In my opinion, these are the best of the best of survival and preparedness articles gleaned from the 'net.

Please visit the originating sites to see more like them.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Emergency communication tips


Additionally, AT&T provides the following communication tips for residents and small businesses to use before, during and after any emergency.

Maximizing Service During and After an Emergency:

During an emergency, more people are trying to use their phones at the same time. The increased calling volume may create network congestion, leading to “fast busy” signals on your wireless phone or a slow dial tone on your landline phone. If this happens, hang up, wait several seconds and then try the call again. This allows your original call data to clear the network before you try again.

Try wireless text/short messaging service (SMS). During an emergency situation, text messages will often go through quicker than voice calls because they require less network resources. All of AT&T’s wireless devices are text messaging capable. Also, if you have a wireless data device such as an Apple iPhone or a BlackBerry® Smartphone, you can use its messaging capabilities to communicate. Depending on the call plan, additional charges may apply.

Keep non-emergency calls to a minimum, and limit your calls to the most important ones. Chances are many people will be attempting to place calls to loved ones, friends and business associates.

Tips on Planning and Preparing Before an Emergency:

Consumer Tips:

Have a family communications plan in place. Designate someone out of the area as a central contact, and make certain that all family members know whom to contact if they become separated.

Program all of your emergency contact numbers and e-mail addresses into your mobile phone. Numbers should include the police department, fire station and hospital, as well as your family members.

Keep your wireless phone batteries charged at all times. Have an alternative plan to recharge your battery in case of a power outage, such as charging your wireless device by using your car charger or having extra mobile phone batteries or disposable mobile phone batteries on hand.

Small Business Tips:

Set up a call-forwarding service to a predetermined backup location. Set up a single or multiple hotline number(s) for employees, employees’ families, customers and partners, as appropriate, to call so that all parties know about the business situation and emergency plan. For this to be most effective, maintain an updated contact list, including mobile and home phone numbers and e-mail addresses, for all employees.

Protect hardware/software/data records/employee records, etc. Routinely back up these files to an off-site location. Use a generator for supplying backup power to vital computer hardware and other mission-critical equipment. Prearrange the replacement of damaged hardware with vendors to ensure quick business recovery.

Assemble a crisis-management team and coordinate efforts with neighboring businesses and building management. Be aware that emergencies affecting your suppliers also affect your business. Outline a plan for supply chain continuity for business essentials.

Original at: http://www.fox16.com:80/news/local/story/Emergency-communication-tips/9lfOP_hSrUCqc5gyO9xCcA.cspx?rss=315

Slugs in your Garden


By Joseph Parish

It will not be long now as everyone is rapidly getting energized about their projected garden. Here in Delaware all we can do at this time is plan. We could perhaps prepare our garden soils but as far as placing any plants outside at this time it is still a bit cool.

My wife has begun various vegetables indoors in an attempt to get them into the ground and allow them to be as productive as they can in a short period of time. We used the Aero-grow this year for starting most of our veggies. It appears that they have a generic growing insert that you can place your own seeds into. It was a little disappointing but that's another story.

As soon as we place our plants in the open we have to seriously consider several other problem areas. That consideration is centered on the various pests which seem to enjoy our garden as much as we do. One of the major pests is the slug. Out of all the damaging creatures associated with a garden perhaps the slug is considered the worse of them all. These annoying organisms seem to thrive under most high moisture environments and are some of the most difficult creatures to get under control. You will find them ready to feast out shortly after a spring rainfall. Slugs are often times difficult to detect as they tend to hide in the daytime when it is warm and dry but they appear in the evenings when the air is moist. The slug population depends upon the water content that is in your garden therefore the most effective method for reducing or eliminating slugs is by simply reducing the moisture around the garden but let's face it - we have to water our plants do we not?

Several means by which the home gardener can control these pests is listed in this article. The first is by use of Metaldehyde baits. Although these chemicals can possibly provide a measure of control they must be carefully applied as well as used at the proper time. Metaldehyde is generally sold as a granular type of bait or as a gel or paste. Most of these products are labeled for use with flower gardens. You should not apply this chemical directly to your vegetables or edible crops. If you have pets that roam outdoors this chemical can cause a very agonizing death.

You can find an alternative to Metaldehyde which uses an iron phosphate base as its active ingredient. This is generally sold under the name of Sluggo, Esca-Go or Slug Magic. Iron phosphate products can safely be used around your edible crops.

Usually slugs are attracted to any type of fermenting products such as beer. You can readily purchase commercially manufactured slug traps which use a similar method of fermentation material to capture the pests. However, it is not necessary to purchase these traps when you can just as easily make your own.

If you wish to try your luck at slug trap making here is the simplest that it gets. Use the plastic 12 ounce soda or water bottles and place either a little bit of beer in the bottom or some commercial slug bait into it. Lay the bottles on their sides and slightly bury them so that the mouth of the bottle is perfectly level with the ground. The slugs should be able to make their way into the bottles without difficulty. After you have captured the slugs you will merely need to toss the bottle into the trash. If you are using slug bait as opposed to beer make sure that you wet it a bit. Sluggo appears to be the most effective bait to use in these bottle traps.

Alternately you could sink some old pie pans or any type of shallow containers into the ground and place some beer in them. The slugs will be attracted to the beer and will crawl into the pans and drown.

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish

Original: http://survival-training.info/articles11/SlugsinyourGarden.htm

Benefits of Turmeric

By Joseph Parish

If you are like most people you take pleasure in an occasional romp in the kitchen tossing this and tossing that together into a graceful combination which smoothly caresses your palates as you consume you evening meal. I too enjoy creating previously unknown delicacies for our evening meals. I guess in that case we both may be familiar with the spice known as turmeric. Many cooks, chefs and most of the general public do not realize the many health benefits which we can derive from the use of turmeric. I would like to share a few of these points with you at this time but keep in mind due to space requirements I can not possibly cover all the various aspects.

Turmeric is a root derived spice that originates from vegetation which is comparable to the common ginger plant. In preparation the root of this plant is dried and ground into a fine powder. Turmeric is a spice that is predominantly popular in India and some Asian countries. In a few areas of the world it is employed as a dye which imparts a beautiful, deep, brownish-yellow color.

As a health related product its reputation more then likely originates from its active component known as curcumin. Turmeric can be readily found in health food stores in tea form, as a powder or as an easy to swallow liquid. A few of the potential health benefits relating to this spice are as follows:

Turmeric has a natural anti-inflammatory character which has shown to be extremely beneficial when used in treating rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. Its antiseptic properties permit it to be used successfully as a wound treatment. It is used as an agent in treating eczema, psoriasis or other inflamed skin conditions.

Current research seems to indicate a potential use for treating Alzheimer's disease. For some reason it has been found that Turmeric removes the amyloid plaque which settles within the brain, This process could very well help physicians reduce the progression of this dreaded disease and possibly in time prevent it completely.

On a more down to earth issue, the spice derivative has been recognized as a means of preventing and possibly treating various cancer types. When the user teams turmeric up with the cancer fighting properties of cauliflower the duo has been reported to halt the spread of prostate cancer while as a companion with onions it combats colon cancer.

Turmeric is a liver detoxifier and as such tends to improve the functions associated with the liver. The Curcumin contained within the Turmeric helps greatly towards lowering ones cholesterol level. It is recorded in Ayuredic and Chinese medicines that Turmeric functions as an aid to proper body digestion as well as preventing various problems that could lead to heart failure. To those who may have already experienced such various heart related difficulties Turmeric can assist in prevent the buildup of scar tissue as well as aiding towards repairing any damage that has previously occurred.

As you can readily see there are many health related issues that can be either prevented or remedied by the continual use of this unique and amazing spice.

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish


Original: http://survival-training.info/articles11/BenefitsofTurmeric.htm

The Urban Survival Belt

By V-Shrake

Now, don't you wish that you could have an ultimate fall-back, a kit that is with you at all times?

With the planning and foresight that should be the hallmark of the dedicated survivalist, you can.

As you have no doubt gathered from previous articles, I believe strongly in doing everything possible to improve our chances of survival. This means vigilance (watching for potentially dangerous situations), diligence (things could go wrong any time, anywhere), and perseverance (do whatever it takes to stay alive).

To complement the above, having the proper gear is a serious boost to having the proper mind-set.

In accordance with my "Layering" principle, I feel strongly that you should have a minimum of gear with you at all times, in all situations, even in your everyday life. What I call my "Bat Utility Belt" could, more realistically, be termed an Urban Survival Belt.

Just as Batman always seemed to have the proper gear on hand to fit any occasion or villain, we should strive to do the same. While it is impossible to determine what might be needed in a mostly hypothetical situation, certain things need to be addressed.

Assumptions:

We may be injured, or those around us may require medical assistance.

Food and water may be scarce, or contaminated.

Our fellow survivors may not be in a terribly charitable mood.

We may lose power, or have to move underground or at night.

We may have to provide our own shelter.

Basic tools will improve our chances of survival.

All of these are reasonable assumptions, based on observation and past experience, and would apply whether in the event of an earthquake, nuclear incident, or abduction by little gray men. My point is this: as long as we're alive, we're going to have the same basic requirements as on any other day.

When we consider that in today's world seemingly random violence surrounds us, terrorism is on an upswing, and there is no way to tell when the next earthquake, tornado, or flood might hit, it behooves us to follow the old Boy Scout adage of "Be Prepared".

As survivalists (or at least potential survivalists, assuming we do everything right), we might be missing a very important aspect of our preparedness: our everyday lives.

Of course we try to stay healthy, don't cross against the lights, and obey most of the traffic laws most of the time; but beyond that, how does your life stand up under the scrutiny of staying alive when everyone around you is dying?

Certainly, if we were to be at home when disaster strikes, we'd be sitting pretty. We would have access to all of that wonderful gear we've spent many paychecks purchasing, just in case the unthinkable happens. Now it has, and we're ready to start surviving.

But, wait a moment. As usual, Life has dealt us an unfair hand. Instead of being at home, or in our shelter or whatever, we were at work, or running errands, or picking up the kids from school. Even survivalists have lives outside of their bomb-shelter, and the odds are that disasters won't come at a convenient time.

"Not to worry", you say, "I took the precaution of stocking the car with a complete survival kit." Very good, except that your car is in the shop today, or buried under tons of rubble, or a vicious gang of rioters is busily disputing your property rights.

Whatever the reason, you are cut off from both your primary and secondary source of supplies. We just have to recognize what those requirements are, and then provide for them.

Since we survivalists pride ourselves on being able to get by without outside assistance (indeed, crave that autonomy), we must understand that survival situations aren't limited to the great outdoors. Just because it all comes crashing down on us while we're inside city limits doesn't mean we don't have to take care of ourselves. The fact is that we need to be even more self-reliant in such straits.

Just as we've always known, the police can't do a damn thing to protect you, even when things are "normal". Now imagine the confusion and conflicting orders resulting from a major catastrophe. Even better than imagining, just think back to the latest riots, or other recent calamity.

Even worse than no police presence, there will likely be no city services-type amenities: a phone to check on your family, no water, and no power, overworked or non-existent Red Cross workers. You would have to deal with most of these problems in a wilderness misadventure, certainly, but at least in the mountains all you have to worry about is playing tag with the bears. In almost any city today, the greatest danger is your fellow commuter. Don't count on the milk of human kindness, because it won't be flowing for some time, if ever again. Make plans to take care of yourself, and be ready at a moment's notice to divest yourself of society's "aid".

But how to do this?

First off, let's look at our list of assumptions, and how to provide for them.

Assumption Resolutions:

A basic med-kit will cover most non life-threatening injuries.

Carry at least a little food and water with you at all times.

A folding fighting knife, a type becoming more popular everyday, is both a tool and provides self-defense.

Even if you're a dedicated non-smoker, you should still carry matches or a lighter.

Dress properly for the season, and think ahead to night-time temperatures; don't sacrifice utility to fashion or comfort.

In addition to your folding fighting knife, consider carrying a Swiss Army knife or one of the many excellent mini-tools now on the market; once you start carrying one of these little pocket tool chests, you'll use it daily, I guarantee.

Now that we've identified the most-likely problems, and covered the basics of solving them, I'll tell you what I carry, and how I carry it. This is stuff that I take with me whenever I'm away from the house, no matter how short the duration may be. For all I know, the excrement may hit the oscillating air-circulatory device while I'm in town to get the mail; I want to be ready!

By "Basic med-kit", I mean just that: what you envision needing to cover minor, everyday types of injuries. We won't have room for an entire ER, and don't need one. Assuming that you have been lucky and received only light bumps and bruises, a few band aids and the like will see you through.

Figuring on stores to be closed or downright dangerous to get to is a good bit of foresight. Likewise, don't depend on the water fountains to give forth a cool, refreshing spray whenever you're thirsty. I carry a half-quart canteen with me, full, at all times. Adding one drop of Clorox bleach to it kills all micro-organisms for about six months, at which time I re-stock. For food, I carry one MR-8 bar, which is basically the same thing as Coast Guard rations, only in a much smaller package. You don't get as much, but it fits into this type of kit much better. Unfortunately, they no longer make this product, but you could get almost the same low-bulk, high calorie content from BTU STOKERTM Energy Bars, which are sold by Brigade Quartermasters, the same outfit that used to sell MR-8's. Call them at 1-800-(338)-4327, and ask them to send you a catalog. They have all sorts of neat stuff. And, mainly as a nod to completeness, I carry an emergency fishing kit and snare wire. While you may not use either within the confines of the city, your first priority should be to get out! Out in the countryside, they should come in handy.

For personal protection, and daily utility, I carry an SOG company SOGWinder, a fairly large folding-fighter with a thumb opening stud. The stud is mainly what denotes a folding-fighter from other lock back knives, and is a worthwhile feature. It makes it much easier, as well as faster, to open your blade. Also, get a knife with a stout (thick) blade. This little honey is going to be doing everything from gutting and skinning wee beasties to possibly defending your life; choose wisely. Avoid fixed-blade knives, as most of the good ones will either be too large to carry daily (and discreetly), or will be illegal in your locale. For the same reason, don't carry a gun, unless you're lucky enough to have a CCW. Even if you can carry legally, you will still have to have a good knife for all of the things a gun can't do. While a firearm is most often a better choice for personal protection, most of us can't avail ourselves of this option. Additionally, knives are more versatile. So don't give the local constabulary a reason to come down on you, because we'll all have problems enough in the near future.

What you can do, as soon as the dust clears from whatever little setback you're encountering, is to find a good stick. Something around five or six feet long, and about an inch-and-a-half to two inches thick. It will help you to navigate rubble, as well as rabble. Just ask Little John.

One of Man's proudest moments, indeed one of the very things that make us sapient beings, is our mastery of fire. Don't give up this victory of our forebears in times of crisis: carry matches! Fire gives a sense of community and security that few other substances can equal. It's also an extremely useful tool. In the survivalist's arsenal, fire and knives are about equal in importance, and neither should be ignored. Fire is light in times of darkness, heat on a cold night, and makes hamburgers much more palatable.

Just as you provide yourself with the means to make fire when times are rough, you should carry a good mini flashlight. They both should be an integral part of a well-thought-out kit. I carry a Mini-Maglite with extra batteries and bulbs, strike-anywhere matches, a Bic lighter, solid fuel bars, and a couple of cyalume snap-lights. These items take up little space, but provide inestimable aid when needed.

If you were unlucky enough to be caught away from home when it all went bad, where would you sleep? Could you stay warm if the buildings around you were destroyed? These wouldn't be problems if you had thought ahead, trying to out-guess cruel Fate. A Mylar sheet or sleeping bag, such as I carry, provides a high level of thermal efficiency. That's a high-fluting' way of saying that Mylar (a space-age fabric developed to provide insulation for NASA) keeps you warm. It also takes up very little space. If possible, try to be dressed for temperature variations; wearing the proper clothes for the climate will go a long way to keeping you alive.

The last items in my kit are the ones that often see the most use: a Leatherman pocket tool and a genuine Swiss Army knife from Victorinox. While these two little knives won't replace a real tool chest, you will have them on you at all times, and they are amazingly versatile.

Carrying this gear doesn't require you to herniate yourself, or look out of place to all the herd animals around you. Women have it particularly good in this respect, as they are always carrying a purse. To be honest, most of the purses I've seen women lugging around would provide a week's worth of goodies, even without adding dedicated survival gear. Men will find it a bit more difficult to carry their stuff discretely, but it is possible. As I intimated earlier, I carry my kit in a belt loaded with black nylon pouches of various sizes. None are terribly "martial" in appearance, and I rarely draw a second glance. That's partly due to the fact that I live in the sticks, and partly because of the sudden popularity of fanny packs, a cross-over from runners and bike riders. In casual clothes, even multiple pouches such as I make use of blend in nicely; a standard fanny pack, if you can find one large enough to carry everything, would be even less remarkable to the general populace.

Those of you who spend a good amount of time in suits are on you own. I can think of nothing that would fit in with that mode of dress that would allow you to carry anything worthwhile. Some "Suits", such as a friend of mine, can't even carry a pocket knife on them, due to corporate policy, so I guess it doesn't matter that there's no really discrete way for him to carry an urban kit.

Another possibility is a small ruck or book bag, such as seen on virtually every college and high school campus. Perhaps the business world's equivalent, the briefcase, would work in some instances. That may be an answer to those of you destined to pass your lives in wool and gabardine, but it means you'll have to carry your kit like a piece of luggage. I prefer to have my hands free. Another bad thing about both rucks and briefcases is the fact that you have to remember to pick them up; a belt is something that you wear, and take off only occasionally. On the other hand, a ruck would allow you to carry more, and add items that you've managed to scrounge.

There you have it, something else to consider in your quest to remain a jump ahead of bad times. You may come up with a different list of "essentials" than I did, you may even come up with a carry mode that works better in your environment. Whatever you carry and however you carry it, at least by having it with you your chances of survival just went up.

Original at: http://www.oldjimbo.com/survival/v-shrake/usb.html

Survivalists 6th sense

By Joseph Parish

Our ancestors survived violent times by using their intuition and what many of them classified as “gut feelings”. Regrettably over the years we have been taught to reason in a rational and systematic manner and to suppress any initiate feelings that may surface. These same feelings that we restrain could possibly save our lives in an emergency. As part of our survival training it is vital that we bring these feelings back to the surface and nurture them once again. We have to effectively become one with our surroundings and reunite with in order to know what is going on.

As a teenager I would be more or less guided by these strange feelings in just about everything that I did. I often found that it was these very feelings which kept me safe when situations turned nasty. Every time that I was in some type of circumstance where things did not feel right I let my instinct take over and usually that ended up to be the wiser choice. My gut feeling generally provided ample feelings of impending danger.

After I had experienced situations such as these I would sit and try to analyze them. I would attempt to digest all the information from the very first action to the end results. I always wanted to know how I knew to act in a particular manner or why I sensed a feeling of danger. In regards to my responses I wondered if I had made the proper decisions and what I could have done better. I really wondered if I was on the verge of paranoia or had I developed the ability to sense dangerous situations before they occurred. Clues became very important for feeding additional information into my gut feeling. Simple little clues such as a persons clothing, their mannerism, etc. All these things contribute to how my psychic perceives the situation and whether a danger exists.

I eventually grow to accept this feeling and upon doing additional research realized that everyone has the ability and it has only been suppressed by our educational process. The key here is to listen to your own gut feeling when you have any sort of doubt involving your safety or decisions that you must make. Once you feel that instinct follow it as it is usually right. This point is the most important lesson that I can give to you - listen to your intuition. The inner voice will not lead you astray. This amazing ability to listen to our 6th sense allows us to avoid danger in some of the most unusual situations.

A wise man once stated that "A fight which is avoided is a fight that is won." I fully support this premise. Listen to your inner voice and win the fight in the long run. The outcome of any physical confrontation is of dubious conclusion. It could effectively go in either direction – you can win or you can lose. However, by using your senses and becoming aware of your surroundings you can always win.

As a survivalist we must develop this awareness and use our senses to listen to our inner voice.

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish


Original: http://survival-training.info/articles11/Survivalists6thsense.htm

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