Food & Water Storage Conditions

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What conditions should I store my food and water storage prepper supplies in?

Good question!  You must first understand that light destroys nutrients and shelf-life.  Oxygen also causes nutrient decay and increases risk of food-borne illness due to bacterial growth. Reducing oxygen levels in your food with Oxygen Absorbers is the best way to maintain food quality and shelf life.  Temperature plays a role as well, too hot and nutrients and proteins will be damaged, too cold and product quality and taste will suffer.  Pests can eat up your food storage and spread disease.  Moisture can cause bacterial and mold growth as well as rust to form on metal cans or canning lids.

So what conditions do I need?

Someplace COOL (around 6oF is perfect)

Someplace DARK (no natural or artificial light shining on your food storage)

Someplace DRY (no moisture to cause rust or bacterial or mold growth)

Someplace PEST FREE (no bugs or rodents to destroy and contaminate your food and water)

Storage Conditions

There are six conditions to be aware of when storing food for emergency preparedness food storage, or outdoor recreation.  The foods being referred to in this post are shelf-stable freeze-dried, dehydrated, dried commodities.  Optimal storage conditions can also be applied to wet pack:  retort, MRE’s, canned goods, and other specialty longer term wet pack foods.

  • Temperature– This is the primary factor affecting the storage life of foods.  The cooler the better. 40 degrees-50 degrees would be great. Room temperature (65 degrees-72 degrees) or below is generally fine.  Avoid above 90 degrees for extended periods of time. The longer food is exposed to very high temperatures the shorter the edible life and the faster the degeneration of nutritional value.  Note:  There are some “foods” available for emergency preparedness that are known as “emergency food or ration bars.”  These products are generally referred to as “life raft bars” because they were originally designed for life rafts and can withstand high heat for extended periods of time.  They primarily consist of white sugar and white flour, and were not meant to be the sole source of nutrition for a long period of time.
  • Moisture– The lower the better.  Moisture can deteriorate food value rapidly and create conditions that promote the growth of harmful organisms.  The moisture level contained in foods varies depending on the type of product it is.  Have foods in moisture barrier containers (metal, glass) in high humidity areas. Note:  Mylar bags or plastic buckets are not a long term (over 3 years) moisture or oxygen barrier. The moisture and gas transmission rates through these materials vary depending upon the specifications of the manufacturers.  Plastic absorbs gases, moisture, and odors.  Note 2:  Be careful where you store dry foods in cans.  Very cold flooring or any condition where there is a dramatic temperature differential may cause a build up of condensation inside the container.
  • Oxygen – A high oxygen environment causes oxidation, which leads to discoloration, flavor loss, odors, rancidity and the breakdown of nutritional value in foods. It also allows insects to feed on dried food reserves. Without oxygen, insects cannot live, nor can aerobic (oxygen dependent) organisms. Whole grain and beans have natural oxygen barriers and can store for long periods of time in low humidity and if free from infestation. All other processed grains, vegetables, fruits, etc. must be in a very reduced (2% or less) oxygen environment for long term storage.  Note:  Mylar bags or plastic buckets are not a long term (over 3 years) moisture or oxygen barrier. The moisture and gas transmission rates through these materials vary depending upon the specifications of the manufacturers.  Plastic absorbs gases, moisture, and odors.  The best long term storage containers are glass and metal.
  • Infestation – Examples include rodents, insects in all their stages of growth, mold, microorganisms, and any other creatures that get hungry – large or small.  The proper packaging and storage conditions are required to control infestation and not allow critters to both get into the food, or have the necessary environment for them to flourish if they are sealed into a container – such as in the form of eggs or spores.
  • Handling – Rough handling can not only damage the food itself, but it can also adversely effect and compromise the integrity of the container in which the food is stored.  Glass of course can break; any pouched item can develop pin holes, tears, or cracks.  The seams on buckets and cans can be tweaked, twisted, or damaged to allow oxygen to enter the container.
  • Light – Food should not be stored in direct sunlight.  Both for the potential of high temperature, and its affect on food value.  Sunlight directly on stored foods can destroy nutritional value and hasten the degeneration of food quality, taste, and appearance.  Foods packed in light barrier containers do not pose a problem with the affects of light.

 

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Life of Stored Food

LIFE OF STORED FOOD

This is a generalized table of how long food will last if properly stored (no light, no heat, no oxygen, no bugs, etc) and kept at 60F or lower (but not freezing).

FREEZE DRY FOODS (NITROGEN BACKFLUSHED & SEALED)- 25 TO 30 YEARS

MYLAR BAGS (MRES, CAMPING POUCHES, METALLIZED BAGS)- 5 TO 7 YEARS

DEHYDRATED FOODS (SEALED, BUT NOT NITROGEN BACKFLUSHED)- 3 TO 5 YEARS

CANNING (STOREBOUGHT OR HOME CANNED)- 3 TO 5 YEARS, (possibly longer if stored properly)

SMOKED CURED- SEVERAL MONTHS

FROZEN- 1 YEAR FROZEN (BEFORE FREEZER-BURN SETS IN), FEW DAYS THAWED & REFRIGERATED

RAW FOOD- 7 TO 10 DAYS IF REFRIGERATED, LESS THAN 4 HOURS AT ROOM TEMP

Surviving Martial Law

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HOW TO SURVIVE MARTIAL LAW & CIVIL UNREST by Jeff Croft

This article will start off assuming that the Reader is already subject to MARTIAL LAW; that is, the “suspension” of the Constitution. Curfews, rationing of basic goods, enforced relocations, confiscation of firearms and supplies, and summary arrest/execution by soldiers, paramilitary police and other jack booted types wielding assault rifles. Basic survival tips will be followed with some detailed ideas on how this country should be run once we take over. IF you’re reading this before MARTIAL LAW is imposed by the current corrupt government, and IF you are reading this while you still nominally under Constitutional Law, it’s urgent you read from the beginning to end so as to appreciate the opportunities you currently have to not only protect yourself and yours, but to attempt to stop all of this from ever happening.

Rule #1 DON’T TRUST THE GOVERNMENT! Never take the government’s word at face value-except when they tell you that they’ll kill you. Because they will kill you! Government and its components of career politicians, bureaucratic vermin, and their agents of enforcement, the SS ninja wannabes, have survived on illusion and lies, and for a lot longer than you’d think. It’s the very nature of the job; being part of an empire wrapped in the cloak of American political traditions of Freedom, that corrupts. All that power, attracting the most venal along with the most patriotic to defend America. All that license under ever mutable law written by money whores to lie, steal, embezzle, blackmail, extort, poison, torture, enslave, murder. Is it any wonder then that such human scum would get together and work “the system” to set themselves up as kings, dispensing with the pretty coverings of Constitutional limitations that trip their crimes like a prom dress? They take as much as they can, while keeping YOU ASLEEP, AS YOU LET YOURSELF BE SEDUCED AND PUT ASLEEP BY THEIR FELLOW TRAVELERS IN THE MEDIA AND CORPORATE BOARDROOMS. They will lie to you! They will lie to you! They will lie to you! The government is not your friend, they are the ones who declared martial law in the first place. They will use anyone and everyone to keep control and spread lies. They are not here to help.

Rule #2 KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT! Do NOT tell anyone anything that could get you in trouble. Assume anything can get you in trouble, because it probably will. Especially with any government official, but anyone looking to gaining a favor with the state can and will snitch on you. The rat who would sell you out for his thirty pieces could be: *A small businessman looking for a in with the state so he can make money a little easier. *A former friend who’s looking to get some revenge. *Someone desperate for even some food. Times are tough and will get tougher. Again, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT! Review the remaining rules of surviving MARTIAL LAW with Rule #2 ALWAYS in mind. Because some rat on two legs you say the wrong thing to, WILL snitch to the “authorities” in exchange for favors or even brownie points… and then you get to find out how ironclad Rule #1 is. KEEP YOUR BIG MOUTH SHUT!!

Rule #3 ANY AUTHORITY FIGURE IS THE ENEMY! Unless you are waging a war of liberation-gathering intelligence or spreading disinformation or infiltrating-have no relation with nor voluntary contact with any soldier, police officer, bureaucrat, or anyone in authority in private life cooperating with MARTIAL LAW. Review Rule #1: Assume they’re all liars, con artists, hustlers, thieves, and sellouts. Same goes to any fellow travelers in big business; they and government have been in the same bed for centuries. Stay away from them as much as possible. Tell them lies. Don’t do any business with them. Unless they’re sticking a gun in your face don’t even acknowledge that they exist. Shun them, their family and any sycophants that fawn over them for a few favors.

Rule #4 YOUR PERSONAL SURVIVAL IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN OBEYING ANY DICTATE! If you’re prohibited from having an item that helps you survive, get the item, review Rule #2 AND KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. If you’re prohibited from having extra food, medicine, guns (no brainer) then you will CACHE your prohibited items in a place where they won’t easily be found. Use your imagination. One idea is to store “whatever” in seal tight waterproof containers in remote wooded areas, known ONLY TO YOU! Firearms are metallic; they can be detected by metal detectors unless you store them deep underground or in a place they won’t think of looking right away, like sealed in wider metallic tubes, away from your property. And if you by chance acquire or keep firearms knowing HOW TO USE THEM(sight alignment, trigger squeeze) and RELOADING AMMUNITION will be mandatory. IF YOU’VE NEVER USED A GUN BEFORE, To use a gun, first find the PROPER AMMUNITION FOR IT. After loading, pointed end forward, the ammo into the magazine, cylinder, or chamber load the weapon. On semiautomatic pistols if the slide-that moving part on top-is locked back there’s a small lever on the left side of the gun. Push on it and it will close. Otherwise you’ll have to pull the slide back yourself. Pistols are concealable, rifles and shotguns aren’t. Shotguns you load from a port on the underside, behind the fore stock or it breaks open. Rifles come in several varieties; single shot, pump, bolt action, automatic, and feed from the chamber, a internal magazine or has a detaching magazine. The rifle you want first and foremost is a automatic rifle in a military common caliber. That coupled with proper marksmanship transforms you from a victim to a freedom fighter.

Rule #5 REMEMBER THE UNDERGROUND! While keeping the above rules in mind, HELP OUT THOSE WHO ARE RESISTING! They, unlike you, have decided that there’s nothing to lose and therefore deserve anyone’s help who’s willing to risk their lives. Do you think MARTIAL LAW is going away on its own? Those bastards in black will have a sudden change of heart and do something worthwhile for a change and not oppress you? At The VERY LEAST: have extra food, water for resistance fighters, basic medical supplies, ammo caches(hint, these should be concealed). Those who fight will need to keep hidden, yet be able to communicate with fellow fighters. You can be a intermediary. If you have skills, like welding, machine tools, chemistry, you can make weapons, ammo, other things the resistance needs. If you have inside information, share it. If you have videography experience, tools, Make how-to videos on resisting the theft of your freedoms. If You have medical training, Set up a underground hospital. Not all Patriots can or should pick up a rifle and blow a traitor’s head off. By uniting in common cause with all one has to offer the traitors can be defeated, and Freedom restored to the land. If you’re not at least giving aid to those helping to liberate you, forget this article, go back to being a victim of government oppression.

Rule #6 REMEMBER YOUR COMMUNITY! With the utmost care develop a SURVIVAL NETWORK. This is a group of people with skills and/or resources who can help each other in areas they would be lacking on their own. It could be anything from extra food, medicine, repair parts, fuel, transportation-whatever. In any given neighborhood you can have machinists(weapon makers), medical personnel, drivers(good knowledge of local roads), gardeners(agriculture knowledgebase). Petty bureaucrats secretly opposing martial law are prime candidates to spy, steal, or commit sabotage. Computer technicians can hack government systems and create surveillance systems and guidance packages for missiles. Construction workers can build secret rooms to hide anything from a arms cache to a secret factory. People in the media can smuggle cameras and work with computer techs to bug enemy meetings, and produce freedom media that documents successful means of resisting. Salesmen can “borrow” merchandise from their stores for use, anything and everything is useful. Especially useful will be disgruntled cops and military who can provide everything from intel on raids to weapons to training. Keep the numbers of your group “small”: smaller cells are more difficult to penetrate by enemy agents and professional snitches. Keeping that in mind, a means of communication independent from wiretapped phones and audible eavesdropping devices must be developed amongst you. Runners can be a athlete or a kid on a bike. They can carry small packages, or notes with a handy breakable vial of flammable liquid if discovered. With a sealed packet of potassium chlorate taped to it, the gasoline will automatically ignite, otherwise you’ll have to actually light that incriminating evidence.

A mail drop can be a home, a hollowed out tree trunk, a hole in the ground, a open fence pole, anything. Just be sure it’s discreetly out of sight of surveillance. If God’s really blessing you, one of your group will be a SMART SURVIVALIST. This will be a exceedingly rare breed, because although most in this group were smart enough to prepare for the collapse to begin with, they WEREN’T smart enough to avoid detection of their awareness and distrust of government. They signed form 4477 registration forms for their firearms, used credit cards and checks for their weapon and ammunition purchases, registered for weapons permits, or registered themselves with gun clubs and shooting organizations. These people more than likely got swept up in pre-dawn raids or got blasted resisting. The SMART SURVIVALIST prepared-and kept his mouth shut about those preparations. He or she never signed federal permit forms for purchases or carry license. He or she presented a “average American” profile or totally disappeared. Get or find one in your group and you’ll have a literal treasury of knowhow and resources to survive, maybe even start taking back a little?

Rule #7 AVOID GOVERNMENT MONITORING AND CONTROL! Know where the cameras are and how to avoid them. Know who patrols where, and what routine they follow so as to avoid contact. Know your snitches and always feed them b.s. if you can’t avoid them. Find ways around checkpoints. Side streets, forest paths, neighbor’s yard, railroad tracks, tunnels; whatever goes around necessary to getting from point A to point B without a pack of government troops searching you, checking your ID. I can’t and won’t go into detail, how you find your way will be up to you.

Rule #8 AVOID A GOVERNMENT ROUNDUP. It could be from a disaster, an attack, or even because they’ve decided to end the pretense and show you what they really think of you and your “rights”. You’ll just wind up in a detention camp where your freedom of movement and resources will be strictly controlled. That means having a place to go away from your area, a means to get there, and supplies. Very difficult to do in a martial law situation, with shortages and rationing at gunpoint. Remember the victims of Hurricane Katrina? Remember how they were set up to be stranded in New Orleans by the government? How they were constantly baited with false hope of rescue for a week after the catastrophe? How they eventually were herded by FEMA into concentration camps? You disregard Rule #1, you’ll find out. Get a safe house of your own, an abandoned home, an empty storefront or even a patch of woods. When the troops start going street to street, house to house have escape routes by lesser used streets, trails, whatever. You may have to go on foot, so have a light backpack with a few days worth of nonperishable food, portable water purifier, a first aid kit, a light sleeping bag-and your weapon. A mountain bike may be a more optimal and versatile escape mode than your road-dependent car. Better to be on the run, desperate-and have your freedom-than be imprisoned in a FEMA slave camp.

Rule #9 FREEDOM IS NOT FREE! Find a way you can successfully resist. Probably not with guns or bombs, but there’s plenty of ways you can monkey wrench the basic functioning of the state during MARTIAL LAW. If you work for the state you have plenty of opportunities to mess things up, but even private firms are subcontracted by the government. You know who’s just earning a paycheck, who’s backing this war against the people, and who’s getting off on “just following orders”. If you can take action, great, concentrate most of your planning on getting away with the job. Otherwise, get contacts with Patriots and be the most reliable source of intelligence you can be. Every bit of drag on the government beast helps, perhaps in botching that paperwork, breaking that surveillance camera in disguise, or misdirecting that bureaucrat or soldier cop. That act might be the beginning of a butterfly effect of bringing down the state of MARTIAL LAW and restoring Freedom to our nation. Always keep that in mind. You must find your own way, but find it you must, if you want what was stolen from you back!

Rule #10 KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN! If you are too concerned with personal safety then resisting and fighting back, then at least follow Rule 1 through 4!

Why Prep?

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Why Prep?

Have you ever wondered how you would take care of yourself and your family if you lost your job? How about if there was a bad hurricane? Tornado? Rioting? Civil Unrest? Economic Collapse? Martial Law? Pandemic? Even Zombies?

If these thoughts have crossed your mind or haunted your dreams lately, then you might be considering becoming a Prepper.

Have you already started stocking up on extra canned goods, bottles of water, pet food, first aid supplies and self-defense weapons? Then you are already a Prepper.

Have you looked into solar and wind options for heating/cooling/powering your home and appliances? Have you considered buying land and keeping livestock and a garden? Want to live off-grid?  Then you are a Homestead Prepper.

Have you taken survival classes, learned the arts of bushcraft, fire making, escape & evasion? Are you comfortable living in the woods for a long period of time, living off the land, and using Mother Nature for all your provisions, protection, shelter, and camouflage? Then you are a Survivalist.

All and any of these labels means you are Self-Reliant or want to become Self-Reliant.

Many folks enter into prepping because they have this unexplainable feeling in their gut that something is not “right” with the world. That things are slowly getting more restrictive, less-free, more expensive and more intrusive in our private lives. That unsettling feeling is your 6th sense telling you to prepare.

For others, prepping and being self-reliant is comforting because it is a return to a simpler life much like what our grandparents and great-grandparents experienced (and we remember being told through family-handed down stories). It is a way to exit the “Rat Race” and ensure all their basic needs are met without all the hustle and bustle of big city life.  It is a way of reducing stress and anxiety in their lives, because they are providing for themselves and their families by means of a garden, food & water storage, re-learning basic DIY skills, and saving money by not spending it frivolously.  It is also a sense of accomplishing something with purpose .  It has its rewards and self-gratification.

Whatever your reasons for prepping, rest easy in the fact that your time, money and efforts have not been wasted.  Whether its a natural disaster, extended unemployment, or a true SHTF scenario, you will probably use your preps and skills at some point in your life, or at least be able to pass them down to your children for their future security.

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Pandemic Survival- Influenza, Ebola, & other contagious diseases

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Protecting Your Family From an Influenza Pandemic (This also applies for Ebola)

The emerging threats of the H1N1 Mexican Swine Flu and the still-present Asian Avian Flu Virus (AAV H5N1) brings into sharp focus the vulnerability of modern, highly mobile and technological societies to viral or bacterial infectious diseases. The last major flu outbreak, (H2N2 in 1957, which killed 69,800 people in the United States) took five months to reach the United States. With the advent of global jet travel, it is now likely that highly virulent disease strains will be transmitted to population centers around the world in a matter of just a few days. This is what happened with H1N1.

In this article, I will describe how you can protect yourself and your family from the next great pandemic. Although the likelihood of H1N1 mutating into a more virulent strain is relatively low, the potential impact if this were to occur would be devastating. The current strain of the virus has a low lethality rate for humans. But even if H1N1 turns out to be a “non-event”, in the next few decades there is a very high likelihood that some other disease will emerge and suddenly make a pandemic breakout. The odds are against us, because influenzas have tendency toward antigenic shift. Because influenzas are viral and are spread by casual person to person contact, the majority of the world’s population will be exposed in just a few weeks or months. Even today, more than 30,000 Americans die each year from flu complications–mostly the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Here are the key things that you need to do to protect yourself and your family, and to help restore order during a pandemic:

A.) If appropriate, Raise Your Immune Resistance. (Only for non-cytokine storm variety flues–see the following discussion)

B.) Be Ready to Fight the Illness

C.) Avoid Exposure.

D.) Stockpile Key Logistics.

E.) Be Prepared to Dispense Charity From a Safe Distance (if you so choose to do so)

 

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Raise Your ImmuneResistance

There are two philosophies to fighting off influenza viruses. The first and mostly prevalent is to raise the body’s immune response. The other is to maintain normal immune response to prevent a collapse caused by over-response–a “cytokine storm“. Unless you are immuno-suppressed, do not raise your immune resistance for influenza where cytokine storm has been reported to be causing a significant number of deaths.

To raise your immune resistance to disease it is important that you stop smoking. If you are a smoker you have already realized that you are much more susceptible to respiratory infections. Smokers are at high risk to develop complications. Get plenty of exercise, eat healthy foods, drink only in moderation, get plenty of sleep, and use top quality vitamin supplements (from a company such as  eVitamins.) If you are overweight, you need to alter your diet get down to within five pounds of normal body weight. You need to change your diet for two important reasons: First, unhealthy foods weaken your immune system. Cut out refined sugar. Avoid candy, snack foods, soft drinks, and any processed foods with preservatives, artificial sweeteners, or MSG. Avoid store-bought meat, which is often tainted by the hormones and antibiotics used in commercial livestock feeds. Wild game or home-raised livestock is much healthier! Lastly, pray. Why? Anxiety is a form of stress that weakens the immune system, and prayer is a proven way to relieve anxiety and stress. And more importantly, as a Christian I believe that it is crucial to pray for God’s guidance, providence, and protection.

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Be Ready to Fight the Illness

There are some symptoms that distinguish between colds and flues: Flues typically cause fever, chills, achy feeling (malaise), headaches, and extreme fatigue. Cold symptoms are usually restricted to the upper respiratory tract while flu symptoms tend to involve the entire body.

Influenzas tend to kill most of their victims in two ways: dehydration and lung congestion. Even the Avian flu, which is respiratory usually starts with stomach flu symptoms. Stomach flues usually induce diarrhea which rapidly dehydrates the victim. To fight this, you need to stock up on both anti-diarrhea medicines (such as Imodium AD–an anti-spasmodic) and electrolyte solutions such as Pedialyte. (The latter is available in bulk though large chain “warehouse” stores.) The various sports type drinks (such as Gatorade) can be used as oral rehydration solutions (ORSs) too. However, I prefer to dilute them about 50% with water, they have a lot of glucose in them which will exacerbate diarrhea symptoms.

If commercial ORSs are not available, I have read that you can make an emergency solution as follows:
• 1/2 teaspoon of salt
• 2 tablespoons honey, sugar, or rice powder
• 1/4 teaspoon potassium chloride (table salt substitute)
• 1/2 teaspoon trisodium citrate (can be replaced by baking soda)
• 1 quart of clean water

Imodium is a trade name for Loperamide. It can be purchased generically for relatively little cost, at such places as warehouse stores. The generic (house brands) are just fine. Stock up on Acetominophen (Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (Motrin) as well – for treating fevers. These two antipyretics can be taken together or on an alternating 4 hour schedule (take each every 4 hours but split them, for example at 8 AM take acetaminophen, at 10 AM take ibuprofen, etc. This makes it easier to monitor the patient and get them to drink fluids, if they’re up every 2 hours they will have to drink some fluids). Either have a traditional glass thermometer for each person, or a digital thermometer with lots of disposable sleeves. The thermometers are a couple of bucks at most drug stores. The sleeves are a buck or so per hundred. Don’t cross-contaminate your patients.

Note: There is a difference of opinion on in medical circles about suppressing a fever with an non-seasonal influenza. It all depends on the particular strain. Before using aspirin (for adults) or Acetaminophen (for children and adults), check the literature on the current flu strain. If there are widespread reports of “cytokine storm” reactions by patients, then suppressing a fever might be a good thing.

Statistically, the largest group that were killed by the 1918 flu were 16 to 25 years old–those with the strongest immune systems. Those patients often died because their bodies fought the virus too vigorously, in a cytokine storm. Aspirin can help suppress the response that leads to a cytokine over-reaction. Again, there is still considerable debate in medical literature over the issue of fever suppression versus the risk of cytokine over-reaction in treating influenzas.

Because influenzas are viral rather than bacterial, most antibiotic drugs (antibacterial) are useless in combating them. If you suspect that you are coming down with influenza get bed rest! Too many people ignore their symptoms because “that project at work just has to get done.” Not only do they risk their own health, but they infect their co-workers! Liquids help ease congestion and loosen phlegm and are of course crucial to rehydration. Just a fever alone can double your body’s dehydration rate.

Respiratory flues such as the Swine Flu and Asian Avian Flu kill mainly via congestion. Buy a steam-type vaporizer. Stock up on expectorants containing guaifenesin as the main ingredient.

You will need to watch carefully for any symptoms of pneumonia develop. These include: difficulty or painful breathing, a grunting sound when breathing (quite distinct from the wheezing of bronchitis or the “barking” of croup), extremely rapid breathing, flaring nostrils with each breath, or coughing up rust-colored phlegm. Pneumonia can be a deadly complication of the flu and is the main cause of flu-related death. It is important to note that pneumonia is typically a co-infection that can be either viral or bacterial. In case of a bacterial pneumonia, antibiotics are crucial for saving lives. If it is viral, there is not much that can be done. While antibiotics can clear infection they cannot remove secretions. The patient must cough them all the way back up the respiratory tract. Do not use cough suppressants–anything with active ingredients like dextromethorphan or diphenhydramine. A “productive” (wet) cough that produces phlegm is a good thing! This is where you may need expectorants. One that works well is Robitussin (the original type of Robitussin without any capital letters after the name). These are also available as generics, and quite cheap, so stock up. You should also read up on postural drainage and percussion techniques for chest secretion clearance–for instances when your patient cannot or will not cough effectively.

Avoid Exposure

Aside from being actually coughed or sneezed upon by an infected person, the most common way to catch the flu is by touching something which has been coughed on or sneezed upon by an infected person. For instance, the person that used the shopping cart before you had the flu. They covered their mouth with their hand when they coughed then used that very hand to push the cart around the store. Now your hands are touching the same place. Without thinking while shopping, you rub your eye or nose and you have introduced the virus to your most vulnerable point of infection. When you are out in public do not touch your eyes or nose. Wash your hands frequently to remove any germs you have picked up. Teach your children this as well.

Even though the chances of a full scale “nation busting” pandemic are small, the possibility definitely exists. A full scale pandemic that starts taking lives on a grand scale may quite reasonably cause you to take some extreme measures to protect the lives of your family members. You can cut your chances of infection by more than half if you prepare to live in isolation (a strict “self quarantine”) for an extended period of time. You need to be prepared to avoid all contact with other people during the worst of the pandemic. The self quarantine period might last as much as three years, as successive waves of influenza sweep through the country. Think this through, folks. What would you need to do to successfully quarantine your family? Grab a clipboard and start making some prioritized lists.

History has shown that infectious diseases do their worst in urbanized regions So if you can afford to, make plans to move to a lightly populated region, soon. Where? I recommend moving west of the Missouri River (because of the west’s much lighter population density) to a rural, agricultural region. When looking for a retreat locale, look outside of city limits and away from major highways that will serve as “lines of drift” for urban refugees. You are looking for a property that could serve as a self-sufficient farm–something over five acres, and preferably closer to 40 acres. In the event of a “worst case” pandemic situation, there is the possibility that power grid could go down. Even if your farm has well water, you may be out of luck. A home with gravity fed spring water is ideal, but uncommon. So you will either need to be able to pump well water by hand–only practical with shallow wells–or be prepared to treat water that you’ll draw from open sources: rivers, creeks, lakes, or ponds.

Plan to live at your retreat year-round. In the event of a full scale pandemic, the police and military will probably be ordered to enforce draconian quarantines of cities, counties, or perhaps entire states or regions. Having a well-stocked retreat is useless if you can’t get to it. Live there, and become accustomed to getting by self-sufficiently. Plant a big vegetable garden, using non-hybrid seeds. Raise small livestock that can forage on your own pasture. Get your digestive system accustomed to consumption of your bulk storage foods. Home school your kids. Develop a “hunker down” lifestyle with minimal trips to town. Each trip to town will constitute another opportunity for infection.

To make self-quarantine effective, it is essential that you are prepared to live in isolation for many months, and possibly years, to avoid contact and subsequent risk of infection. This can be practical for anyone that is retired or self-employed in an occupation that does not require regular face to face contact with clients or customers. (For example home-based mail order, self-publishing, recruiting, medical/legal transcription, or telecommuting.) But for anyone else it may mean having to quit your job and live off of your savings. So it is essential that you get out of debt and start building your savings, ASAP. If you can possibly change jobs to something that will allow isolation or semi-isolation, do so as soon as possible. For most of us in the middle class, this may mean “doubling up” with another family to share resources.

To protect yourself (at least marginally) from infected spittle, wear wrap-around goggles and buy or fabricate surgical style masks, in quantity. Note that even an N100 gas mask filter will not stop an airborne virus, since the viruses are too small. But at least a cloth mask will give you some protection from virus-laden spittle. Once the pandemic breaks out in your region, you won’t look out of place wearing these, even on a trip to the post office. Stock up on disposable gloves. Note that some individuals are allergic to latex. So do some extended wear tests before you buy gloves in quantity. Wear gloves whenever away from your retreat, and wash your hands frequently, regardless. Keep your hands away from your nose and eyes at all times. Stock up on soap and bottles of disinfecting hand sanitizer.

 

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Stockpile Key Logistics

To make long term self quarantine effective you will need to buy a large quantity of long term storage food from a trustworthy vendor. It is also important to lay in extra food to dispense in charity–both to your neighbors and to any relatives that might end up on your doorstep at the 11th hour.

Stockpile fuel–firewood, home heating oil, or propane, plus fuel for your backup generator, vehicles and/or tractor. For liquid fuels, buy the largest tanks that you can afford to buy and fill, and that are allowable under your local fire code. If you heat with wood or coal, determine how many cords or pounds of coal you buy each winter and then triple that amount.

Build a sturdy gate to your driveway and get in the habit of keeping it closed and locked. It may sound far-fetched, but in the event or a “worst case” you may have to repel looters by force of arms. Buy plenty of ammo, zero your guns, and practice regularly. Hurricane Katrina showed how fragile our society is and how quickly law and order can break down in an emergency. Plan accordingly.

With the consent of your doctor and his prescription, you should stock up at least moderately on antibiotics such as penicillin and Ciprofloxacin (“cipro”) to fight co-infections. But they should only be used if it is abundantly clear that a co-infection has set in. (Again, watch for pneumonia symptoms.)

There are a few drugs that have been clinically proven to be useful in lessening the symptoms of viral influenzas, and shortening the duration of illness. These include Relenza (Zanamivir), Tamiflu (Oseltamivir phosphate), and Sambucol. These drugs are used immediately after the onset of flu symptoms. Of the three, Sambucol–a non-prescription tincture of black elderberry– is probably the best. I predict shortages of these drugs in coming months, so stock up while they are still readily available!

I’m not a big believer in Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) or the other neuraminidase inhibitors. It’s only demonstrated effect is to make the course of the flu slightly less long (on the order of 1-2 days less), but it has a critical requirement: IT MUST BE TAKEN within the first day or two of feeling ill. Most people (myself included) will just feel a little ‘off’ those first couple of days, or try to work through it. Tamiflu in this situation is pretty useless. Also, if someone is going to use it, they MUST have it on hand before they get sick: Getting the first symptoms, then deciding to call your physician and getting an appointment to get the prescription the week after next isn’t going to help. Finally, it’s pretty expensive (a standard 5 day adult dose is around $100 plus the physician’s appointment). It’s also going to be in short supply as people start trying to get it (similar to Cipro following the anthrax attacks and scares). BTW, Mom’s old standby for respiratory infections (chicken soup) is as effective as oseltamivir. I doubt that it would be a good choice for an avian or swine flu pandemic, though.

So, what should people do? In addition to the suggestions you’ve offered, I have a few more: If the pandemic strikes, and you can’t avoid going out among people, wear disposable gloves (they don’t have to be surgical or sterile). You don’t know who last touched that … whatever (door knob, elevator button, public phone, etc). Carry and use several pair, and learn how to take them off without touching the outsides (ask a medically trained individual to show you). Human beings touch surfaces over 1,000 times a day and then touch their face, mouth, and nose over 300 times a day! We do all this subconsciously and don’t realize that we are self-contaminating creatures! Think about this- we touch: cell phones, public phones, doorknobs, shopping carts, elevator buttons, each other, dining tables and chairs, etc. The list is endless! And everything carries germs!


ALWAYS PUT TOLIET PAPER DOWN ON THE TOLIET SEAT IN PUBLIC RESTROOMS!! You can very easily pick up viruses and bacteria that we normally classify as “sexual transmitted diseases”, but medical research shows that these viruses and bacteria can live on a toilet seat for up to a week or more, just waiting for you to plop your bare bottom down on the seat and become its new host! I have seen folks who NEVER had an STD in their life (and did not live a life that would increase their risks of getting an STD), but managed to pick up an STD off a public toilet seat…it’s not an urban myth…do you want to trust that minimum-wage flunky at Wal-Mart to properly sterilize and clean those public toilets? I don’t! So always put toilet paper down as a barrier method between your skin and private parts and the infected toilet seat. Keep your hands away from your mouth, nose and eyes! If your hands become contaminated (and you should always assume your hands are contaminated after being in a public place), don’t transfer the virus or bacteria to mucous membranes (nose, mouth, ears, eyes, private parts, open/uncovered wounds or scratches). Wash your hands often (and also, BEFORE and AFTER using public restrooms, then don’t touch the door knob on the way out – use an extra paper towel). Hand sanitizer gels are OK but plain soap and water is fine too. If nothing else is available, a ‘dry wash’ (vigorously rubbing your hands as though you were soaping them up) is surprisingly effective in removing the outer dead layer of skin cells that harbor virus particles or bacteria. It won’t get rid of every single one (nothing will) but it’s a matter of odds – the fewer, the better.
Teach everyone (especially the dear little germ transport mechanisms we call children) to cough into their elbow or armpit – NOT to cover their face with their hands (and then what?) or use a tissue (and then what?). And to wash their hands afterwards. This minimizes spread of disease to others and reduced the risk of them re-contaminating themselves.

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, and I don’t give medical advice. I have taken medical classes and EMT training, but I am not a board-licensed medical physician. Mention of any medical device, treatment, drug, or food supplement is for educational purposes only. Consult your doctor before undertaking any treatment or the use of any drug, food supplement, or medical device. We are not responsible for the use or misuse of any product mentioned.

Survival & Prepper Classes We Offer

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Please contact us at:  schoolofselfreliance@outlook.com   to inquire about upcoming survival or prepper classes.   You can also visit our website at:   http://schoolofselfreliance.webs.com/    for even more classes not listed here!

 

 

SURVIVAL COURSES

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS AND COST

(All CLASS courses include refreshments and snacks, all participants must be 18 or older, or at least 15 years old with a paying, participating adult in attendance with the minor child.)

Emergency Scenarios & Preparedness 1 day (5 hours) $50/person or $75/couple CLASS

What To Do In The Event Of:

-Martial Law & Civil Unrest

-Foreign Invasion/UN Troops/ War

-Nuclear/Biological/Chemical Attack or Economic Collapse

-Rioting/Looting

-Natural Disaster (hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, etc)

-Bug-Out-Bags and what to put in them & Emergency Planning

Food & Water Storage 1 day (up to 5 hours) $50/person or $75/couple CLASS

-Preparing you and your family for 1 year storage and rotation

-Individual Plan Preparation

-What is Food Storage? Why do I need to store food and water?

-What can I store and what can I not store?

-Shelf-life and extending it

-Freeze-dried, Canned, Dehydrated Foods

Personal Awareness and Self-Defense 1 day (5 hours) $50/person or $75/couple CLASS

-Learning to Assess your own Home for Security and Planning/Prevention

-Learning to Assess your surroundings when out and about

-Personal Safety and Awareness

-Basic Self-Defense

Off The Grid 1 day (up to5 hours) $50/person or $75/couple CLASS

-Wind, Solar, and Water Power, Alternative Energies

-Going off the grid- how and why

-Hobby Farm/Homesteading, being self-reliant

-Raising your own animals and gardening for food and material

Beginner Outdoor Survival & Confidence 2 days (1 overnight) $200/person or $325/couple OUTDOOR

-Fire Building Plus $25/person food cost

-Shelter Making

-Food Gathering, Hunting, and Trapping

-Water Collection and Purification Vs. Filter

-Basic Land Navigation and Using a Compass

-Knives and other Outdoor Survival Gear

Advanced Outdoor Survival & Confidence 3 days (2 overnights) $250/person or $350/couple OUTDOOR

-Primitive Fire Building Plus $35/person food cost

-Primitive Bush craft

-Winter/Snow Survival

-Advanced Shelter, Food Gathering, Hunting, Trapping, Water Collection

***Must have taken and passed Beginner Outdoor Survival to take Advanced Outdoor Class!***

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CLASS= classroom only, held indoors

OUTDOOR= outdoor training, dress appropriately for weather, held in New Buffalo, Michigan

School of Self Reliance http://schoolofselfreliance.webs.com/ Find us on Facebook!

All participants must be 18 or older and must sign a waiver

All participants are responsible for their own safety and well being

Participants 15 through 18 must have a paying/participating adult to attend.

Children under the age of 15 are not advised for safety reasons.

WE ALSO OFFER GROUP RATES! CONTACT US TO FIND OUT ABOUT DISCOUNTS FOR GROUPS OF 10 OR MORE!

Top Barter Items

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Top 12 Barter Goods for WTSHTF

Barter items for the post-cataclysmic world. Here we go:

  1. Ammo, Ammo, Ammo – Do I need to say it again? America is the most heavily armed nation in the world, but I seriously question how many people actually maintain an adequate supply of ammunition for those guns. Think about it, how many people do you know that go out and buy a few boxes of shells before hunting season starts? Exactly. They don’t have an adequate supply should SHTF. You can have all the guns in the world, but if you can’t load ‘em with bullets – they’re useless. When the Golden Horde of unprepared masses descend upon those holding something of value, it’s only those who can repeatedly pop these zombies in the dome that will find themselves forcing the Golden Horde to consider another house. Stock up on common calibers (.22, 9mm, .45, 5.56/.223, .40, 12 gauge and .308) and you’ll find yourself in high demand with people that need rounds. Now, the flip side of this is do you really want to give away ammunition that might be used against you? You’ll have to decide this depending on the exact SHTF circumstances. I trust you’ll make the right decision.

 

  1. Guns, Guns, Guns – Do I need to say it again? Yes, they’re expensive, but there are MANY people out there who are averse to owning a gun, but once TEOTWAWKI hits, their minds will quickly change. They’re expensive, yes, but I’m not advocating you stock up on AR-15′s to hand out in exchange for everything under the sun (though you could). I’m thinking more along the lines of used, single-shot 12 gauge shotguns that can be purchased for around $50. To someone that’s unarmed, a single-shot shotgun and a box of shells will be worth its weight in gold.

 

  1. Prescription Medications & Medical Supplies– Yes, this is a difficult one to stock up on, but if you come across them in the post-apocalyptic world – SNAG ‘EM. What do you think you could trade a bottle of nitro pills for with someone that has a heart condition? Exactly. If you require prescription medications I would strongly advise you consult with your physician about obtaining a few month’s extra supplies. First Aid supplies will also be greatly sought after items. Stock up on bandages, gauze, tape, rubbing alcohol/peroxide, etc.

 

  1. Water Purification Supplies – Does this really need an explanation? Filters, tablets, bleach, etc.

 

  1. Survival Garden  Seeds – This would be for the pro-longed SHTF situation. Their value will be infinite. Someone in your group should know how to start seeds, transplant seedlings, and maintain a garden. Make sure your seeds are properly sealed and stored or they will be no good to you.

 

  1. Fuel – We’re talking all types: gas, diesel, propane,kerosene,  firewood, etc. Can you have too much? No, so you’ll likely keep it for yourself, but if you DID need something that you hadn’t already acquired, fuel will be a great commodity for bartering.

 

  1. Survival Books – Books with good information will be huge. They’re EMP-proof and don’t require electricity to run (unlike the pc you’re using).

 

  1. Batteries – Stock as many as you can use while rotating stock and staying within the recommended life span. A better idea is to stock a few crank radios and flashlights. Solar panel materials are also great items to have, no matter how small, people will want to generate electricity.

 

  1. Soap, Bleach and Cleaning Agents – Your local grocery store won’t be open. These items are critical for maintaining health and hygiene. Don’t forget some extra washrags and sponges.

 

  1. Cast Iron Cookware – People that run out of fuel will be cooking over an open fire – situations that call for cast iron. Settlers used it for a good reason.  Lewis & Clark carried cast iron Dutch ovens with them all the way to the Pacific Coast and then back home again because cast iron cookware is invaluable!

 

  1. Garden and Hand Tools – Those left alive will suddenly become gardeners and carpenters, whether they like it or not.  This is how we rebuild society- from the ground up.

 

  1. Canning Supplies – How will people survive the non-growing season without these? If you have no power, and once your stockpile of freeze dried food is gone, you better have planted those Survival Garden Seeds we talked about, and then have the canning equipment (boiler, pressure cooker, jars, lids, recipes, pectin, sugar, vinegar, etc.) to be able to preserve some of that harvest by means of home canning.  Canning can seem daunting, but if you buy the Ball’s Guide to Canning and Home Preserving, it has a step-by-step guide and tons of recipes inside. Anyone can learn to can and preserve food. It really is easy to learn, you just have to be willing to try and to have the equipment on hand.

Some items I’d like to cover that are not included above:

  • Silver and Gold Coins – A lot of people advocate purchasing these for bartering purposes, but their value is entirely dependent on the situation . If you’re lost in the desert for 14 days, would you rather have a gallon of water or 4 bars of gold? Precisely my point.  However, having gold and silver coins as well as precious stones make great barter for things you may really need like food or medical supplies!  Stock up on some coins that you keep in your physical possession and is not registered with the government (i.e.- shop at your local pawn shops or eBay).
  •  Tobacco– people who are smokers will gladly trade to fill their nicotine addiction
  • Booze – Yes, alcoholics will do flips and twists for it when they run dry, but what will your typical alcoholic have to offer in trade?  Think about it. While I would appreciate a stiff shot of Jack Daniels post-Doomsday, I wouldn’t waste my time stocking up on it for bartering purposes. That being said, if you do drink, and you have a pantry stocked with food, it’d certainly be worthwhile to add the booze of your choice to the shelves and rotate stock.  I would consider keeping booze on hand for a disinfectant for wounds/water, and for quick Molotov cocktails if needed.

Remember: Shop in your pantry for dinner, shop at the store for your pantry.

  • Toilet Paper – Yeah, it has value, but when TEOTWAWKI hits, you’ll happily use leaves and magazines.  Store what you are able to, but don’t devote the entire garage to just toilet paper. Remember to store it in water-proof and varmint-proof containers.