feet above sea level.
- Let it cool, but use it or bottle it in sterile bottles immediately after to prevent bacterial invasion.
You can clean a wound with water by pouring it over the wound and allowing the water to wash away the debris. If you couldn’t care for the wound immediately, you can soak the wound for a few minutes to loosen the dried blood and debris, then irrigate with water. If necessary, use a clean, sterile cloth to gently wipe away debris, and irrigate again after. Repeat until the wound is clean.
If you have absolutely no antibacterial agent to use, be extra vigilant about washing with water then bandage according to the wound type.
In the 19th century, the doctors used to pour gunpowder into the wound and set it on fire. Burning gunpowder destroys impurities, and stops the bleeding. You probably know what I mean if you watched Rambo 3, where John Rambo has to find a way to heal his shrapnel wound.
Video first seen on Christian Sansone.
But you have to be aware we’re talking about an extreme solution: if you use this method, you will cause a lot of pain and ugly scarring.
Also, as dr. Radu Scurtu says in his medical guide “Survival M.D.” you don’t just close off the blood vessel but also the muscle, causing an extra burn which can become infected.
Now that you have it clean, it’s time to apply the antiseptic. There are many different types that are effective, but you need to have at least one kind on hand at all times. We’re going to talk about some standard ones, but also some that you may not think of.
Have you heard of this? Most people haven’t, but it’s been a practice for centuries. I checked the NCBI thinking that it was possibly a snake oil situation. It’s not. Sugar helps lower the pH of the wound, which inhibits bacterial growth. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, pulls microphages (your body’s natural little bacteria eaters) to the surface, and promotes the growth of new tissue. Go figure. Carry a sugar packet.
Povidone Iodine (brand name Betadine)
The bottom line is that it may sting like crazy, but betadine is the bomb when it comes to killing what may ail ya in a wound. It’s an antibiotic, antiviral, and antiseptic and kills on contact. Since some of you may possibly consider using it to purify your water, you’re getting more bang for your buck since you can use it to clean wounds and surfaces, too. That’s right. Hospitals use it to sterilize surfaces because it’s so effective.
If you’ve been around farm animals, you’ve likely heard of sugardine. It’s a mixture of 1 part povidone iodine to 3 parts sugar mixed to make a paste to use on a wound. It’s one of the most effective antiseptics around and promotes healing, too. Sugar and iodine work well because sugar is obviously too dry to adhere to the wound effectively and iodine is too runny. Mix them together to make a paste, and you’ve got a good recipe that combines all of the benefits of both ingredients.
Ouch. You’ve heard about using this for wound care as a kid. As a matter of fact, you’ve probably run screaming from the house when you saw the bottle. Alcohol is a decent antiseptic because it kills bacteria, viruses and fungi by denaturing their proteins, rendering them useless.
However, alcohol can’t kill bacterial spores. That means it’s not an effective method of sterilization but it still works well as a skin and hard surface antiseptic. It needs to be at a concentration of between 60 and 90 percent.
You see it all the time in westerns – the wounded cowboy is biting down on a piece of leather and somebody is pouring his whiskey or moonshine (yowza) into his wound to clean it. But does it work. Actually, the answer is yes. It needs to be between 120 and 180 proof to be most effective.
You should know though, that many studies show that ethyl alcohol, the alcohol in liquor, doesn’t kill some bacteria, including Clostridium, the bacteria responsible for tetanus, botulism, and gas gangrene. Still it kills most others, though it works slower than isopropyl alcohol.
So, if you’ve got the vodka or the whiskey and a wound that needs cleaning, bite down on the strop and pour it on. Since it has other uses such as making tinctures and drinking, it’s a good thing to have around.
That antiseptic mouthwash that you have in the cabinet is acceptable for use as an antiseptic because of the high concentrations of alcohol and chlorhexidine. The latter, unlike alcohol, does kill spores and is considered both a germicidal and a disinfectant, so it’s a good combination.
For centuries honey has been used as an antiseptic and research backs it up. Honey is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. Make sure your wound is clean and you will definitely need to cover the it after putting honey on it. Otherwise, you’re a walking debris magnet.
Honey is also one of the items on this list that you can “grow” yourself, so you’d never have to worry about running out.
Peroxide – NOT
We all have it in our medicine cabinets. My mom was a nurse (a very smart one), so I was taught growing up that peroxide wasn’t any good as an antibacterial but was helpful in bubbling up and helping get rid of debris in the wound. That’s a fact. Research shows that it doesn’t retard growth, but it doesn’t kill bacteria, either.
So, it’s good to keep on hand to “bubble out the dirt” as Mom used to say, but you need to follow it up with a good antiseptic.
Disinfecting a wound as soon as possible and keeping it disinfected while it’s healing is the best way to prevent infection and promote healing. Especially in a survival situation where you may not have access to hospitals or antibiotics, preventing infection is critical to staying alive. Also, know your first aid!
Remember that knowledge is the only doctor that can save you when there is no medical help around you.
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“We are from the government and we are here to help you!” – these words inspire distrust in many Americans. I know because I have seen peoples’ reactions as I have uttered them trying to help them in emergencies.
Don’t want FEMA to kick your door in? Want to be a good citizen and do your part in an emergency? Download this article as a .pdf, print it and put it in a sheet protector and store it with supplies to tag and flag your home. It will help you a lot.
If you have seen pictures of the aftermath of a major disaster, you probably noticed cryptic markings on homes and buildings. Some are from insurance adjusters, some are made by search and rescue personnel and others are graffiti, warnings to looters or pleas for aid.
This article will help you understand search and rescue tagging methods and symbols and teach you how to flag your own home.
Why Flagging Your Home?
There are a number of reasons you may want to learn about tagging and flagging structures:
- Avoid duplication of effort – thereby speeding rescue and recovery efforts.
- Speed rescue effort – thereby saving lives and property.
- Prevent property damage – I’m not saying this is the best way to accomplish this goal under all circumstances, but if you are able to effectively communicate that there are no victims trapped in your home and it poses no danger to surrounding property, then there is less reason for honest responders to break into your home.
- OPSEC (Operational Security) – prevent others from seeing what resources you have and possibly decide to commandeer them or return with armed officers to do so. You might think, “How selfish!” But there is a difference between voluntarily sharing and being compelled to share, especially if it creates undue hardship or endangers loved ones. Many people consider it a reasonable precaution not put all their cards on the the table.
- Situational awareness – understanding the markings helps you understand.
In the US, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) partners with a number of both professional and volunteer emergency management organizations under a program known as the Citizen Corps. These organizations offer training and service opportunities to citizens to better prepare their communities for emergencies too large for their first response infrastructure to handle.
Hurricane Katrina exposed many obstacles to communication and joint operations between agencies and departments. All first responders at all levels of government now follow a single SOP (Standard Operations or Operating Procedure) framework called the ICS (Incident Command System) to improve communication and standardize training.
In cities that already have a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) or block captain program, groups of homes (typically 8-10) are organized into blocks with a block captain and assistant or co-captains checking on each block and reporting number of reds and greens to the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) which passes them up the chain to the municipality.
If your municipality does not have CERT yet, it will, but the pace at which the program is adopted varies with public perception of municipal risk and exposure to catastrophe. The residents of each home (or the block captains if residents do not flag their own home) flag the home Green (no assistance needed) or Red (assistance needed.) This is accomplished by placing a green or red marker (typically green or red construction paper inside a sheet protector or several feet of green or red flagging tape) to the side of the front door, as long as it is visible from the street.
If the front door is not visible from the street, the flag is placed in a conspicuous place that is visible from the street. Flagging or tagging a door right on the doors should be avoided because the marking will not be visible when the door is open.
If homes are not flagged, block captains will attempt to size up the situation without entering the home and flag it, but if they suspect (or even imagine) that someone may need help, emergency workers will likely gain entry into your home when they are available to do so.
Tools to Flag Your Home
- Public Alert Certified All Hazard Radio – without it, you may sleep right through the all-important first hours of many types of emergencies.
- Headlamp – the power may be out.
- Turnout bag – a bag containing everything you need to dress quickly and don PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in an emergency.
- Sheets of red & green construction paper – stored in a plastic sheet protector with a copy of this article. If you do not have this on hand, a piece of cloth or several feet of flagging tape or anything conspicuously so colored will do.
- Duct tape – to affix flag.
- Non-sparking gas wrench – large non-sparking crescent wrench or other tool to shut off gas if necessary. Steel wrenches can spark, resulting in a gas explosion. Aluminum is a more effective material for this application.
- Water shutoff tool or key – to turn off water main if necessary.
- First aid/trauma kit – To administer first aid if necessary.
- Smoke/Gas/Carbon Dioxide alarm
- Fire extinguisher
- Non-contact voltage tick meter – An inexpensive tool to discover live electrical lines without touching them.
How To Flag Your Home
Self-assess and Don PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
Make sure you are not seriously injured. The rescuer is the most important person in an emergency. Not only will you not be able to help anyone else if you become a casualty, but you will further strain emergency response resources that are already likely overtaxed.
If you jump out of bed and onto glass without your boots on, you are not off to a good start.
Establish Situational Awareness
Hopefully you already have a Public Alert Certified All Hazards Radio. It will issue information and instructions that will aid you in making decisions that will save lives. If you do not have one, turn on a NOAA weather radio or tune AM/FM radios to stations issuing emergency information for your area.
These frequencies should be part of your communications plan. Label radios with them. Turn on 2-way radios.
See If Family Members Are Injured or Trapped
Determine whether anyone in the home needs medical attention. If yes, call for help and flag the home red by taping a piece of red construction paper in a sheet protector to the side of your door or someplace visible from the street, and render first aid.
If you are in an apartment, condo or building, tape it on the wall beside your door or entryway where it will be visible to someone walking by. Diagnose and treat the three killers first: breathing/airway, bleeding and shock. Once the patient is stable or you have done all you can do, proceed to the next step.
Rescue personnel will go to flagged homes first if communications are down or if the number of injured exceeds their capacity to treat immediately.
If no one is injured, tag your home green instead of red and proceed to the next step. If injuries are minor, treat them and proceed to the next step. If family is trapped, flag the home red and rescue the most lightly trapped individuals first so they can help extricate more heavily trapped individuals. Use cribbing to safely extricate those within your ability and know when to go get more help.
Walk a complete circle around your home, checking for gas, water, live electrical lines, small fires and structural damage.
- Gas – if you smell gas, turn it off at the meter by turning the valve 1/4 turn in a clockwise direction. The gas company must run a check and turn it back on.
- Electrical – in the event of an electrical fire, short or gas leak, turn off main breaker in fuse box.
- Water – if a water pipe is broken, you will want to turn off water to your home until you can repair it to prevent flooding and water damage.
- Fire – if you hear, see or smell fire, size them up before attempting to fight them. Extinguish small fires within your ability with a buddy if they are smaller than a kitchen trash can and you have the equipment to safely do so. For larger fires, evacuate and call for help.
- Structural Damage – if there are dangerous power lines, gas lines, water lines, fires, sunken ground, impaired access, down trees or damage to the structure of the home, it may not be safe to inhabit. Tape off any hazards to prevent injury if it is safe to make repairs, but understand that emergency workers may deem your home inhabitable and ask (force if necessary) you to relocate.
This is one reason why everyone should have an evacuation or bug out plan, supplies cached off-site, financial reserves and places to stay. How will you “shelter in place” if your home is leveled?
Be able to shelter in place or evacuate as the situation dictate. It’s not the strong who survive, but the adaptable. If you cannot relocate for a time, your contingency plan is less-effective. Make it more effective.
How to Tagg Your Home
Whereas home owners or Block Captains flag their homes red or green to indicate whether or not they are in need of assistance, tagging of structures is typically done by SAR (Search and Rescue) Teams, organizing pertinent information around an “X” symbol. They will typically tag with contrasting colors.
Just as with flagging, tagging is done to side of the door, instead of on it, so the tag will be visible even if the door is closed.
Tools to Tag Your Home
- This article – in a plastic sheet protector, for further reading and knowledge.
- Marking instruments – choose colors that contrast with your home.
- sidewalk chalk
- lumber crayons
- XL paint markers or spray paint
- green and red flagging tape
- yellow caution flagging tape
- Camera or notebook & pencil – optional
- Binoculars – optional.
Finally, let’s see what to do to rag you home properly.
If other structures in your area have already been marked, take note. You may want to sketch what you see or snap a digital photo to help you duplicate the markings. Depending on why you are marking and what you are trying to accomplish, this may be helpful.
But SAR Teams do not always follow SOP. After flooding from a hurricane, the SAR Team flagged all the homes by tying Yellow Caution or Crime Scene Tape to the door knobs. This should never happen because you can’t see the flag when the door is open.
Things don’t always go as planned in emergencies. Maybe some of their gear didn’t arrive and they borrow crime scene tape form local law enforcement, who knows, but that’s why it’s important that you observe they are tagging if possible.
- Marking Instrument(s) – What are they using to mark structures? What colors?
- Time – Are they writing the time or time and date, and in what format?
- Team Initials – Who is doing the marking? Take note of the initials.
Upon entry, the SAR (Search & Rescue) Team makes a diagonal slash to communicate that searchers are inside and a search is in progress. This prevents duplication of effort and alerts others to their location, should they become trapped…
Upon completion of a search and extrication and removal of all victims, the SAR Team makes a second diagonal slash, completing an “X” communicating that the search of the structure is complete and that both the victims and searchers are safely out.
The SAR Team writes the time operations cease in the structure (and possibly the date) in the 12:00 quadrant of the “X”.
The 3:00 quadrant of the “X” is for actions taken that need to be communicated to the homeowner such as: “Gas Off” “Elec Off” “Water Off”
The 9:00 quadrant of the “X” is where the team or unit is identified by its initials.
Even if you flag with the wrong material, SAR workers will understand the markings. What they conclude upon reading it will be dependent on a host of factors. They may decide it was a local team or the residence belongs to a first responder.
Either way, they were going to gain forcible entry to your home before they saw the markings and no one answers when they knock. If they see the markings, they may pass you by, especially if they think it was done by another worker on their team.
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This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.
Without access to modern pharmaceuticals and medical care, your own life and the lives of your loved ones will be at risk in the aftermath of a disaster.
Your health should be number one priority in a survival situation, and when it comes to medical preparation for a post-disaster scenario, natural remedies are the safest way to go.
For this week’s Prep blog Review I’ve gathered five articles on this topic. From plants and herbs you can grow in your own garden, or even indoors, to natural ingredients you stockpile in your pantry I present you 50+ natural heal-anything remedies.
1. 7 Heal-Anything Medicinal Plants You Can Grow Indoors
“There is absolutely nothing like having fresh medicinal plants that you can pick and use right on the spot, when you need them.
Plus, you can dry them, and then use a mortise and pestle to grind them and encapsulate your own medicinal plants. You know they were never sprayed with pesticides. And you know all about the nutrients that were fed to them.
You can grow them in decorative planters in the kitchen if you have the lighting for it.”
Read more on Off The Grid News.
2. 5 More Useful Plants for Herbal First Aid
“Mullein (Verbascum Thapsus) – Mullein is well known as an ingredient in topical oils meant for the ears, but it’s a good plant to have on hand for a number of other things. For respiratory support, it’s traditionally used for dry, irritated coughs where there may be a feeling of tightness in the lungs. It’s also very useful as a muscular and skeletal support herb! Part of this is because mullein has a reputation for being very lubricating for joints and tissues, and it was traditionally thought of as a pain relief herb especially suited for cramps, spasms, and physical injuries. It’s a lymphatic herb that supports the immune system.
Herbal Actions: expectorant, demulcent, antispasmodic, vulnerary, lymphatic”
Read more on Indie Herbalist.
3. 5 Emergency Toothache Remedies From Wild Plants
“The crippling pain of a toothache can occur at inconvenient times – perhaps when far from your dentist or even your emergency first aid kit.
Because of the potentially intense pain and potentially critical health concerns associated with a tooth infection, wild herbs to treat toothache is an important category of medicinals to become familiar with in preparation for emergencies in the bush.”
Read more on Survival Cache.
4. 46 Effective Home Remedies and Natural Cures for UTI
“Here’s a sad health fact: Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is the 2nd most common infection in the body. According to NIDDK, there are at least 8 MILLION cases of UTI every year!
This inspired me to come up with this MASSIVE and IN-DEPTH article about Urinary Tract Infection which includes a visual how-to guide about 46+ home remedies for UTI.
I encourage you to learn about UTI, know its causes and symptoms, then dive right into the comprehensive and informative list of remedies that you can definitely apply at home!”
Read more on Ultimate Home Remedies.
5. Emergency Wound Care: When All You Have Is In Your Pantry
“Without access to hospitals and emergency medical care during off-grid emergencies, a simply infection from wounds can become life-threatening. Having knowledge of alternative medical treatments using natural wound therapies could save a life.
Years ago, the Mrs. and I made a major move. We had a specific timetable to adhere to, and as we were moving ourselves, efficiency was the word that exemplified our overall goals.
About an hour before we were going to batten down the hatches and hit the road, she slipped and slammed her shin on the edge of the moving van’s bumper: a combination of a laceration and abrasion, as well as potential for a broken bone.”
Read more on Ready Nutrition.
This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia.
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The best first aid kit of 2017, decided by customer reviews, ratings and popularity, has been around the top for several years in a row – which is adding to it’s credibility. Whenever anyone says ‘best’ or in this case,’best first aid kit’, it is entirely subjective. This particular kit while not designed for professional […]
In an emergency situation, it’s difficult to provide good first aid even in good weather, but if you must tend to sickness or injury in freezing weather, your job is going to be twice as hard.
You’ll have greater difficulty getting to a warm place to provide treatment, and snow and freezing weather will make it difficult to start a fire or find healing herbs that would be abundant in warmer weather.
You will also have to take care of yourself by wearing appropriate cold weather gear, which may impair you.
In this article we’re going to discuss how to meet these challenges and provide adequate first aid even in freezing weather.
How to Reduce the Risk of Injury
The first problem that you’re going to face is that chances for injury are going to be much greater. You’ll be facing the risk of frostbite, hypothermia, falls and hunting injuries. As a provider of first aid, the first rule is to avoid injury yourself.
In freezing weather, it will be an uphill climb to provide life-saving treatment without risking yourself as well.
The first challenge that you’re going to face when providing first aid is avoiding hypothermia on top of treating the injury, or perhaps the injury is hypothermia. The problem is that in order to treat hypothermia, you need a way to warm up the person, which isn’t going to be easy if you’re stuck outdoors.
In severe temperatures, your core temperature can drop dangerously low when exposed to the elements in a matter of minutes even if you’re awake and active. If the patient is unconscious, their body temp drops even faster because they aren’t moving about to generate extra body heat.
When you sleep, your body temperature drops by as much as a couple of degrees, which can be critical since hypothermia, by definition, is a decrease in body temperature. When you’re in a deep sleep, you don’t shiver to maintain body temp.
Your body also pulls heat from the shell (your limbs) to maintain core temp, which puts the extremities at risk for frostbite. Loss of blood increases the chance because blood is basically the hot water in your body’s radiator – the warm blood in your vessels keeps the surrounding temperature warm.
The take-away here is to keep the person awake and warm, even if he or she is in pain and you would normally encourage sleep.
Though you may need to shed at least your gloves or mittens to provide treatment of wounds, it’s critical that you stay warm in order to prevent becoming hypothermic, too. If both of you are down, there’s a high probability that you’ll both die.
If a person has an injury that requires removal of clothing, such as a gash or puncture wound, there’s a much greater risk of frostbite.
Like with hypothermia, it doesn’t take long in freezing temperatures for frostbite to set in and cause potentially permanent tissue damage that can result in loss of digits or limbs, or even gangrene.
The risk is particularly high around the wound area because it’s wet so it’s important to get it dry and keep it dry, or at least under a dry dressing so that the wet material and flesh isn’t exposed to the cold.
Ice presents many problems when traversing terrain in bad weather. The risk of broken bones, severe bruises, concussions, and just about any other injury is increased exponentially if you’re walking or traveling on ice. It will also make it much more difficult to get an injured person to safety.
If you have to provide first aid in an icy environment, don’t forget the first rule – keep yourself safe.
If a person has fallen through ice on a body of water and you’re trying to save them, do the best that you can to ensure your own safety. Tie yourself to a secure tree or fixed object before going after them, and if you have to go out onto the ice, lay flat so that your body weight is distributed over a larger area.
If you have a path that you use several times a day, use rock salt to melt the ice. You don’t have to use much, but you will need to reapply it at least once per day to keep the water from the melted ice from re-freezing.
Some ice on a shelter may act as an insulator, but if it gets too heavy for the structure to bear, you’ll find yourself without shelter. Monitor and do what needs to be done.
Inability to Travel
First aid is called that because it’s often meant to be the precursor to a higher level of medical treatment. For instance, if a person has severed a digit or limb, or has a severe injury, they’re going to need more than a bandage and some antibacterial ointment.
Tourniquets can only be used carefully and for a short amount of time without causing tissue death or damage and wounds such as gunshot wounds need surgery if the bullet or foreign object is still in the patient.
Freezing weather, especially in a SHTF scenario, makes travel much more difficult. Trying to travel in severe weather may result in further injury to the patient, or injury to you, and we already know that’s the last thing that needs to happen.
The best way to prepare for this is to know how to make snowshoes and to keep a means of transporting a patient, such as a sled, handy in case you absolutely have to get out.
Proper vehicle maintenance will go a long way here, too. It’s also good to know how to make a litter to carry somebody should they be injured away from home or camp.
How to Keep Supplies and Equipment from Freezing
All of those great balms, ointments, and elixirs that you have stored in your first aid kit are likely to freeze, and the lubrication in your equipment can freeze and make them difficult, if not impossible, to operate.
The same thing can happen to cloth bandages if they’re even remotely damp.
Any liquid treatment made with a large percentage of alcohol will likely be fine. That includes tinctures and rubbing alcohol. Peroxide will remain liquid up to -60 F or so. If you’re in temperatures that cold, you have bigger problems that a need for peroxide! Other meds such as cough syrup or saline bags will be popsicles.
One med that you really need to keep from freezing is insulin. Every package insert I researched was adamant about not freezing the product. I did some further study, thinking that this was, perhaps, Big Pharma’s way of keeping you from stockpiling product.
What I found was that “R” type insulin may survive freezing and still be viable, while “N” types don’t fare so well. That being said, I am certainly not a doctor, or even a diabetic, so if you have to use frozen insulin, do so at your own risk and monitor your levels closely. Also know that you’re going to be affected by cold weather more than your non-diabetic peers.
For your other antibacterial and special-use ointments, it seems prudent to store them in small enough packages that you can warm them just by holding them in your hands or placing them in your sock or somewhere else on your body.
Carrying MRE heaters or heat packs to warm them as well.
To keep vehicles running in freezing weather, make sure to use a lower viscosity oil in any internal combustion engine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the proper antifreeze to use in the radiator.
Working with Layers of Clothing
If it’s below freezing, providing treatment while wearing gloves will be difficult. Another problem is that the injured person may need to have protective layers of clothing removed to be treated. In both of these scenarios, the risk of hypothermia and frostbite is increased.
To protect yourself, always carry rubber gloves. This will help in two ways – it will keep you from getting your gloves and skin wet, and rubber gloves will help keep your body temperature in at least a little.
To protect your patient, provide treatment as quickly as possible and get them re-dressed immediately.
Again, carrying heat packs such as hand warmers in your medical kit can help – you can tuck them into areas such as armpits where the heat will be best utilized.
A nice down-filled jacket that was keeping a person warm ten minutes ago can quickly turn into a body-heat sponge that wicks away warmth if it gets wet. Carrying extra clothing in a water-proof pack can be a life saver.
How to Stop Bleeding and Wound Care
When your body is cold, circulation is increased, which means that your blood pressure goes up. Depending on what type of wound you’re dealing with and whether or not blood flow has been restricted in favor of keeping the core warm, it may be harder to stop bleeding.
If the cut is deep and on the trunk, you may have increased blood flow, which means you’ll have to work harder to stop the bleeding. If it’s on an extremity, you may not have problems stopping the bleeding, but will want to make very sure that your bandage is loose enough that it’s not restricting what little circulation is getting to that area.
The bleeding may be large, medium or small, but in the vast majority of cases, (in 80% of them) the bleeding stops through compression if you press down for 3 to 5 minutes. This is one of the things that I’ve learned from dr.Radu Scurtu after reading his book “Survival MD”, but believe me that it’s only a tiny piece of the medical survival knowledge you can get from his guide.
One more thing to learn in order to properly stop the bleeding: take a good look at the color of your blood since it will tell you how bad the wound is and how likely is to stop it by yourself, without involving specialized help. Arterial bleeding has red, purple blood, venous bleeding has black, dark blood. In the first case, you might stop it by compression, but the second one is much more life threatening, and it’s very likely you will need to get the victim to the hospital as soon as possible.
We already know that your body needs more calories to properly heal, but it also needs more calories and possibly even more water, to survive in extreme temperatures. Part of this is because every chore is harder because you’re traveling in snow and bad conditions wearing a ton of clothing, and part of it is because your body burns a ton more calories just keeping warm.
Don’t be surprised if you have people experiencing light-headedness or sugar lows, especially if they’re diabetic, if you’re treating them in freezing conditions. Yes, it may be the onset of hypothermia, but it may also simply be that their body is out of gas or dehydrated.
Make sure that everybody in your party makes allowances for up to twice the caloric intake and at least half again the water requirements to avoid this problem. In a pinch, you can always melt snow and ice for water.
Providing adequate first aid in freezing weather will be challenging, but it’s not impossible. The important thing is that you educate yourself and understand the adversities that you’ll face before going in. As in all things survival-related, knowing and being prepared is half the battle.
How to Stay Dry
Aside from gushing wounds or injuries that render you unconscious, being wet is probably the quickest way to die in freezing weather. Wet clothing, including wet shoes and socks, leeches your body heat and causes your core body temp to drop at least as quickly as if you were standing there naked.
If you have a patient that’s gotten wet, the first thing that you need to do, after treating severe bleeding or more life-threatening conditions, is to get them dry. Pack extra clothes in a way that they won’t get wet.
Another point that you may not consider is that sweating makes your clothing wet. For this reason, dress in layers, with the layer next to your skin being made of a wicking material such as wool. This goes for your feet as well as the rest of your body.
If you’re wet, get dry immediately before the doctor … err, first aider … becomes the patient.
Building a Fire
First order of business when setting up camp should be to find a way to get and stay warm and cook food. Building a fire in snow isn’t nearly as easy as it is in warmer conditions but it’s definitely possible, especially if you have a good fire starter.
Carry a fire starting kit to help you kick start your fire.
Finding or Building Shelter
In warm weather, it may be just fine to sleep under the stars but in freezing conditions, you need something that’s going to hold in heat and protect you from the wind and freezing temperatures. In the end, it’s a survival situation and the rule of three is still applying.
If you’ve studied up on your bush craft, you should already know several ways to build a shelter that will sustain the conditions and hold in heat.
You can even build a snow shelter, though it’s a lot of work and takes hours to do. Ice and snow can act as insulators, though that seems counterintuitive. If for no other reason than building a wind-proof shelter, you should carry garbage bags, moon blankets, or tarps.
In addition to making the walls secure against the weather, you also need to make a floor that will protect you. Lying on cold ground will suck the heat right out of your body. You can use tree boughs, tarps, a thick sleeping bag, or even layers of clothing or newspaper to do this.
How to Avoid Detection
If you’re in a survival situation, you may need to avoid detection. That means that you won’t be able to build a fire during the day because of smoke, at least in an open area, and you’ll need to shield the light from dangerous entities at night.
Since a fire is just about a necessity in freezing weather, learn your local terrain and how to use it to build a fire that will keep you warm without giving away your location. If it’s absolutely not possible, you may have to resort to shared body heat to stay warm.
When I lived in WV and CO, there were numerous caves that could be used both as shelter and as a means to have a fire without being detected, but in many places, that’s not an option. Just know your area and work out ways to make this happen.
If you can think of other challenges to providing first aid in freezing weather, please share them with us in the comments section below. And remember that knowledge is the only doctor that can help you survive when there is no medical help around you!
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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I keep a ‘do-it-yourself’ First Aid Kit in a quart size Ziploc bag to fit nicely into any number of my various ‘bags’ (backpack, my Versipack’s, etc..). Why do I do keep a First Aid Kit in a Ziploc? While I do have a few other more substantial First Aid Kits, the minimalist (Ziploc) First […]
The ‘Israeli Bandage’ is a highly recommended item for First Aid Kit trauma preparedness. The Israeli Bandage consists of a large sterile non-adherent pad surface to cover the wound, and is attached to a length of elasticized material (like an ‘ACE bandage) to wrap and uniquely apply pressure to a hemorrhaging wound with a built-in […]
A First Aid Kit is a ‘must have’ for preparedness. You hope you never need it, but you know that sooner or later you will. While you can buy a ready-made First Aid Kit in a wide array of choices or while you can build your own, I thought that I would mention two particular […]
We all generally have some sort of first aid kit or emergency supplies, especially if you have children. When preparing your medical bag, you try to think of everything you can add to it that would be beneficial in some way.
Preparing a medical bag you want to take with you in a grid down situation can be tricky as well. Nurse Amy Alton and Dr. Joseph Alton have found one of the best bags I have seen in a long while. In the video below Nurse Amy walks you through hundreds of items and what they can be used for.
According to the description on their website the total weight of the bag and everything in it is 19 lbs. including the military-grade padded and comfortable backpack made by Voodoo Tactical. After watching the video you can make that even less buy removing outer packaging of certain items like boxed medicines/items.
Their Stomp Plus Trauma Survival Bag is a little pricey but I believe with all the items you get PLUS that awesome bag it is worth it. Especially if you would rather buy a product first and add what you need. Although I doubt you could need anything after getting this.
To top that off, according to their website you will also get “The Survival Medicine Handbook“. This is a must have book for any prepper. Their book is written as if the grid is down. It is in laymen terms for those of us not familiar with medical definitions which make this book very much sought after.
Family Medical Bag With Nurse Amy Alton
Building your own emergency medical kit is a huge priority and can be some what over whelming. Having first aid supplies for different types of emergencies is important as well. You will want these on hand at home, in you’re vehicle or in a bug out situation.
From a different perspective, most of us have already started our own kits with out even realizing it, especially if you have children. A lot of times it is simply scattered all over the house and needs to be brought together in one bag being easily accessible when it is needed.
You Tuber PreparedMind101 has prepared an updated video of the medical to-go bag he carries. As he puts it, his “Holy crap what just happened bag”. The bag is really nice and seems well constructed. He has invested around $200 into it so far with a few items left to go. (Voodoo Tactical Men’s Universal Medic Bag) He shares the items he has put in there and asks for comments on things he might of missed. (For a list of the items shown in the video, look under the video.)
Whether you are buying a pre made kit or building your own that is tailored for your family, it’s going to cost you a pretty penny. All I have to say about that is “You get what you pay for”.
Building an Emergency Medical Bag
Listed in the order presented in his video
You don’t have any wilderness experience, but you want some. So what do you take along to make sure you get back?
by Leon Pantenburg
One of the most common questions from wilderness newcomers is: “What gear will I need?”
And that’s a really good question! Walk through any sporting goods store and you’ll notice a bewildering array of gear, stuff, doo-dads, knick-nacks and junk. The buyer must decide which is which.
Depending on what store it is, and the salesperson, you could end up buying some very expensive – and unnecessary – items. In some stores, the salespeople work on commission and push high-priced gear. Or you might end up with a clerk who is covering the counter for somebody at lunch.
So, here’s where to start. The Boy Scouts of America have been preaching the gospel of survival common sense for 100 years. Who actually coined the term “Ten Essentials” is probably unknown. But there is no question that a facsimile of this basic list is the basis of all emergency preparedness kits. Get your Ten Essentials first.
Here is a list of the Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials, and product suggestions. Check out the links for more info on any of the topics. Look at these ideas, and then decide what will work best for you.
- Knife: The best knife is up to your personal preference, but you must have some sort of cutting edge along. The only survival knife you have is the one you have along!
- First Aid kit: (A first aid kit should go along on every outing, even if you never use it.)
- Extra clothing: (This will depend, of course, on the climate, time of year and where you are. Clothing needs for my high desert area are much different than for those people in the tropics.)
- Rain gear: You have two choices for protection from the rain: rainsuit or poncho. I use both, depending on the circumstances. I hiked the John Muir Trail with a poncho for rain protection. It rained nine days straight! The poncho kept me dry, even though I was expending a lot of energy to hike. I prefer a rainsuit while hunting or fishing, because it won’t flap in the wind, and a rainsuit offers better protection while sitting or standing for long periods of time. Decide what’s best for your needs.
- Water bottle: Water is an absolute necessity. I generally carry a Nalgene or other rigid water bottle to drink out of. In my pack, I’ll carry several soft bottles to replenish my Nalgene. The soft bottle are protected in the pack, and
when empty, can be rolled up. The softies weight virtually nothing, and take up hardly any space. And if you find a water source, and need to re-supply, you’ll have ample containers along.
I’m not a big fan of the water bladder systems, for no really good reason, but they are great for kids because the drinking tube encourages drinking. (And the novelty of using a bladder water system will keep them well-hydrated until the newness wears off!)
- Flashlight or headlamp: (I field-dressed a deer shortly after darkness fell one evening, holding my mini-maglite in my teeth. It was pretty gross – talk about drooling on your gear…) Anyway, ever since that experience I carry a good headlamp. A headlamp leaves your hands free if you are spelunking, end up walking out to the car in the dark, scrambling over rocks etc. Besides, if the lamp is on your head, chances are less that it might be dropped and broken.)
- Trail food: This is another personal preference. I like to make most of my own, because of my inherent cheapness and a Depression-era mentality inherited from my Dad. But in all my packs, I have several Clif bars, some jerky, sardines, and hardtack. The gourmet food comes from the Dutch oven. The emergency food is fuel.
- Matches and firestarter or other methods of ignition – you should have several different types.
- Sun protection Sunscreen is an item that needs to be in every survival kit, regardless if you’re in the arctic or the tropics. I carry the tube type, because it is less messy to apply.
- Map and compass A GPS is also useful, but not without a map and compass! Always include spare batteries for your GPS!
This is the bare bones list, and you should expand and add categories to fit your individual needs. For example, my Ten Essentials includes some method of shelter, such as a tarp, trash bag, bivey sack etc., and I always carry at least 50 feet of parachute cord or light rope, and four aluminum tent stakes.
Neither the scouts, nor I, recommend including fishing gear as a survival tool! Many of the items, such as the knife, first aid kit and Clif bars, have multiple memberships in my different specialized survival kits. Another necessity is the proper size spare batteries for any device that is battery-powered. It’s a good idea to get battery-operated items that all use the same size.
Your outdoor essentials list can also vary seasonally. I always include a snow shovel and insulite pad on my winter showshoe treks.
My summer and winter extra clothing choices would also be different. An extra stocking cap is always a good thing to have along, but in the summer, a broad-brimmed hat for sun protection is a necessity.
Some items you shouldn’t cut costs on are boots or hiking shoes; a sleeping bag, and a reliable shelter.
Use this Outdoor Essentials list to form the basis for your own survival kit, then read and research to get new ideas. Your survival kit, if it’s anything like mine, will probably end up being an evolving project. After every outing, think about what you used, what you didn’t need, and what you wished you had. Then adjust accordingly.
The best survival kit or gear in the world is worthless if you don’t know how to use it, and just having a survival kit won’t save you. In fact, it might give you a false sense of confidence that could be deadly!
Start your wilderness preparation by reading a credible survival book, or taking a class from a competent instructor. Be wary of any survival-related internet blog or website. Just because someone has a website, doesn’t mean they know anything! Don’t get your survival training off a prime-time survival “reality” show.
Then practice with your equipment. Learn how to make a fire, or pitch your shelter in your backyard. Try out your sleeping bag on a chilly night on the deck to make sure it’s going to be warm enough. Make your mistakes at home, so you won’t in the backcountry, where a screw-up can kill you.
And let this be your mantra: “My survival kit won’t save me. My equipment or gear can’t save me. I will save me.” And include common sense with every outing!
Do you have an alternative medicine cabinet ready for your kids? Would you be able to fix up their wounds and heal their common sicknesses if you couldn’t make it to the doctor?
If you have kids, this is an essential area for emergency preparedness. The day may come when you can’t just head to the store and pick up another bottle of acetaminophen.
But first, let’s take care of some precautionary information:
A Child’s Dosage
Unlike those bottles at the pharmacy, natural remedies don’t always feature a dosage chart for children. Overdosing on any medication, even a natural one, can be dangerous. Don’t give your child an adult-sized dose.
Instead, you’ll need to calculate the percentage of the adult dose to give to your child. It’s based on age. Here’s a simple way to do the calculations using long division and multiplication:
- How old will your child be at his next birthday?
- Divide that number by 24.
- Round to the first decimal place
- Multiply that number by the adult dose.
Here’s an example:
- .291 rounded to the first decimal place is .3
- That means a 7 year old would get 30% of an adult dose. If the adult dose was 5ml (1 tsp) this child would need 1.5ml.
The older your child is, the closer to an adult dose he’ll need. If you’re treating a baby and you’re breastfeeding, you can take the remedy yourself and pass it through your milk.
Storage of Natural Remedies
Light and heat should be kept away from your remedy supply. A dark glass bottle, stored in a cool part of the home is a great storage solution.
You’ll also want to make sure your remedies are inaccessible to children. If you don’t have a high shelf ready, consider using a lock-box. That way curious little hands can’t accidentally overdose.
Honey & Babies
Some of these remedies use honey. Honey isn’t appropriate to give to a child younger than a year old, so avoid these treatments with babies.
Natural First Aid for Children: Wound Care
Since they’re bodies are constantly growing and changing, children tend to be a bit clumsy. They bang into things and fall frequently. Bruises, cuts, and scrapes are common wounds you’ll have to tend.
With open wounds, infection is a primary concern. Keep the wound clean and dry. Bandages or strips of cloth help. Rather than using store-bought antibiotic ointment, try these natural alternatives before you cover the wound.
Take time to stock up on witch hazel. It’s typically found by the hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol at the store. Store-bought witch hazel contains isoproply alcohol, helping it to clean wounds completely.
It also forms a protective barrier, which promotes healing. It will sting though, so you might want to warn your little one before you squirt it on.
Raw honey has antibacterial properties. It’s beneficial all on its own, but when combined with sage and left to age, you’ll have an even stronger antibacterial ointment. This treatment is also simple to prepare, especially if you grow your own sage. It’ll also last in your cupboard for a long time.
To prepare the sage honey:
- Take a small glass canning jar, and loosely add chopped sage leaves. You want to fill the jar, but not pack the leaves down.
- Next, pour raw honey over the top. It’ll cover the leaves and fill up the jar completely.
- Then, put a lid on the jar and leave it to rest. You’ll want it to sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours before you use it. Over time, it’ll become even stronger.
If desired, you can remove the leaves in 4 weeks. It’ll make it a bit easier to rub onto wounds, and a bit more child friendly.
Sage honey is easy to use, and safe for children. You just apply a small amount to the top of the wound.
Lavender Oil Rub
Lavender oil helps reduce pain and prevent infection, making it the perfect go-to flower for small cuts. If you already have essential oil, you’ll want to dilute it with a carrier oil. Olive oil and coconut oil both work well. If you need to make the oil, this Survivopedia article can help.
A ratio of 10 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil is appropriate. For children, it’s important to ensure essential oils are properly diluted before use. Never apply them full-strength.
To prepare the lavender oil rub:
- Measure your carrier oil into a dark container.
- Add your essential oil.
- Mix thoroughly.
You can either rub a small amount of the lavender oil rub directly onto the wound, or you can soak a cloth in the prepared oil. You can then use the soaked cloth as a compress, wrapping it around the sore.
Plantain is common in many parts of the world. It’s also an astringent, which helps slow and stop bleeding. If you’re out in the woods and need an immediate remedy, chew on a few plantain leaves. Then, use those chewed leaves to cover the wound.
It’ll help the bleeding stop while you get back to the rest of your medical supplies. Teach your children to recognize this important plant, and how to chew it. If they’re on their own and injured, it’s a safe first-aid remedy they can use on their own.
Arnica helps reduce swelling. It’s a helpful herb for bruises and bumps. If you’re able to stock up on homeopathic arnica pellets, you’ll help get your natural first-aid kit ready. You can also create your own cream to use topically.
This is how to make an arnica cream:
- After harvesting arnica, you’ll want to dry the plant completely. Then, it’s time to turn it into an infused oil.
- You’ll need a carrier oil to use for your base. Coconut oil, olive oil, and almond oil are common base oils.
- Fill a clean jar loosely with chopped, dried arnica. Then, cover the arnica with carrier oil, and put a lid on the jar.
- You’ll want this oil to sit in a warm, sunny spot for two weeks. After the time passes, strain out the arnica using cheese cloth. Throw out the used herbs.
- Your oil isn’t yet ready to turn into cream. It needs another batch of dried arnica added. Just add it directly to the oil in the jar. Leave this covered for another two weeks, and then strain out the herbs for a second time.
- Once you’ve finished the oil, you can measure it into a sauce pan. For every cup of oil, you’ll want to add ¼ cup of grated beeswax.
- Heat this mixture over low heat until the beeswax completely melts. Take it off the heat, and transfer it to a small jar for storage.
Rub a small amount on bumps and bruises to promote healing.
Natural Remedies for Coughs & Colds & Earaches
In addition to bumps and bruises, children are prone to colds and upper respiratory infections. Ear infections are also common. There are natural remedies for all of these ailments.
A cup of hot tea helps loosen congestion. The peppermint also contains menthol, which helps decongest the sinuses. If your child is too young for tea, simply smelling the steam from a cup of your tea will provide some relief.
Warm Honey Lemonade
Honey and lemon both help soothe the throat. This is an excellent treatment for a child with a cough.
This is how to prepare the honey lemonade:
- Place ½ cup of honey and ½ cup of lemon juice in a saucepan, and gently stir as you warm over low heat.
- Once the honey and lemon have completely combined, add ½ gallon of warm water.
- Continue stirring until the lemonade is as warm as you’d like it to be. Then, remove from heat.
Encourage your child to drink a mug of the hot lemonade every few hours. Not only will this help with a cough, it’ll also keep your little one hydrated.
Garlic is a powerful medicinal herb with many health benefits. If your child is getting a cough or a cold, chop up a clove of garlic finely. Your child can either eat this plain, add it to a glass of water, or you can mix it with butter and spread it on toast. My kids prefer that method, as the butter and bread help cut some of the garlicy taste.
You can also make garlic oil that helps with earaches. Garlic oil doesn’t last long without refrigeration, which means you might not want to mix up large quantities all at once. The good news is it’s simple to prepare, so you can make a fresh batch each day you need it.
Here is how to make garlic oil.
- Crush a clove of fresh garlic and add it to a saucepan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil.
- Slowly heat the oil over low heat for twenty minutes.
- Strain out the garlic.
Add 2-3 drops of oil to the hurting ear. You can repeat this treatment every few hours to provide maximum pain relief.
However, if your child has a perforated ear drum, this is not an appropriate treatment. If you aren’t sure if the ear drum has ruptured, use a garlic compress instead.
To make a garlic compress, soak a small piece of cloth in your garlic oil. Squeeze out the excess liquid before use. Have your child hold the garlic compress to her ear. This will provide relief, though not as quickly as the garlic oil.
In addition to earaches, you can also use a garlic compress on top of a wound to help prevent infection.
Do you heal your child naturally?
There are many other natural treatments for common ailments. Share your favorite natural remedies for kids with the rest of our readers in the comments below, and click on the banner for more knowledge about surviving where is no doctor around!
This article has been written by Lisa Tanner for Survivopedia.
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We live in a time when doctors prescribe antibiotics willy-nilly, any time somebody complains of the sniffles. It’s a cop out way to shut people up and make them feel as if they got their money’s worth out of the appointment.
Personally, I think that it’s also a CYA way for the doctor in case you keel over after you leave the office. Let’s get real though and talk about how your body can defeat bacteria naturally.
First off, we all know that antibiotics aren’t going to be readily available if SHTF and pharmacies and doctor offices shut down. You may have a supply hoarded but it would be unwise to use that except in the most dire of cases. There are many natural antibiotics that you can use, and I also wrote an article about making your own antibiotics.
Instead of getting to the point that you need antibiotics, the best thing that you can do is avoid getting sick to begin with. The second best thing to do is that if you do happen to get sick, don’t treat it with antibiotics unless you have to. But how to avoid the need for antibiotics?
The problem with bacteria is that it’s extremely resilient and can mutate into forms that are resistant to antibiotics. Obviously, that’s bad. You know those products that kill 99 percent of bacteria? Well guess what that other 1 percent is? That’s right – as with most situations in life, it’s a case of survival of the fittest. The strongest bacteria survive and pass that on to their offspring.
Frequent use of antibiotics poses two problems. First, they don’t discriminate between good bacteria and bad bacteria. They just go into your body and annihilate any bacteria it finds. Your body NEEDS certain bacteria in order to function properly, especially in the digestive system. When antibiotics wipe those out, your digestive system can’t operate properly and if the good bacteria are gone, it leaves room for the bad bacteria to move in before the good ones can repopulate.
Next, if the antibiotics don’t kill all of the bug that’s making you sick, a superbug can result. This is the name for that mutant strain of bacteria that we were talking about earlier; the one that’s resistant to antibiotics. There’s no way to absolutely avoid this, but it’s the reason that you should always take your full dose of antibiotics until they’re gone.
The Secret Weapon is Your Own Body
The best possible way to fight bacteria is to have a healthy immune system to begin with. This involves eating well, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and avoiding stress. Forget all of the antibacterial stuff and don’t pop a pill every time you get the sniffles.
Why is this important? Because doctors and medicine don’t heal; they just help the body recover by itself. In a crisis situation, if you become sick or get injured, you don’t have any other tools or medicine other than your body so you need to act upon it first, and help it to get the healing process started.
There are times, such as when you have a major infection from a wound that you SHOULD take antibiotics, but those times are few and far between. Other than in those types of extreme situations, suck it up, eat well, clean your cuts and scrapes well and often, and take care of yourself in general. Oh, and wash your hands.
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by details that you probably don’t even think about. For instance, when you use a public restroom, do you turn off the faucet or open the door with your hands on your way out? If so, you probably just wasted your time washing your hands because – surprise – many people don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom.
After you wash your hands, turn the faucet off and open the door with the paper towel that you used to dry your hands.
Don’t touch your face unless you absolutely have to. We’ve already talked about the germs that you’ve picked up in the bathroom. Other people pick them up too, then carry them back and rub them all over their staplers, chairs, desks, door handles, counters, and everything else that you may come into contact with during the day.
Oh yeah, and they sneeze or cough in their hands (if they bother) and rub those germs all over everything, too. Gross but true. So, don’t touch your face and wash your hands frequently.
Stay Away From Hospitals
If you want to run into every supergerm on the planet, go to a hospital. Why do you think people get admitted? True, some are in there for injuries or diseases, but a great many are there because of a bacterial infection that ran amok. If the bacteria was so bad that it couldn’t be treated outside with standard antibiotics, then it’s probably not something that you want to come into contact with.
Since nurses, doctors, and other hospital personnel go back and forth between rooms and visitors go from patient rooms to other areas such as restrooms, cafeterias, and waiting rooms, germs spread like wildfire, again in ways that most of us don’t even consider: door handles, charts passing from hand to hand, sneezes, coughs, remote controls, magazines; the list goes on and on.
That’s not even your biggest worry, though. Hospitals use heavy-duty cleaners all the time to clean rooms, floors, and every other surface, right? Well this goes back to that 99 percent conversation that we had earlier, except on a HUGE scale.
The typical antibacterial ingredient is triclosan, and studies have shown that though it works, it doesn’t work well enough, and it poses other problems.
Many really bad bugs are killed by triclosan, but the few that are left behind to breed are downright NASTY superbugs. Also, triclosan has been linked to some nasty side stuff, including interruption of your endocrine system and a link to autism in kids.
Even a perfectly healthy immune system will have to put out a few fires after a visit to a hospital, but if you’ve already got an open cut or your immune system is weakened, you could be the next one in that bed. Now you see why having a good immune system helps a lot, don’t you?
Avoid hospitals like the plague and if you DO have to go, don’t touch anything more than you have to, don’t touch your face, and clean your hands on your way out with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, which is the one agent that kills most bacteria, viruses and even fungi on the spot.
Don’t Use Antibacterial Stuff
You’d think that using all the antibacterial hand soaps and sanitizers would be a good thing, right? Not really. Antibacterial soaps and sanitizers give you a feeling of false security. They do kill some bacteria, but they don’t kill viruses or fungi that cause other illnesses such as the flu or the common cold.
As a matter of fact, most antibacterial products use triclosan, which means you may now be breeding your own superbugs at home. Triclosan is just bad. Avoid it as much as you avoid the bacteria you’re trying to kill with it.
To further the argument against antibacterial soaps, studies show that most of them don’t remove any more germs than good old fashioned soap and water. Want to get something really clean? Use bleach, alcohol, or even apple cider vinegar.
Let Food Be Thy Medicine
Yup, Hippocrates got it right. There are tons of foods that have antibacterial benefits. One of the great things about getting antibiotics via your food is that you’re not disrupting the delicate balance of your body by flooding it with a pharmaceutical that’s going to mow down all of the good bacteria along with the bad.
Antibacterial foods typically have a ton of other amazing health benefits and if you eat them along with a variety of other healthy foods, you’re going to get everything that your body needs to stay healthy. Just a few examples of antibacterial foods include:
- Fermented Foods
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Oregano Oil
- Unrefined Coconut Oil
These ingredients, with the exception of Echinacea, can be used internally or externally to kill bacteria and this list only includes a few of the foods that I can think of just off the top of my head. I’ve listed a few more in this article, which also includes some other treatments used by Native Americans.
So, in summary, the best way to defeat bacteria naturally is to approach your battle from all sides. Don’t use products that create superbugs in the name of killing off 99 percent of the weaker bugs, don’t pop pills like they’re candy, eat well, exercise often, wash your hands, and do what it takes to relieve stress so that your immune system stays strong.
It sounds simple, and it generally is. Sure, occasionally something is going to slip through even the best defenses but in a SHTF scenario, you’re going to need to keep yourself healthy and your environment clean. With no antibiotics, preventing the spread of disease is going to be critical to survival, and the best way to do that is to avoid disease to begin with.
If you can think of anything I’ve missed or if you have anything to add, please feel free to do so in the comments section below! And click on the banner below to get more knowledge about surviving a medical crisis when there is no doctor around!
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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You are what you eat, the ancestors used to say. When it comes to survival, what you eat can save you more than you imagine.
Food is one of those things that you desperately need for survival (remember the rule of three?), but it also helps you healing wounds, literally, and solve unexpected medical crisis.
We found 10 foods that work best as medicine in medical emergencies, put them together and built the cool infographic that you see below.
Share this knowledge with you friends!
This article has been written by Gabrielle Ray for Survivopedia.
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You’ve likely watched many movies where chloroform is used to knock people out in order to kidnap them or disable them for some other reason.
It’s definitely good for that, but subversive maneuvers isn’t what it was originally made for. Originally it was used as an anesthetic to knock people out for surgery.
Sounds like a handy thing to have in your supplies, right? The problem is that you can’t just walk into your local superstore and pick up a gallon of it from the shelf beside the milk. You can, however, make your own.
Chloroform, whether pharmaceutical grade or homemade, is lethal in the wrong hands. Don’t use it without training!
That being said, if you have a medically-trained person in your group, knowing how to make it can come in handy in a variety of ways. You can use it to anesthetize people for surgical procedures, or to operate on animals for procedures such as castration. It’s also used in pesticides, disinfectants, dry cleaning solutions, photography development and refrigerators.
So, how can you make chloroform at home? Actually, it’s not that difficult – it involves two common household items – but it is a bit dangerous for both the patient and anybody within several feet of it.
There are actually a few different ways to make it, but keep in mind that this can very well kill the patient you are trying to save. Yes, I’ve already said that, but it bears repeating. Now, on to it.
Gather Your Ingredients
You know all those warnings you’ve heard about mixing your cleaning products? Well there’s a good reason for them. When combined, certain chemicals such as bleach create toxic fumes such as chloroform (yes, I said TOXIC), hydrochloric acid, chloroacetone and other things you really don’t want to breathe.
Since we’re actually trying to make one of those chemicals, let’s proceed with it. Household bleach is your first ingredient. It needs to be at least 6 percent without any added ingredients. If you use a higher concentration, you’re going to need more ice, which I’ll explain in a second.
The second ingredient is used by most women for cosmetic purposes and by many men (and women) to shine their rides with an awesome paint job. Acetone, also known as finger nail polish remover or paint reducer. Be careful to read labels though, because these products aren’t always pure acetone, or even acetone at all. You can buy acetone in the cosmetics section of your local superstore and you can also buy it at most paint stores where it will probably be labeled simply as acetone.
The final ingredient is one that’s really tricky. You’ll actually have to walk all your way to the freezer for it. It’s ice.
So to recap, the ingredients you will need are: household bleach, acetone, ice.
Gather Your Equipment
- You’re going to need a large glass container. HDPE buckets will work because the reagents won’t attack it, but you won’t be able to see the chloroform forming as well.
- A separation funnel will be needed to separate the chloroform from the other ingredients. You can do it with other tools such as an eye dropper, but that’s a long row to hoe. You can get a separation funnel online for about $25.
- A gas mask is highly recommended because of the risk of inhaling the fumes. You should make the chloroform in a well-ventilated area even if you’re using the mask. The vapors alone can make you nauseated, give you a headache or even make you pass out.
- A stir stick will be necessary. Glass is, of course, the best tool for this job.
Make the Chloroform
I feel the need to warn you again to be careful. This isn’t something you should use as a family science experiment. If you’re ready to move ahead, gather your ingredients and equipment together in a well-ventilated area.
It’s best to start with the bleach and acetone chilled even if you’re using ice because the reaction will cause the mixture to heat up by at least 85 degrees. The higher concentrate bleach you use, the hotter it gets. The ratio for making chloroform needs to be 1 part acetone to 50 parts bleach. That’s 1 teaspoon of acetone per cup of bleach.
- Place the bleach in the container, then add several ice cubes. Add the acetone and stir the mixture, or swirl it around if you’re using a vessel that allows you to do that without sloshing it out. If you’re using a high concentrate of bleach, i.e. 12 percent, add more ice.
- Leave the mixture alone for 30 minutes to an hour so that the chemical reaction can develop and the mixture can cool. First you’ll notice a white cloud of vapor coming from the solution and the solution itself will become cloudy. You don’t want to breathe this! You’ll also be able to see a white residue, powder, or bubble forming on the bottom. That’s the chloroform.
- After the hour is up and the mixture is cool, gently pour most of the liquid off the top. Be careful to leave the chloroform on the bottom.
- Once you’ve gotten most of the liquid out, transfer the rest to your separation funnel. Let it settle, then drain the chloroform out, leaving behind the water.
You’ll yield around 50-70 percent of your starting material volume in chloroform.
At this point, the chloroform is created but if you’re going to use it on people, or animals for that matter, it needs to be distilled in order to purify it. Obviously, you’ll need a distiller for that.
Video first seen on: Magneto!
Other Ingredients to Combine
If you have a copper still (and who doesn’t?) laying around, this is the way to distill your chloroform into liquid. You can use the ingredients listed above or you can use 4 parts of bleaching powder (32.5-34.5 percent), 3 parts 96% alcohol, and 13 parts water.
The actual distillation process for this is lengthy and requires several different steps. It’s not particularly viable for the average person, but I wanted to make you aware of it.
Because chloroform, either pharmaceutical grade or homemade, is thought to be carcinogenic, is dangerous to use and make, and doesn’t have much of a shelf life, it may not be your best option for use in a survival situation. Topical analgesics or oral pain meds may be the better option. Shoot, even doing it like they did in the Wild West is a better option – take a shot of liquor til you feel no pain.
Seriously, chloroform is nothing to fool around with. If you want to make it at home, now you know how but do so with care. Your life, or the life of the person you administer it to, will depend upon it.
If you have ever made chloroform or have anything to add, please feel free to do so in the comments section below.
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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Can you imagine dying from a cut on your finger or a scrape on your knee? How about a respiratory infection or a toothache?
Before the invention of penicillin, the first antibiotic, that could have been your cause of death. If SHTF, access to antibiotics may become limited or impossible. If that happens, it’s important to know how to make antibiotics at home.
To understand the importance of antibiotics, think of it in larger terms. They would have cured the bubonic plague, which was a bacterial infection that took 100 million lives in the 14th century. It was originally caused by infected rats and the fleas that had bitten them, and then bitten a person. Since it was highly contagious, after a person was infected by the rat or flea, the infection then spread from them to other people.
Antibiotics also cure tuberculosis, a highly contagious bacterial disease that still exists today. As a matter of fact, in 2014 alone, more than 9 million people were reported to have it.
All bacterial infections are contagious to some degree, though for some, such as ones that cause an infected tooth or cut, the risk of infection is low because it’s mostly blood born. With other infections, such as tuberculosis, all you have to do is breathe the same air to become infected.
Though we think of the plague as something long behind us, we’re only protected from it because of access to antibiotics. If society collapses, pandemics like it could wreak the same havoc on humanity as they did then.
For thousands of years, Chinese medicine has used fungi to treat skin infections. World-wide, a common treatment for any skin lesion was a poultice made of dirt, which likely contained fungi. For thousands of years, people may not have known WHY something worked; they just knew that it did. Fortunately, we don’t have to depend on such blind faith anymore, so let’s get on with it.
Making penicillin at home is difficult, but possible if you have the right equipment and ingredients. First things first, though: don’t do it unless it’s truly a survival situation.
First, commercial antibiotics have been made by the pros, and they’re a known quantity. Second, making drugs at home, whether they’re legal or illegal, is frowned upon, and distributing them is illegal in most places.
How to Make Penicillin
This is a no-brainer, right? It’s made from bread mold, so you just leave a loaf out, cook up the mold or something, then take it, yes? Umm, no. Penicillin is made from the penicillium fungus found on foods such as some breads and fruits (a moldy cantaloupe played a huge role in initial experiments), but here’s the thing – the bacteria has to be stressed.
So, you have to grow the fungus, then introduce it to stressors before you can use it to make penicillin.
Very important heads up – your culture has to be grown and cultivated in a sterile environment or else other bugs and nasties will contaminate it and cause a Frankin-culture instead of the pure penicillium culture that you need to make antibiotics.
There’s a simple but less reliable way of making penicillin, and then there are steps that you can take to ensure that your end result is penicillin. Warning: though: it’s complicated and requires chemicals that can be quite expensive and have limited shelf lives.
- A gram scale
- Separatory funnel
- A 1-liter glass container
- 750 ml Erlenmeyer flask with a non-absorbent plug
- A pH test kit
- 2 pieces of whole wheat bread
- A cantaloupe rind, more bread, or citrus fruit
Step 1 – Set out the rind, bread or fruit and let it mold (we’ll call this the host). It will go through a few phases. First the mold will be white or gray, then it will turn blue, then a bright blue-green. This is the color you want. Note: if you choose to use bread, it’s best to make it yourself because many bakeries use an ingredient that inhibits mold growth.
Step 2 – Sterilize the flask by putting it in the pressure cooker at 15 lb. for at least 15 minutes, or bake it at 315 degrees F for an hour.
Step 3 – Cut the whole wheat bread (see note in step 1) into 1/2-inch cubes and place them in the flask, careful to be as sterile as you can.
Step 4 – scrape the blue-green mold from the host and place it in with the bread. Again, be as sterile with this step as you can, for instance, boil the tongs that you’re using.
Step 5 – Place the flask in a dark place that’s around 70 degrees and allow it to incubate for 5 days.
At this point, some people may say that you’re done and you can just slap the “penicillin” on the wound or make tea or soup from the bread. We don’t recommend it.
Step 6 – Now it’s going to get complicated. You’re going to need the following ingredients:
- Lactose Monohydrate 44 gm
- Corn Starch 25 gm
- Sodium Nitrate 3 gm
- Magnesium Sulfate 0.25 gm
- Potassium Monophosphate 0.50 gm
- Glucose Monohydrate 2.75 gm
- Zinc Sulfate 0.044 gm
- Manganese Sulfate 0.044 gm
Now, according to the instructions that I found (neither of which were actual medical sites because, as usual, there aren’t any actual medical sites that describe how to make anything like this at home), it says to dissolve these in tap water.
After researching, it seems that distilled water would be the best to use for the next step because we want to keep things as sterile as possible and tap water has unknown variables. That’s just my opinion and I’m definitely not a formally trained scientist, so use what you prefer.
Step 7 – So, back to it. Sterilize the 1+ liter container, then dissolve the above ingredients in 500 ml of cold water. Add more cold water to make it a full liter.
Step 8 – Use hydrochloric acid (HCL) to adjust the pH to 5.0-5.5 using your pH test kit.
Step 9 – Sterilize the container along with the solution as described above.
Step 10 – Allow the solution to cool, then add the mold. Incubate it for another 7 days under the same conditions as before. It’s important that the fluid isn’t jostled around so put it where it won’t be moved.
If you’ve done it correctly, you’re almost done. Now it’s time to extract the penicillin that’s infused in the fluid.
Step 11 – Filter the mix through a coffee filter or sterilized cheesecloth.
Step 12 – Adjust the pH of the solution to 2.2 using the HCL and the pH test kit.
Step 13 – Mix with cold ethyl acetate in the separatory funnel and shake vigorously for 30 seconds or so then allow it to separate. The ethyl acetate will be at the bottom.
Step 14 – Chill a beaker in an ice bath and drain the ethyl acetate into it. Add 1 percent potassium acetate and mix it again.
Step 15 – Let the ethyl acetate evaporate off while the solution is still in the beaker. You want plenty of air circulating through.
Step 16 – You have penicillin, assuming you did everything right. Actually the crystals that remain are potassium penicillin and potassium acetate.
This is a pretty scientific process and not something that you should undertake lightly, just to save yourself a few bucks on a prescription.
Because there are so many variables, making your own penicillin is tricky at best. Yes, you may have penicillin but you may have some bad bugs in there, too. But if SHTF, you’re dying from septicemia and you have no other viable options, then it’s not like this is going to make anything worse.
There are also many other sources of natural antibiotics that you can eat or even use topically, including honey, garlic, oil of oregano, and ginger. Honey is also a great preventive because in addition to killing something that may have gotten into the wound, it also acts as a barrier to keep other bugs out.
If you opt to use this recipe, it may be best to test it on a patch of your skin first to see if you have a reaction then go from there. I would definitely recommend researching the entire process more and to use this article as one piece of the “making your own antibiotics” puzzle.
If you have experience with this, or are a trained medical professional, we would love to hear from you on this topic.
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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The Herbal First Aid Kit Simplified Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” One of my listeners emailed me a question about first aid kits, and I thought it would make for a great show topic. Jerry wanted to know how to build an easy, affordable first aid kit with herbal and natural remedies. However, it also … Continue reading The Herbal First Aid Kit!
Natural First Aid Kit A Natural First Aid Kit for a Healthy Lifestyle Natural first aid kits are essential for both indoors and outdoors. Whether you are at home or plan to travel, you need to be prepared with all the natural remedies that you need. This will spare you the challenge of going out […]
The Ultimate Survival Kit
“Be prepared for the worst,” this is what we hear every day but look around- are you really prepared? If tomorrow a disaster strikes or a war breaks out, is your survival plan set? Most of us do not even know where to begin with! Preparing for the worst is very scary. Start with the basics then; make your own survival kit. You never know how seconds can change your life, hence start preparing.
Survival is only possible when you know you can handle yourself in such consequences. When you believe in yourself. This belief comes from the mental and physical preparation. How to mentally prepare yourself, start with the following:
- To make sure you are capable enough start with some form of physical exercise and build it up to strength training. Jog and run so that your stamina can be built for such instances.
- Self-defense is very important! Join martial arts classes where you can learn to fight. This will ensure that you can take care of yourself when things go wrong.
- Moreover, learn to use a weapon. You may have to kill in order to protect yourself, thus master the art of using pocket knives and guns so that you do not feel weak in the moment.
- Learn basics such as how to light a fire, how to set tents, how to hunt, how to fish, how to swim etc. These basics will give you confidence to survive what is coming forth towards you.
- Survival also requires a calm mind, rationale thinking and quick decision making. Meditation helps a person to stay calm and composed and to think clearly. Try meditating twice or thrice a week so that you can practice the same when things get stressful.
While you are preparing yourself, start making a survival kit too! Survival pushes a person out of their comfort zone thus you cannot carry everything you own. Focus on what you need rather than what you want. The basic human needs to survive are food, water, clothing, shelter, weapons and medicine, this is how you will categorize the items that will make it to your survival kit.
Food: Make a food storage where food can be stored. Your survival kit should also have basic food supplies, and seasonings so that you can survive at least two weeks. Make sure that the food being stored has time to expire. Items such as vegetable powders, fruit powders, and dried food are available in the market. These products offer to be essentials during a survival situation. Moreover, carry match sticks to light fire, lighters, fishing rods and knives. You might have to hunt, set traps or learn about gathering, hence your survival kit should include products such as knives, wires, guns, that can help you with these acts.
Water: Water is the basis of human survival. Human beings cannot survive three days without water. Your survival kit should include empty vessels and bottles that can store water for you. Keep extra water stored in your home fridges that can be picked and tossed in the kit when time comes. Also, keep water purification tablets in your survival kit as they can be helpful when you do not have a source of clean water around you.
Clothing: Having proper clothing on you is very essential. You cannot survive a cold winter night in a basic tee shirt! For your survival kit, your clothing has to be comfortable yet protective. Do not pack everything in your survival kit. Study the general climate of the region you reside in and pack clothes accordingly. For nights, keep some warm clothing because you never know how temperatures can change. Moreover, your shoes are very important! The right shoes can take you towards surviving. Shoes should be easy to walk in, protect you from the rain and sun and survive rough walks, wear and tear and different terrains. A good pair of sneakers and socks can do the trick.
Shelter: Where would you survive is a question worth pondering over. Planning a shelter is very important. Mark out places where you can head to when things go wrong. If you think your home is your shelter place then you have an advantage- added space for more storage. Assign areas in your neighborhood that can serve as a shelter. However, for survival kit purposes, carry maps, compass, tents and sleeping bags so that you can seek shelter anywhere!
First Aid Kit: A survival kit without a first aid box? That is just incomplete. Make sure your survival gear has a first aid kit that includes your everyday medication, band aids, gauze, cotton, antiseptics, antibiotics, pain killers, anti-allergies and other such over the counter drugs that you would need.
Other Essentials: When you carry that survival kit and walk out of your house, your home, to survive you would be filled with mixed emotions. There are loads of memories and mixed emotions that would be over whelming you. Furthermore, the question that you will keep asking yourself, “will I come back to all of this again.” When these feelings take over, one feels the need to carry everything with them. Do not make that mistake. Essentials in your survival kit should include sanitizers, tooth brush, tooth paste, toilet paper, extra cash, batteries and torch.
Throughout centuries we as humans have survived. Survival is what has evolved mankind and put us where we are. Survival is only possible if you are prepared. Hence do not take that lightly and start your survival preparation before it is too late!
A Basic Self-Reliance Approach To Self Aid: Part 1
Josh “7P’s of Survival”
This week we will be talking about all things first aid or self aid; whichever, you prefer in a woodland environment. I have been a first responder since I was sixteen and have served in a variety of capacities including wilderness First Responder and EMT along with a few levels of Ambulance based certifications. Over the last, well almost 20 years now, I have been presented with a wide variety of challenges, situations, training scenarios and just plain weird situations that have helped me deal with most injuries using a very simple kit which will all easily fit in a haversack with room to spare for your 10 Piece kit.
During the show we will:
1) discuss what I prefer to carry when going into the woods alone (which is 99% of the time for me);
2) Discuss what I would take into the woods if I’m planning on acting as a first responder or primary care giver; and
3) Common Medicinal Plants/Trees that I like to use and generally keep in my kit (there are 10 right now I believe) and how to use them generally.
I believe this will take up the bulk of the hour, but if for some strange reason I have extra time I will start work next weeks show which will be a very compact wilderness first aid class.
It is my hope to speak with many of you during the show about what you carry in you IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) and why you chose those items. I will then show how you can potentially lighten your load utilizing the technology in your kit, nature and a few tips/tricks for increased success!
Visit 7P’s Survival Blog HERE!
Join us for The 7P’s of Survival “LIVE SHOW” every Tuesday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat
Listen to this broadcast or download “Self Aid” in player below!
A First Aid Kit comes in a wide variety of assortments from the most basic to well stocked EMT packs. EVERYONE should have a first aid kit in the home. A second kit should be in your car. A third kit should be in your GHB, BOB, and/or any other place of significance. I have […]
Weathering the Storm: Preparedness Essentials
Even though people living in areas exposed and often afflicted by hurricanes and tornado’s generally are aware of all the precautionary measures, people still do tend to lose lives in these disastrous situations. This is why we’ve come up with an article outlining all the necessary preparations for weathering a storm.
Food and Water
To start with the most basic of needs, the problem here doesn’t necessarily lie only during the timeline of an actual storm, but for days of craze and distortion that ensue afterwards. Here is what you’ll undoubtedly need:
- One gallon of water per person per day, to last three days at the very least, not only for drinking, but sanitation and other needs, as well.
- Peanut butter – this product is quite long-lasting
- Protein bars
- Fruit – you’ll need your vitamins, especially in potentially exhausting situations such as this
- Canned food, such as fruits, vegetables, meats (tuna), canned beans, etc.
- Canned juices – this is a great source of sugar, as well as liquid that your body might need
- Crackers – yet another type of food that can last for ages
- Non-perishable milk
- Dry cereal
- Other foods that do not require refrigeration or cooking
First Aid Kit
This, of course goes without saying, seeing as how injuries are a frequent occurrence in situations such as that of a storm. Emergency services will probably be overwhelmed, perhaps even physically unable to reach you. Even minor injuries can cause sepsis and further complications, if not treated within a reasonable time period. Here are your basic first aid essentials:
- Sterile gloves – you wouldn’t want to suffer bacterial infections, especially in instances such as this type of a disaster
- Sterile dressings, quality adhesive bandages
- Antibiotics – whether it’s ointments, or pills, supplements that prevent bacterial infections are of vast importance here.
- Prescription medications – you need to have reserves of necessary pharmaceuticals that you or your family members might potentially require. These include insulin, heart medicine, asthma inhalers (you wouldn’t believe how easy these are to misplace, so you better have at least a couple of these stockpiled within your first aid cabinet).
- Tools such as tweezers and scissors – not only are these absolutely necessary for first aid purposes, but might come in handy for a plethora of impromptu situations
- A whistle – ridiculous as it may sound, these items can turn out to be real life savers – no one laughs at a whistle sound during or after huge storms, no matter how ridiculous it may seem to an observer
- Towels – these have a wide variety of utilization abilities, from preventing bleeding out, to drying off, in order to avoid hypothermia.
- Garbage bags
- When it comes to infants, you’ll need a large number of diapers, to avoid risking infection, as well as an instant formula, for obvious reasons.
- It is smart to have pliers and a wrench, if nothing, than so as to be able to turn off utilities, such as pipes, or age-old electrical equipment.
- Complete change of clothing, enough to last at least 3 days.
- A fire extinguisher for cases of electrical surges
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Portable toilets
- Fuel tanks – There are many diesel fuel tanks available out there, so make sure you have this covered
- Cook stoves
- Batteries (it is smart to have these in all sizes available)
- Duct tape
- Sleeping bags
- Rubber boots
These cover most of your essential needs for a storm, as well as other types of a disaster. Make sure you have all these covered and thus insure you remain safe and healthy. Of course, a bit of extra consideration might go a long way in helping you weather the worst of weather conditions out there, so feel free to add a couple of your own ideas to the list.
Stockpiling medicine is not an easy task: it’s about money, it’s about making the best choice, it’s about availability. You should have at least a month’s medical supply, and the medications you stockpile can be easy to come by and are over-the-counter medications available at any large pharmacy.
But others you need are more difficult to get. They include narcotic medication and other prescription medications you have been prescribed by a doctor. Narcotics are good for severe pain but are potentially addicting so most doctors–even yours–won’t write a prescription for it without good reason.
That’s why we made it easy for you, and put up a list of those meds that you should not skip from your medical stockpile.
Tips to Follow on Buying Meds
In some cases, the prescription medications can be gotten from your doctor. For prescriptions, including narcotics that you can’t get at the doctor’s office try looking for an overseas pharmacy online, but it’s hard to predict which ones will be reputable or not. Try purchasing just one or two items from them and if they deliver reliably a medication that has the manufacturing label intact with the right medication name, you can continue to purchase from them.
You have to familiarize yourself with the generic names of medications because when you purchase over-the-counter medications or buy them online, even overseas, the generic forms are often much cheaper by far than the name brands. Knowing the generic names will help you determine what medications you’re getting online as well.
Often the labels are in another language but the generic name of the medicine is very similar or the same as the English version. These should be good substitutes for American-made medications.
But there are also other ways to get these medications. I myself needed an antibiotic, and I went to the drugstore and didn’t tell them I was a doctor. In some situations and in some places, you can get antibiotics and non-narcotic pain medication over the counter. You just have to claim that you are on treatment and you need to continue it, but that you’re not at home and that you need a dosage for one day. Chances are good nowadays that they’ll ask for your ID and your doctor’s phone number.
What if you don’t have access to what you need, though? Can these drugs be replaced with other substances, such as veterinary substances? Yes they sometimes can, if you keep the proportions, and with caution, but you have to check the dose because this is really important. Otherwise, if you take a dosage for a horse you will die. Look on the blister and see what it is, then divide it with the knife, in 2, 3, 4, 5, dosages as necessary.
As for the storage, stockpile medications nearby medications that are related to one another. For example, stock the respiratory medications together, the stomach medications together, etc. In a crisis, it pays to be organized.
Items past their expiration date may still work, however the will have a lesser potency. In rare cases, a medication much past its expiration date will have altered its components to contain something dangerous if you take it but it is rare. When in doubt and if in need, you can take something past its expiration date but it will have a lesser efficacy (effectiveness).
10 Categories of Medication that You Need
There are several categories of medications you’ll want to purchase, and you shouldn’t miss the following types of medication:
- Cold and flu medication: For congestion, cough, the pain of sore throat and body aches).
- Allergy medications: Include sedating and non-sedating types of medication.
- Pain medications: Include over the counter and prescription pain medications.
- Breathing medications: This especially includes inhalers.
- Gastrointestinal medications: For heartburn, stomach distress, diarrhea and constipation.
- Skin medications: These include sunscreen and medications for various rashes and skin problems.
- Antibiotics: Include those that cover for the majority of infections you might encounter.
- Birth control pills: A disaster is no time for a pregnancy, especially if nuclear radiation is present.
- Psychotropic medications. This especially involves medication for sleep and anxiety.
- Children’s medications: If you have a baby or young child, you’ll want liquid medications specially designed for their needs.
- Fiber laxative
- Aspirin as a blood thinner
- Atherosclerosis medication. Mevacor (lovastatin); Zocor (simvastatin)
- Blood thinners for stroke Coumadin (warfarin)
- Medications for arthritis Aleve (naproxen)
- Heart burn medications. Zantac (ranitidine).
- High blood pressure medication. (Lisinopril); Tenormin (atenolol).
A Few More Words on Cold and Flu Medication
The cold and flu are different viral infections but they share some of the same symptoms, so they are included together.
Cold and flu symptoms include congestion in the nose, sore throat, sinus pain, and cough.
The flu also has a great deal of body aches and malaise, where you just don’t feel good at all and need to lie down and rest.
Medications you’ll want to have on hand include the following (the brand name is capitalized, the generic name is in parentheses):
- Sudafed (pseudoephedrine): This is for nasal and sinus congestion. You have to ask for it behind the pharmacy counter even though it is not a prescription medication because it is one of the main ingredients in methamphetamine, and they don’t want people to purchase large quantities of it at a time. Follow package instructions for sinus and nasal congestion. Usually you take 1-2 pills every four hours.
- Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen): These are all good medications for fever, sore throat, and body aches. Take two every four to six hours.
- Robitussin DM (dextromethorphan): This comes in pill or liquid form and helps the cough. You need to be careful and just purchase plain Robitussin DM. Robitussin CF contains a decongestant that you already are taking when you take Sudafed. Robitussin DM also contains guaifenesin which breaks up the thick mucus in your system.
What About Pain Medications?
- Tylenol (acetaminophen): This is a simple fever and pain reliever that works on all sorts of pain. It is safe to take by anyone who does not have liver disease as it is metabolized by the liver. It is usually taken in adults as 2 500-milligram tablets every 4-6 hours. It has the added advantage of being able to be taken with anti-inflammatory medication in a pinch when the pain is severe and you want to take something more than Tylenol.
- Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen), Aleve (naproxen): These are anti-inflammatory medications that work best on pain caused by inflammation like arthritis. They also work on fever and generic pain. Some people will get stomach upset if they take these medications on an empty stomach so it’s best to take them with a small amount of non-acidic food. Try taking 2-3 tablets or capsules of ibuprofen every 4-6 hours. Take naproxen at 2 tablets every 8 hours.
- Narcotic pain relievers. These work for strong pain and include Vicodin (hydrocodone and Tylenol) and oxycodone. Give one to two tablets every 6 hours. Be alert for signs of confusion if the patient is taking too much. You can get this online or get a prescription from your doctor.
What You Need to Know about Antibiotics
Choosing a simple antibiotic is difficult because people have allergies and intolerances to antibiotics and there is no perfect antibiotic for every illness. Poll your family members for allergies before selecting one.
Any antibiotic must have several properties: it must be inexpensive, easy to administer, it mustn’t cause resistance and it must act on as many bacteria as possible, in as short a time as possible. A good choice is a broad spectrum antibiotic like cephalexin or Keflex. Two other choices include erythromycin (or azithromycin) and sulfa antibiotics like Bactrim or Septra (trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole).
If you have these five classifications of antibiotics, you’ll have covered for several kinds of infections including:
- Cephalexin: Respiratory and upper respiratory infections, skin infections
- Erythromycin or azithromycin: Upper respiratory infections and lower respiratory infections such as “walking pneumonia”, skin infections
- Bactrim or Septra: bladder infections, some gastrointestinal infections.
- Cipro or Levaquin: used for bladder infections, respiratory infections, or skin infections
- Flagyl: used for parasitic infections and some gastrointestinal infections
Antibiotics won’t cure the common cold and they will do nothing for influenza but it does wonders for sinus infections stemming from the cold, a case of strep throat, and certain cases of bronchitis, pneumonia, bacterial skin infections and bladder infections.
You need to use them judiciously, when you know that you’re dealing with a bacterial infection. This means you have a fever, yellow or green drainage from the nose or coughed up from the lungs and redness around a wound. Strep throat and bladder infections are hard to determine. You just have to guess.
Give the body, the limb or the spot in question where the injury occurred, time to recover. Do not immediately jump to drugs, don’t start pouring the entire reserve of drugs down the patient, because you won’t solve anything like that. Sometimes the simplest solution is to not do anything, not to force it.
If you dole out antibiotics before you give the body a chance to heal, you’re wasting valuable medical supplies that may be needed later. Wait and see, and only when things are going towards the worse end should you start with antibiotics.
Breathing Medications You Need to Stockpile
In some disaster situations, even people without asthma will have problems with wheezing and shortness of breath. The best choice for this is an inhaler containing a beta-agonist, which opens the breathing passages.
The trick is to use these medications in such a way that the medication gets in your lungs and not in the back of your throat. With inhalers, you take a deep breath with the inhaler in your mouth and when you’re in the middle of the deep breath, press the plunger and keep breathing in. The medicine should get sucked down into your bronchial passages.
This is the main medication you’ll need:
- Albuterol: This is available in an inhaler form but it can be given in liquid form to young children. It needs a prescription so get one from your doctor or on the internet. Take two puffs as directed above every four hours for wheezing and cough.
- Primatene Mist: This is a less effective over-the-counter medication containing aerosolized epinephrine. Take two puffs every four hours. Use it when you absolutely can’t get albuterol.
There are a large variety of medication choices for the gastrointestinal system and you’ll need to condense them down to just a few. You’ll need something for the upper part of your GI system—your stomach.
Medicines for excess stomach acid and heartburn include TUMS, a medication like Zantac, and a medication like Prilosec. TUMS is just calcium carbonate and it quickly neutralizes the burn of heartburn or the rumbling of an acid stomach. If you can’t afford to wait for a few hours, try Zantac, which is a histamine-2 blocker, blocking the production of stomach acid.
If you can afford to wait a few more hours but want all day relief, try Prilosec, which is a proton pump inhibitor. It more thoroughly blocks the production of stomach acid; it just takes a few hours to kick in. The medication or medications you choose for stomach problems and heartburn depend on your personal preference and on how much room you have in your stockpile.
For nausea, the standard treatment is Compazine, given as 10 mg tablets or 25 mg suppositories if the person cannot tolerate oral medications.
There are medications for constipation and diarrhea — problems that can befall anyone in a disaster situation. For constipation, you can choose Miralax, a medication that must be mixed with a glass of water, X-Lax, which contains natural sennosides, or Correctol, which contain biscodyl. Of the three, biscodyl is the strongest, which means it might result in diarrhea if taken to excess. Choose the medication you are most familiar with and stockpile it.
For diarrhea, you can choose Kaopectate, which is for use in adults and very small children. It is a liquid medication that doesn’t need water to use. You can also choose something like Imodium-AD (loperamide), which is a pill form of a medication helpful in treating diarrhea when the disease is not a result of an infection. It can be taken only by adults as 1-2 pills every 6 hours or closer together if the diarrhea is persistent. If space is an issue, select only one of these medications.
What You Need for Treating Your Skin
No medication stockpile would be complete without items for the treatment of wounds, sprains and strains.
There are a number of items to choose from. While no one might become injured, disaster situations put people in positions they can’t predict so make sure your injury kit is well stocked.
Items to stockpile include:
- Antibiotic ointment like bacitracin or Neosporin
- Antiseptic cleansing wipes
- Cloth or paper medical tape 1-2 inch wide
- 4 x 4 gauze; it can be folded over when the injury is small.
- Ace bandages — 3-5 inches wide for the lower and upper extremities
- Sling for the arm in adult and children’s sizes
- Splinter remover to remove foreign bodies
- Ice pack; you can buy chemical ice packs that turn cold on hitting it with a fist
You can get very elaborate with injury supplies, such as buying upper and lower extremity air splints and buying cervical collars for neck injuries but that may be overkill. The above list will cover the vast majority of injuries you’ll get in a disaster situation.
As for skin ointments and creams, there are several medications you need to have on hand for your skin. The first is antiseptic ointment. Use this for cuts and scrapes so they don’t get infected. Conditions may not be optimum for keeping a cut or scrape clean so using the ointment is the next best thing. Most antiseptic ointments contain either neomycin or bacitracin or even both. An ointment called Neosporin is good for all types of open injuries to the skin and contains both medications.
You might add a cream or ointment that contains hydrocortisone. The maximum over the counter strength of hydrocortisone you can get is 1 percent, which is effective for many different rashes. Rashes like poison ivy or other itchy rash can be managed with hydrocortisone cream. Allergic rashes can be treated with hydrocortisone cream as well.
These should be the basic when preparing your medicine supply. But don’t forget about the healing power of nature, and prepare yourself for replacing meds with natural remedies if needed.
DISCLAIMER: The data contained in this article are for informational purposes only, and do not replace by any means professional advice.
This article has been written by Radu Scurtu for Survivopedia.
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Prepared for Christmas: Stocking Stuffers Holiday giving is just around the corner and I’ve found that it’s best to get a jump on the small items as well as the biggies. If you are looking for inexpensive and thoughtful preparedness gifts, you will find them here. I usually save these stocking stuffer gifts for last, […]
The post 10 Preparedness Stocking Stuffers to Rock the Sock appeared first on PreparednessMama.
In the world of multiplying natural and man-made disasters, you never know when and where you may face a crisis situation that calls for some trusty emergency supplies. At times when the going gets tough, a carefully compiled emergency kit may well save your or your companion’s life, so don’t put off your crisis supply stack assembly any longer – after all, it takes just a wrong turn on the road and not a full-scale apocalypse to land you in an off-grid place with no trace of civilization in sight.
A life-saving liquid supply: Water, and plenty of it
The most important point on your emergency kit list, a hefty H2O supply is more likely to save a human life in a lengthy emergency situation than anything else. It takes a human being up to three days to die of dehydration, so you’d definitely better stay on the safe than waterless side. The best way to store your emergency water supply is to pour H2O into strong portable jugs, place them in a cold place and keep the supplies growing by fresh additions whenever possible.
A safe place to crash: Emergency shelters and tents
One more vital point on the emergency gear list, prefabricated shelters will keep you and your companions safe from the elements and predators in case something goes wrong big time on your outdoor adventure. A stackable emergency shelter or a reinforced tent can help you get the much-needed safety spot and a decent shuteye in case of several days’ long crisis out in the wild. When choosing your portable home for an odd bout of ill fate, look for rugged, rubber-coated exteriors with mesh fabric entryways, portable/foldable designs and roomy, well-insulated interiors to get maximum security from unfavorable weather conditions, wild animals and other creepy crawlers that may decide to hang out with you without your consent.
Fuel for the body: Food supplies for crisis situations
Though a human being can survive up to three weeks without food, you should not risk starvation in case of an emergency. When compiling your crisis response kit, make sure you include lots of dried and canned food with a lengthy expiry date and undemanding storage specs temperature-wise. Dried fruit is particularly useful as it contains critical nutrients the body needs to stay functional in the face of raging elements or a natural disaster. When buying your crisis food supply, look for dried beans, rice, grains and similar non-perishable grubs to keep your belly full in periods of prolonged deprivation from regular diet.
Keep looking for help: Fuel supply in times of need
In case you get stuck in a middle of nowhere with your tank empty and not a living soul in sight, a spare fuel container onboard will probably be an invaluable asset. Even in regular conditions with no apocalyptic prospects on the horizon, a topped-up diesel tank will come in handy in case you run out of fuel with the local gas station temporarily out of order. In case of a flashing flood or fast-spreading forest fire, an extra gas container ready for a quick refill of your car fuel tank guarantees a speedy escape and salvation, so don’t forget to include it in your emergency kit.
Times of trial and injury: First aid kit and basic tools
Another must-have for an emergency scenario, a first aid kit with all the vital medical bits and pieces is an item you should always have at hand around the house, garage and car. Remember: a small cut infected with nasty bacteria can have a fatal outcome if left untreated, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Similarly, a basic tool kit like a Swiss army knife should stay within reach at all times when taking a leisurely walk at night, to say nothing of full-scale disasters when tools can stretch your survival time by weeks and even months.
John Stone is a DIY enthusiast and a regular contributor at SmoothDecorator who likes to put his ideas down to paper and share them with like-minded people. His fields of interest include home improvement, sustainability, new technologies, and pretty much all-things-DIY. In his spare time, he enjoys playing guitar and watching Formula 1.
Last year, when the Self Reliance Expo visited north Texas, I assisted Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy of Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine with their booth. They teach classes during the Expo and have to close their booth if they can’t find someone to cover during these class times. I was honored to help some good friends out. Despite my protests, Nurse Amy insisted I take one of her kits home. In fact, she let me know that she had my address and would mail to to me if I didn’t take it right then.
The kit I was sent home with is called the Mini Deluxe Trauma Bag. It’s a lot more Deluxe than it is Mini! It’s a very comprehensive kit that can cover everything from minor scrapes and cuts up to serious traumatic injuries. Nurse Amy hand packs every kit they offer with the experience gained from a career in medicine. There are a ton of items in this kit, but each is placed where it needs to be for fast, easy access. When there is a medical issue, the last thing you want is to search for the product you need to treat it. That’s what really separates this kit from any competitor. Everything is easily accessible and prioritized by an expert in trauma medicine.
I’ve generally found that the best product reviews come from actually using a product. Luckily, I haven’t had to use this product too often. With that said, it has been used. With two little girls, it’s always handy to have Band-Aids on hand, even if it is for a placebo. But there are those times when I go overboard and need to test a medical product on myself. Most recently I used a mandolin slicer to remove a good portion of my fingertip. Elevation and applying pressure wasn’t stopping the blood flow anywhere fast enough. And I really hate making a mess by bleeding all over everything. Enter the Trauma Bag. Included in the hemorrhage control part were several options to stop bleeding quickly. I selected Cayenne pepper powder (primarily because the commercial anti-coagulants are expensive to restock in the kit!). Viola, bleeding under control!
Most kits you can buy off the shelf would not include a natural remedy like this. Another benefit to a kit from Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy. These kits are designed for practical use, and if a natural method works well, it is given a spot in the kit. Overall, these kits are the best bang for your buck because the are packed by medical experts instead of the marketing department at Johnson & Johnson.
Rather than reinvent the wheel and post everything in this kit and other kits available, I’ll just link over to the Doom and Bloom page where you can see contents, read more about them, and even see videos.
Here’s a link to the Mini Deluxe Trauma Bag.
Here’s a link to the Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine website.
Be sure to stop by and show some love to some great folks that provide a wealth of information to our community.