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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Homemade Firestarters

Making homemade firestarters is quite simple and easy. Some may ask: What’s the point of making my own firestarters at home when I can by matches at the store. The answer is simple also. Making homemade firestarters is cost-effective and doing so will increase your knowledge of basic wilderness survival. Homemade firestarters can be made from just about anything in your home. Here are a few examples:

Vaseline Dipped Cotton Balls - Take a few cotton balls (enough to fill up a sandwich bag) and coat them in Vaseline. After you’ve thoroughly coated them in Vaseline, place them into the sandwich bag and seal it up for use later.

Wax Coated Newspaper - Cut or tear your newspaper in strips, and coat them with melted wax. Be careful when using the melted wax because it is very flammable. Be prepared to put out the fire should one start.

Dryer Lint - Yes, that’s right, dryer lint. Dryer lint is pieces of flammable material all balled up together. This is the simplest homemade firestarter there is. You just collected from your dryer and go on your way.

Homemade Wicks - Take a few cotton cords or rope and cut into desired sections. Melt the wax and dip the cords into it. Let dry and store the waxed cords away from heat.

Paper Towel Rolls - Use paper towel rolls to start your campfire. In order to do this you need to stuff it with either paper towels or newspaper. Newspaper works better for kindling the fire.

There are many things you could use to make homemade firestarters. The key is knowing what you CAN use. Almost all paper products can be used to start fires. Newspaper as mentioned above is the best for starting fires. When the recipe calls for paper, newspaper is the recommended product. Wax is another product useful in making firestarters at home. You could either melt your candles to get wax or you could buy a block of wax, particularly paraffin wax, to melt. Regardless of your method of attaining the wax, it will serve as a valuable resource for producing firestarters.

Mostly anything that you wax can be burned also. Anything natural, that is. You could wax old cereal boxes, juice boxes, or rice boxes. Pine cones from a tree covered or dipped in melted wax are great firestarters too! The possibilities are virtually endless. If you have wax and paper, you’ll have a firestarter. So you see making homemade firestarters is a simple task.

Copywrite @12008 Delmarva Survival Training

Original: http://survival-training.info/articles/Homemade%20Firestarters.htm

Waterproof Matches that work

By Joseph Parish

Waterproof matches are worth their weight in gold during the event of an emergency. Paired with a inexpensive or homemade fire starter, waterproof matches ensure you of a warm camp fire in any circumstances. Unfortunately, waterproof matches are not always accessible and yet then they may be so costly that they are out of your immediate reach economically. There are numerous technique for which you can waterproof your own matches.

Here are a couple of fail-safe approaches to constructing your own waterproof matches that you can make use of when backpacking, camping or in an disaster. It takes only a moment to assemble them, and the result will be matches that will light even upon getting drenched. Be sure to formulate your waterproof matches as quickly as you can after their purchase to ensure that they do not pick up much moisture from the surrounding air.

As with any project, a few precautions are in order. Foremost in importance is always use caution when working around fire. Secondly, when in a liquid state wax is extremely hot and causes severe burns. Lastly, both nail polish and wax will stain furniture surfaces as well as fabrics, so properly cover your work surface well with newspaper.

The first method I will discuss is that of using a Candle. The candle process performs best when using tea candles as opposed to tapers. If you employee this method be certain to work as quickly but safely as you possibly can so the wax does not harden. Begin by lighting a candle and letting it burn slightly until there exists a fair quantity of melted wax. This is usually about a 1-centimeter or one-half an inch. When you have accumulated sufficient wax promptly put out the candle. Next, dip the head of the match carefully into the melted wax just enough to coat 3 millimeters or an eighth of an inch of the matchstick. Hold the match steady for several seconds to permit the wax to harden and place the match suspended off the edge of the table surface. Before the wax completely hardens but is slightly cooled pinch the wax coating near the end of the stick to form a tight seal. You may also completely cover the matches with wax to ensure water cannot wick up the matchstick.

In method number two, you will use nail polish to protect the sulfur ends of the matchsticks. The nail polish technique is the easiest and safest plus it generates a much sturdier match as the wax can easily be broken or scratched. Any type of nail polish can be used for this procedure. Start by dipping the head end of the match into a container of clear nail polish. Immerge it just enough to cover an area of 3 millimeters or an eighth of an inch of the matchstick. After coating, hold the match in your hand for a few moments to permit the nail polish to completely dry and then set the match on the counter so the head is poised off the edge of the surface.

Even though your new matches are waterproof, it is still a sound practice to store the completed matches in some sort of waterproof container. I have found that a plastic 35 mm film canister serves as an excellent choice. You may have to cut the ends of the matchstick slightly to allow it to fit properly. If you do not use the strike anywhere, matches make sure to glue a small section of the original striking surface to the cap in order to help ignite the matches.

Copyright @2008 Joseph Parish


Warm your winter with Canning

By Joseph Parish

I dare say there is no better way to spend weekends than canning local vegetables, peaches, berries or apples. For being a northern state Delaware winters are not really that bad weather wise. Here is the middle of December and our temperatures today were close to seventy degrees. Not bad at all for winter.

I don’t let season dictate to me what I will can or jar. I have found that the supermarket sometimes has very good sales going on even in the middle of winter so I do not hesitate to purchase my produce from the market in the winter.

Although I grew up in a family that canned and “put food away” I really did not appreciate the value of home canning until I got married. My wife and I decided to attempt the process together and it proved to be a lot of fun. That first canning experience was nearly forty years ago. With our family raised and now on their own, we do not really see any necessity for canning however occasionally we will do it just for the fun of it.

Unfortunately I feel canning is on a decline and that is so sad. I know of just about no one who still cans to this day. None of my neighbors can, none of the family can, and it is becoming a dead craft.

I hope to convince you that saving the harvest from the fields be it summer or winter is not only a frugal way to eat but also a lot of fun. We now live in a fast paced over extended society and any time you can find a few moments to relax and enjoy life to its max you should take it.

We had initially stuck to the basic types of canning such as pickles or strawberry jams. You would be surprised at the number of different cucumber type pickles or relishes there are. Take a quick glance at a Bell Canning Book and you will become a believer. As we progressed in our canning, we got braver and attempted many different types of canning such as bread or chicken.

There are two basic types of canning – those with a pressure cooker and those with a water bath. I prefer the water bath as it is a simpler method and you can readily see you results.

Always follow the recipes although it is possible to modify them to a certain degree. Why not, this will add that personal touch to each recipe and can of finished produce. Essentially, you begin by cooking your selected jelly, salsas or pickles on top of your kitchen stove according to the recipe you are following. Ladle your cooked product into clean, sterilized jars and place the jars into the boiling water bath for a predetermined period. This time depends upon the recipe you have selected.

You can begin by sterilizing your jars and lids in the dishwasher and then again place them in a hot water bath prior to being filled. You may safely reuse the rings but I do not recommend reusing the lids.

Do not fill the jars too close to the top. Leave about one half-inch headroom between the food and the top of the jar for expansion, etc. Make certain to clean off any of the spilled food on the sides of the jar before screwing the lid on it.

If all this sounds like it would be of interest to you visit your local library and pick up addition titles relating to food canning and preservation. You will find the process a fun and interesting challenge. I have enclosed a simple Peach jam recipe to get you going.

Peach Jam

8 med peaches or 6 cups, cut into wedges (Canned Peaches can be used)
1 small unpeeled navel orange cut into wedges
2 8 oz cans of crushed pineapple, undrained
12 maraschino cherries
3 T. maraschino cherry juice
2 packages powdered fruit pectin
10 cups of sugar

In your blender, process the fruits and juice in several batches until they are smooth. Transfer them to a large kettle, stir in the pectin and bring the mixture to a rapid boil stirring frequently. Add the 10 cups of sugar and return the mixture to a rolling boil. Continue the boil for 2 minutes making sure to stir constantly. Remove the contents from the heat and skim off the foam. Lastly pour into sterilized jars. This batch makes 12 half-pints.

Copyright @2008 Joseph parish

Original: http://survival-training.info/articles/Warm%20your%20winter%20with%20Canning.htm

Self Reliance

I was visiting my usual set of blogs today when I came across this blog post http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2009/03/18/self-reliance/ at the Simple Dollar. It was short and not very thorough on the subject but it was a concise reminder that people really aren't very self reliant these days. When you think about all of the things we hire out these days, it's a wonder we can do anything for ourselves. Here's a random list of things we often don't do for ourselves any more:
  • Make our morning coffee (Starbucks does this)
  • Wash, dry, and press our clothes (the cleaners does this)
  • Clean our house (the housekeeper does this)
  • Mow our yard (the yard guy or kid down the street does this)
  • Grow our food (all of our food now comes from the grocery store)
  • Catch or kill our food (again this comes from the grocery store)
  • Take care of our kids (daycare, school, and babysitters do this)
  • Cook a meal (restaurants do this)
  • Fix our car (the high-tech repair shop does this)
  • Build or repair our home (various contractors/construction people do this)
  • Repair our plumbing (we call a plumber)
  • Repair our electrical problems (we call an electrician)
  • Heal our pets (we take them to the vet)
  • Heal ourselves (we run to the clinic)
  • Talk to our friends (we text them or email them)
  • Process our own garbage (the garbage company does this)
  • Acquire water for ourselves (the water department ensures that it flows through our pipes)
  • Heat our homes with our own work gathering wood (the electric company does this)
  • Sew our own clothes (they come from the store)
  • Traverse the town or the world independently (our GPS tells us where to go)
  • Rely on ourselves in the wilderness (cell phones and satellite beacons keep track of us)
  • Bury our dead (some company whisks them away from the hospital and we never see them again)
  • Manage our money (we rely on advisers, creditors, and the government to tell us how to do this)
  • Use our own skill and judgement to make a deal (we rely on contracts to protect us from ours and others stupidity or dishonesty)
  • Save for something we need (we rely on credit)
  • Save for retirement (we think Social (in)Security will take care of us)
  • Deal with your kid's behaviour issues (we rely on school and law enforcement to do this)
  • Using your effort, wits, and skill to create a business (you rely on an employer for everything--pay rate, medical insurance, work atmosphere, etc)

Anyway, you get the idea. The bottom line is that the more you can do for yourself, the less you are at the mercy of others.

Original: http://codenameinsight.blogspot.com/2009/03/self-reliance.html

10 Things to Take With You When You Travel

I'm on the road for this week and part of next week. With very little time to post (or think up creative topics to blog about), I figured I would list the things that I always take with me when I travel...
  1. A jacket with pockets. I keep my wallet, cell phone, passport, boarding passes, etc. zipped in my jacket pockets when I travel. This way they are easily accessible and not prone to being left behind or stolen. Should I have to exit the airplane in an emergency, my stuff will be on me instead of in an overhead compartment, and I am sure my sciatic nerve will thank me if I don't sit on my wallet in a hard airplane seat for 15 hours straight.

  2. A GPS device. I use a portable Magellan unit in my car at home and when I travel, it goes in my bag, this way I can park it on the dash of my rental car so I will know how to get to where I am going. Note: take the thing with you when you leave your car so it won't be a target for thieves.

  3. A Kiva backpack. This very tiny backpack folds up into itself and clips to my belt. It is an excellent companion for travel because I hate to have my hands full carrying things. When I acquire stuff, I just pop open the backpack and I have an instant way to carry my stuff.

  4. A cell phone that will work in the area I am traveling in. I have cell phones from a couple of companies so if I am going somewhere new, I check the coverage maps from both companies to see which phone will work where I am going. In cities this is no problem but in outlying areas there isn't always coverage depending on what cell company you have.

  5. ATM/Credit/Debit cards from a few banks. I keep money in a handful of bank accounts, all of which have ATM cards associated with them. The problem with traveling is that sometimes your bank will see unusual transactions and promptly cancel usage of the card until they can figure out what is happening. One way to prevent this is to tell your bank that you will be traveling so they can note this on your account. If you forget to do this, one of the other cards may work. In other words, don't just rely on one card for travel. Cash is also nice to bring.

  6. Contact numbers. I keep a laminated list in tiny 4 point font in my wallet with emergency contact numbers on it. Included on the list are numbers for people I know in the area that I will be traveling in as well as numbers for people who I know I can count on in an emergency no matter what is happening or where I am. This way, if I don't have cell coverage or lose my cell phone, I can still get in contact with someone who can help me.

  7. Laptop. Since I am almost always working when I travel, I usually snap up the smallest laptop I can find when then come on the market. I now have a tiny Asus laptop with a 120 gig hard drive. It easily holds all of my programs and files and weighs about a pound. When I think back on traveling with a 15" laptop, I shudder. This tiny computer rocks.
  8. A thumb drive with all of my computer files backed up on it. While I always take a laptop with me when I travel, I am not foolish enough to think that is will always work or never get stolen. Therefore, I always carry a thumb drive with all of my files backed up on it. In a crisis I can always find another computer to use but without a backup I won't be able to access my files.
  9. A 2500 ci backpack. I hate schlepping luggage. I always travel light, with what I can fit in my Mountainsmith backpack. I figure that if I absolutely need something that I didn't bring with me, I can always buy it when I get to my destination. Note: if I am heading off to very remote places for specific purposes I do end up schlepping a ton of gear, equipment, and supplies but for regular travel, you can pretty much buy anything you need, anywhere you go.
  10. Food. You never know when you may become stranded somewhere, whether it is on a plane, in an airport, or on a remote island, so I always carry food with my where ever I go. Jerky, nuts, dried fruit, granola bars, and other items that travel well along with a bottle of water will usually hold me until I can get some regular food.

Original: http://codenameinsight.blogspot.com/2009/03/10-things-to-take-with-you-when-you.html

Keeping Track of Emergency Food Supplies

Sharon (of Casaubon's Book) was the first person I've really been able to show our emergency food storage without fear of being thought crazy or paranoid. In fact, she was a strong influence in our decision to build up a larder in the first place. You can read all of Sharon's posts on why and how to store food here.

The Center for Disease Control recommends everyone have a minimum of two weeks' food supplies on hand to weather any natural or human-caused disasters. The LDS Church, for a variety of reasons, urges its members to keep a one year supply of food on hand and they even have a handy calculator to help figure out how much is needed. With increasing food costs and job losses, building up your pantry gives you a safety net for hard times. How much food you decide to keep on hand is really up to you. Decide what would give you peace of mind, what you can afford, and what you can store. I think a three-month supply is a happy medium.

How do you build up your pantry? I've already talked about food security a number of times here and recommend you try some of the ideas I've thrown out such as buying in bulk, checking the sales and discontinued items, shopping for nutrition, gardening, and preserving food (see also canning). Of course, avoiding food waste is important too! Sharon has also discussed this (see link given above) and had a series of posts focused on building up your supplies one week at a time. Justice Desserts had the ticking time bomb version of emergency preparedness that will get you ramped up for food and everything else you need in just three weeks.

Once you have gathered up some food stocks, though, you don't just tuck them in the spare closet and forget about them. The food you've stored should be food that you are willing to eat regularly; otherwise there isn't much point in having it. If you choose to buy staples suggested by the LDS calculator - such as wheat, oats, and legumes as well as flour, sugar, and dried milk - you should make sure you know how to prepare them. If they are new foods to you, start incorporating them into your daily menus now.

Your extra food should be stored properly and rotated regularly to maintain the quality of the food. I collected food grade buckets from my local grocery store's bakery department and a restaurant. For rice, wheat, oats, and legumes, I wrapped a 4 oz chunk of dry ice in a paper towel and put it on the bottom of the bucket before pouring in the bulk food. I left the lid sitting loosely on top for half an hour to allow the dry ice to drive out the oxygen before tamping down the lid tightly. For a couple of hours, I kept checking the lids to make sure no more pressure built up from any remaining dry ice. If it did, a quick "burp" of the lid took care of it. Many people advise buying special oxygen removers and gamma lids but I have not spent the money on that yet. For small quantities, I used my vacuum sealer attachment for canning lids to tightly seal food in half gallon or smaller canning jars.

To make sure the food is rotated regularly, it's important to know when you got it. For foods that store well, such as dry grains, pasta, and legumes, I write the date I got the food on the container. These are then put in the storage area with the oldest items most accessible. For foods with printed expiration dates on them, such as condiments, I also organize them to use the oldest ones first. For commercially canned food, you can sometimes decipher the coding to determine date of manufacture. Canned food keeps well in the proper storage conditions although the nutrition of the food may diminish over time. Since store stock rotates regularly, you can write your purchase date on the lid of canned goods with a permanent marker as one way to help keep track of its freshness.

Storing emergency food supplies is not useful unless you know what you have on hand. Without some kind of inventory, you may end up with too much of one type of food and not nearly enough of another, and you will be less likely to remember to rotate the food. If, like me, you have fairly limited space in which to store your emergency food supplies, your tracking system can help save you time in finding out whether you still have a specific food in your stores and where to find it.

I use a notebook with printed sheets to keep track of my inventory. I keep it, with a pen attached, in the pantry. I can check it easily to see if I am running low on particular items. My inventory is broken down into types of food. I use these categories because it is how I mentally categorize the food and organizing the list makes it more manageable.

Below is a list of the categories that I use. For each one, I've listed the type of foods that I would include in it. This is not a recommendation to store all of these items, but simply an example of how I group foods. Use what works for you.

  • Asian food - foods specific to Asian cuisine, such as dried bracken, nori, shiitake mushrooms, and rice vinegar. Also includes condiments that are specifically Asian such as red curry paste, Sriracha sauce, soy sauce, and wasabi.

  • Baking supplies - includes baking yeast, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, egg replacer (powder), flax seeds, flour, & salt.

  • Beans - all beans & legumes. List specifies whether they are canned, dehydrated (precooked & dried), or dry.

  • Beverages - includes tea bags, coffee beans, nondairy milk mixes and aseptic packages, and drink mixes. If you brew your own wine or beer, include supplies such as yeast and hops here.

  • Condiments - includes any food item used as a condiment, but does not includes herbs, spices, or extracts. Examples: banana chutney, mustard, nutritional yeast, relish, salsa, and vinegar.

  • Dehydrated meals - includes backpacking food and dried soups.

  • Flavorings - includes all herbs, spices, and extracts. Savory flavorings are stored separately from sweet flavorings. (You don't want your cinnamon to smell like garlic powder.) Vacuum packing helps maintain their freshness and contain their odors.

  • Fruit - includes dehydrated and canned fruit as well as fruit-based jams, jellies, and syrups.

  • Grains - includes whole and partially processed grains such as wheat berries, cream of wheat cereal, popcorn kernels, etc. Flour is tallied with baking supplies.

  • Nuts & Oils - includes oil, oil spray, nut butters, sesame or sunflower seeds, and nuts.

  • Pasta - includes pasta as well as semolina flour for making pasta from scratch.

  • Rice - any kind of rice. Rice flour is tallied with Asian food or baking supplies.

  • Sugars - includes all sweeteners, such as sugar, brown sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup, and even stevia.

  • Vegetables - includes any vegetable foods whether canned, dehydrated, or pickled. Seeds for sprouting are also listed here.
A spreadsheet is a really handy way to organize the food inventory. Each category has its own worksheet and the foods listed in each category are alphabetized so that I can scan the printed list quickly. If there are multiple forms of the same food, the food is listed first and the form second. (For example: "tomatoes, dried" and "tomatoes, diced with basil, canned".) I also have a column to note where the food is located since I've had to carve space out in several places throughout the house. The amount of each food item is noted in another column and some spreadsheets have these totaled at the bottom. It is useful, for instance, to know how many pounds of beans or grains are on hand. It is not really useful, however, to know how many total ounces of spices I have.

When I first put the notebook together, I printed out all the worksheets from the spreadsheet to put in my notebook. I subtract and add items as needed by hand on the hard copy in the notebook. I've only updated the spreadsheets on the computer once - when I added a number of new foods in multiple categories after several weeks of canning. Yes, the notebook gets messy, but it's still usable. If you are diligent about marking items off as you remove them from the pantry, or adding new items when you go shopping, it will stay pretty accurate. There should be no need to completely re-inventory your stock more often than once a year.

For those of you with multiple family members pulling items out of storage, be sure to explain whatever system you use to everyone so that your inventory stays up to date. If there are children or others that will not cooperate, consider putting the emergency food storage under lock and key.

The only aspect of tracking our emergency food stores that I have not incorporated into the notebook is tracking how quickly we eat the food. I've been pondering ways to do that and hope to put something in place when we move. To do this, I will probably have to include all of the food I have on my kitchen shelves as well as the emergency stored food. At this time, I don't include the kitchen food because it seems like it would get really onerous to mark things off every single time I make a meal.

Do you have a system for tracking your food supplies that works really well? How do you keep track of how quickly you go through various foods?

Original: http://chilechews.blogspot.com/2009/04/keeping-track-of-emergency-food.html

The Need For Rest And Relaxation

In the endless cycle of work, school, prepping, writing, etc many people forgot to stop and smell the roses so to speak. Relaxation is the key to a sound body and mind. There are many things that you can do to relax and de-stress from a world that constantly has us on the move.

1.) Take some time each day to sit in a comfortable seat and just empty your mind of everything. I would say meditate, but that is just to hokey for me, instead I will say relax. Maybe even close your eyes and snooze for twenty minutes (set an alarm if you have to). You will be amazed at how refreshed you will feel.

2.) Eat breakfast, I can't stress how much better you will feel every day by just eating something in the morning.

3.) Cut back on the caffiene, the wife and I now make coffee that is half regular and half decaf, it really does help.

4.) Get a good nights sleep, make sure you get 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. YOUR BODY NEEDS THIS!!! This is the time when your body repairs itself and recharges your batteries to face the next days challenges.

5.) Go on mini-vacations, not everyone has the time or money to go on long fancy vacations but take the family camping for a three day weekend or go on day trips to break up the monotony of life. These experiences will give you perspective and help you to avoid "sweating the small stuff".

Whatever you do in these stressful times, just try and relax a bit...it will help you to keep from going nuts!

...that is all.

Original; http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/BeASurvivor/~3/AKFuGy0tNQg/need-for-rest-and-relaxation.html

Be A Survivor Polish Sausage And Cabbage

The real star in this recipe is the cabbage. This is a recipe that has been handed down in my wife's family and I have learned how to cook it. I made a batch recently and it is pure "pork" heaven.

Bacon grease (hopefully you save yours!!!)
1 large white onion
1 head of cabbage
4 cans of sauerkraut
1 Large or 2 medium Polish sausage (kielbasa)

1.) Drain and thoroughly wash the sauerkraut. Dry it very well by squeezing it out and put it on the side. This needs to be done correctly or your dish will not turn out right...WASH then DRY.

2.) Dice your onion.

3.) Shred the head of cabbage (very thin slices like cole slaw).

1.) In a large pot melt 5 heaping tablespoons of bacon grease (yes you read that right). Add the onions and saute until they are translucent.

2.) Add the dry sauerkraut to the pot and stir thoroughly.

3.) Add ALL of the shredded cabbage to the pot and mix thoroughly. This is the pain in butt time. You need to babysit this. Cover and sweat on medium to low heat for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Remove the cover every 5 or so minutes and thoroughly stir, recover...and repeat.

4.) While the cabbage is cooking add the Kielbasa to another pot and simmer on low for about 30 minutes.

5.) When the kielbasa is done slice it on the bias in half inch slices and add to the cabbage mixture. Remember to keep stirring the mixture every few minutes to keep it sweating and prevent it from burning.

6.) After 1 hour and 45 minutes you will have something magical. Add salt and pepper to taste.

...that is all.

Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/BeASurvivor/~3/1lDeplXbe4g/be-survivor-polish-sausage-and-cabbage.html

Link of the Day

Simply Survival

Small, but growing, another site that's a work in progress with lots of potential. Survival instructor Greg Davenport is adding more good stuff on survival techniques and "The Art of Adapting" on a regular basis.

Man Made Disasters - Surviving a Nuclear Explosion

The threat of a nuclear attack has been around since I was small. I remember discussing the cold war in grade school and while we didn’t practice hiding under our desks like the kids did in previous decades, it was nonetheless a known threat. While we will most likely not have any warning of a nuclear attack, there are things you can do to prepare and certainly in this situation knowledge can save your life.

If you’re within half a mile of the initial blast, depending on the surrounding architecture your percentages of survival are extremely low. If you somehow see the flash, or have some warning, take shelter immediately. The basement or middle floors of a building are best. Concrete, wood, earth, brick and books all can protect you from the blast. The farther away from the initial detonation you are, the higher your chances of survival.

Most of us will be mostly worried about radioactive fallout. The fallout can be carried hundreds of miles and cannot be seen or smelled by humans. You can purchase radiation monitoring devices, but most of us will rely on local radio broadcasts for drift information. Have a family plan in place that you will follow in the event of a nuclear blast. If you’re in a close proximity, you will need to evacuate immediately, but remember your car doesn’t provide much defense against radioactive particles. If you plan on sheltering at home, make sure your food and water supplies are available and your radio has fresh batteries at all times. You should keep a supply of thick plastic sheets and duct tape to seal up a safe room - which should be an interior room without windows if possible. Remember if it’s the bathroom to seal up all the vents and heating ducts.

If you become contaminated act quickly and find shelter, cut off your clothes so as to avoid pulling the contamination over your mouth, nose and eyes. Shower or wash gently and avoid rubbing your face, instead blotting with a wet, soapy cloth. If you wear contacts you’ll need to remove them and throw them away, glasses can be dipped in a bleach solution and rinsed. Thoroughly rinse your eyes. Throw your contaminated clothing in a trash bag and place outside of your shelter area. Regular soap and water is enough to decontaminate yourself and any clothing you have stored in your closets and drawers will most likely be safe.

Food and water that you have stored in plastic or metal containers should be safe. Watch for dirt and dust on surfaces and decontaminate with a bleach solution if you feel it’s necessary. Water from wells will generally be safe to drink and reverse-osmosis water filtration systems will remove the radioactive particles. Any fresh garden produce or animal products from live animals that may consume fallout should not be eaten. Stick with the food you have stored until authorities have determined it’s safe.

The danger of radioactive fallout will pass rather quickly, within a few days. Have a plan ahead of time to determine how long you will shelter and listen closely to any news reports and instructions. If you think you’re suffering from radiation sickness, seek medical help as soon as possible. Nausea and weakness are the initial effects, followed by problems with your central nervous system, immune and gastro-intestinal systems. There is no specific therapy for radiation sickness, other than general care of the victim. In an emergency situation medical facilities will most likely be understaffed and overcrowded with those seeking help.

More likely than a direct nuclear bomb attack is the possibility of an EMP or electromagnetic pulse. A nuclear weapon detonated in or above the earth’s atmosphere will create an EMP. While it’s unlikely to have direct human casualties, it will in essence damage all electronic devices, including our grid systems. Most electrical equipment within 1000 miles of the detonation would be affected and have some major catastrophic results affecting everything from our water supplies to vehicles. Make sure you take precautions with your emergency electrical equipment, including battery-powered radios by keeping them grounded. If you have a pacemaker you may have difficulties and should consult your doctor about how to lower your risk.

Be prepared, have a plan and keep aware of the world around you and you can keep yourself and your family safe in the event of a nuclear disaster.

Original: http://survivallady.com/?p=218