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Friday, May 1, 2009

How to clean a fish

For those newbies like me. Print it out & take it with you.


Original: http://vermontpreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-to-clean-fish.html

Demand for New Flu Vaccine Could Overwhelm Manufacturers

Demand for New Flu Vaccine Could Overwhelm Manufacturers

The United States won't necessarily have the upper hand in seeking an adequate supply of swine flu vaccines, since much of U.S. vaccine manufacturing is done overseas.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Global demand for a yet-to-be-developed swine flu vaccine could overwhelm manufacturers, experts say, and because much of the U.S. flu vaccine supply is made overseas, this could make it tough for some Americans to get immunized.

Right now, there are only about 260 confirmed cases worldwide, with 109 in the United States.

But the World Health Organization on Wednesday raised the pandemic alert level to one notch below its highest level. If the outbreak spreads and grows more severe, health agencies want to be prepared to inoculate as many people as possible.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is looking "very intently" at pursuing a vaccine. The World Health Organization already has reached out to flu vaccine developers about the possibility of helping produce one for this unique strain, known as H1N1 influenza A.

Experts warn, however, that even if a new vaccine can be produced over the next several months there may not be enough of it to go around.

"The assumption is there is nowhere near the capacity that's needed to vaccinate the world's population," said Neal Halsey, international health professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He said all the manufacturers in the world could probably only produce enough vaccine for 10 to 20 percent of the global population.

He said if the strain leads to a higher-than-usual mortality rate, the demand in the United States alone would probably be at least 200 million doses.

And he said the United States wouldn't necessarily have the upper hand in seeking a hoard of those doses, since much of our vaccine manufacturing is done overseas -- in countries like France, Belgium, Germany and Great Britain.

"That's going to be a very delicate discussion and argument," Halsey said, when asked about how the vaccines could be distributed globally. "The countries where the manufacturing takes place are going to have some say in this."

Six manufacturers are responsible for churning out the United States' annual seasonal flu vaccines. One of them, Sanofi Pasteur, released a statement Wednesday saying it stands ready to develop a new vaccine for the latest outbreak. The company has locations in France, Canada and the United States.

Kathryn Edwards, pediatrics professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said Sanofi Pasteur still produces a lot of its vaccine supply in the United States. But she said those infected with the new strain of influenza could very well need two doses, not one, of any new vaccine -- in turn making it harder to satisfy the demand in the United States and globally.

"I think that that will be a challenge," she said. "I think it's fair to say that during a pandemic that people are going to be pretty parochial. They're going to make a vaccine for their people first."

Anne Schuchat, an interim deputy director at the CDC, tried to dispel concerns about U.S. manufacturing capacity during a Senate committee hearing Wednesday.

Asked if the United States can produce a vaccine domestically for 300 million Americans, she said recent investments in pandemic preparedness had led to "phenomenal expansion in manufacturing capacity so that we are very optimistic going forward about what we can expect."

But she added: "This virus can surprise us, and even with all this investment, it may just technically be difficult."

At least one U.S. company has jumped in early to start evaluating the strain, potentially in order to develop a vaccine. Illinois-based Baxter International Inc. requested virus samples from the World Health Organization and expects to obtain them in the next few days, company spokesman Chris Bona said.

He said Baxter has a special system to "rapidly produce" flu vaccines and potentially could develop one in half the time it normally takes -- about 26 weeks.

If Baxter develops a vaccine, Bona said, it would work with "global health authorities" to determine where it would be distributed. He would not provide details about how many doses Baxter might be able to develop.

Halsey doubted Baxter could produce a substantive supply of vaccines for the H1N1 strain.

Richard Besser, acting director of the CDC, said Tuesday that the agency was looking "very intently" at a new vaccine. He said the CDC had built up a "seed stock" of the virus so it is ready to manufacture a vaccine if necessary.

"We're moving forward aggressively so that if a decision is made that we need to rev up production to make that vaccine, we would be ready to do so," he said. "It will be a matter of us deciding not to make a vaccine rather than deciding to move forward. What we're doing now is very proactive in terms of growing up the seed stocks for a vaccine."

Original: http://www.whenshtf.com/showthread.php?t=12799

Reevaluating Your Preparedness Supplies and Gear

When it comes time to reevaluate your BOB, preparedness gear, and emergency supplies, here are some things to keep in mind:
  • With your emergency food supplies, be sure to incorporate them into your normal food rotation. For food in your BOB, change it out completely every six months.
  • Always check everything with a battery (flashlights, radios, etc) to make sure the batteries still work. Consider replacing the spare batteries straight out--use the older batteries for your home electronics and put spare packs of fresh batteries in your BOBs and with your survival supplies.
  • Try on your clothes! I generally revamp my BOB every six months or so. Be sure to actually try on the clothes that are set aside in your BOB and with your survival gear because we tend to grow over time and you want to know that the clothes will actually fit when the time comes to use them.
  • Always rotate medications continuously as these tend to expire very quickly.
  • Consider survival supplies that you may no longer be able to use. Case in point...I have heavy ropes which are knotted and tied to each bed post in all of our second floor bedrooms. Now a few decades ago I may have just jumped out of the window in an emergency. A couple of decades ago, I came up with the knotted rope idea as a way to exit these upper floor rooms in an emergency; simply toss the rope out the window and climb down. Now I am reconsidering how people (us and guests who are getting a bit older and less limber) might exit these rooms. I am thinking about getting the rope ladders that can hang from the windows and allow people to climb down for a quick escape. As people get older, considerations need to be made for physical abilities that may not have had to be considered years ago.
  • Consider survival supplies (and gear) that you didn't need before but may need now. Acquiring a new kid, a new pet, or a new person in your life or moving to a new location or acquiring a new place to live or...you get the idea. Any new change in your household or to your household will require you to make changes in your survival supplies. Baby supplies, pet supplies, or supplies for the elderly or infirm may not have been needed when you originally packed up your survival gear but things change and your emergency supplies need to change with these changes.

Original: http://codenameinsight.blogspot.com/2009/04/reevaluating-your-preparedness-supplies.html

Flu Precautions

With the swine flu, whose politically correct name is now designated as Influenza A H1N1, dominating the news lately, people are wondering what they should do. Go into a full-fledged panic because we're all gonna die or sit back and let the government handle it? Luckily, there are options in between.

Common Sense Normal Precautions

First of all, there are precautions one can take each and every flu season to minimize the risk of getting sick. Despite flu making the rounds each year, I haven't had a serious case of it in years. I can't even remember the last time I had a mild case of it. Do I have super immunity? No. What I have is common sense and knowledge of how to keep the germs at bay.

Minimizing exposure to the flu virus is the best way to minimize your risk of getting ill. This does not mean that you have to don a bio-hazard suit, although you're welcome to try to start a new fashion trend in your neighborhood.

Wash your hands. Really the main thing you need to do is keep your hands clean. Wash your hands frequently during flu season and make sure you are washing them correctly. Most people do not wash long or well enough, including doctors. Thoroughly soap up and scrub your entire hands for 20 seconds and then rinse very well. Dry your hands thoroughly afterwards.

Use alcohol sanitizing gel. What if you can't wash your hands? Alcohol gel works well when hand-washing is not possibly. Keep a small bottle in your pocket for use anytime. You can even make your own by combining 1 cup rubbing alcohol with 1 tsp vegetable glycerin (available at natural food stores). It won't be as thick as the gel but will work just as well. When I return to my vehicle from any kind of outing, including thrift stores, libraries, or gatherings, I immediately clean my hands with alcohol sanitizing gel that I always keep in the console.

Decontaminate surfaces. During flu season, I also use the disinfectant wipes that many stores now provide for their grocery carts. I get the wipe before even touching the cart and use it on any parts of the handle I might touch. While in the store, or any other place, I am careful not to touch my hands to my face. Germs and viruses can easily enter the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth so those places are off-limits until I can thoroughly clean my hands. In restrooms, I wash my hands thoroughly and use my arm to shut off the faucet and hit the paper towel dispenser, and use an additional piece of paper towel to open the door so I am not touching the handle with my bare hands.

Can you use cloth instead of disposables? My precautions involve the use of disposable products: wipes and paper towels. I've been thinking about ways this could be done with cloth and it's possible but would require diligent attention to proper handling. Once the cloth has touched a surface that could be contaminated, you will not want to touch it again until laundered. So, the cloth becomes a one-time use item, but not disposable, meaning you need to carry a number of cloths, such as handkerchiefs or bandannas, with you. It would probably be best to then deposit the contaminated cloths into a bag to go directly into the laundry. Do not shake these when handling before washing as the dried contaminants can then become airborne and may actually be more easily inhaled in smaller particles. After handling the dirty laundry, wash your hands thoroughly. Wash them again before handling the clean laundry, especially if you have coughed or sneezed.

Stay healthy. Being healthy can strengthen your immune system. If you haven't been taking care of yourself, now is the time to start. Eat a healthy diet with lots of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Drink plenty of water. Minimize your intake of alcohol, salt, and sugar. Exercise regularly and get plenty of rest. Quit any bad habits such as drug use or smoking.

Stay home if sick. If you are sick, please STAY HOME. Do not expose others in the workplace, school, public, or extended family. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. If someone in your home is sick, be sure to disinfect common surfaces frequently: door knobs, toilet flush handles, phone, keyboards, computer mice, and so on.

What if there's a pandemic?

As Sharon at Casaubon's Book recently wrote, preparing for the possibility of an influenza pandemic is not much different than preparing for peak oil and climate change impacts on our way of life. Emergency preparedness is wise even if you don't believe in peak oil or climate change, or don't think they will have much impact on the way we go about living our daily lives.

As I've mentioned here repeatedly, the CDC has guidelines for emergency preparedness that everyone should follow. At the very lease, store enough food and water (and medications) for a couple of weeks (minimum!) for any kind of disaster, portable radio and flashlights with extra batteries (or better yet, get handcrank rechargeable versions), and a first aid kit. Follow the link to the CDC website for more details. Anyone that's been following my blog, or Sharon's or a number of the other ones in my sidebar, knows that we strongly advocate and practice such preparations.

In the past couple of days, I've been following the CDC's page on swine flu and the pandemic flu site> I also checked out Dr. Michael Greger's book about avian flu. The book is online so anyone can read it. I read the latter sections on what individuals can do to prepare and take care of themselves during a flu pandemic.

Yesterday afternoon, I shopped and supplemented my emergency supplies with a few more items: a few N95 masks (mostly in case my sweetie has to go to work when/if people are ill), vegetable glycerin and small squeeze bottles for our own alcohol sanitizer gel, salt substitute as a source of potassium if we become ill, Gatorade mix and plain crackers also in case we become ill, and some "Breathe Easy" tea that was on sale. We already have gloves so I skipped those. If you decide you want to have a few masks on hand, check out the paint section in hardware stores. That's where we've picked them up in the past for woodworking and painting, and they are likely to be less expensive than going to a medical supply business.

Is denial a good option?

No. There is no reason to panic, but it is also unwise not to be take precautions. Remember, denial is not a good substitute for preparation!

Original: http://chilechews.blogspot.com/2009/05/flu-precautions.html

The New Swine Flu Review

I was all psyched to tell you what I learned about water pumping in the North Country, but when I got back, my in box was filled with swine flu news and requests for what to do. So I thought it was a good time to post a short review of what to do if swine flu does become a pandemic - you’ll find that a surprising amount of it is precisely the stuff we all have been doing anyway.

As I understand it, swine flu is nothing to get complacent about, but generally less virulent than avian varieties, because we’re better adapted to it. So far, all the US cases have been very mild - the outbreak in Queens involved everyone being sent home.

My own personal response is to watch and wait. Both Eli and Eric are going to school today. I’m still planning on travelling by public transportation to Maine next weekend for a talk, although this could change if events do. A few years ago I wrote a piece about the potential intersections of pandemic flu planning (and actual outbreaks) with peak oil and other potential crises. I think most of what I wrote is potentially true, particularly the fact that a not-terribly severe flu epidemic could be used easily for political purposes - we tend only to be able to deal with one crisis at a time, and so one concern is simply that while the news is focusing on flu, they won’t be reporting on what is happening in the economy. This may not happen - it is merely speculation, but while we should be concerned about a major flu outbreak, we should also continue to look at the world critically, rather than simply getting scared.

So the first thing to say is DONT PANIC - so far, the swine flu, while potentially very widespread, doesn’t necessarily seem to be that serious. Yes, 160-odd people in Mexico have died. But lots of people die here of the flu every year - it is actually a very common cause of death among the elderly. So there’s no reason immediately to assume that this is a particularly virulent or unusually serious version.

The second thing you should do is WASH YOUR HANDS and stay a step back from people. You obviously should be particularly careful about this if you have elderly or medically fragile people in your home, or are elderly or medically fragile. Wash your hands *a lot* and wash your kids hands. If you have appropriate N-95 masks, you can wear them if you have to be out, if that makes you feel better. They are tough to keep on children and they aren’t a perfect solution, so I tend to think of them as of largely psychological value for many people, but it can’t hurt.

Ok, what’s next on the agenda. Well, the first thing is to avoid getting swine flu if possible. That is, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of time hanging out in large public venues, if you are concerned about it (of course, our family just spent the weekend at synagogue, the greenmarket, the public library, but what can you do). The best possible strategy for controlling the spread of illness is for people to mostly stay home. Mexico City has already closed its schools, universities and public venues, and I won’t be surprised to see this happening over other regions as well.

You don’t have to wait until they close your school - you can take your kids out earlier if you are concerned. Jobs are tougher (trust me, my husband teaches at a large state University) - you may or may not have the option of staying home. At this point, I wouldn’t lose a job based on what we know. You are going to have to balance this one. But the best possible strategy is to stay at home as much as possible - at least give up Bingo night. Don’t fly if you can avoid it, and I’d wear a mask if I did - airplanes are particularly likely venues of transmission.

If you think you might have Swine flu, you should probably be checked - call your county or state public health office to find out where. Otherwise, this would be a good time to stay away from hospitals and doctors offices, where people with viruses that might or might not be swine flu may be found. So you might want to cancel routine checkups, minor surgeries and anything else that can wait - note the emphasis on *can wait* - don’t skip essential medical care.

This is also a good time to update your prescriptions - pharmacies are also a place where sick people congregate. If you can, get your doctor to call in an extra refill, telling them you are concerned that if there is a quarantine, you may run out. Also a good time to pick up elderberry syrup, rehydration liquids, tylenol, etc… Don’t forget whatever you might need for children, the elderly, etc…

If you are going to be in Quarantine, you will need a supply of food. How much? Well, if you wish to give your paranoia free reign, probably at least 2-3 months. Why? Because the CDC has suggested that in a real pandemic situation flu would come in waves - and that extended quarantines might have to last as long as 2 months - and that there might be more than one of them.

Now I’m sure a lot of you have plenty of food, and the odds are very good that this time you won’t need it. But I’m not sure I would want to bet real cash on that - I’m risk averse. If this turns into a major issue the *stated policy of our government* (and Australia and Britain’s as well, and New Zealand has already begun to implement quarantines) is quarantine, and it could last at least 8 weeks. I wrote about this in my essay about why FEMA’s 2 weeks of stored food is not enough here. You might want to do as little shopping in public venues as possible for even longer than that.

What if you don’t have 8 weeks worth of food supplies? Well, you’d best go shopping. This is one of the reasons that I wrote this essay on crisis shopping a while back. I knew that some of you would wait until the last minute ;-). Note, while there is no reason whatsoever to run around screaming “the sky is falling, buy spam!” it would be nice if you were to ask an elderly neighbor or a busy young Mom if you can pick up any supplies for them. And if this motivates you to get to work on food storage, so much the better - as I always mention, this is *not* the ideal way to go about food storage.

In addition, you want to pick up items that will allow you to treat minor injuries and mild cases of illness at home - think about what your family needs when you are sick. Ideally, you already have a first aid kit, a store of meds, and these things. Don’t forget to make some chicken soup or miso soup and freeze or can it.

On the home front, it is worth remembering that you may be stuck at home for a while - jobs may be closed down, schools shuttered, and people’s travel restricted. What are you all going to do together? Well, assuming no one is sick, now’s a great time to work on the garden and your food producing infrastructure. Make sure you’ve got seeds and the things you need to grow food, feed for animals and pets, and a plan. If your kids are used to being at school all day and in front of the computer or tv all afternoon, and you don’t usually all stay home together, you will rapidly find that you get on each other’s nerves. Now is a good time to think “what will we all do” when we are actually forced to find out how much we like being together.

So now’s a good time to pick up that raised bed building materials, or the new tile for the bathroom. Now is a good time to think about something you’ve been wanting to do or learn together. Make sure the kids bring their books home from school at night if you think the schools might be closed. Plan a family project. Plan a visit to a local state park or other place not likely to be filled with other people. Make the change as enjoyable as you can - think of this as a home-based vacation. And if you don’t know how to have a good time for a few weeks at home, this is your next project - getting to like staying home with your family.

Finally, talk to your neighbors if it seems like this will turn into something significant. First of all, if by some chance you have to stay home for a month or two, you will be desperate for a little local company, so you might as well hang out now. Second of all, they may need your help - or you theirs.

Also, you might talk to family - some family may leave population centers to come to a safer location, or you may not want your elderly father to endure quarantine alone. If you are going to consolidate for the emergency, plan ahead - you want to do it early, and ideally, without passing infection back and forth. If you may need to leave your location, get organized now, and figure out your plan.

Again, this is not meant to be a “Zombies, run” kind of post - it is simply a reminder that the same basic mechanisms that serve us when preparing for one potential crisis serve us in almost all of them. That is, sooner or later most of us will have something happen to them - whether a natural disaster, a political crisis, an extended job loss, a pandemic, an extended illness, etc… and the very basic things - take care of yourself, connect with your community, help others, have a plan - will help you no matter what.


Original: http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/27/the-new-swine-flu-review/

Audio Podcast: Pest Control for a Sustainable Survival Garden

icon for podpress Episode-192- Pest Control for a Sustainable Survival Garden [44:37m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

Today’s show is about methods of organic pest control in your garden. I am big on organic gardening and organic methods, not because I want to save the polar bears but simply because they work better and are more efficient and sustainable long term. Sustainability is the key to long term survival.

I also have another brief swine flu update and big news, TSP has been featured by Lew Rockwell.com

Tune in Today to Hear…

  • What we can learn about organic vs. chemical from the medical world
  • Why if you don’t have healthy soil you don’t have anything long term
  • Using dimatianius earth to kill pests with out any toxins
  • Garlic based repellent repel more then just insects
  • Neem a natural wonder are insect control but let’s not over use it
  • Soap based insecticides and combining them with other ingredients including neem
  • Orange based products handle garden pests and even fire ants
  • Nasturtiums an editable flower that does a great deal to protect your garden
  • Mint, use with caution because it is invasive but it is very effective in companion planting
  • Onions and Garlic great allies in repelling insect pests
  • French Marigolds a death sentence for bad nematodes
  • 4′Oclocks the last mean for the Japanese beetle
  • Chrysanthemums hard to spell, easy to plant great for your garden
  • The four horsemen of herbs; parsley, basil, oregano and rosemary
Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/survivalpcast/~3/6zQC3vk6Opc/pest-control-for-a-sustainable-survival-garden