The Survival Mom » Staying Healthy http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Sat, 19 Jul 2014 11:00:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Medical Book Review: The Prepper Pages http://thesurvivalmom.com/scavenge-first-aid-prepper-page/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=scavenge-first-aid-prepper-page http://thesurvivalmom.com/scavenge-first-aid-prepper-page/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 10:00:13 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15886 Generally speaking, if I buy an e-book, then I don’t buy the same book in print form. I’m making an exception for The Prepper Pages: A Surgeon’s Guide to Scavenging Items for a Medical Kit, and Putting Them to Use Read More

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Generally speaking, if I buy an e-book, then I don’t buy the same book in print form. I’m making an exception for The Prepper PagesThe Prepper Pages: A Surgeon’s Guide to Scavenging Items for a Medical Kit, and Putting Them to Use While Bugging Out by Dr. Ryan Chamberlin. It’s that good.

What makes this book so good? Knowing exactly which items you should keep on hand for emergencies and having specific advice on how to use them.

If you are in a disaster area, there might be a doctor around but the odds are slim that they wouldhave sterile sutures and a scalpel on hand, or not enough for everyone in need. Having a small stock of your own scalpels and sutures isn’t a bad idea.

Since Dr. Chamberlin is a surgeon, surgical items and skills are covered more extensively in this book than in most similar books, but that is precisely what makes this so useful. He covers topics most skim over.

A secondary focus of the book is how to scavenge items or find them in non-traditional places. For the large number of people who get nervous having our data (including shopping habits) tracked, that’s a definite bonus.

Specific Items, Not General Categories

Like most preppers and people who live a bit far from emergency services, I have a substantial First Aid kit. However, there are things I don’t have because I simply have never figured out exactly what I need or how to get it. Scalpels and sutures are two of them.

Scalpels come with numbers and are different sizes and shapes. I’m not a surgeon, and I’m not going to become one. I don’t need or want 20 boxes of different sized scalpels. I want one, maybe two, so we have a sterile scalpel if we ever need them. (Side note: they can be handy in a pinch when doing detailed craft work.) This book explains exactly which sizes are best and why!

Dr. Chamberlin also talks about not only what suturing material is best for different uses both in ordinary life and in an emergency, but also where to buy it, what sizes to buy, and how to do basic sutures. In a true emergency, that could be a literal lifesaver. Other topics include the differences in vinyl, nitrile, and latex gloves, treating snake bites, and food poisoning.

Scavenge First Aid Items

While we all hope to never be in a situation with looting, Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy are proof enough that it can happen, even here. But if you could loot items from a place, you can certainly buy them there, and that’s good information to have.

Knowing where to scavenge First Aid items can also help you save money by giving you a less-expensive alternative or an easier place to buy them. It’s also nice to be able to spread out your sales and help several smaller stores, instead of one large one.

It is a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected. You may be confident that no one in your family has a latex allergy and will not react to the one kind of suture you bought, but the reality is that you might be wrong. I have used bandages my entire life – Band Aid brand, Nexcare, Care Mark, generic, all kinds, sizes, brands and types with no problems. I particularly like the Nexcare tattoo-style bandages.

Following a minor surgical procedure, I found out I am allergic to the adhesive in bandages. It’s not a big deal, but it could be in a true disaster, so remember to be flexible and have some variety in your supplies. We now have paper tape and more gauze squares on hand for me, but simply keeping a few different brands of bandages might be enough for other families.

Because The Prepper Pages: A Surgeon’s Guide to Scavenging Items for a Medical Kit, and Putting Them to Use While Bugging Out by Dr. Ryan Chamberlin contains highly useful information, much of which isn’t found elsewhere, I highly recommend this book.

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Backpack First Aid Kit for Kids — A Must-Have! http://thesurvivalmom.com/first-aid-kit-for-kids/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=first-aid-kit-for-kids http://thesurvivalmom.com/first-aid-kit-for-kids/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 17:00:44 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16316 You might carry a complete EMT kit in your purse, but it’s only useful if your kids are with you when they’re hurt.  If they go to school, spend the night with friends, or attend sports practices without you, they Read More

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first aid kit for kidsYou might carry a complete EMT kit in your purse, but it’s only useful if your kids are with you when they’re hurt.  If they go to school, spend the night with friends, or attend sports practices without you, they need their own Everyday Carry first aid kit for kids.  The trick is to make it useful and compact enough to keep all the time without breaking their backs—or the bank.

Start with $1

The carry case in the photo came from the Dollar Tree, but I’ve bought similar versions in the travel-size section of Target and Wal-Mart.  Pick up a few. Trust me—once you build them, you’ll want one in the backpack, the bat bag, the sleepover bag, your purse, and several more to restock their contents.

This one came with alcohol swabs, gauze pads, and more than 30 bandages!  I pared it down to 6 bandages and added a giant knee-sized bandage and butterfly bandage from the stash in my medicine cabinet.  Now I can fit in other important stuff.

 $5 Add-ins

Neo-to-Go fits perfectly into this case. Break the seal and show your little guys how to use it.  I LOVE that even my seven-year-old can do it with no mess and no waste.

Eye Drops may require adult help for smaller kids, but at least it will be available. My optometrist sister likes Murine. (The tiny Systane packets take up less room, but they’re a bit pricey.)  My own kit has the re-wetting drops that came free with my contact solution. Bonus! Eye drops are perfect for flushing debris from eyes or squeezing to irrigate a dirty wound. (Gravelly bike wrecks, anyone?)

Advanced Options

Water Jel is a topical analgesic that eases the pain of burns and actually stops the burn from progressing.  You know how a steak continues to cook after it’s removed from the heat? Your skin does that, too.  But for under $15 you can get 25 little 1/8 oz. packets to divvy up among your first aid kits—even the larger ones you have floating around. We’ve used them for campfire mishaps, of course, but they’re also great for soothing sunburns. I have only been able to find this product inexpensively on Amazon.

NasalCease stops nosebleeds instantly! Again, practice with little ones ahead of time—particularly if they are prone to nosebleeds. The product is as flat as a bandage and fits nicely at the bottom of the case. I bought it for wrestling season.  The trainers use tampons to staunch nosebleeds for the big boys, but those just don’t work for tiny little nostrils.  Expect to pay about $10 for a box of 5.

first aid kit for kidsOver-the-counter medications also fit. I included a blister-pouch of (chewable) Benadryl in all but the backpack kit (so nobody gets in trouble at school). My kiddos are allergic to wasp stings, but not badly enough to warrant Epi-pens.  The sooner they get an antihistamine, the less severe the symptoms.  So when they’re stung at a sleepover and not sure how to explain things to the mom-in-charge, they’ll have what they need.

I wrote instructions on the top of the lid with Sharpie: STINGS—1 pink.  I did the same with generic Tylenol.  Many adults don’t carry kid-friendly doses, and I sure don’t want anyone unknowingly giving my kiddos aspirin! But the blister pouch has a label on the back to confirm the lid’s instructions: FEVER—2 purple

For Older Kids (and Moms!)

Tweezers (removing ticks and splinters) and a safety pin (relieving severe blood blisters) will fit, as well.

Pack ‘em Up!

Let the kids help fit everything in; they’ll know the location of every item and its use. They can even decorate with colored sharpies or stickers. Then, go crazy! At just over 3 ounces, you can stash one in every conceivable place–even the tackle box, the golf bag, and the camper. I’m sending one in each backpack for a healthy, self-reliant back-to-school.

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Greens: They’re Not Just For Salad Anymore http://thesurvivalmom.com/greens-theyre-just-salad-anymore/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=greens-theyre-just-salad-anymore http://thesurvivalmom.com/greens-theyre-just-salad-anymore/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:00:23 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15168 It happens every summer. It first happens around late June. You’re contemplating what to make for dinner and repeatedly allow yourself to become distracted because you know they’re there …in the fridge…or the garden…mocking you. Greens. You bought or grew Read More

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It happens every summer. It first happens around late June. You’re contemplating what to make for dinner and repeatedly allow yourself to become distracted because you know they’re there …in the fridge…or the garden…mocking you.

Greens. You bought or grew them because they’re inexpensive per serving, they’re easy to grow and they’re just sooooo good for you! And you swore that this summer you’d eat more salad.

But what’s on that salad? There’s no law that says there has to be tomato. Or cucumber or anything else. One of the best salads I ever had was a bed of Romaine topped with skinless grapefruit segments, shaved red onion, boneless sardines and balsamic vinegar. That having been said…

What if salad is the problem?

That bag of “Spring Mix” or it’s equivalent from the garden is all well and fine in a salad, but it reaches it’s full glory in a skillet. Here is a classic Tuscan concept (that might have been invented in an American restaurant, who knows?).

Warning: My recipes contain a lot of eyeballing. Take a moment and accept it.

Tuscan Sautéed Greens

1/3 Cup or so raisins
1 T lightly chopped pignoli (pine nuts) – optional but heavenly
2-3 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic,minced. (Please don’t use pre-minced from a jar. It’s often bitter. And just so sad.)
12-16 oz bag of Spring Mix or same amount of homegrown mixed greens  (Caveat: careful of too much arugula. It can overpower. Kale needs a little more cooking time unless it’s baby kale, and lettuce should barely touch the skillet. Okay that was 3 caveats, so sue me.)

1) Place raisins in about a cup of very hot water, set aside. Don’t fully reconstitute, just “plump”.
2) Toast pignoli in dry skillet until light golden brown. Careful, they burn quickly. Remove from skillet and set aside.
3) Turn up skillet to medium-high. Add oil and allow to heat until oil ripples, about a minute. Do not use ” high”. That’s just for boiling water.
4) Add garlic and sauté for about a minute till light golden brown.
5) Add greens and toss just until wilted, not cooked.
6) Add drained raisins and pignoli, toss.

This is fantastic next to any pasta dish and lots of meats and casseroles. But why stop there? Make extra and and use as an ingredient in other things ( “repurpose” in restaurant-speak):

  • Chop and apply to mini toast as hors d’oeuvres
  • Stuff into large shell pasta or roll up in lasagne noodles and bake in red or white sauce
  • Use as a layer in traditional or pumpkin lasagna
  • Fold into an omelet
  • Add to a hot turkey sandwich
  • Add white beans, garbanzo beans or pasta and make it a whole meal
  • Use as a bed for oven roasted root vegetables

You can even use it as what I call “sad soup fixer”. Stir it into a not-so-fabulous soup that needs some help rather than adding salt or cheese.

imageThat brings me to a peeve of mine about soup. Ever notice that with just a handful of exceptions, most notably Portuguese Kale soup, greens in soup are usually a third-rate afterthought? You’re served an otherwise respectable bowlful and there they are…three little shreds of spinach or cabbage…lurking apologetically off to the side.

I object! Soup Greens have nothing for which to apologize!

When I was a kid, I worked in a restaurant that sold “Tomato Florentine Soup”. It was amazing. It tasted like pizza! It was in-your-face-spinachy with an aggressive amount of basil. But, alas, it was a commercial frozen concentrate so the ingredients were a mystery.

I tried lots of recipes (before and after the internet), a lot of which started with brand-which-shall-not-be-named tomato soup concentrate. Eewwww. I was finally forced to recreate it myself:

Tomato Florentine soup

1-2 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3-5 cloves garlic, minced.
1 t. dried oregano
Pinch dried thyme
1 can (28 oz) diced/crushed tomatoes in purée. If using tomatoes in juice, add 2 T paste.
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups Beef stock
1/2 cup uncooked ditalini, small shells, elbows or other spoonable pasta
1/2 cup fresh or frozen Italian green beans (optional)
About 12 oz. fresh baby spinach or bigger spinach roughly chopped. All stems removed.
Basil leaves – About 6 large or equal amount smaller leaves chopped or chiffonade (rolled up and sliced in ribbons). You can start with less and add more later if you like.
1-2 T good balsamic vinegar (Note: avoid balsamic vinegars whose labels include words like blend, condiment, drizzle, glaze, etc. That’s a lot like “cheese food product”.)
Parmesan cheese for garnish

1) Heat oil on medium heat in large stockpot. Sauté onions 2 minutes, add garlic, and sauté another 2-3 min until both are tender.
2) Add dry herbs, both stocks and tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
3) Add pasta and beans, and reduce heat to medium. Simmer till pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.
4) Turn off heat and stir in spinach and basil. Cover and let rest 5 min. Add balsamic vinegar and serve topped with cheese.

Just as with the Tuscan Sautéed Greens, the addition of soup beans or extra pasta makes this a whole, healthy meal. But if you want leftover soup, cook the pasta separately and reduce simmer time to 5 minutes.

Those are just 2 possibilities to get you started. All kinds of soups and sautés are greens-friendly. One of the best soup cookbooks out there is The Big Book of Soups and Stews by Maryana Vollstedt.  Any Jamie Oliver book is also a good place for recipes using greens. Quiche, frittata and savory pies/tarts are another rich source of  experimentation. Be brave! Unless its burned, there is no failed savory experiment that can’t be made edible by the application of bacon, cheese, or gravy.

So take that, you smarmy salad bowl!

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Five Essential Oils to Keep in Your Purse http://thesurvivalmom.com/five-essential-oils-keep-purse/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=five-essential-oils-keep-purse http://thesurvivalmom.com/five-essential-oils-keep-purse/#comments Mon, 30 Jun 2014 10:00:37 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15538 Essential oils are like magic in a bottle. Many are far more powerful than we realize, and get way less credit than they deserve. They can be utilized in a wide variety of situations. Sometimes the stickiest situations happen when Read More

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essentialoils

Essential oils are like magic in a bottle. Many are far more powerful than we realize, and get way less credit than they deserve. They can be utilized in a wide variety of situations.

Sometimes the stickiest situations happen when we’re out and about, away from the medicine arsenal at home. Don’t let this happen! Carrying a few essential oils in your pocketbook could be one of the best decisions you’ve made.

Here are the top five I couldn’t go without, after a few cautions.

  • Be careful to avoid any oils contacting your eyes.
  • Some, but not all, essential oils are toxic if taken internally. Eucalyptus, for example.
  • You rarely need more than a few drops.

Eucalyptus essential oil

I can’t say how many times my family has used this. During the colds/flu season, it’s been a life-saver for us. It’s one of the most effective oils for treating a runny nose and helps discharge mucus from the respiratory tract. It’s also mentally invigorating and increases alertness, giving you a greater ability to concentrate.

As an anti-inflammatory, it’s helpful in treating arthritis and lower back pain, as well as muscle cramps, spasms, and sprains. Eucalyptus boosts your respiratory and immune system and helps with a whole host of other problems: poor circulation, diarrhea, bursitis, tendinitis, bladder infections, and fungal infections.

It’s also good for a number of skin problems – oily skin, infected pores, and boils to name a few. Its antiseptic properties help to relieve pain, itchiness, and swelling from bug bites and stings, as well as serving as an effective insect repellent.

Oh, and once you’ve smelled eucalyptus, you can’t forget that powerful scent. It’s a fabulous odor remover.

Lavender essential oil

Excellent for PMS cramps and discomfort. Massage a few drops into the abdominal area for some soothing relief.

As a tension reliever, lavender oil can be massaged directly into the neck and shoulder muscles. Its calming properties relieve headaches, hypertension, stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia. It improves memory, circulation, digestion, skin problems, earaches, hair loss, respiratory problems, and a number of women’s health issues.

As an antiseptic and anti-bacterial, lavender can be applied directly to burns and stings, where it will cool the pain. It will also stimulate blood flow to the affected area, which will aid in the healing process.

Peppermint essential oil

One of the best oils I’ve found for headaches. Just massage a drop into your forehead – being careful to avoid your eyes!!

Peppermint’s powerful scent can act as an effective air deodorizer. It also has an amazing ability to increase alertness to aid with concentration. In small doses, Peppermint has a cooling, soothing effect, and when combined with lavender it can be useful in treating sunburns.

Peppermint is beneficial in treating osteoarthritis, cramps, muscular relaxation & sprains, and lower back pain, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties. It aids with digestion, especially helpful in treating irritable bowel syndrome. It’s an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and an expectorant that is helpful during coughing attacks.

It can also relieve itching from allergies and is frequently used as an insect repellent. As an astringent, peppermint is good for bacterial or viral infections of the mouth, as well as a variety of digestion issues, nausea and diarrhea. Make sure you look up how exactly to use it in this context, though, as some essential oils are toxic if taken internally.

When my dad was struggling with a sports-related knee injury, I had him rub peppermint oil on the inflamed area. He enjoyed the scent and I think the oil brought some relief to his discomfort.

Lemon essential oil

At a picnic and don’t have anything for the kids to wash their hands with? Put a few drops of lemon essential oil in everyone’s palms. It’s a fabulous antibacterial. Lemon works wonders on sore throats, as well as bacterial and viral infections of the mouth and is a great antiseptic for minor cuts and scrapes — including insect bites and stings.

Helps with circulation, respiratory and digestion issues, and is great for relieving headaches. As an antidepressant, it refreshes and stimulates personal well-being, improves mood and emotions, while also improving your memory.

It’s also great for improving nails & cuticles, is an effective hair rinse, and can even help with hair loss and skin problems. Plus, it smells delightfully fresh and clean!

Tea Tree essential oil

Another family favorite. Tea Tree oil has anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s well-known for curing bacterial and viral infections of the face and mouth, including sore throats, earaches, and acne & blemishes, and works exceptionally well treating oily skin.

It can be used as another insect repellent. Its healing, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties make it a good choice for preventing infection, as well as aiding in decreasing inflammation and killing bacteria.

A powerful antiseptic, tea tree oil is useful in the first-aid treatment of minor cuts and wounds. As a pulmonary antiseptic, Tea Tree is an anti-inflammatory and an expectorant that’s good for the sinuses. It’s especially helpful in relieving coughs, colds & sinus problems.

With these five oils, you can work wonders. Make sure to keep them safely packaged in your pocketbook to prevent breaks or spills. Consider putting each oil container in a plastic baggie or two for starters, and don’t leave your purse in a hot vehicle for too long.

Enjoy your new portable magic medicine cabinet!

NOTE FROM LISA: I use and recommend Young Living essential oils after using them for several years. In this article, I write about the oils I use most often. You can learn more about Young Living oils here as well as how to become a wholesale customer, receiving a very nice discount on Young Living oils and other products with no obligation to sell the products or recruit others.

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Survival Sanitation: Poop Party Chit-Chat, an Essential Family Conversation http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-sanitation-poop-party-chit-chat-essential-family-conversation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=survival-sanitation-poop-party-chit-chat-essential-family-conversation http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-sanitation-poop-party-chit-chat-essential-family-conversation/#comments Sun, 22 Jun 2014 19:08:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15628 Pooping…there’s nothing we like better as a society than sharing our defecation experiences. OK, you got me. This is not a subject for “proper” conversation. While we all have to do the “Number 2” to survive, it remains a very Read More

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Survival SanitationPooping…there’s nothing we like better as a society than sharing our defecation experiences.

OK, you got me. This is not a subject for “proper” conversation. While we all have to do the “Number 2” to survive, it remains a very private experience. Couples that don’t think twice about urinating in front of each other draw the line here.

Under normal circumstances, the details of elimination are pretty straightforward. Wipe, flush, and you’re done. But in a significant disaster, our options for “sanitation” are few and ignorance of proper disposal of waste can lead to discomfort, discord, and health hazards.

Having this survival sanitation discussion in advance with the whole family is an important step in normalizing this uncomfortable adjustment to our hygiene habits.

An emergency toilet in action

I have a story to illustrate how even highly trained emergency responders have trouble with this issue. I was the Team Leader of a 150-member federal Disaster Medical Assistance Team, trained and equipped to set up a medical clinic with physicians, nurses, and paramedics in the midst of the worst disaster areas. Our team had a field exercise where we set up our field toilets, basically a 5-gallon bucket with a plastic seat and a “Wag-Bag,” a plastic liner with a gelling agent inside to capture waste and allow disposal in regular garbage.

All personnel were trained in how to use it, and yet at the end of the first day it was clear that some refused to follow the directions. Some Wag-Bags were left on the ground, some of the buckets were filled with waste, it was a mess. As a result, our new procedure was to assign a monitor to inspect each toilet after use so our health could be maintained.

Why planning for survival sanitation is so important

Let’s examine the problem. Potable water and working sewers are necessary for modern sewage systems to operate. In many areas, electrical power drives the pumps for potable water and sewage systems. Private well pumps also rely on electricity. So any disaster that affects the power grid will impact your sanitation strategy. Still, if you have the water available and an intact sewer or septic tank, pouring water into the toilet will allow normal flushing.

More complicated disasters such as floods can directly affect potable water and sewage systems by causing backflows and interfering with gravity-flow systems. In this case, sewer lines can become a direct threat to you unless you have a valve or plug to prevent backflow into your house.

Similar issues can develop with your septic system. Earthquakes can create a whole new level of havoc, breaking both potable and sewage water lines and causing cross-contamination. Depending upon what hazards are common to your area, you should plan for the worst case.

Options for emergency toilets

There are several options for waste disposal if the traditional toilet is not available. The closest thing to the normal toilet experience is the camping (chemical) toilet, available in the $40-$100 range. These units have a several-gallon waste tank, a small water tank and some kind of pump for flushing. The operation is similar to a regular toilet, and a chemical is used to deodorize the waste. For short-term use, this is a good solution; however in situations where water is at a premium, the water used for flushing is better used for drinking or washing.

For many families, the simplest plan will be using a 5-gallon bucket and sawdust or dirt. This is the “composting” method, where waste is allowed to naturally decompose into compost material. When someone does their business, they cover the waste with sawdust or dirt which helps control odors and introduces helpful bacteria into the pile. This method isn’t ideal, but in long-term situations it manages the solid waste in a hygienic manner. The “compost” needs to be mixed every few days to assure oxygen is getting to all parts of the mixture…and a lid must be kept on to keep pests out.

One problem with this method is that the compost should be moist but not damp to facilitate breakdown, so only limited urination can be accommodated. A separate bucket for urinating should be kept, this liquid can be disposed remote from living areas and can be used to water plants outside. The Wag Bag system I previously mentioned allows you to avoid the composting details, but they are an expensive alternative especially for large groups or long time periods.

The most basic sanitation method is the slit latrine, a narrow but deep and long hole in the ground over which you squat and do your thing. The idea is to start at one end and as each person poops, they stir their contribution into the dirt with a stick and cover it. Some provision of privacy is provided with hanging sheets or other barriers. As long as this trench is located away from ground water sources, this is fairly hygienic.

For an in-depth view of outdoor elimination, check out Kathleen Meyer’s How to Shit in the Woods.

About that Poop Party chit-chat…

But just having the equipment available doesn’t solve the problem, as my example above shows. You need to have the Talk. The Talk should include:

  • Acknowledging that the situation is uncomfortable
  • Noting that everybody has to do their business
  • This is the best compromise for everyone, whatever option works best for you.
  • The situation is only for a limited time.
  • Everyone’s privacy will be respected.

Our discomfort with the subject of sanitation doesn’t relieve us from planning for our needs in an emergency. Addressing the subject in advance, with a healthy dose of humor, with make this aspect of weathering a disaster a little less uncomfortable.

 

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Nexcare Waterproof Bandages for Every Emergency Kit http://thesurvivalmom.com/nexcare-waterproof-bandages-review/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nexcare-waterproof-bandages-review http://thesurvivalmom.com/nexcare-waterproof-bandages-review/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 10:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15577 All too many emergencies eventually end up with someone needing a bandage. If that emergency takes place in or around water, good luck with that bandage staying on for long. The nice people at Nexcare Brand recently sent me a Read More

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Nexcare waterproof bandages

A part of my first aid kit.

All too many emergencies eventually end up with someone needing a bandage. If that emergency takes place in or around water, good luck with that bandage staying on for long.

The nice people at Nexcare Brand recently sent me a few boxes of their Nexcare Waterproof Bandages to see if I, The Survival Mom, could put them to good use. Well, fortunately, around our house someone is always searching for a bandage. Apparently, we are quite an injury-prone household!

I was the first one to try out a small bandage for a mosquito bite gone bad. Not only was this a large bite, but after a day or so, it started bleeding when I scratched it. Some type of bandage was in order since we were planning a trip to the pool.

nexcare waterproof bandagesI found that Nexcare Waterproof Bandages are incredibly easy to apply and nearly invisible. The clear adhesive was super sticky and, indeed, it did stay in place after a long, sweaty walk on the greenbelt, swimming a few laps, and a shower. Because it was clinging so tightly to my wrist, I was worried that  it might be difficult to remove, but when I decided to change the bandage for a new one, peeling it off was simple and, thankfully, painless.

My son, who at the age of 12 is a self-proclaimed germaphobe, had no problem with the Nexcare Bandages sticking to a couple of owies on his hands. They wore well through swimming laps at the pool and a few rounds of hand washing as well. Again, the bandages were easy to remove and almost invisible.

The Nexcare Waterproof Bandages form a 360-degree seal around small wounds, protecting them from water, dirt, and germs, and they’re a big improvement over the traditional bandages I grew up with. That waterproof seal is an extremely important feature. I highly recommend these for every emergency kit because even small wounds and bug bites can become infected, causing a minor emergency to go from bad to worse. If a doctor or medical facilities aren’t available, it’s even more important than ever to become a germaphobe, if only temporarily!

My family and I did our best to give those Nexcare Bandages a run for their money, but our efforts pale in comparison to Nexcare Nana in her “Will It or Won’t It” campaign. This feisty grandma faces some pretty significant challenges, all to prove that these waterproof bandages have staying power against dirt, water, and germs.

Note that these are dramatized and way over-the-top product situations.

Your kids will love these videos! Check these out as she endures a face-to-face encounter with a fire hose, a dump truck, and a germ-filled dumpster.

Tips for your everyday emergencies

Always keep injuries dry and clean, replacing the bandage every day. Fortunately, with the design of Nexcare Waterproof Bandages, this is easier than with the traditional bandage design.

Store a selection of these bandages in a waterproof plastic bag and keep a few in the glove box, first aid kits, your purse, your kid’s backpack, and each emergency kit that you have on hand. As well, include some alcohol wipes for sanitizing the injured area.

Take a few minutes to teach kids, especially the younger ones, the importance of keeping an owie clean and then how to apply a Nexcare Bandage. Their design is unique and may take one or two practice sessions.

Is there a Nexcare Nana in your life?

Do you know someone as tough as Nexcare Nana? Head over to Nana’s World and nominate someone in your life that is just as daring and tough! You might win one of three trips, including swimming with sharks, skydiving, or a race car driving experience!

This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

 

 

 

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Try it Today! 8 Tips for Keeping Mosquitoes Away http://thesurvivalmom.com/8-tips-keeping-mosquitoes-away/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=8-tips-keeping-mosquitoes-away http://thesurvivalmom.com/8-tips-keeping-mosquitoes-away/#comments Sun, 15 Jun 2014 10:00:27 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15148 It is that time of the year, when those pesky mosquitoes come out. In their bloodthirsty quest, few are harmless or even useful to humanity.  There are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes all around the world, from the tropics to Read More

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8_Mosquito_tips

It is that time of the year, when those pesky mosquitoes come out. In their bloodthirsty quest, few are harmless or even useful to humanity.  There are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes all around the world, from the tropics to the arctic, but they must be able to get to water to lay their eggs.

Many are carriers of extremely harmful human and livestock diseases, such as malaria and yellow fever. Only female mosquitoes bite, and suck blood, injecting their prey with saliva that makes the blood flow easily, and causes a bite to itch.

8 Tips for Keeping Mosquitoes Away

Here are some tips to help defend, and keep the whole family protected this summer from those blood sucking nuisances. If you’re plagued with mosquitoes, try one or more of these today!

1. Sprays, bracelets, and patches. There are many options out there when it comes to sprays, bracelets, and patches. Some have natural ingredients, and others have a few added chemicals. If you select a product with the active ingredient, Deet, it is recommended to select one that contains no more than 30%. As overexposure to Deet can cause side effects. Going with a 15% deet spray, and reapplying it after the recommended application time will work fine for a long term bug protection. Also apply sparingly to exposed skin and mostly to clothing.

2. Candles, torches, and smoke. Citronella candles and infused torch oil help combat the pests. There are also incense coils that smolder and give off a fume that repels mosquitoes. If you want to keep it even more natural, try making your own dried herb bundles and burning them.

3. Electronics. There are plug-ins that you can buy for indoor use. Add one to each main living space. These work incredibly well if you live in an area where mosquitoes are overwhelming in population. Try changing outdoor light bulbs to special yellow bulbs that are less likely to attract bugs. Also turn on a fan. With the slight breeze it makes it harder for mosquitoes to navigate and land for that bite. I’ve also found a “Personal Pest Control Appliance” you may want to check out.

4. Repelling Plants. Add a few of these plants around the garden and they will help discourage mosquitoes: citronella grass, catnip, marigolds, horse mint, lemon balm, and ageratum.

5. Natural Oils. There are quite a few natural oils that mosquitoes cannot stand the smell of. The beauty of oils is you can mix and match until you find a scent that the whole family will love. Oils such as: citronella, lemon eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, catnip, basil, clove, thyme, lemongrass, geranium, grapefruit, and lavender. Add them to a diffuser or mix them into a spray.  Another plus is that some oils are also pet friendly (be sure to check with your Vet), so you can mix a spray for their coats or add a few drops to their collar.

6. Clothing and Nets. Wear long clothing that covers up as much skin as possible, but is also weather appropriate. Another great asset when you live in a heavy mosquito populated area is a mosquito net that covers the bed. Off! makes a mosquito repellant you clip to your waistband.

7. Timing. Avoid the dawn and dusk hours when mosquitoes are most active. Try to keep family and pets indoors.

8. Stop the Breeding. Mosquitoes lay eggs in water. Empty outdoor containers with standing water. Drill drain holes in trash and recycling cans. They love dark cool places, so remove any piles of rotting leaves and cut back plants such as ivy where they can hide during the day.

Being prepared for mosquito season, especially in a highly mosquito populated environment, will make a big difference when battling the blood sucking beasts. Lessen the chance of becoming live mosquito bait this summer by utilizing some of these tips. The family will thank you.

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5 Ways to Build Endurance Before SHTF http://thesurvivalmom.com/5-ways-build-endurance-shtf/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-ways-build-endurance-shtf http://thesurvivalmom.com/5-ways-build-endurance-shtf/#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 10:00:11 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=14714 As we prepare for emergencies of all levels, many of us stockpile water, food, first aid supplies and more.  What happens should those supplies run out?  What happens if the garden needs tilling and access to fuel machinery is limited Read More

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5 Ways to Build Endurance Before SHTF - The Survival Mom

As we prepare for emergencies of all levels, many of us stockpile water, food, first aid supplies and more.  What happens should those supplies run out?  What happens if the garden needs tilling and access to fuel machinery is limited or completely gone?

As Amy said in her post about running for our lives, many of us think we’ll do it what needs to be done, because, well, it now suddenly needs to be done. I believe that’s true, but I also believe many of us underestimate just how difficult that will be.

Building endurance now will make handling potential future emergencies in the future so much easier, and is so much healthier for our bodies anyway.

Endurance is more than just physical. We need to build up our mental toughness as well.  Many of us, myself included, are spoiled, and maybe a little soft, because of all our modern conveniences.

Here are 5 ways to build endurance before SHTF.  None of these will take tons of time from your busy schedule but all might be more than a little helpful in the long run.

1. Do Hard Labor

5 Ways to Build Endurance Before SHTF - The Survival MomUse a rake and a wheelbarrow to haul leaves to the compost pile. Don’t ride the lawn tractor or use the leaf blower.  Split wood with a maul instead of a gas-powered wood-splitter. Walk to the grocery store and carry your groceries home in a backpack or haul them home in a wagon. Mend clothing by hand or with a treadle machine instead of your electric one.

We all think we can do things if we have too, but they’re generally harder than we think. Building muscle, and muscle memory, now will help later and keep us healthier now. It’s much easier to stay healthy and fit than it is to become fit. Hard labor is just that, hard. However, it gets us out of our comfort zone which is important, not only for our physical endurance but our mental endurance as well.

2. Get Uncomfortable

5 Ways to Build Endurance Before SHTF - The Survival MomTurn the air-conditioning off. Feel the heat and find ways to deal with it. Don’t burn a fire on a borderline chilly day. Let’s feel, really feel, like we need to preserve our precious resources more and put on an extra layer of clothes until the sun naturally warms up the house. Skip that extra cookie.  I’m not for total deprivation, but remember that the extra cookie is a bonus, not a right.

Spend a weekend without electricity

It’s one thing to think we can handle any situation, it’s a completely different thing to experience it. Often, this particular step will help build our mental toughness as us much as our physical endurance. Take some time and get uncomfortable. And while you’re there…

3. Push Yourself

5 Ways to Build Endurance Before SHTF - The Survival Mom“Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up.  It is always tired morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired. When you were younger the mind could make you dance all night, and the body was never tired. You’ve always got to make the mind take over and keep going.”  – George Patton

Pull another row of weeds. Walk or run the extra quarter mile. Put on an extra layer of clothing and go for a short walk on the extra cold, windy day. Make your body do it. 

Don’t push until the point of injury but do realize your body is capable of a lot and that we just need to make our brains say so. There’s a giant sense of accomplishment that comes from doing this, from making our bodies do something that feels impossible or, at the very least, difficult. That sense of accomplishment builds upon itself and leads to all kinds of new ways in which we can physically and mentally handle hard labor and difficult times.

4. Rest Well

5 Ways to Build Endurance Before SHTF - The Survival MomTruly rest at the end of the day. Most of us don’t do this. We’re all trying to fit in one more thing in all of our modern busy schedules. We’re racing to sports or trying to catch up on work or putting the final touches on homework.

However, rest is important for building endurance. No matter what an athlete is training for, they understand the importance of rest days, and I maintain, that’s just as important for those of us prepping.

We need to not only give our bodies rest but our minds as well. We should use time to rest our bodies and rejuvenate with our families in the evenings. Time spent reading, playing games, working on crafts, or simply just being together instead of working more. This rests the body and the mind, and helps us…

5. Find Gratitude

5 Ways to Build Endurance Before SHTF - The Survival MomMany of us confuse hard work with drudgery. It’s hard to be grateful for drudgery. However, we can almost find gratitude in a job well done. We can find gratitude for the fact that our bodies can rake leaves and those leaves will turn into amazing compost that will feed our families.

Take time to cultivate this attitude of gratitude. Keep a journal (The Gratitude Habit: A 365 Day Journal), talk about gratitude over dinner with family, make it a part of every day and before you know it, thinking any other way will be hard to fathom.

By no means is this an exhaustive or all-inclusive way to build endurance but it is a good start for many of us.  Do you have a preferred method for building endurance?  If not, are you going to start now?

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Drink Your Vitamins! Herbal Teas for Extra Nutrition in a SHTF Scenario http://thesurvivalmom.com/herbal-teas-extra-nutrition/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=herbal-teas-extra-nutrition http://thesurvivalmom.com/herbal-teas-extra-nutrition/#comments Sat, 07 Jun 2014 10:00:23 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=14678 Many preppers make sure to have a bottle of vitamins in their emergency supplies. Vitamin pills can be a quick way to make sure you are getting your recommended daily allowance of vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals during an evacuation Read More

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Drink Herbal Tea for Extra VitaminsMany preppers make sure to have a bottle of vitamins in their emergency supplies. Vitamin pills can be a quick way to make sure you are getting your recommended daily allowance of vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals during an evacuation or short term scenario, when you may not be eating as well as usual.

But what if you were in a situation where your vitamin supplements had run out? In a long term, shelter-in-place scenario, herbs could be invaluable as an extra source of nutrients. After all, the raw ingredients can be grown in a garden or vacant lot!

Plus, herbal teas are also a great way to add a boost of extra nutrition if you are currently looking to be less reliant on bottled supplements. The herbs we will talk about here are a great source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium; and some are also high in vitamin C.

With a little creativity and effort, herbal teas can be nutritious and taste great, too!

What Herbs to Use

It’s very simple to design your own herbal tea blends. You will need a mineral-rich herb for the base, and then other herbs for flavoring or secondary benefits. Two of the best herbs to use as a base for a nutritional herbal brew are nettle and violet.  Both are common weeds in North America, so they may already be growing in your backyard. Just watch out when you harvest nettles- fresh nettles sting, but quickly lose that sting as they dry.

Be sure to use a reliable field guide when learning to recognize these plants. They are both easy to identify, but misidentifying wild plants intended as edibles can be a fatal mistake.

Nettles and violets are mild enough to be used as food, so they are safe to use on an almost daily basis. This is not true with all herbs- some of them are considered too potent for everyday use. Other herbs, besides nettle and violet, that can be used regularly include oatstraw, red raspberry leaf, alfalfa, and red clover. It’s best to switch between two or three of these base herbs every few days, because the nutrient profile of each is slightly different.

All of these herbs are very mild tasting and can be used on their own or in combinations with each other. Because they have such mild flavors, it’s very easy to add other herbs as flavorings to change things up a bit. Peppermint is usually a favorite add-in, but you can also try lemon balm for a citrus touch, a small amount of licorice as a sweetener, or hibiscus for a fruity note. I sometimes enjoy adding lavender and rose petals for a more floral blend.

For extra vitamin C, elderberry, rosehips, hawthorn, and pine needles are great choices. They all taste very good by themselves, and they can be combined with each other or any of the mineral rich herbs on the first list.

Herbal Tea Making Basics

The basic recipe for making herbal teas from leaves and flowers is to use 2 teaspoons of herbs to every 8oz of water. Bring the water to a boil in a kettle or pot, then pour the water over the herbs in a heat-safe container. Cover with a saucer or lid and allow to steep for at least ten minutes.

When you are ready to drink your tea, strain out the leaves by pouring through a coffee filter, piece of clean cloth, or fine mesh sieve. I often use a special mesh “spoon” that allows me to brew the tea and then simply remove the strainer when I’m finished.

A study done on the mineral content of herbal teas in 2008, and published in the journal, Food Chemistry, discovered that ten to fifteen minutes is the optimum range for extracting most minerals. That being said, it’s not uncommon for traditional herbalists to allow their infusions to soak for 30 minutes or more (even overnight) if they are looking for a nutrition boosting brew.

I find that the longer soaking time works best for the single herbs mentioned above, rather than blends. Some of the herbs used for flavoring in a blend may lose their flavor or become bitter if left overnight. The milder base herbs don’t usually have that problem, and actually seem to be much stronger and better tasting with a longer brewing time.

Nettle, especially, is often made in the evening and left to its own devices overnight to provide a healthy, deep green drink for breakfast. I wrote an article about making an overnight infusion with violet leaf and flowers here. It is a little more unusual, but, at least  in my experience, has been just as good.

Four Blends to Get You Started

Here are four of my favorite homemade blends. All of these tea blends are fine for children as well as adults. Rather than give specific measurements in cups or tablespoons, I’ve chosen to provide each recipe in parts.

You can measure out each blend in whatever amount makes sense for you. Perhaps try using a tablespoon to measure for your first batch, and then make a larger batch using a one cup measure if you enjoy it. Your tea blends will keep best if stored in a sealed container in a cool, dark place.

Oatstraw with Rosepetals and Lavender
This blend is three parts oatstraw, one part rose petals, and lavender buds to taste. I like this blend on days when I’m feeling stressed. Oatstraw is a traditional herb for nourishing the nervous system, and rose and lavender are also good for supporting mood and healthy stress levels. I like this tea warm, with honey.

Nettle and Peppermint

A blend of equal parts nettle and peppermint. This is one of my favorites in the summer, when the peppermint is extra refreshing. I usually enjoy this one chilled or on ice with a little honey.

Violet leaf with Elderberry and Rosehips

This blend is three parts violet leaf, one part each of elderberries and rosehips. The elderberries and rosehips make this a very fruity blend. It is somewhat tart on it’s own, or honey can be used to sweeten it. It’s good either warm or cold.

Red Clover, Nettle, and Rosehips

A blend of equal parts of all three herbs. This is another tea that’s good either warm or cold. The rosehips give it a tart flavor that can be enhanced with a squeeze of lemon or toned down with a little honey.

The best thing about drinking tea for your vitamins is there’s no pill to swallow, and in dire circumstances, where obtaining multi-vitamins and nutritional supplements may not be possible, knowing how to make nutritious herbal teas may give you a vital boost to your health.

 

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14 Uses for grapefruit essential oil http://thesurvivalmom.com/10-uses-grapefruit-essential-oils/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=10-uses-grapefruit-essential-oils http://thesurvivalmom.com/10-uses-grapefruit-essential-oils/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 17:00:37 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=14756 I love grapefruit essential oil and just ordered a bottle for myself. If you’d like to learn more about this particular oil*, here are 14 uses: 14. For a hangover, breathe in the aroma of the oil. 13. Grapefruit essential Read More

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grapefruit-slices-camp-stockI love grapefruit essential oil and just ordered a bottle for myself. If you’d like to learn more about this particular oil*, here are 14 uses:

14. For a hangover, breathe in the aroma of the oil.

13. Grapefruit essential oil is rich in the antioxidant d-limonene, which is can support your body’s natural defenses. Add a drop or two to your drinking water, sparkling water, or even to lemon-lime soda.

12. Diffuse to promote a cheery, summertime ambiance.

11. Add a drop of grapefruit oil to a mug of warm water to help with digestive issues.

10. Inhale out of the bottle as a natural mood booster.

9. Diffuse to help promote alertness at your desk, in your bedroom in the morning to help wake up, and in kids’ rooms about 30 minutes before wake-up time.
8. Add a couple of drops to the water bottle you drink from during the day for a continual energy boost.
7. Inhale or diffuse to help enhance memory.  Shown to help with Alzheimer’s.
6. For swollen feet and ankles, apply on site either neat or diluted with coconut oil.
5. To help get rid of cellulite, apply topically neat or diluted with coconut oil.
4. Make a homemade sugar scrub with grapefruit oil.
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. cold-pressed vegetable oil (avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil)
Add 6 drops of grapefruit oil right before using and mix in.
Use in the bath and shower to exfoliate, nourish, moisturize, and tone the skin.
3. To help promote weight loss, add a few drops of grapefruit oil to drinking water (use glass containers) and drink.  Grapefruit oil not only helps dissolve cellulite when applied topically, but helps detoxify and shrink fat cells!
2. Another way to use grapefruit oil to help with weight loss is to fill a veggie or gelatin capsule with grapefruit oil and take 1 daily during a cleanse or for a couple of weeks.  Be aware that grapefruit is a natural diuretic and you will pee a lot!

1.  Replace toxic beverages such as sodas and aspartame-laden “weight loss” drinks with grapefruit oil in your water.  Delicious flavor, helps the body detoxify, zero calories.

 

*After using essential oils for 6 years, I finally became a wholesale customer with Young Living, whose oils I first began using many years ago. If you would like to visit my Young Living website to learn more, click here. If you’d like to become a wholesale customer yourself, with no obligation to buy, sell, or sign up new customers, click here.

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