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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Prepare Your Home for a Flood

Floods have been in the news a lot in the recent years, especially in 2008, and before that, fallout from Hurricane Katrina. They are a very common natural disaster, killing many people and costing a ton of money. Prepare!

  • The waters of the floods aren’t the only problem – it can uproot trees, move houses and boulders, and cause slides.

  • Check with your local planning and zoning office to see if you’re in a flood plain – above or below the flood level. See also if your area has ever been involved with flooding (a history).

  • Contact your insurance company, depending on the answers you get on the above question. Most homeowner’s insurance does not include flood insurance.

  • Find out what the warning signs are in your area in case of floods. Remember rivers and streams can also flood.

  • Learn your area’s evacuation plan.

  • Keep your important papers (insurance policies, birth certificates, passports, will, etc.) in a waterproof box or bags where you can easily access them. This would be a good item for your 72-hour kit/bug-out bag.

  • If you live in a flood area, and your furnace, water heater and/or electricity panel is in the basement or first floor, move it to the attic or second floor where it will be less likely to be damaged by flood.

  • Prevent floodwater from backing into your drains by plugging sewer traps with check valves.

  • Check with your planning and zoning commission to see if you can build flood walls or other barriers to stop water from getting to your home.

  • Protect basement walls by waterproofing walls and windows, especially cracks.

  • Keep a battery-operated or hand-crank radio handy.

  • Discuss a meeting place with family so you will all meet at the same place. This could be across the street at the top of the park, or in another town.

  • Prepare your 72-hour evacuation kit / bug-out bag. Check your supplies regularly.

  • Don’t get in the floodwater, if at all possible. It most likely contains sewer water, snakes, and depending on where you are, alligators. Plus, it could be moving much faster than you might see.

  • Don’t drive in the floodwaters. Even a heavy vehicle could get swept away before you realize it.

  • Stock up on empty sandbags and learn / practice filling them.

Did I forget anything? Would love to hear from flood survivors!



Original: http://colorado-preppers.blogspot.com/2009/05/prepare-your-home-for-flood.html

Pandemic or Not - Are You Ready For the Swine Flue

See original article here.

On Tuesday the World Health Organization raised the pre-pandemic alert level to Level 4, for the first time in its history. Wednesday it was raised again to a level 5 making the H1N1 flu officially a pandemic. The flu has now been verified or suspect in more than twenty countries and ten states. In their news conference Wednesday the World Health Organization stated that since this virus has never been seen before they really have no idea how deadly it will become. To aid you in your preparation for a potential pandemic, Meridian Magazine is re-publishing our pandemic articles published just three months ago.

Now is the time to seriously read and study the recommendations, and then to get ready in case this flu outbreak becomes a full blown pandemic.

First, what do these phase classifications mean?

Phase 4 is characterized by verified human-to-human transmission of an animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus able to cause “community-level outbreaks.” The ability to cause sustained disease outbreaks in a community marks a significant upwards shift in the risk for a pandemic. Any country that suspects or has verified such an event should urgently consult with WHO so that the situation can be jointly assessed and a decision made by the affected country if implementation of a rapid pandemic containment operation is warranted. Phase 4 indicates a significant increase in risk of a pandemic but does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is a forgone conclusion.

Phase 5 is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short.

Phase 6, the pandemic phase, is characterized by community level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region in addition to the criteria defined in Phase 5 .

Designation of this phase will indicate that a global pandemic is under way.

The Center for Disease control says they are very concerned about the future. The reason? The Swine Flu is moving through the United States at a very rapid rate. This flu virus is very aggressive and easily transmitted between family members as well as those who have casual contact. It is also a huge concern that this strain is mild and may return during the next flu season in an even more aggressive manner.

The Center for Disease Control has advised that everyone who has any symptoms of flu, and all their family members, remain at home. Once a family member has been diagnosed with Swine Flu you are asked to self quarantine and remain home, with no contact with anyone outside of your home, until at least 24 hours after all symptoms have disappeared in all family members. When a child is diagnosed they recommend that the child's school be closed for at least a few days as the virus is easily transmitted before any symptoms appear.

To keep up with the latest information, please visit: http://blog.TotallyReady.com. I will be updating posts there as soon as I receive new information.

"When the World Catches the Flu "

Airliners travel daily between Hong Kong and North America in about 15 hours from take-off to landing. The travel time between Europe and USA is about half of that – so it should be no surprise that health authorities have plenty of scenarios to worry about for the transfer of a deadly strain of the flu. In fact, The Harvard Initiative for Global Health predicts that some deadly strains – called “pandemics” - could kill as many as 81 million people worldwide.

We all have heard that experts are very concerned about avian (bird) flu, but what exactly is the difference between seasonal flu, an epidemic, and a pandemic?

A Seasonal Flu occurs predictably, usually during the winter. Humans have some natural immunity to influenza and there are vaccines available.

An Epidemic is defined as an infectious disease which spreads more broadly and rapidly through a given population than is the norm. For example, we expect a certain number of cases of the flu each year. When the number of those affected grows unusually high it is considered an epidemic. The body may or may not have some immunity and vaccines may or may not be available. As an example, HIV is considered an epidemic for which there is no immunity and no vaccine.

A Pandemic may be defined as an epidemic which affects an entire continent, region, or the entire globe.

When a disease is new, it simply means our immune systems have not experienced the organism before and are unprepared to deal with it. The disease will then cause serious illness or death. It will spread too quickly to be contained and will continue to spread because there is no effective treatment.

Influenza pandemics have happened during at least the last four centuries. During the 20th Century three pandemics occurred.

The first and by far the most serious, began in 1918, the “Spanish Influenza”. Approximately 20 to 40 percent of the worldwide population became ill and over 20 million died. Between September 1918 and April 1919, approximately 675,000 deaths from the flu occurred in the United States, 50,000,000 worldwide. Many died very quickly - often within 24 hours of the first symptoms occurring. Many who survived the influenza, eventually died from complications of pneumonia. One of the most frightening aspects of the Spanish flu was its ability to kill young, otherwise healthy, adults. The mortality rate was the highest among those between 20 and 50 years of age and pregnant women. It seems their healthy immune system actually attacked itself.

The second 20th century pandemic was in February 1957, and is remembered as the “Asian Flu”. Unlike the virus that caused the 1918 pandemic, the 1957 pandemic virus was identified quickly. The virus came to the U.S. with a series of small outbreaks during the summer of 1957. When children returned to school in the fall, the disease increased and spread quickly. Most deaths occurred between September 1957 and March 1958. By December 1957, the worst seemed to be over. January and February 1958 saw a "second wave" of infections develop, which is typical during a pandemic. The disease infects one segment of the population, appears to be under control and then returns to infect another segment. Although the Asian flu pandemic was not as devastating as the Spanish flu, about 69,800 died in the United States alone and between one and two million worldwide. This time the elderly had the highest rates of death.
In early 1968, an influenza pandemic was first detected in Hong Kong, and was called the “Hong Kong Flu”. In September 1968, illness was detected in the United States. The disease became widespread in December and peaked in January of 1969. In the United States, 33,800 died - most of them over 65 - making it the mildest pandemic in the 20th century. Worldwide 700,000 lost their lives.

What are the differences between a seasonal flu and a pandemic flu?

Seasonal Flu:

Outbreaks follow predictable seasonal patterns; occurs annually
Some immunity is built up from previous exposure
Healthy adults are usually not at risk for serious complications, the very young, elderly and those with compromised immune systems are at highest risk.
Health systems can meet patient needs
Vaccines are developed based on known flu strains and are available
Symptoms: fever, cough, runny nose, muscle pain
Deaths often caused by complications, such as pneumonia
Causes minor impact on society
Manageable impact on domestic and world economy

Pandemic Flu:

Occurs rarely
No previous exposure, little or no pre-existing immunity
Healthy people may be at increased risk for serious complications
Health systems may be overwhelmed
Vaccine probably would not be available in the early stages of a pandemic
Symptoms may be more severe and complications more frequent
May cause major impact on society (widespread restrictions on travel, closings of schools and businesses, cancellation of large public gatherings)
Potential for severe impact on domestic and world economy

You can and should prepare now for the possibility of a pandemic. Our government and governments throughout the world, the World Health Organization, and relief agencies worldwide all believe a pandemic is coming, if not this year, then soon.

What we can expect when another Pandemic hits

To help prevent the spread of the flu, communities may be quarantined - meaning you will not be able to count on out-of-town family and friends to help. People who may have been exposed may be required to stay in their homes. Schools, public transportation systems, all public events, government and private sector offices, even churches will all closed down.

According to health officials, preparation means assuming that any or most of these conditions will apply in severely affected communities: Those who work in stores, who deliver to those stores, and who work at docks unloading supplies arriving from other countries, will also become ill or restricted to their homes. Many businesses will be forced to close because employees will stay home to protect themselves or to care for ill family members. This will mean the closure of businesses such as grocery stores and gas stations.

Relief agencies, police and fire departments and hospitals will be short-staffed as employees and volunteers will become ill or remain home to care for family members. You will be on your own for most flu related issues.

Outside of the quarantine area, businesses will close as supplies become limited. The stock market will close, bankruptcies will increase as people stop receiving government aid and pay checks.

Prepare for disruptions in utility services. Pandemics are most likely to occur during the cold weather months. Utilities; electric, gas and water, all require staff to keep them operating at full capacity. Workers will stay home and ordinary repairs will become major complications as the staff will be limited. Power outages may last longer than normal. This may mean no heat, refrigeration, lights, and for those served by wells – no water. Without power pipes may freeze and break. Water may become contaminated as staff will not be equipped to monitor and control all systems and repairs. If we should experience a winter storm, ice storm, firestorm or earthquake which damages or destroys lines during this time, the problems would be greatly compounded.

Communications during this time will become vital to your physical and emotional health.
Government and relief agencies all recommend we prepare to care for our own needs. If your community is not quarantined but the flu virus is in the area, you will want to impose a self quarantine and stay in your home. Only with exposure to flu germs can you catch the flu. For this to be possible you will need to prepare now.

We can learn from the experiences of the past:

Case Study for Self Imposed Reverse Quarantine (SIRQ), Yerba Buena Island
Yerba Buena Island is in the middle of San Francisco Bay – it is the island at the midway point of today's Bay Bridge, but in 1918, it stood alone, connected only by ferries to the mainland.
On September 23, 1918 Commandant Percival Rossiter of the San Francisco Naval Training Station ordered an immediate SIRQ of the island. All 6,000 people on the island, including civilians, were required to remain on the island. All contact with others living in the San Francisco Bay Area were halted except to receive supplies. Supplies were delivered to the docks and recovered only after the vessel delivering them had left. On the rare occasion that military personnel arrived on the island they were placed in a quarantine camp for several days.
By early November new influenza cases was decreasing in the San Francisco area. On Thursday, November 21, after two months of SIRQ the ban on travel off the island was lifted. This may have been premature as the first case of influenza on the island was reported on December 6, 1918. During December 1918 and January 1919, Yerba Buena Island recorded 3 deaths from influenza and 2 from pneumonia. Deaths during the Self Imposed Reverse Quarantine:0
Gunnison, Colorado

The city of Gunnison, Colorado took steps early to protect its citizens. In early October 1918 the Colorado State Board of Health issued a warning. Schools were closed across the county, with orders that they would remain closed. Large meetings were banned.

With the news that nearby towns were being hard hit by the pandemic, Gunnison enacted measures to protect its citizens. Anyone entering the town was required to remain in a quarantine location for two days. Barricades were erected on the main highways and cars were warned to drive through without stopping.

After three months, on February 4, 1919, Dr. Hyatt called for an end to the protective sequestration and closure order for the town of Gunnison. Only one death had been recorded. When a third wave of the flu arrived, 100 cases were reported in Gunnison and 5 deaths occurred.

Western Pennsylvania Institute for the Blind

The Western Pennsylvania Institute for the Blind escaped the influenza pandemic even though nearby Pittsburgh was hit hard. When word of illness in nearby towns reached the school, officials announced that visitors would not be allowed to enter the school nor students allowed to leave. No cases of the flu were reported at the school. Students were allowed to return home for Thanksgiving and upon their return 12 cases of the flu were recorded at the school. The school was closed and students sent home until the flu subsided.

There are many more examples of Self Imposed Reverse Quarantines that prevented or greatly reduced illness and death. For this reason it is expected that many communities will choose this same protection method when the next pandemic arrives. BYU Idaho, in Rexburg, is already preparing for their students to participate in a Self Imposed Reverse Quarantine should a pandemic occur.

There is a limit to what the government, the health care community, and the Church can do in advance of a pandemic outbreak. With a worldwide Church it would be virtually impossible for the Church to stockpile all the goods that members would require. We need to prepare to care for our own families.

The U.S. Federal Government, the World Health Organization, and others are monitoring avian flue outbreaks, as well as other pandemic threat sources closely. The United States has active national as well as international programs for manufacturing, pre-positioning, and stockpiling antiviral drugs, masks, and other supplies. Work on a specific vaccine cannot occur until a virus strain that infects people is identified and isolated. Most experts agree that development of an effective vaccine would take six months or more.

In the United States, Secretary Leavitt of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) has stated that "any community that fails to prepare—with the expectation that the federal government can come to the rescue—will be tragically wrong" (April 10, 2006).

"And plagues shall go forth, and they shall not be taken from the earth until I have completed my work, which shall be cut short in righteousness - Until all shall know me, who remain even from the least unto the greatest, and shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and shall see eye to eye... " - D&C 84:97-98

We need to prepare. Now is the time.


Original: http://fillingyourark.blogspot.com/2009/04/pandemic-or-not-are-you-ready-for-swine.html

Summer Survival - Summer Safety Tips

There are a few simple things that you can do that will help you to survive the heat of summer. Failing to take a few simple precautions can lead to serious problems. Brief periods of high summer temperatures can cause serious health problems if you aren’t prepared to deal with extreme summer temperatures.

Simple Summer Safety Tips

1. Always drink plenty of fluids and make sure young children get the necessary fluids.

2. Avoid eating heavy meals and hot foods which can add heat to your body.

3. Never leave your children or pets unattended in a parked car or vehicle, especially during the summer heat.

4. Always wear loose fitting, light colored clothing. Include a good hat or cap.

5. Take plenty of breaks during any type of physical activity in the summer.

6. Make sure you provide plenty of water for your pets and livestock.

7. Always wear appropriate eye protection to avoid damaging your eyesight.

8. Monitor the weather closely and be aware of any extreme changes in temperature.

9. Check on elderly family members on a regular basis to make sure they are doing OK.

10. Use appropriate sun protection creams during extended periods of activity in the sun to avoid the harmful effects of sunburn.

Using a little common sense will allow you to enjoy being outdoors during the summer heat without risking your health.

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker


Original: http://stealthsurvival.blogspot.com/2009/04/summer-survival-summer-safety-tips.html

Simple Survival Tips – Staying Healthy


Many times people get sick because they fail to take simple precautions to insure they stay healthy. They ignore the fact that a few simple and easy steps can help you maintain a better state of health. A little common sense and good hygiene will help to prevent many illnesses. While these actions can’t guarantee you won’t get sick, they will still be beneficial to your health.

Simple Ways to Stay Healthy

1. Learn proper handwashing techniques. People touch a variety of items each and every day of their lives without even realizing it. From doorknobs to money and desktops to keyboards, the numbers of surfaces we come into contact with on a daily basis are all a source of potential contamination. Take some time to find out if you are following the Handwashing_Guidelines.

2. Eat regular and well-balanced meals. Proper nutrition will go a long way in helping you maintain your health. Make sure you are eating Well-balanced Meals.

3. Drink plenty of fluids. Make sure you’re getting enough water for your health.

4. Exercise on a daily basis. Even a short walk each day will have a great benefit on your health. Try to include exercise as a part of your daily routine.

5. Get plenty of rest. Failure to get enough sleep or the proper amount of rest can result in your body being more susceptible to illness. Try to get healthy sleep.

6. Maintain your physical space. Everyone has a few close friends but try not to be so close that a small cough or sneeze from your friends or family could also put you at risk. Give yourself a little additional room as a precautionary measure.

7. Get regular check-ups with your family doctor of healthcare provider. Regular check-ups can sometimes find problems with your health before it is too late.


A few simple things included in your daily routine will help you to stay a lot healthier.

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker


Original: http://stealthsurvival.blogspot.com/2009/04/simple-survival-tips-staying-healthy.html

Skills as a prep

A few weeks ago a guest author on a popular preparation blog discussed the value of gardening as a resource. He put forth the opinion that while he enjoys gardening as a pastime, the decision as to whether to engage in it should be based solely around time and cost. Citing the inability to move a garden in an emergency and the amount of labor required to get to harvest, he concluded that it is better to save your seeds for a bug-out and expend today’s efforts and money on a trip to the grocery store. “It’s all about time,” he says, “not a skill or desire.”

While I agree that one’s first priority regarding food storage should be an inclusive, multiple-year, regularly-rotated supply, I believe that there are several things that he has overlooked. Glass jars, mylar bags, and ten pound cans might be more mobile than a garden but not by much. There’s only so much you can carry—especially if you need to get out in a hurry. Second, if you were to encounter an emergency, which would you rather eat? Dehydrated or fresh strawberries? And last, what happens when you get to your bug-out location and are ready to plant or the emergency draws long and your stores run out? If you have only prepared by storing ingredients, equipment, and tools, you are going to get awfully hungry trying to figure out how to turn a seed into a potato.

This post is not intended to be about gardening specifically; it is about skills. I believe that we as preppers are too often focused on equipment and look over skills that are an aid to comfort and crucial for survival. Perhaps there are some that have sufficient monetary assets that they will be able to acquire a shelter and supplies in great enough quantity and security that it will sustain them indefinitely, but I am not so fortunate. I also like fresh tomatoes.

t Skills as a prep

So as you inventory your storage this Spring, noting which things need to be rotated and replaced, I invite you to look beyond the supplies and consider what you are going to do with it. Many preppers are getting good at using their storage as a pantry and learning how to effectively cook with and rotate their food, but that is done in a controlled environment of their modernized kitchens that is very unlikely to be available in the emergencies we plan for. Walk through scenarios in your mind, read and research methods, test them, try them, try them again another way, and then practice. Break your tools in. Read the instructions. Verify that you have the necessary adapters, cables, fuel, utensils, or ingredients. Try throwing the breakers on your home and living through a mock disaster for a week. Go on the Utah Preppers 72-hour kit camp-out.

You must take action. Agreeing with preparedness, reading about preparedness, and getting excited about preparedness isn’t going to help in an emergency. You are going to need to have skills and that takes time. You must start today. It usually requires trial and error. You are going to have to spend a lot of hours at the range before you’ll be able to hit a target. It’ll take several years of failure before you can raise a healthy crop without over watered, burned, or infected plants. Learn what you like, learn what you hate, learn what you’re good at, and learn what you should avoid. Become familiar with your surroundings and plan escape routes. Prepare for the worst and you will never have to see it.

There is no better way to ensure that your preparations are complete than using what you have stored and developing the skills you will need. With knowledge and experience you will be able to sleep peacefully through any storm knowing that you are prepared. With a strong set of skills you will be able to protect and provide for your family.


Original:http://www.utahpreppers.com/2009/04/skills-as-a-prep/

Oh Yes I forgot to tell you about….

By Joseph Parish

Well, as all good survivalists you have your initial bug out exercise planned and you feel pretty confident that you have everything under control. You have referred over and over to your well composed bug out checklists and you are 100 percent confident that nothing has been overlooked. You have completely rechecked your bug out bags, your food provisions and your first aid supplies. You proceed to hook up your pull behind storage trailer and resume consigning additional survival supplies into it as well. Everything appears to be in order and you truly feel like some sort of professional survivalist at this point.

You gaze over all your supplies and packing one last time to ensure that you have not forgotten a solitary thing, after all you want you first bug out exercise to go off without any sort of hitch. If only life was this defined and predictable but it simply is not. There is a host of variables that can crop up during any bug out event and we regrettably can not envisage what these tribulations will be in advance. As survivalists we frequently pride ourselves on anticipating the unexpected. We are supposed to know in advance what probable problems we may encounter throughout our trip and at the bug out retreat. Being realistic we know full well it is impracticable to attain however we can within certain parameters be able to diminish the unexpected.

Most unexpected problems stem from what they didn’t tell you about bugging out. Being conscientious you have read and prepared for is all that you possibly can. To this end you are ready, it is the untold information and hints that tends to tender the most hindrance.

No one has ever claimed that the bug out process is painless. In fact, it is down right demanding when you reflect upon all the things that you have to remember and the diverse tasks which you must accomplish. But a successful bug out should endow the survivalist with a positive feeling of pride in knowing that they are prepared for any disaster and that they can handle their own during these crisis times.

Your first order of business is of course planning as to where you will bug out to. If you have concluded your homework and preps properly this has previously been worked out. Upon arrival at your retreat you will need to unpack specific pieces of equipment in order to embark upon your temporary life in the woods. If you happen to be using a tent you will need to clear a spot and ensure that it is level. You will then need to start your fire so that the evening meal can be prepared.

I have previously covered the subject of bugs in another article but never the less anytime you are in the great outdoors you will likely encounter bugs in the area like to bother you. Although some bugs are simply worse then others all of them are a source of great annoyance. You can minimize their effects by completing several minor tasks. Of prime importance is to maintain your area clear of food scrapes. Bugs like to eat. If you included sweetened drinks in your food supplies keep them closed as bees are often attracted to a sweet can of soda. Determine a logical way to dispose of your trash on a daily basis and never and I repeat never eat in your tent. Nothing is worse then trying to rest in the evening only to discover that your tent guests are a marching colony of ants. Don’t wear after shave lotions, deodorants or perfumes of any sort as insects are attracted to the scents.

The use of any kind of bright lights has a tendency to attract gnats and mosquitoes. If you are going to use a lantern for light make sure you place it far enough away to not attract flying bugs to your immediate vicinity. In a previous article I outlined the making of a natural insect repellent that you could create at home so you may wish to also include some of this in your bags. Outdoor Citronella candles tend to help discourage many flying insects for your immediate location.

The ability to obtain a good nights sleep is often a problem that is not only associated with new bug out survivalists but the more seasoned as well. There is a variety of reasons for this abnormality. First, you are not sleeping in your usual bed and will find the emergency accommodations extremely uncomfortable to adapt to. Next you really don’t know what to expect in the way of unexpected guests either from the forests four legged creatures or the roving two legged kind therefore you are continually on alert.

Speaking of natures wild creatures. It is totally possible that you could wake up in the morning and discover that much of your food has been eaten or scattered about the bug out site. Depending upon where your bug out retreat is located you can encounter a vast selection of wildlife. You could easily end up with neighbors such as raccoons, squirrels or if you are located in an area as my brother is, you could perhaps expect a visit by a black bear or a mountain lion. These animals can smell food for a considerable distance. Never leave your food unsecured. A rope and a burlap bag can help save your vitals by hanging them from a tree.

Despite the minor discomforts and an occasional inconvenience that we may endure while bugging out these various outdoor experiences will be a valuable lesson to us in the event of an actual emergency and during times of crisis when our skills would need to be used. Good luck and think of the impossible.

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish


Original: http://survival-training.info/articles10/OhYesIforgottotellyouabout.htm

How to Prevent and Prepare for Swine Flu




from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses. The symptoms are similar to that of the familiar seasonal flu. As of April 29, 2009 there are a limited number of laboratory confirmed cases: 172 in Mexico, 91 in the US, 13 in Canada, and a handful of cases in Europe and Asia.[1] Swine influenza is not currently a pandemic.
In the event that swine flu becomes a pandemic, everyday life would be disrupted because so many people in so many places become seriously ill at the same time. Impacts can range from school and business closings to the interruption of basic services such as public transportation and food delivery. The following steps will help you prepare for the worst case scenario.

Steps



Prevention
  1. Know what the signs of swine flu are in people. The symptoms look a lot like an ordinary flu and include fever (greater than 100°F or 37.8°C), cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. It is reported that diarrhea and vomiting can also be included with the symptoms of illness. There's no way to tell if you have the swine flu unless a respiratory specimen is taken within the first 4-5 days and sent to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (or equivalent).
  2. Make sure you are in good health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. The healthier you are, the better your immune system will be at defending your body against a virus.
  3. Practice good hygiene. If you sneeze, keep a disposable tissue in front of your mouth, after sneezing or blowing your nose throw the tissue away. Wash your hands often, especially if after blowing/sneezing and before you eat. Use a disinfectant when possible or just use soap and water.
  4. Don't share utensils or drinks. In cafeteria settings, it's not uncommon for people to casually share utensils or take a sip from someone else's drink. This should be completely avoided if there is any risk of a flu pandemic.
  5. Wear a facemask or respirator as instructed by authorities. If used correctly, facemasks and respirators may help prevent some exposure to flu viruses. However, facemasks should be used along with other preventive measures, such as frequent hand washing.[2]


Preparation
If a pandemic flu virus spreads rapidly, being prepared to stay at home will help slow down the virus because you'll minimize your exposure (and other people's exposure to you, if you become sick).
  1. Know what to expect.
    • A vaccine for pandemic flu may not be available for 4-6 months after a pandemic starts, and even then, it may only be available in limited amounts.
    • People will have little or no immunity to pandemic flu since it is a new virus to humans. With seasonal flu, people have some immunity built up from previous exposure to the viruses.
    • Symptoms of pandemic flu may be more severe than seasonal flu. More people are likely to die from pandemic flu than from seasonal flu.
    • If you got a swine flu vaccine in the 70s, don't expect it to protect you from this new strain.[3]

  2. Stock up. Store nonperishable foods, bottled water, over-the-counter drugs, health supplies, and other necessities. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends having a 2-week supply. (These supplies can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages.) Have basic, over-the-counter health supplies such as a thermometer, facemasks, tissues, soap, hand sanitizers, medicine to relieve fever, and cold medicine.
  3. Plan ahead. Plan for what you will do in the following cases:
    • Schools dismissed: Consider childcare needs. Plan home learning activities and exercises. Have materials, such as books, on hand. Also plan recreational activities that your children can do at home.
    • You or family member becomes sick and requires care: Make plans for how to care for people with special needs in case the services they rely on are not available. Plan to stay home for at least 10 days when you are sick with pandemic flu. Staying home will keep you from giving it to others. Make sure others in your household also stay home when they are sick. During a severe pandemic, stay home if someone in your household is sick with pandemic flu.
    • Transportation networks disrupted. Think about how you can rely less on public transportation during a pandemic. For example, store food and other essential supplies so you can make fewer trips to the store. Prepare backup plans for taking care of loved ones who are far away. Consider other ways to get to work, or, if you can, work at home.

  4. Talk to your employer. Ask your employer about how business will continue during a pandemic. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services offers a Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist; or you can Develop a Risk Management Plan that accounts for the possibility of a flu pandemic. Find out if you can work from home, or if your employer will consider virtualizing the workforce. Plan for the possible reduction or loss of income if you are unable to work or your place of employment is closed. Check with your employer or union about leave policies.
  5. Stay updated. Identify sources you can count on for reliable information. If a pandemic occurs, having accurate and reliable information will be critical.
    • Reliable, accurate, and timely information is available at PandemicFlu.gov and World Health Organization swine flu page
    • Telephone sources include the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Hotline at: 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636). This line is available in English and Spanish, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TTY: 1-888-232-6348. If you do not live in the U.S., check if there is an equivalent hotline in your area.
    • Look for information on your local and state government Web sites. Review your state's planning efforts and those of your local public health and emergency preparedness officials.
    • Listen to local and national radio, watch news reports on television, and read your newspaper and other sources of printed and Web-based information.



If You Contract Swine Flu
  1. In most cases swine flu patients should stay home. Do not go to the hospital or doctor, or else you might spread the virus to other patients.
    • On the other hand do seek emergency care as quickly as possible if the infected person is:[3]
      • Exceptionally ill with flu-like symptoms
      • Chronically ill
      • Immune-suppressed
      • Elderly
      • A very young child, under age 2


  2. Call your doctor first, explain that you think you might have the swine flu, and follow any instructions. Read the US CDC guidelines on care.
  3. Get plenty of rest, and wait it out, the flu should pass in about 10 days.
  4. Be aware of life-threatening complications which might develop. If you get any of these you should get emergency medical care.

  • Emergency warning signs in adults are:[3]
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
    • Sudden dizziness
    • Confusion
    • Severe or persistent vomiting

    Emergency warning signs in children are:[3]
    • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
    • Bluish skin color
    • Not drinking enough fluids
    • Not waking up or interacting
    • Being very irritable
    • Fever with a rash



Video


Dr Joseph Bresee, of the US Center for Disease Control Influenza Division discusses swine flu.

Tips


  • Avoid traveling to an affected area. People who have recently visited Mexico, California or Texas and are experiencing influenza-like symptoms, or have been in contact with sick persons from these areas, should contact their health care provider. Be sure to specify that you recently traveled.
  • Note that swine flu is transmitted from person-to-person, not from food.
  • Don't confuse swine flu with avian (bird) flu. Unlike avian flu, swine flu has proven to be highly contagious between humans.[3]


Warnings


  • Don't panic. While it is prudent to be prepared, there is no need to overreact. For most people, basic precautions are all that is needed.


Related wikiHows




Sources and Citations



  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_swine_flu_outbreak

  2. http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/masks.htm

  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 http://blogs.discovery.com/news_animal/2009/04/health-experts-answer-swine-flu-questions.html



Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Prevent and Prepare for Swine Flu. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.



Original: http://alabamapreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/04/swine-flu-prevention.html

Inventory Check: Nails and Screws

How often to you really think about your supply of nails and screws? When you have a project and go to reach for them? How many different sizes do you have? How many of each size?


If something were to happen today, like the price of nails and screws goes up 10-times what they cost now, do you have enough to last for a long time? Same question - if you could never ever buy any more - enough?


Next time you go to Lowe's or Home Depot or any hardware store, pick up a few boxes of nails and screws, various sizes. Oh, and while you're at it, do you have a couple of good hammers and screwdrivers?


Just checkin'.


Original: http://colorado-preppers.blogspot.com/2009/04/inventory-check-nails-and-screws.html