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.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

StillTasty.com

Here is a website that you may have heard of that is useful for giving you shelf life on many products

Still Tasty

They even have an iPhone app for quick look up when you are in the food storage vault :cool:

Three Letters Re: A Doctor's Thoughts on Antibiotics, Expiration Dates, and TEOTWAWKI

The mortar and pestle, an internationally reco...Image via Wikipedia
Hello-
I must first thank you, Mr. Rawles, for your advice. I truly believe it will one day save my life. Also, the amount of knowledge I have gained from all of the contributors to SurvivalBlog is astounding!
My profession is in the animal industry, so I am familiar with antibiotics and other meds. At work, it is many times frustrating to pull out dosage instructions from a bottle of medicine, only to find that they're all written for humans. Especially the antibiotics! I order only from veterinary pharmacies, but these drugs are manufactured and labeled for human consumption. Now I laugh when I go to the local Rite-Aid. I recognize many of the bottles on their shelf.

In addition to fish antibiotics, I strongly suggest making use of livestock supply companies. I love my local Tractor Supply, but I could never afford to purchase meds from them. I would like to share links to two reputable companies that offer prices much lower than those at the local agricultural supply store:

1.) Jeffer's Livestock Supply is #1 on the list. They have great customer service, super low prices, and fast shipping. This is a great resource for antibiotics- Sulfas, Penicillin, Oxytetracycline, etc. They also carry medical supplies like suture packs, sterile gauze, Telfa wound pads, elastic bandages, needles, and syringes. If you're really worried about sterility, read the descriptions- they won't state that it's sterile unless it is... Also, I use these things on a daily basis, and have cross-referenced the companies. The syringes, for example, are produced, packaged, and sold for use on humans. There aren't many companies that make medical supplies for animal use only, so when you purchase them, they are typically large quantities of human products.

2.) KV Vet Supply carries the same products also at great prices.
Depending on what part of the country you're in, you may find shipping to be significantly faster or cheaper with one of these companies.
I will also include here a list of medical supplies that I have used extensively and feel that I wouldn't want to be without, especially in a world without local doctors and nurses.

- Chlorhexidine solution- bactericidal, fungicidal, virucidal. I hardly ever use iodine for wounds. I reach for this product almost every time. Chlorhexidine is even found in human mouthwash, so you may be using it already without knowing it!

- Tissuemend is an absorbable glue for closing skin lacerations. It works better than super glue on skin. It is pricey, but trust me, a little goes a long way.

- SSD - I saw on the blog today that someone else recommended it, and I couldn't agree more... It is hydrophilic, breathable, gentle, and very effective. * order it from the livestock supply- a one pound tub could last you for a very long time, and it's around $32.

- Vetrap - a person could go broke buying bandages, but not with Vetrap. You don't need scissors to tear it, it stays put, and works great to wrap sprains as well as to hold a nonstick pad in place on a wound.

- Cast padding - this is cheap, soft, and makes a good first layer in your bandage. It helps to stretch the more expensive adhesive bandaging materials. If you pull too tightly on it, it will simply pull apart, which helps to keep from wrapping too tightly. The cushion factor keeps other wraps (like Vetrap) from forming a wrinkle that could rub your skin raw.

- Probios Powder - I am so thankful that people are accessing antibiotics, but please don't forget the probiotics! Some antibiotics can really do a number on your gut! They kill all the good bacteria right along with the bad, so you need to build back your numbers during and after treatment. Who wants to take the midnight patrol with a bloated, crampy gut and diarrhea? The great thing about Probios is that the bacteria is "colonizing", unlike the probiotics in yogurt, which get passed through the digestive system. It is available in a powder as well as gel. Get the powder! The gel must be refrigerated.

- Diamond V Yeast Culture - It goes hand in hand with Probios. The yeast acts as a "prebiotic", and nourishes the beneficial bacteria in your gut, helping the colonies form faster. It is sold as "Epicor" to humans, but us farmy-types buy it in 50# bags at the feed store. Please take a few minutes to read up on this product- it really does live up to the hype for people as well as animals. I have taken it for almost two years, and have been shocked at the reduction in bronchitis and sore throats I've had.

- Ichthammol - I don't want to ever be without good old drawing salve. Skin abscesses are usually best left alone. Opening them allows bacteria to enter and compound your problems. Ichthammol, applied topically and covered with a Band-Aid will do wonders in a few short days. It also works great for insect bites, swelling, and splinters that won't come out.

- AluShield Spray - This is a powder-based spray that acts as a bandage. If you want to save your gauze and Vetrap for more serious injuries, AluSpray can cover a wound and seal out dirt while letting your wound breathe. A can is around $10 and will give over two hundred treatments. I love this stuff! Thank you again, - S.S.

Mr. Rawles,
The AllDayChemist.com site was mentioned on a recent post on SurvivalBlog. I wanted to express to you and your readers that this site is, in my opinion, one of the best places to order medications from. They do have a minimum $25 shipping charge though. My wife has very bad asthma. Through our insurance at our pharmacy, one albuterol inhaler costs us over $30 each! I heard about all day chemist about 6 months ago. I bought 8 (yes, eight) equivalent inhalers from them for $3.50 each (just a bit more that 10% of what we pay with insurance at our pharmacy). Even with the shipping it was under $50 delivered to our door (for all 8 inhalers) from India. This site is an excellent one for stockpiling much needed life-saving medications. I should note that I have no allegiance to them other than being a very satisfied customer
Thank you for a great blog, - L.R. in Wisconsin
JWR.
A State of Oregon public health web site may help your readers regarding the types and amounts of antibiotics necessary for some common medical conditions. They are easily printable (pdf form) and provide a treatment algorithm/decision making tree that is quite helpful. - Regards, - J.P.

Is Your Identity Safe?


Credit cardImage via Wikipedia
We know identity theft is increasing as are all types of crimes. As time get tougher these crimes always increase. We can not achieve self reliance or maintain it, if someone else is controlling our finances through identity theft. There are steps to take and now is the time to take them.
  1. Check your credit report at least twice a year. Check with all three of the credit agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Review all the personal information on all three of the credit reports. Check for accuracy, credit accounts you didn’t open, loans, or any other transactions you didn’t authorize. Report any inaccuracies to each of the credit agencies and the police immediately. A fraud alert will be added to your account for 90 days so be sure to notify anyone you are applying for a loans with about the alert. Check back after the 90 days to be sure there are no charges after that date. Don’t assume the person stealing your identity has gone away.
  2. Be careful when using the ATM. If something feels wrong leave and return later. Never allow anyone to stand behind you when you are completing a transaction. Never carry your PIN code in your wallet. If your wallet is stolen wiping out your account is simple.
  3. Check your bills. Whether receiving your bills electronically or mail box at the street you are susceptible to identity theft. Check each statement to make sure you can account for every charge. If any seem strange or unfamiliar contact the company immediately.
  4. Check your bank statements carefully. Thieves can steal a check, or account number or even you debit card password and wipe you out. Again, anything that look suspicious investigate immediately.
  5. Contact the creditor of any fraudulent account or charge by phone, explain the situation and immediately have the account closed. They should open a new account for you with no problem at the same time. Follow up by contacting them in writing. Keep a list of all account numbers and phone numbers in a safe place where they can be accessed quickly in case they are needed.
  6. If you discover fraud contact the Federal Trade Commission and file a complaint. File complaint at: www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
  7. Call immediately if a bill or statement is late. If one looks as though it has been opened call immediately.
  8. Save yourself the hassle and:Never give you social security number, bank account number, credit card number, PIN number or password to anyone over the phone. Never. No reputable company or bank will ever ask. Mail all your mail at a post office or drop box, never by leaving it in your mailbox.
    If you are leaving town for more than a day have the post office hold your mail.
    Install anti virus and sky ware on all computers.
    Don’t throw bank statements, bills containing account numbers, credit card statements, credit card invitations, voided checks, pay stubs, tax forms (including your work sheets) or ATM transaction receipts in the trash. Shred or burn them.
Prepare today so you won’t be sorry tomorrow.
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My discussion with Doctor Prepper all about food storage part 1. .http://www.blogtalkradio.com/doctorprepper/2010/07/08/doctor-prepper-show
Doctor Prepper show all about food storage part 2. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/doctorprepper/2010/07/20/doctor-prepper-show
Talk with Halli: food storage and current financial outlook. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/idahotalk/2010/07/16/hfalli-friends

Prepare: Salvaging VS Looting


This question comes up a lot. What is salvaging and what is looting?

Some writers use strange definitions for "looting". Rawles (Patriots) for instance, refers constantly to "looters" in his post-SHTF world. That "looters" are the folks going around forcibly taking stuff from others.

Most of us however, have an image of what a looter is already; a mob of inner city folk cleaning out a shoe store or electronics store during a brief period of anarchy such as the aftermath of a power outage or natural disaster. The media and law enforcment community generally agree with us and identify these perps as "looters".

"Looting" is the process of taking advantage of a lapse in law and order (lessening the chances of getting caught or shot - looters are cowards by and large) to quickly grab and run with whatever the looter can get their hands on.

Perhaps the differing identification of "looter" comes from ancient times such as during the fall of the Roman Empire as barbarians looted and pillaged their way across the land. Who knows? I'll stick with the modern definition.

"Salvage" is a classic term of recovering lost, unwanted or abandoned goods. For instance, salvagers have made a living for years seeking out abandoned ships at sea, gleaning junk yards or clearing out old buildings on behalf of the owner or municipality. Salvage is a dirty, but neccessary trade in our modern world and in most cases, very legal.

In the post-SHTF world, the definitions will vary slightly, but let's run through some scenarios and answers.

In a societal collapse, looters will take whatever is not nailed down. Many early looters will be the same described above and are more likely to take "wants" rather than "needs" i.e. electronics, fancy clothing, shoes, jewelry or cars. Once they discover that these types of goods are slightly better than useless and have no effect on their empty stomachs, will quickly turn to grocery and liquor stores if they have not already.

Once the easy pickings are cleared, the looter will either adapt to become a full time thief and bandit or perish. Since I think most looters are cowards, act out of opportunity and rarely organized, it is not likely they will not move on to confrontational and planned tactics of robbery. Rather, he will be overtaken by any violent and much better organized gang who will simply take what the looter has obtained at the point of a gun.

Looters, especially in the urban areas, will quickly become endangered as those who have protect their goods and those who don't decend into violence to get what they want.

Salvagers will come later. Those who were smart enough to reclaim castoffs in the pre-SHTF world will adapt to searching for abandoned valuable goods afterwards. Rather than seek confrontation, the salvager will carefully research, study and recon potential locations before acting. He will move with caution and if he is smart, with at least one helper (but a team is better).

The salvager may target already picked over grocery stores with plans to "search with a fine tooth comb" the remains, but will more than likely move up the supply chain. Warehouses, trailers, and rail cars will be salvaged for instance.

Now, what about you? At what point does removing stuff from a neighbor's empty house become salvage rather than looting? What about the local grocer or drug store? How about those warehouses or office buildings?

In my opinion, claiming left behind goods is salvage when the previous owner is no longer around, has abandoned the property and given every intention of never returning to claim their belongings. Sadly, this may be because of their demise, but it is what it is.

Do with it what you will. Just keep the two words and actions clear.

Take Care of Your Health in Ten Easy Steps

None - This image is in the public domain and ...Image via Wikipedia
The foundation of preparedness is making sure that you yourself are prepared (meaning your body, your mind, your health, your attitude, etc). Here's ten easy steps to get in top shape:
  1. Have a complete annual physical to make sure you are well and/or to give you a baseline for improvement.
  2. Make sure all of your vaccinations are up to date.
  3. Have a complete dental exam and fix any problems found.
  4. Exercise daily and eat right (simple but effective advice).
  5. Take care of chronic health problems (ie: if you have diabetes, take your medication or insulin but exercise as well to bring down your blood sugar numbers).
  6. Check out your environment and remove any hazards (this could be everything from home safety hazards to hazardous friends to bad health/wellness habits).
  7. De stress. Stress causes any number of health problems. If you know how to de stress you will reduce the possibility of these problems.
  8. Have health and wellness goals to aim for, whether it is running a marathon or being able to walk around the block. Keep raising the bar as you meet your goals.
  9. Try new things that will help you get in better shape AND teach you something useful. Learning to kayak is a good way to exercise. Knowing how to kayak if you become stranded on a desert island, even more beneficial.
  10. Encourage others to get healthy. If your life depends on your friends or family in a SHTF situation, don't you want them to be as able as possible to come to your aid?
When it comes to preparedness, many people focus on the big exciting things such as firearms, a cool bug out vehicle, or having enough camping equipment to shelter an entire platoon. The fact is, when it comes to a disaster, you may only have yourself to rely on so you need to be in tip top shape to be able to respond accordingly. Now go out and get active.

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