Godlike Productions - Conspiracy Forum
Users Online Now: 2,190 (Who's On?)Visitors Today: 1,356,043
Pageviews Today: 2,035,880Threads Today: 565Posts Today: 11,910
08:47 PM


Rate this Thread

Absolute BS Crap Reasonable Nice Amazing
 

Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/03/2012 11:41 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
What not to do when the reporters arrive...

Many days have passed and the first real wave of national coverage is beginning on Hurricane Sandy. They wait until things settle down some, then send in their anchors and ancillary personnel to show the faces of frustrated people in the midst of the crisis. It makes better play that way. Send them in too early, and too much is unknown, and they might not get the ten minutes of clips to broadcast. Awful, isn't it?

Now some people like venting, and I can understand that. When you vent, you get out some of your pent-up frustration plus 15 minutes of fame. The problem is, you most likely look ridiculous. While the journalists may certainly raise awareness, and in some ways some people are good communicators and put a face on the crisis, and maybe some CEOs donate water, food, supplies... whatever, the vast majority really aren't helping themselves.

Think of the sound bites and short video clips you've heard in the last few days. Most of them don't really help the people on the ground. What they do is help sell commercial time for the news programs. The usual stories are the ones that show bedlam.

Worse things can happen. Because of the anarchy that's developing, people are foolish enough to tell reporters that they've armed themselves with baseball bats, machetes, guns, bows and arrows, etc. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Even worse, some people have admitted to booby-trapping doors to prevent theft and told reporters that looters will be shot. Foolish. Do you really want the police and later some lawyer(s) coming back later and using that footage against you?

What to do before the reporters arrive...

Organize. Facilitate and bring the community together. Protect yourself and each other, but keep it deliberately low-key. How can you increase security by banding together? How can you secure buildings? What materials are laying around? Who has tools and ability? Who has military or law enforcement backgrounds?

Who needs help? Who has clean empty containers that can be used for water collection? Who has wheel barrows and garden carts? Who has extra clothing? Who can help house someone else? Who has lost power to freezers and refrigerators? Who has barbecue equipment? Who's the best cook? Who has worked on a cooking crew before? If you throw a block party, then you can share that food that would be wasted anyway. Who can watch children? Who has medical skills? Who has strong backs and good attitude and are excellent go to people to work? Who has spiritual training?

Who knows prepping and or survival skills? This doesn't necessarily mean sharing valuable resources, but it certainly means showing people how to create a makeshift shelter, pitching a tent in a living room and showing them how to huddle in it to stay warm, purify water, create brick rocket stoves, make pine needle tea, etc.

Where is every neighbor that you know of? Some people may have died. Some people may be clinging to some debris in the water. Some children may be alone. Some people may be shocked and confused.

Who has a criminal background? Who is a sexual predator? How can you eliminate this concern as much as possible?

Write carefully prepared statements. You'll have minutes to say something intelligent that might catch the ear of officials or business leaders, and you want to be most effective. Winging it is the most ineffective way to motivate the people who have the power to help and act.

When the reporters arrive....
How can you put your best foot forward? Who can communicate the most effectively and or poignantly? Show them what you have done, what you need, who has been helped, what is missing, etc.

Say something like, “Look at how we've organized. Despite that, we've found ____dead and wounded people, we're desperately short of water, baby wipes, infant formula, energy bars, MREs, etc. We're coming together as a community, but exposure and illness is a major concern. Here's why....”

What have I left out? Many things. The situation will change based upon the scenario. Work together so that not only are you all more secure and better fed and warmer, but also so that you can motivate the journalists to interview you and put your spin on the catastrophe.

This is a far better way to respond than what we've seen unfold the last week.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/03/2012 11:58 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
What to expect when the military arrive...

The military are good at two things: killing people and breaking things...
Rush Limbaugh

The military are not intended for humanitarian effort. It's not really part of their mission. Sure they can do things since they're extraordinarily well supplied.They understand logistics and supplies. They have to in order to feed and clothe and provide water and secure perimeters for their soldiers, so government officials use them to feed victims in a catastrophe. Does that last sentence make any logical sense whatsoever?

The problem is that they're armed and not law enforcement. They're used to giving orders to enemies. They're used to showing deadly force. They're used to efficient shooting.

When the military arrived in Hurricane Katrina, the first thing they did was secure weapons. This is illegal. Technically the military arriving and used in this fashion breaks Posse Comitatus. They're a blunt instrument used that causes major legal issues and breaks many government laws. To this day, many people still have not been compensated for illegal seizures of weapons, nor apologized to for rough treatment.

People don't care because they want security. This makes me shudder.

As people get frustrated and hungry and scared, they do foolish belligerent actions. The military is not trained to work with American civilians. The ones who have worked in urban settings are used to guerrilla fighters in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are hardly the same.

Keeping a low profile and facilitating calm in your community is a good thing. Getting in the face of a soldier who hasn't been trained to deal with American civilians is a foolish thing. Breaking the law by doing ____ in front of military personnel is ridiculous.

The cure is worse that the catastrophe.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/04/2012 12:22 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Preppers: How to teach survivors

OK, an event happened, and you and your family are in good shape. You've amassed a great inventory of supplies. You've learned skills. You've taught your tribe how to multi-task and do those skills in case you can't. You've carefully planned and in the last few days leading up to an event, you “top off” items, put things in secure mode, and you make last minute preps. What now?

The worse problem is your ill-prepared neighbors. Hopefully you have a low profile, and haven't been going around and become known as “that weirdo survivalist guy/gal”. If so, then you've no doubt lost credibility, and later when the SHTF you've painted a target on your family's household.

They haven't prepped, and so now that the SHTF and it's up to nine meals later, then the breakdown of society begins. It might have happened sooner based upon the seriousness of the event, the weather, multiple coinciding events, lack of law enforcement, high crime rates, poverty, isolation, etc. What can you do to help your neighbors, but not hurt your family?

Well, it's tricky. The primary thing you'll be doing is trying to organize. I've talked a lot about that in many hundreds of pages. In a nutshell, you want to deliver the most help in the shortest time to the best skilled people that you know. You also want to sincerely facilitate with the best liked people in order to gain the trust back in your community. Getting these two groups together is far more effective than you trying to evangelize yourself. They may be far better liked, better communicators, have better skills, etc.

Early organizing while people are still feeling relatively well fed and secure is best. Later people will get scared and be reticent to assist. By then, a lot of food will be wasted because of lack of power.

Skills that you can teach:
1. How to make a brick rocket stove?
2. Which room is the warmest? Which room is the most secure? Which room can be made most habitable?
3. How to remove water from your hot water tank? How to store it?
4. See what they've been doing and delicately explain how another way might be safer or more productive.
5. Show them how to best use what food is remaining. See if people will combine their food to get better nutrition. Explain about complete proteins (rice and beans, corn and beans, etc.). Better to eat that food now since it won't spoil in your belly, but it will certainly go bad without refrigeration or become stale or moldy.
6. Who has more of this, but none of that? Facilitate trades.
7. Who has skills but isn't a leader and is willing to help?
8. How to set up a watch? How to create a community watch?
9. Who needs a little help but has skills they can trade? Who needs a little help and can be taught? Who needs a lot of help, but has skills they can trade?
10. Who has spare equipment that they will trade for ____?
11. What is the best place for a privy?
12. Who has medical experience? Who is wounded? Who has died? Who is alone?
13. If people have died, and this is very sensitive, what materials can be gathered to save everyone else?

These are some ideas to get you going. Most topics have been dealt with extensively in previous postings.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/04/2012 06:49 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
A little tip about coffee

One of the things I've written about several times is how to make it without coffee. Many of us are addicted to caffeine, and so in a SHTF scenario, we'll end up with withdrawal headaches for up to two weeks while our system settles down. You might think this is a minor issue, but it's an exacerbating one that's a terrible nuisance since it masks other health issues. Believe me, during the Civil War, a lot of effort was made to find coffee substitutes, but none of them really dealt with the headache or lack of energy. The substitutes they found were mainly to replace coffee with a similar tasting beverage like chicory.

Here's a tip I learned recently: buy bulk unroasted coffee beans. If vacuum backed and not ground, then the whole beans can last years (two to ten years depending upon the oil content). They may last even longer if you use oxygen absorbers too. They're quite a bit cheaper this way, and it's not a big deal to roast them up as you need them.
[link to www.sweetmarias.com]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/05/2012 01:30 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Rats

Post-Hurricane Sandy, rats will be a big issue. The flooding hasn't displaced just the human population, but scores of rat that lived in buildings, meadows, hillsides, etc. Now the trash is piling up, storm debris as well, and the rats will huddle wherever they can.

This can create a major pest issue as well as disease vector. Rats are fairly resilient creatures. Just ask any exterminator. Look for rat bites and an increase in illness.
[link to www.ratbehavior.org]

There's typically 50,000 homeless in NYC alone. No one knows what happened to them. They often would migrate to the subterranean regions where they share spaces with rats. Now there's an estimated 40,000 new homeless people.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/05/2012 01:39 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Fire

After an event like Hurricane Sandy, infrastructures are weakened, water pressure is disrupted, and a maze of debris piles up. People begin using a lot more open flames for heat and light, and mostly people are inexperienced with fire. Many may leave candles or lanterns burning and fall asleep. I'd expect an increase in fires, carbon monoxide issues, and bad burns. With the potential of a Nor'easter coming on Wednesday or Thursday, and the natural decrease in temperature with Winter coming on, of course there will be more people using fires too.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/05/2012 02:12 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
“Don't worry, this water is safe to drink...”

After a catastrophe, the normal flow of water is often disrupted. Many people will improperly collect water by hurriedly filling sinks and bathtubs. This is a major mistake, but an understandable one. People assume that because soaps have been utilized in these areas, that they are clean. They are far from sanitary, and if you look at studies on the dirtiest areas of your home, you'll soon discover that sinks and bathtubs are actually the worst areas. YOU NEVER COLLECT DRINKING WATER IN THEM, something I have seen said over and over again by well meaning people. Other people will put water in hastily rinsed milk jugs since they have some available. NO NO NO. Milk jugs contain small bits of milk that has congealed in the jugs. Both methods are guaranteed ways of vastly increasing bacteria counts in stressed out immune depressed victims post-events.

Often when there's been an event, raw sewage, chemical pollutants, or petroleum spills occur in the water sources. These cannot be removed by boiling, and even filtering, and so the water treatment plants add more chlorine in order to make it better. Worse, some politicians will claim that the water is “safe to drink” while experts are simultaneously mentioning the spills.

Some people will draw from non-traditional water sources since they are desperate. They think it “looks safe and clean” so with a little boiling it might taste bad, but be just fine. NO! It's very possible that many chemical fertilizers or garbage runoff have infiltrated these ponds, streams, lakes, and rivers. It's a very bad idea.

There are extremely few options in an emergency. It's why properly filling up large water barrels with closed lids are vital. It's why having non-scented bleach or pool shock is so important. It's why having excellent water filtration is essential.

Clean water is one of your highest priorities in a SHTF scenario. Not sending it to disaster zones is criminal negligence. Still, never count on government assistance. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 1-2 gallons per person for two weeks while hoping for normalcy to be reestablished. If not, then finding clean water is a priority for a community when the SHTF else a lot of deaths will follow. It's why digging a well and all of the ancillary issues like proper sanitation are vital.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/05/2012 06:13 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Photos and items of sentimental value

When an event occurs, you might lose everything save that which is in your bug out bag. It would be great wisdom to find favorite photos and place them in several sealed waterproof bags. Of course you can't take them all, nor should you, but having several precious photos of family events or of cherished memories of friends, those might sustain you when all else is dark.

Imagine how hurricane survivors feel when they lose not only their possessions, but also their photos and items of sentimental value. Possessions can eventually be replaced. These items cannot.

As we age, we often lose the ability to fully recollect our memories. Seeing a photo or an item of this sort, and it jogs the memory. Some elderly folks may be in shock at the loss of such things, and worse, it can cause a kind of delirium. These items add a level of stability to their existence. They do for all ages, and creates a harmony and balance.

Imagine how important certain things are to children. They might entirely forget the faces of people who have “passed” if these photos are lost.

I know, it's a weight to carry, but better that than the huge emptiness that results from their loss.

I recently culled from my favorite photos, and have a special handful of my very favorite ones. They're carefully protected. I hope you do the same should you be forced to leave your homes.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/06/2012 08:34 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Having realistic expectation regarding government assistance in a disaster

There's been a lot of complaining about a lack of adequate government and from non-government aid organizations. I agree, it's been pathetic. I suspect a lot of it is from lack of leadership, and that's inexcusable when the weather is so cold and people might get very ill from exposure or die. But I wonder, just how quickly these organizations can help, and to what degree they can help? I think a lot of people have very unrealistic expectations about this process.

What do you think is a reasonable amount of time for first responders to arrive? Chances are, it's a function of how high taxes are imposed coupled with hiring enough of EMT/Paramedics, Firemen, Policemen, State Troopers, etc. There's some help from lots of different people, and in order to have a faster response, then more people must be available to deploy. Even if we doubled the amount of them, then it seriously wouldn't have been enough, would it? You can't practically have a big enough force of them, not to handle a disaster.

Lots of mistakes were made. The worst, I feel is that there were not supplies on hand, so even things like water have to bid on a contract, which is fairly normal, but the weird part was that it happened so late. I'd imagine tons of other things like gas, generators, MREs, etc were also bid at the last minute.

Of course, if things we're just sitting in a warehouse, then they have to be deployed by trucking and personnel. It's always a gamble as to how much to have sitting on hand. Maybe if a little more money was spent on relatively cheap items like these and less on so much security, then I'd have more sympathy for FEMA.

After the trailer debacle in Hurricane Katrina, well the worst aspect of cheap bidding came in and bit them in the butt. Remember what happened? The trailers produced terrible fumes from using raw wood or preservatives, and when the victims finally got the trailers, then to stay in them caused severe reactions. It's not like we can have tons of these very expensive items sitting around, not unless everyone is up for higher taxes again. There are alternatives. There have been proposals for all kinds of rapid housing units that are relatively cheap. I think we should be doing research into this area.

But ignore all of that. How fast do you want to be taken care of? There's always going to be a delay. The very best way to take care of your needs is going to be to purchase prepper gear and have skills and have a plan. Even with all of that, sometimes you have to get the heck of Dodge, because there's too much of a chance of loss of utilities and supply chains. While that's a very expensive option, it has to be planned for because sometimes bugging out is really the best option.

Assistance will usually be offered in layers of importance based upon assessment. That means that after first responders arrive, then utility crews, then it's the next level of personnel like the FEMA assessment crew. This crew has to make some rough estimates based upon percentages. It takes time. Some assessment is more technical. Say someone has to decide how bad a home has been hurt in the disaster. In the meantime, those people don't have homes so it's really up to them and their neighbors to help.

Then sometimes the utility crew takes a look at the amount of damage, and they realize that while they can re-establish power or water, maybe there's too many leaks or downed wires or flooded panels or whatever to the homes themselves. They sure can't get your home up and running if it's totaled.

A lot of you will probably be angry at this post. Believe me, I have lots of compassion for the victims. Many are extremely poor, medically fragile, elderly, mentally ill, etc. Priority has to be given based upon something like triage. It's a medical term in which people are assessed as to their depth of being wounded. In this case, someone should be passing along information to other responders. That communication can probably be improved, but their role is to act fast and keep working. Time spent in a lot of communication means less time responding.

Honestly, people should have food and water in three days, but with a disaster over a widespread area, it's all about how many people and supplies you're going to deploy and guessing where it's going to hit. Otherwise you're reacting not responding, so what should have happened was supplies and personnel should have been moved on day one. At the worst, you moved the material part way, and had to change the final destination, and/or you moved too much and it went out to sea. Regardless, there was a pretty chance it was hitting New England, so moving it in that direction is better than waiting to react three days later.

If you're talking about a military response, then you're talking a lot of days to redeploy forces from whatever activities they're currently engaging in. It's not like they're sitting around. If you're talking the National Guard, most of those folks work and have to be called up and then you're creating a shortage of people from whatever occupation they're currently working in. Even then, many of the National Guard are being used in regular roles versus the old paradigm of calling them up for active duty. They're already active.

I've heard really bad remarks about the Red Cross based upon what the administration makes, particularly the CEO. Well, that's not but a handful of people. The majority of people in the Red Cross are volunteers. That means that they can come and help, but if you're very far away, then they have to take vacation to help out, and so it costs them to help out. The Red Cross has a deservedly bad rap in that one of the first things they do is public relations. They put out the flags and wear the t-shirts and make sure everyone notices there on the scene, and that rubs people raw, especially when they've got nothing to eat or drink and are cold. Believe me, the person that's probably giving you hot coffee isn't to blame.

The reality is whatever the response, it's never going to be fast enough. The only way to realistically cut down on the response time is to have supplies on hand, learn skills, and be willing to assist neighbors in helping out and organizing.

Right now with the current economy, people are barely hanging on. When you're barely hanging on, then you have no extra money for buying expensive knives, guns, too much ammunition, expensive MREs, what-have-you. You can though make your own rocket stove out of bricks, or scrap tin cans and sand. It just takes a minimum of ability. You can check out books from the library and spend some time doing an assessment based upon what flora and fauna are in your area should you need to hunt, fish, or forage for them. In many cases, there are people and youtube videos and free material if you'll move away from the television and attempt to learn them. You can identify the trees and shrubs in your area in all seasons so you can harvest from them. You can exercise so you have more upper body strength and stamina. You can practice making a fire with minimal equipment, and work towards making one from flint (chert probably) and steel. You can practice making a water bio-filter for less than fifty dollars. You can identify the ferns in your area so you can gather the roots to make a working soap. You can buy up to three months of medicines sometimes for a reduced price. This way you have extra on hand.

Read through this topic. Most of it is about free ways to prep. The fastest way to respond is from your own two hands. It's not just for you, but your family, and friends in the area, and the strangers who don't prepare that may end up becoming close friends afterward.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/06/2012 09:19 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Odd things I've seen promoted for prepping

Alcohol stoves
One of the oddest things I've ever seen promoted as a prepper item is an alcohol stove. There's tons of ways to make them, some quite elaborate, some very cheap, all of them impractical. The question that I have is, just how much rubbing alcohol do you have on hand at your place? Probably not a lot. While it's possible to make rudimentary adult beverages like tizwin, scrumpy (higher than normal hard apple), raisin, maple, persimmon wines, it's relatively difficult to make moonshine without exact temperatures and distill a high enough percentage of ethanol without ALSO making non-drinkable and poisonous similar compounds like propanol or methanol. They also come over at similar temperatures. Regardless, if you have this ability, I doubt you'd waste it by burning it in an alcohol stove. If you have the ability to make alcohols of all kinds in a SHTF scenario, then you're probably trading it for premium goods. That's a historical fact.

Endless varieties of knives
I really don't get all the wasted time and effort on the latest great knife or knives. You probably need a skinner, a pocket knife for fine work, a large hacking knife or even a machette or ax or hatchet. That's it. Why ruin a good knife by using it improperly and breaking it, when it's probably better to use a hatchet's blunt end or a hammer instead? Why spend a fortune on this piece of equipment when there's lots of knives that have been used in field work and bench tested? It boggles the mind.

Endless varieties of guns
You can spend a lot of money on these. No doubt one will have more takedown power along a long continuum. Unless you plan on buying many different kinds of odd ball ammunition and parts, and have endless amounts of funds, then it's really a waste of time. You want something reasonable that has a good reputation, common ammunition, relatively decent takedown power and accuracy. Practice shooting instead. Most people don't.

Making your bug-out bag lighter
Oh boy, this one pisses me off. A bug-out bag means that you had to leave and that you're trying to get to specific place that has more security and supplies. Instead of endlessly replacing equipment to get it lighter and lighter like some high tech backpacker, learn some skills instead and find ways to bug-in. This is a serious time waster unless you live in a highly urban environment, and even then, if you're bugging out with a million people, I doubt you make it.

Blowguns
Really? You might be able to shoot accurately with practice and stealth. I have no doubt of their efficacy as long as you're actually healthy enough to walk around for miles lugging it. They are quiet though, but some of the weirdos depicting hunting with it, I doubt they can sneak up on any creature regularly. Has it's place, but only if you can fashion a dart yourself like they do in the bush.

The latest gadget
Learn skills instead. Usually they're expensive.

The lightest tent
Ummm, obviously you've never burned nylon tents with hot coals or seen them rip from lots of UV sun exposure. Buy something that will hold up. Learn how to patch it. Better yet, learn how to make a debris hut, learn how to make survival cement and branch shelters, dig out a shelter, etc.

Expensive meals
Buying endless amounts of freeze dried and or MREs
This is guaranteed the most expensive way to prep. You should have some. Many freeze dried have very little fat, and hence are low calorie meals. Not good for survival, is okay for healthy backpackers or mountain climbers who're taking a short trip. MREs are great as long as you buy the actual military issue, not some ersatz kind that actually doesn't provide enough calories. They're very expensive, but it means fast meals often without fire, which has it's place for security. Unless you're uber-wealthy, no one can afford all MRE prepping. Maybe can you own.

Very fancy butane/propane torches
Why not learn to use a long lasting tinderbox and flint(chert)/steel device instead. It's way cheaper. It'll work when other things won't. These torches are expensive and what will you do when you run out of fuel?

Buying a fancy compass and not knowing how to use it and map skills. Nuff said.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/07/2012 01:31 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
sfan
Well, maybe...at least in the USA. I can't imagine four more years and how much worse off we'll be now. Maybe it's inevitable regardless of who is the President.

Someone else mentioned fruitcake as a perfect SHTF food. I'm looking for a recipe, if any prepper has one. I think that a good cook could make an oatmeal spice cake that's innudated with rum after cooking, and that kind of spice cake would taste much better than a fruitcake, and would last as long. Preferrably this SHTF cake would have complete proteins in it, so perhaps by adding a little of this and that, all the proper amino acids would be in it. Then load it up with things like carrots (like carrotcake), raisins, pineapple, pecans and almonds. It would be an expensive cake, I think, but one that might last a long time.

If anyone has already done the work and made one that tastes good, please post your recipe.

It's fitting that fruitcake is the desired result for doomers, don't you think?
ahhh
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/07/2012 01:49 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Panforte

This is a precursor to fruitcake. It's a reduced flour recipe that contains many of the same ingredients, and makes a very dense cake. It was brought over by the Crusaders because it stored well. I'm thinking that soaking the added in ingredients like the fruit and nuts in rum (sometimes up to three weeks), then dosing the final cake after in a rum glaze and stored in a tin in the traditional way, would result in a practical SHTF cake. It shouldn't mold if that's done, and it should act as a preservative. It's been given five stars, and some of the folks who tried it loathe fruitcake but enjoyed this one. Sometimes it has cocoa added.
[link to www.kingarthurflour.com]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/07/2012 12:30 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Norovirus post-catastrophe

After an SHTF event occurs, several common things come into play. People lose sleep. They live in crowded unsanitary conditions. They eat foot that isn't perfectly prepared. Clean water is difficult to find. There is less availability of hot water and soap. The norovirus or Norwalk virus is a very common result of living in close quarters under these circumstances. It's the most common form of gastroenteritis

The symptoms are often severe watery diarrhea (not bloody) and vomiting. Everyone has had a bought of vomiting and diarhea, this is far worse than then norm. The person feels weakened and out of sorts. They shed the virus, and anyone around them will probably get it despite renewing efforts to clean up more thoroughly. The virus may stick around for several weeks too.

You can get reinfected. Having it once is no guarantee that you won't get it again. Ordinarily it lasts for three days, but under crowded conditions you might easily acquire it again.

When a disaster strikes, it's not like normal conditions in which there is a ready supply of electrolytes and medical attention. Food and clean water may be very scarce, and that declines as time goes on. Expect children and elderly survivors to get it, and then more and more healthier people to acquire it as well. If you've ever seen it or had it, you know just how crazy things become. If you have many people sharing a common bathroom, or living in rudimentary shelters, then you know it will happen.

There is no cure for a virus, it has to run it's course. Despite all the diarrhea cures, they really don't work. What they do is slow down a spastic intestinal system to allow people's systems to calm down. In this case, it's better to allow the virus to be eliminated within reason to get it out from the intestinal tract.

The only way to really help is to isolate the sick person as much as possible and have infected people use the same bathroom versus another one for healthy people. They also shouldn't be around food being prepared nor help in the kitchen at all.

This means you have to be vigilant about food prep and sanitation. It's very likely that during the course of it through a household, that the strongest person who's the primary caregiver will end up with it last, right when they're taking care of everyone.

[link to en.wikipedia.org]
[link to www.medicinenet.com]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/07/2012 12:58 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Dysentery

Dysentery probably killed more soldiers in times past than being wounded. It's distinguished from the Norovirus in that it produces bloody diarrhea with mucus. It's usually caused by a bacterial infection of Shigella .

It might be the result of handling contaminated meat. A small nick of the digestive tract of the harvested animal may result in fecal contamination. This means that you've educated your hunters and whoever butchered the animal, and also cooked all meat WELL DONE. This is a collapse situation, and so you cannot be too careful with your meat preparations.

It can be mild, but all infection in a collapse must be taken seriously. It usually passes in three days, and as long as the person is isolated and cared for, then they'll probably be fine. If you were lucky enough to be around antibiotics, then it might be cured quickly.

The problem is that it takes several days to incubate, and by then you've become ill, and perhaps by then you've been preparing food for everyone. You don't have a way to culture the bacteria, and so you treat the person as if they have Shigella gastroenteritis based upon the symptoms and the relatively brief time period. The standard treatment is one of the following: “ampicillin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (also known as Bactrim or Septra), nalidixic acid and the fluoroquinolone, or ciprofloxacin. “

[link to textbookofbacteriology.net]

An old Civil War remedy for treating this form of dysentery was persimmon syrup. Re-read the post I made about harvest persimmons and why it's something you want to preserve just in case.

[link to www.cw-chronicles.com]

It could be amoebic dysentery though. This is often the result of drinking contaminated water. This is very likely if the sewage system has been infiltrated in a collapse, or because survivors are looking for water sources and have improperly cleaned what's been found.

Amoebic dysentery is very very serious. It lasts and lasts forever. The standard treatment is a first course of metronidazanole and then a course of diloxanide furoate.

If you don't have access to these medicines, while you may recover slowly over many months, you will continue to have the parasite in your system.
[link to www.webmd.boots.com]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/07/2012 01:27 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Weather

Once the facade of civilization is lifted and the utilities collapse, then the most common weather changes, seasonal or otherwise, will result in shock and awe to the survivors. If you have a roof that's leaking in heavy rain or no utilities to make your house warm in winter, then you know just what I mean.

Winter was a very cruel punishing time in history. From the harvest to the earliest re-gathering of wild edibles and farming, there's a period of about eight months. While some things are to be found in Nature, they're not in an abundance, and so you have a lengthy period of possible starvation unless you prepare. This meant not only harvesting, but gathering enough in your storehouse to have adequate calories for that long cold period. No one could possibly store enough, and weight loss was an regular part of this cycle. Death too for the weakened members of the tribe.

With the cold and exposure, there naturally came sickness and death as well. Unless you have a way of insulating the home, alternative heat sources, readily available fuel and seasoned wood, then you'll freeze to death.

In Winter there is far less rain. If rainwater is your planned water source, then I've got bad news for you. You'll be praying for rain, that's for sure. When it comes in the Autumn and Spring, and there's no sewage system, or failing drainage, then it can ruin crops. Too much rain will result in high mosquito populations and sickness. If it doesn't come in abundance, then the drought will kill plants. You're entirely at the mercy of rain unless you create a reservoir of water to irrigate the plants when you decide they need it, not when Nature desires to rain.

The temperature will determine the length of a harvest. If it gets too warm, then many vegetables bolt and turn to seed. If it isn't warm enough, then seeds won't germinate. If the season is reduced by cold weather, then some food won't be harvested but die to frost or simply not get far enough along to ripen or fruit.

Hail can suddenly appear and damage fragile plants. This means having a way to temporarily cover the garden with tarps might protect it somewhat, but realize that your garden in a collapse will be far LARGER than you might expect in order to realistically feed your family or community.

Winds can easily destroy plants and infrastructure. A large tree falling is extremely difficult to cut without power tools and is a community activity since it provides many people with lumber or firewood. Imagine post-collapse trying to repair a home that's had a tree fall on it.

Weather now is a spectacle for most of us. It was a fearsome aspect of pioneer and tribal living. It will be again in the future if there's a collapse of society.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/08/2012 01:31 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The Brown Cross

I believe that Fox News is one of those links which can't be added on GLP, however you can look up the story today on the newly organized “Brown Cross” due to Hurricane Sandy. They've come to the same kinds of logical and practical conclusions that I have concerning the lack of government intervention, and are organizing in a similar way to methods previously discussed here.

"Necessitie, the inuentour of all goodnesse." Roger Ascham 1545

Necessity will cause inventive ideas out of a sense of goodness. I'm glad to see it happening organically. We forget we're neighbors.

We've become isolated and alone because we assume that social media and instant communication will help us. They won't really, not in a disaster. If the power isn't on, then obviously they won't work. They never really did. The amount of Facebook friends are most likely fair weather friends, and even that is a stretch.

The real friends are the ones you count on when the chips are down. They're the one patrolling the street looking for looters because there can't ever be enough security in a SHTF scenario. They're the ones who go through their supplies and figure out ways to communicate and power up equipment. That's what the Brown Cross is doing. Someone stored walkie-talkies and power generators and they're using this in lieu of telephones. They're the ones helping people go through their missing items and make their demolished homes a little more livable.

This means that in a disaster, the only way to ensure that you have communications is to actually have some equipment handy. Many hunters have walkie-talkies. Some people will have solar panels for recharging cordless drills. Some are contractors. Some are preppers. See previous posts on using a solar panel as a trickle charger and using an inverter to recharge devices. Other people had generators and found gas. That works as long as the supply chain can bring in fuel.

Another idea that will work in a pinch (short distances only) is very small scale AM transmitters. See a previous post on making neighborhood am radio stations as a means of communication too. You can't create a powerful one, not legally. If you have one, then you can have people tune in their AM radios to that frequency.

HAM radio is an option, but far fewer people have HAM receivers. You'd need electricity to run it, but it'll broadcast very far away, and you're less limited on the amount of power that you can transmit.

If you don't have communications, you're basically back to having nothing more than a church bell to warn a community. This and yelling for help. People forget that in the absence of utilities there is very limited communication and medical emergencies, security issues, fires, etc will all happen eventually. People could die.

When the Nor'easter came, as we all suspected it would based upon weather data, then FEMA closed their doors. It's shocking to some; it's expected by preppers. Real help will always be better coming from local efforts. They're motivated to do it. It's their city and neighborhood and community.

Didn't we see that happen in the London riots too? It's really a matter of leadership. When it happens in your area, are you up to the task?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/08/2012 01:53 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
More about helping Staten Island victims due to Hurricane Sandy and the Brown Cross (100+ volunteers)
[link to helpstatenisland.com]
[link to righteventsrightjobs.blogspot.com]
[link to macaulay.cuny.edu]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/08/2012 08:23 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Responding not reacting to changing times

Life in a tribe or on the frontier wasn't about reacting to things. Well, not too often. Something might change all of a sudden, but usually things unfolded based upon telltale signs that they were going to happen. It might seem to a greenhorn or new arrival that the folks were in an uproar and reacting, but usually what they were doing all along was preparing for security issues, weather changes, and putting up enough food for Winter and cutting enough silage to feed their animals.

They mostly responded unless suddenly attacked, and even then they responded by having enough ammunition, powder, rifles and handguns, and by preparing a tactical way of dealing with the new threat. Where is the enemy coming from? What are the natural barriers? How close are they? Are they on foot or using horses? Where are the natural watering holes that they'll probably visit along the way? Where will they camp for the night along the way? Is there food for their animals there? What are the seasonal issues that will help or hinder us or them? Do they have gunpowder weapons? What is the effective range and accuracy of their weapons? What's the best and worst abilities of that particular tribe? Can we negotiate a peaceful settlement? What do we have to bargain with? What types of subterfuge can we use? Should we sally from the fort or is it more defensible to stay within? Who shall we send at night to use guerrilla tactics?

They might respond by very clever tactics like changing the ground of the meadows that the enemies horses must ride through. Something as simple a device like caltrops might be added to trip up horses and riders. Maybe they set up a series of ambush sites along the way from good cover or from elevated positions? Maybe they had better rifles to use some limited sniper techniques? Maybe they made feeding or watering the horses and soldiers difficult? Maybe they counterattacked as the enemy made a river crossing? These are calculated responses based upon a careful analysis of how many soldiers will die defending and counterattacking versus how many of the enemy can they eliminate far from their homes. Pick off enough of the attackers, and they won't have sufficient numbers without reinforcements. A punishing counterattack might make the enemy choose a weaker enemy, and if allied with them, then messengers might ride to that village instead. Maybe those allies attack the flanks of the losing enemy soldiers too.

When greenhorns react, then they've already lost. They wait and see if a half-baked idea will save them. It's not in the remotest a plan, just a vague notion that this or that might help them survive. The worst concept is ignoring the problem and hoping it will go away as if by magic.

A tribe that's preparing for the SHTF scenario is looking at the season and thinking how to best plan for the season after the next. It's late Autumn now, and there's hardly enough time to plan for Winter, but rather to imagine what the Spring planting will be like. That's a good four months ahead.

How about you? Read the following and then close your eyes and think about the questions I'm asking:

How much food that isn't refrigerated is in my household? Are there complete protein sources and good nutritious carbohydrates that I can rely upon? How many calories per meal do I have, and how much extra do I have in case I have to feed strangers or relatives?

How much water do I have on hand? How good is my water purifying equipment? How am I for tools to create a well? What condition is my garden cart in case I need to haul water? How many water containers do I have? What's the average rainfall in my area? Where are the nearest water sources?

Do I know how to forage from the local region? What are the kinds of trees in my area? What are the harvest season of these plants? What herbs grow around me, and which can be used for culinary, sanitary, medicinal, or other uses?

What seeds do I have on hand? How many are heirloom varieties (not hybrids)? Who typically grows fruits and vegetables in my area? Can I get food from them in trade, or are they willing to say let me have some of their asparagus crowns? Do I have books on how to garden? Are there classes I can take to learn NOW rather than four months from now?

When was the last time I practiced using my ranged weapons? When was the last time I cleaned it? Do I have cleaning supplies? How many boxes of ammunition do I have on hand? Are my weapons in working order? What hand-held weapons do I possess? When was the last time I practiced with them?

What's a reasonable rating someone would give me about my defensive and offensive ability? How much upper body strength do I possess? How far can I run without resting? How much can I carry and run? When was the last time I tried to run? When have I ever tried to run with my backpack on?

What pioneer skills do I know to build things, repair things, make fires, harvest food, raise animals, etc? What books do I have on hand? Are they on paper or on my hard drives?

What alternative power do I have to use handheld electronic devices? Do I have a generator for short term use? How much fuel do I have? Do I have any solar trickle charger? Do I have a deep cycle marine battery? How many sunny days can I reasonably expect each season? When can't I use solar power? Do I have any redundant parts for the system?

How much clothing and shoes will my family need during the year on average? How many items can we make ourselves or alter so that others may wear them? How much laundry do we do, and do we have adequate laundry soap to do them? How will my family wash clothing without electricity?

Thinking about these things now post-harvest is about responding not reacting. Based upon your relative disquiet in your soul given the instability of our countries, wouldn't doing this now and prepping for it be PRUDENT not quirky?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/08/2012 11:27 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Help for Diabetes patients: Bitter Melon

One of the oft repeated concerns about a SHTF scenario is what will diabetics do without insulin. Well for starters, the ones that need insulin are Type I Diabetics. Many are Type 2, and control their blood sugar with diet and exercise and perhaps special medicines. Still, this is an issue once those medications run out.

One thing that's been tried is eating bitter melon. It's an Asian vegetable that's easily grown. Here's some tips at this link:
[link to bonnieplants.com]

Eating bitter melon daily is a challenge at first. It's got a strong acquired taste. So do many things like strong cheese, or olives, or grapefruit, but once people try them, they end up liking that unique flavor.

Diabetics of both kinds could start the plants and in a relatively short amount of time produce them. It's one way of lowering blood sugar.

The video details the benefits. There's no need to buy a pill of concentrated bitter melon. Just grow it.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/08/2012 11:35 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Help for Diabetes Patients: Prickly Pear Cactus

I previously wrote about Prickly Pear Cactus. It's an easily found cactus that grows in lots of arid places. One of my favorite camping spots has them around, and I have funny memories about a friend getting the irritating hairs that grow on them all over his hands and then all over his body. Be careful!

Still despite that trouble, the friend found some and collected a specimen, then tossed it into a flower pot, and forgot to plant it. It rooted itself and grew very well without any fuss whatsoever.

It turns out that not only is it edible, but also that it lowers blood sugar. As preppers we want multi-use food to forage and to grow because you can't always harvest one kind of food, so you need to know multiple ways to handle issues.


Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/08/2012 11:44 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Help for Diabetic Patients: Fenugreek

Fenugreek is an easily grown herb. It's originally from India and used in Indian dishes. It actually has a maple like smell and is used in artificial maple syrup flavoring.

It also lowers blood sugar, so it should be part of your garden plans for the Spring/Summer.
[link to theherbgardener.blogspot.com]

Fenugreek makes a good yellow dye. It also has been used to help encourage breast milk production, a very useful property in a world without infant formula.
[link to www.ehow.com]

The seeds are full of a mucilageous substance, so it makes an excellent emollient. Use it for cracked skin, something that often happens in wintertime to anyone working outside in the elements. That properly makes it useful like slippery elm for irritable bowel syndrome and for sore throats too. It does have a mild laxative effect though.
[link to www.yourmedicinalplants.com]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/08/2012 11:53 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Should I keep writing?

I quit for a month. It takes a lot of time to write these posts. Obviously a lot of people are reading them even a year and some months later. Seldom do people people comment, but 55 kind souls gave it high marks. I hope that it's not something that people just read and then don't apply. If so, then it's hardly worth writing.

I write them because of lots of kind folks who taught me pioneer and Native American life skills. I feel like I owe them for not only the joy of their company, but also for their kindness and wisdom.

Because things appear to be worsening, and the global economy is as well, then I feel like folks will return to gardening and homesteading. It won't be the traditional survivalists and preppers, it will be a return to a simpler life thats close to the Source and to Creation.

If you like these posts and get something out of them, then please comment, otherwise I'm running out of enthusiasm to continue.
MzTreeChick

User ID: 27008450
Australia
11/09/2012 02:50 AM

Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Please don't feel unappreciated, I for one have taken onboard all that you have written, it is all highly valuable.

cheer

I am hoping to add a third greenhouse to my lil collection and am enjoying my herbs alot more thanks to your info.

I really do enjoy your thread.



hf rockon
* Eat recycled food, it's good for the environment and O.K for you. (Judge Dredd)
old guard

User ID: 1405158
United States
11/09/2012 08:06 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Please don't loose heart. I have read from the beginning, and have learned alot. You can never learn too much! The world is falling apart fast, and I fear that those without some kind of survival skills won't make it.
Much love and peace

bump
Vic-chick13

User ID: 1398557
Canada
11/09/2012 08:38 AM

Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Lots of amazing info! Thanks for all the hard work, it is appreciated.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 4079433
United States
11/09/2012 09:07 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Lots of amazing info! Thanks for all the hard work, it is appreciated.
 Quoting: Vic-chick13


^^^
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/09/2012 02:43 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Tips for buying cold weather clothing

1. Look for military surplus that is actually NATO issued and not some knock-off. Surplus items sell at a discount which can save you a considerable amount of money.
2. If a zipper breaks, you're screwed in the field unless you have extra zippers on hand to stitch back in place. Buy extra zippers or the correct length now to replace any that are failing or did fail last season. Try to find buttons because usually they're easier to sew back on and seldom break outright. Check for missing buttons from last season, and consider sewing them with stronger thread and making them more secure.
3. Wear a cap. Most heat loss is through the head. Never go anywhere in your vehicle without a warm cap.
4. Consider buying a balaclava. It can be rolled up like a cap or cover the neck. Either way really helps you versus a standard cap. Try riding a bike in the winter without one. Bet you end up buying one. See: [link to upload.wikimedia.org]
5. Buy gloves that are appropriate for the task. If you need to be dextrous then obviously you need a thinner pair. Buy some well insulated ones too. If you're out in lots of snow, then they should repel melting snow. If you're working in very wet snow, they make special rubberized ones for that purpose.
6. Consider buying ski pants if in the snow a lot, and having to kneel down. There's nothing worse than getting your pant wet and then icy and stiff. Every time I go skiing, I see a lot of people suffering from this.
7. Insulated coveralls are really great if you're working outside. It works on the layer concept. You can peal them off if you get too hot. That's important when going in and outside a lot and creating sweat. This prevents chills.
8. The same is true for insulated removable liners to jackets.
9. A thin polar fleece jacket is easy to put on, cheap, and sorta simple to remove. It's not ideal versus a jacket since it exposes flesh as you take it off sometimes. It's far less expensive than a good jacket or coat.
10. Thermal underwear of either silk or otherwise works remarkably well. Silk is a lot less heavier. Wool is better if there's any chance of getting wet. Mostly the latter is vital if working around frozen lakes and the ice breaks or the ice is thawing and you are doing river crossings.
11. Buy a pair of insulated full length boots with good treads. Ankle support is vital for long distances. Obviously if your region has snow then shorter boots are ridiculous. Sometimes people double their socks because their boots are not insulated. This can cause a lot of rubbing on long treks and is not recommended.
12. If buying camouflaged gear, then pick the appropriate pattern based upon the season. Wearing jungle camo in the dead of winter makes you stick out like a sore thumb. Wearing bright colors when crossing through deciduous and evergreen forest in Winter makes you stick out like a sore thumb too.

Most people don't buy the right kind of foul weather gear for Winter use. The reason is they're not used to actually being in it, much less working in it. Imagine being out in it a lot especially if ill prepared for a SHTF scenario.

Every read about Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War in the USA? You don't want to be like those poor miserable soldiers too.
[link to www.ushistory.org]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/09/2012 03:04 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Preparing your bicycle for Winter or regular use later

No one wants to ride their bike in the Winter. The wind is directly in your face and icy and cold. You are naturally experiencing the wind chill effect. It's of little use when there's black ice (a thin rime of invisible icy coating), or of course snow or ice, however if there isn't any fuel and you need need to get somewhere, then much of the time in most places it's possible to continue riding in the Winter.

This means of course that you're dressed for riding. See the previous topic on tips for that.

Bikes may be a primary means of transportation in a SHTF scenario. This means you need to carefully inspect your bike. Look for dry rot in the tires. Buy extra tires. Check the brakes and adjust or replace the pads. The frame should be sound. Check and tighten loose connections. Buy a hand pump that goes with the bike. Your regular bike water bottle most certainly might freeze if kept in place.

A bicycle trailer would be supremely useful. There will be many times that you might have to haul something to and fro, but realize that you'd better be in extremely good shape to pedal uphill with extra weight attached. Likewise the weight of the load behind you will dramatically increase speeds going downhill. It's not an activity for wimps.

A cyclist must look for alternative routes to take based upon their average speed, the terrain and elevation, the crime in an area, etc. I'll bet you've cursed a bike rider before from your vehicle. Practice riding it a lot and watch how some personality times are more aggressive than others. A working bike in a collapse will be very valuable and people may steal it from you. How will you secure it?

Vehicles spray water when it's raining. A cyclist knows this and attempt to avoid it as much as possible. Bikes will do it as well, so that's important when riding with several people on them.

You need to have the correct open or closed end wrench for the nuts or adjustments on your particular bike. You need to have them on you at all times. Practice taking off the front wheel quickly in case you have to place it within a vehicle. Do you have a bike rack on your vehicle?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/09/2012 03:55 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Making a Shillelagh or War Club

Several cultures made Shillelaghs, most notably the Irish. Obviously Native Americans made a similar personal hand-held weapon from the same particular growth of branches in proximity to a large section. Here's a link from 1981 on making a Shillelagh from Mother Earth News:
[link to www.motherearthnews.com]

They recommend Hawthorn to be authentic. [link to www.thegreenhead.com]

A Native American style usually was polished into a ball at the business end and had a separate stub off from the ball for knocking heads. Note the grip.
[link to www.seahawkauctions.com]



You need a rasp and various grits of sandpaper to make it efficiently. Obviously they are essential. One could use various kinds of natural sandstone and a carving knife instead.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/09/2012 06:43 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Recipes from Texas pioneers from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. If you are extremely prepped then you probably could make most of these. They rely upon standard agricultural products of the time period, something that isn't possible in most cities of any size. Most of the ingredients were either traded or made on the farms

This will give you some idea of the way that they ate and portion sizes and what meals consisted of.
[link to www.texfiles.com]

News