The Survival Mom » Preparedness http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:54:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Book Review: Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide by Jim Cobb http://thesurvivalmom.com/book-review-preppers-long-term-survival-guide-jim-cobb/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=book-review-preppers-long-term-survival-guide-jim-cobb http://thesurvivalmom.com/book-review-preppers-long-term-survival-guide-jim-cobb/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:54:16 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13654 Prepping is kind of fun. Watching survival shows on TV is fun. What’s not so much fun is thinking about scenarios in which hand-to-mouth survival is something that goes on for years, not just a few days or weeks. Addressing Read More

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Jim Cobb bookPrepping is kind of fun. Watching survival shows on TV is fun. What’s not so much fun is thinking about scenarios in which hand-to-mouth survival is something that goes on for years, not just a few days or weeks.

Addressing these types of scenarios is author and preparedness expert Jim Cobb’s latest work, Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide. This well-written manual addresses each of these worst case scenarios in the first chapter. None of them are far-fetched, and among those mentioned are:

  • Pandemics — Ebola, anyone? It’s spread into African cities and could go much further.
  • Famine — Drought, food shortages and rising prices, flooded farmland have all been historic causes of famines around the globe. This scenario could happen right here in what was once the world’s breadbasket.
  • Economic collapse — This scenario absolutely could happen here.
  • New Madrid earthquake — This would devastate an enormous segment of the United States and would impact all of us.
  • EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) — Whether caused by solar activity, cyber-terrorism, or a nuclear detonation, this would wipe out our electric grid for years.

Recovery from any of these events would take years, and our nation would never be the same. Could your family survive the aftermath, and for how long?

Jim provides answers to those questions as well as a general blueprint to follow. You’ll need to have supplies and plans in place for:

  • Water — storing, purifying, filtering
  • Food — procuring, preserving
  • Medicine — over the counter meds, prescription meds, if you can still get them, and home remedies
  • Hygiene — bathing, laundry, toilets
  • Staying warm in the winter, cool enough in the summer
  • Security
  • Tools — which are most useful?
  • Entertainment — morale boosting will be important
  • Bartering
  • Setting up a survival community

From my own research and experiences, this pretty well covers it!

In Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide, Jim provides a multitude of helpful tips in each of these categories. The book isn’t meant to be a complete study on any given topic, but instead provides general guidelines, tips, and even numerous DIY projects, requiring cheap supplies.

I picked up tips for building a rain barrel system, cleaning my cast iron cookware, and saving t-shirts to use later for wound dressings. Jim also explains how to sanitize those t-shirts in case I run out of the packaged dressings in my first aid kit.

Over the years I’ve found Jim’s advice on his blog and other books to be sound, practical, and budget-friendly. This book continues that same down-to-earth tradition and is an enjoyable read. His writing style is pleasant and conversational, even when tackling difficult subjects, such as how deep to bury a corpse!

Readers will appreciate the numerous checklists and thorough coverage of everything to consider when considering a true end-of-the-world event.

I am honored that Jim asked me to write the forward for Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide, and for him to be one of the contributing writers here at The Survival Mom.

 

 

 

 

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9 Must-Haves for your Glove Box http://thesurvivalmom.com/items-glove-box-trunk/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=items-glove-box-trunk http://thesurvivalmom.com/items-glove-box-trunk/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:17:33 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13448 by John Heatherly Attitude is the most important survival skill.  Objective setting and critical thinking are next.  Quality gear, especially gear that is within arm’s reach, can be a force multiplier (a force multiplier is defined as “capability that, when Read More

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by John Heatherly

Attitude is the most important survival skill.  Objective setting and critical thinking are next.  Quality gear, especially gear that is within arm’s reach, can be a force multiplier (a force multiplier is defined as “capability that, when added to and employed by a force, significantly increases the potential of that force and thus enhances the probability of successful mission accomplishment.”)

The following  items can easily fit in the glove box of an automobile.

1) Road Atlas/Printed Maps

2014_ebook_screenshot_2.480x480-75

Smart phones, tablets, and GPS devices are effective, and should be carried. Paper maps and atlases should be carried as well, as networks can go down, and batteries can die.  Why not have an atlas or map of the area you are living in or traveling through?

2) Wrist Compass

Suunto-M-9-3395

This tiny item (by Suunto) can be a confidence-builder and a life-saver! While the ability to read and navigate a terrain map is recommended, the addition of a wrist compass like the one pictured can enable a person to at least lead, follow, or embark on an emergency heading.

3) Headlamp

petzl-myo-rxp-headlamp

A small headlamp takes up very little space and can be worn while working or walking.  Imagine the benefit of having both hands available to work, rather than needing a “flash light holder.”

4) Water Purification Straw

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A number of “life straws” are available on the market. The one pictured above produced by NDUR, filters 25 gallons, and stores in a pocket.

5) Folding Knife and Fire-Starter

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Tool-Logic designed this multi-use survival tool that can clip to a belt or fit in a pocket. We also like the Swedish Fire Knife, which, because of it’s bright colors, shows up very well in a dark glove box.

6) Alcohol Swabs

SWAB

Alcohol swabs can be used to clean cuts and scrapes, of course, and they also make excellent fire-starters.  Use the Tool-Logic knife mentioned above to spark an alcohol swab as tinder.

7) Pepper Spray

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Pepper spray is sometimes controversial as a weapon for use in defense against human assailants, though I recommend it.  It works great against animals as well, as I have seen it stop a dog from approaching a stroller!

8) Face Mask

FamilyPak_fanned_thumb-300x166

This addition may seem odd, but what if you were in an area with wildfires burning or a huge dust storm? There are numerous scenarios in which air becomes difficult and even dangerous to breathe. Something like the Readi-Mask, highly recommended by Survival Mom, could save a life.

9) Ziploc Bag

800px-Ziplock

Lastly, a Ziploc bag can be added to the glove box, as an impromptu means of carrying the other items, or even as a water collection device (for water to be purified with a life straw.)

Bonus items! Blackhawk makes a Stash Pack and a Stash-Away Duffel. Both can be stored as a small bundle about the size of a can of soup, then unpacked in a hurry if necessary. While perhaps a little big to place in the glove box with the other items, these can be hidden in a car then deployed for a quick exit.

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About John Heatherly: John’s love for the wilderness and literature began early in life when his parents introduced him to authors such as C.S. Lewis, Louis L’Amour, and Robert Louis Stevenson. He has studied at Tom Brown Jr.’s TrackerSchool and served in the military as a Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (S.E.R.E.) instructor. John is the author of The Survival Template and The Cave and The Sea, a Novel. He’s also the creator of the MINDPREPS System.

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The #1 reason all your preparedness could be in vain http://thesurvivalmom.com/prepping-fail/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=prepping-fail http://thesurvivalmom.com/prepping-fail/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:23:54 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13678 Not to be confused with failing to prepare, this statement may cause some head scratching. Stick with me here to see what I mean. Your completed bug out bags are ready by the door. Food is stored for the long term Read More

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Stephen prepperNot to be confused with failing to prepare, this statement may cause some head scratching. Stick with me here to see what I mean.

Your completed bug out bags are ready by the door. Food is stored for the long term and secured. You have water filters, gear, and gadgets out the wazoo. Sitting in your home, you feel pretty good about all you have accomplished. You should! You invested a lot of time, energy, organizing, research, and money so you and your family can make it through unforeseen circumstances.

You can handle economic collapse, EMP, solar flares, even natural disasters common to your area. You read books on handling the call for martial law, protecting yourself and preps from looters, gangs, or hungry neighbors. You have done everything you can think of. So why would you fail?

The #1 reason all your preparedness could be in vain

You may have all the gadgets and hoarded supplies to live off grid for years, but unless you have the skills and practice to use them or even start a fire, you will likely fail. There is more to building a fire than simply stacking wood and using a lighter. There is more to purifying water than knowing to filter and boil it to make it safe for consumption.

How about your fancy first aid kit? It may be rated for an EMT, but unless you know how to use the stuff inside, it is almost worthless. You could make things worse by not knowing how to use your gear or assess a chaotic situation with calm logic.

These things take time. Skills are not learned overnight and becoming familiar, let alone proficient, with a piece of equipment or gear takes more than one use.

Before you get overwhelmed by the prospect of learning everything needed to really survive a SHTF or disaster situation, these four (4) skills cover the most basic of human needs so you survive to fight another day. A human needs shelter, water, food, and warmth to survive. Once you pick one of the four skills, YouTube and the internet can help you get started.

Shelter building

You may have the most expensive, sturdy tent that money can buy. Do you know how to put it up? Can you read the ground to see where water may flow in a downpour? What if you do not even have a tarp to use? Can you use the material around you (or in the woods) to build a shelter?

Learning how to set up your tent and several ways of making serviceable, if crude, shelter is important. This skill alone will make you will much more confident no matter where you are. Take a few minutes to watch a few videos and then practice the skills. Better yet, make it a fun family event. The kids help you build a ‘natural fort’ they can play in.

Starting a Fire

This one seems like a no-brainer to most people today. In our marvelous modern age, there are so many ways to start a fire that people have forgotten you can actually rub sticks together to start one. No one wants to use that method of course, but there is still an art to starting a sustainable fire. A cooking fire is different than a fire for heat, which is still different than banking a fire so it will not go out at night.

It takes practice to understand how a fire burns and what it needs. I remember my little brother on a camping trip when he was 8 or 9. Mom let him start the fire. He piled layers of paper and kindling into the fire pit and used a lighter to get it going. Within minutes, the fire was out and there was only a small burned area in the middle.

What went wrong? He had everything he needed, right? Wrong. He did not have the skills to properly stack the kindling and tinder so it would breathe right; he did not have the skills to ‘read’ the fire because he hadn’t been allowed to do it very often. It takes practice, plain and simple.

Water Purification

It amazes me how many people think either filtering or boiling water make it safe. You must do both to be absolutely certain the water is safe. The Rule of Threes tells us you cannot live without water more than 3 days, but that is climate dependent. Being in the desert requires more water than surviving in the Pacific Northwest.

Do you know the best sources for water? Do you have the skills to actually use your filter and then boil the water? Do you know how long to boil for? What if you do not have a working water filter, do you know how to make one? Learn a basic technique, then go practice!

Food

You have 3 month’s worth of MREs all set and secured. You have dehydrated goodies besides and bags of rice, beans, sugar, and flour in Mylar bags. Great! Do you know how to use those staples once the MREs are gone? Can you cook with just those items? On top of that, do you know how to cook over a fire?

Personally, I researched recipes that use very basic ingredients but still taste good, and are nutritious and filling. The only way to ensure “tastes good” for your family is,  you guessed it, to actually make and eat them.

Warmth

Warmth ties into the others. Fire and shelter help keep you going. Staying warm and dry is vitally important for both your physical and your mental health. With all the blankets, sleeping bags, and clothing available to keep you warm, do you know how to keep warm without them – without a sleeping bag? Shelter and fire placement will help with that.
All of the above is to help get you thinking about the bigger picture in manageable chunks. As you work through the list, you may find that some of the gadgets and gear you have is redundant and that can be a good thing. Having back ups and back up plans are absolutely vital. Being prepared is a backup plan in itself!LeAnn in Alaska lives in beautiful Southeast Alaska with her husband, 2 dogs and 2 cats. Follow along as she works to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle and learn the skills that go along with it. In addition to writing for Survival Mom, you can find her on Facebook or on her blog, Homestead Dreamer.

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Product Review: The no-batteries-necessary UVPaqlite http://thesurvivalmom.com/product-review-batteries-necessary-uvpaqlite/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=product-review-batteries-necessary-uvpaqlite http://thesurvivalmom.com/product-review-batteries-necessary-uvpaqlite/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:59:33 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13641 Just yesterday afternoon I sent my son on a search for 3 AAA batteries for my headlamp. It was time for my CERT class and I wanted to make sure I had a bright work light after sundown. Eventually he Read More

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UVPaqlite

Click image for larger view.

Just yesterday afternoon I sent my son on a search for 3 AAA batteries for my headlamp. It was time for my CERT class and I wanted to make sure I had a bright work light after sundown.

Eventually he found the batteries, and therein lies the problem with almost every emergency light source in the house. Batteries.

They die and need to be replaced, which requires a steady stream of purchases. If they’re re-chargeable, they have to be charged — when you remember to charge them!

The answer to this dilemma is a light source that never requires batteries, and that would be UVPaqlite.

Products from UVPaqlite never need batteries. Not ever. From their GloStick to their UVO Necklace, their products provide a constant, steady glow for many hours, far longer than any glow stick.

How does it work?

Each UVPaqlite product is made of a combination of 3 all-natural elements, strontium, aluminum, and europium. These elements are safe and there’s no worry if children handle them. In fact, they’ll go nuts over the magical lights, which is why I highly recommend the UVO Necklace or UV GloStick in every kid’s emergency kit.

The natural elements combine to create a glowing light when exposed to a light source. That source can be just a minute in the sun, a couple of minutes exposed to a flashlight, or 10 minutes in ambient light. The more intense the source, the quicker the charge.

Once charged, the UVPaqlite is ready to go. When they aren’t in use, the glow will diminish, so I recommend hanging one on the outside of an emergency kit or backpack, so it’s charged when you need it. I keep one right by my computer monitor for those nights when I’m burning the midnight oil and need just a bit of light.

A different Paqlite for different needs

UVPaqlite is a small, family owned business, and over the years they have developed a wide variety of products based on this unique, patent pending technology.

The UVO Necklace is particularly good for kids and pets. Attach it to your dog’s collar when you’re in the wilderness, and they’ll be easy to spot. Attach the necklace to the zipper pull on an emergency kit, tuck it into your kid’s school backpack, and place one by their bedside for an always-ready nightlight. As of this writing, the UVO Necklace is just $4.95 each.

I own one of the large UVPaqlites. This is a flattened, sealed bag that has more surface area than a glo sticks and can provide a broader area of light. One of these is handy in a tent, and rolled up, it takes up very little room. I keep mine in the glove compartment of the Tahoe, and it’s been a good light source within that small area.

When the power’s out in the neighborhood, it’s amazing how dark it can be. Even maneuvering around a familiar house can become a challenge. Glow in the Dark Spots (GIDS) can be attached anywhere to provide illumination along a hallway (place them a couple of feet apart along the baseboard), on each step on a staircase, or anywhere in the house where there’s a step up or a step down into another room. The last thing you need on such a night is a sprained ankle!

Is the flashlight extinct?

You’ll still want a good LED flashlight in your emergency kit and around the house for times when a bright spotlight is needed. UVPaqlite products provide a constant, steady glow useful for overall, ambient lighting. But unlike the flashlight, these will never need batteries and can be reused over and over again. A single purchase will provide a light source that will be handy and ready for use indefinitely.

Check it out in person!

I bought my UVPaqlites last year at a prepper expo in California. You can find the UVPaqlite at survival and prepper events around the country. Click here to see their current schedule.

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Product Review: The Abeego Wrap, something a little different for your emergency kits http://thesurvivalmom.com/product-review-abeego-wrap-something-little-different-emergency-kits/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=product-review-abeego-wrap-something-little-different-emergency-kits http://thesurvivalmom.com/product-review-abeego-wrap-something-little-different-emergency-kits/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 16:35:11 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13625 Thanks to Earth Easy, I’ve been playing around with a new product called the Abeego Wrap. The Abeego Wrap is a natural alternative to plastic wraps, such as Saran, and plastic storage bags. The Abeego is a flat piece that Read More

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abeego-multi-wrap-webThanks to Earth Easy, I’ve been playing around with a new product called the Abeego Wrap. The Abeego Wrap is a natural alternative to plastic wraps, such as Saran, and plastic storage bags.

The Abeego is a flat piece that resembles canvas, but it’s made of beeswax, jojoba oil, hemp, cotton, and tree resin. It can be wrapped and fitted around any number of objects. In my kitchen, it became the designated onion-wrapper whenever we had an unused piece of onion. In spite of this use, the Abeego didn’t retain the smell or flavor of onion and we used it with other foods.

Because it’s so sturdy, I expect mine to last for a very long time.

I’ve been using the Abeego Wrap, which is, incidentally, very attractive in an all-natural way. Mine has purple stitching on one side, two round purple buttons, and a purple cord that can be used to help secure the Wrap. Abeego Flats are also available and are demonstrated in this video:

In your emergency kit, the Abeego could be used to wrap anything damp, partially eaten food, or used as a sort of envelope to enclose several smaller items. It could be slipped into a diaper bag, backpack, or purse, and would be helpful to have when camping. Think of it as a Zip-Loc bag or a roll of Saran Wrap that you can use over and over and over.

Wash the Abeego with warm, soapy water; it’s not dishwasher safe.

For more product reviews, click here.

This article contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting The Survival Mom blog, newsletter, and podcast network with your purchases.

 

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Last week’s Greatest Hits on The Survival Mom Radio Network http://thesurvivalmom.com/last-weeks-greatest-hits-survival-mom-radio-network/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=last-weeks-greatest-hits-survival-mom-radio-network http://thesurvivalmom.com/last-weeks-greatest-hits-survival-mom-radio-network/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13256 Last week I had the opportunity to interview 2 fascinating guests, taking a look at 2 potential worst case scenarios: a mini Ice Age and a nuclear event. David Archibald is the author of Twilight of Abundance and has a Read More

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Last week I had the opportunity to interview 2 fascinating guests, taking a look at 2 potential worst case scenarios: a mini Ice Age and a nuclear event.

Worst Case ScenarioDavid Archibald is the author of Twilight of Abundance and has a varied background as a scientist in oil exploration, energy, and climate science. He bases his climate research on a number of factors, but solar activity is his main focus in this interview. We talked about how our sun is at one of its lowest levels of activity in many decades and how similar periods in the past led to ice ages. He also addresses global warming and why he believes it’s one of the biggest hoaxes in history.

Click here for the interview —> http://bit.ly/1emNwrh

My second interview was with Janet Liebsch who, with her husband, is the author of It’s a Disaster…and what are you going to do about it? This all-purpose guide to multiple disasters was one of the first I read when I began learning about preparedness. I wanted to talk with Janet about potential nuclear disasters because she constantly has her ear to the ground where current disasters and research is concerned. In this interview we discuss Fukushima and try to separate fact from fiction and in the second half, she shares tips for surviving a nuclear event.

To listen to my interview with Janet, click here —> http://bit.ly/QYoJVq

Here are links to those 2 shows as well as all the others in our network. Give a listen to a new host this week! You just might find a new favorite!


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Medical basics: Wound infections http://thesurvivalmom.com/medical-basics-wound-infections/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=medical-basics-wound-infections http://thesurvivalmom.com/medical-basics-wound-infections/#comments Sat, 05 Apr 2014 18:12:54 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13455 Guest post by by Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones of www.doomandbloom.net As a physician, I have on occasion dealt with infected wounds, sometimes from injury and also after surgical procedures. In a survival setting, most wounds will be contaminated Read More

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Guest post by by Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones of www.doomandbloom.net

image by TimmyGUNZ

image by TimmyGUNZ

As a physician, I have on occasion dealt with infected wounds, sometimes from injury and also after surgical procedures. In a survival setting, most wounds will be contaminated with debris, dirt, and bacteria.  Therefore, anyone who will be medically responsible after a disaster occurs may expect to deal with wound infections.  The ability to recognize and treat infected injuries will be an important one to have in times of trouble.

 

Recognizing a wound infection

 

The human body is a miracle of engineering.  Our immune system probably nips many contaminations in the bud, but a body under stress sometimes can’t effectively fight germs. This explains why certain people, such as diabetics, are so prone to wound infections.  The elderly are especially susceptible.
Your skin is its own ecosystem, with bacteria that naturally live there, such as Staph. Epidermidis. When the immune system fails to recognize and fight an infection, even “normal” skin bacteria can invade deep wounds and cause serious damage.  Delays in healing and even invasion of the circulation can lead to life-threatening conditions.

 

To identify an infected wound, look for these signs:

 

  •         Redness around the edges which spreads over time
  •         Swelling around the wound, sometimes appearing shiny
  •         Warmth in the area of the wound compared to other parts of the body
  •         Pain out of proportion to the size of the wound
  •         Drainage of fluid or pus from the wound, which can have a foul odor
  •         Lack of healing over time

 

Red, swollen, warm skin around the wound is referred to as “Cellulitis”.  If the wound is deep enough, the bone and its marrow can become infected, which is known as “Osteomyelitis”.  Once the bacteria invades the circulation, the entire body is affected. We called this “Septocemia” or “Sepsis”. Septic patients or those with osteomyelitis commonly have fevers to go along with the above-listed signs and symptoms.

Preventing Wound Infections

 

Proper wound care and frequent dressing changes are the cornerstones to preventing wound infections. In the healing process, new cells fill in an open wound by a process known as “Granulation”.  These new cells need a moist environment for rapid growth, and so any deep wound should have a sterile moist (not soaking wet) bandage.
Although  iodine or saline solutions are often used to moisten the bandage, recent evidence suggests that sterilized drinkable water is probably as good or better. The moist bandage is then covered with a dry dressing. Oftentimes, triple antibiotic cream is applied to the skin (only) before taping the dressing into place.  Mark the bandage with the time and date it was placed.
Wound dressings should be changed at least once or twice daily. Sanitary precautions such as hand-washing, sterilized instruments, and glove usage will significantly decrease the risks of infection.

 

Treating Wound Infections

 

The most common cause of serious wound infections is the bacteria Staph. Aureus, although Group A Strep, Pseudomonas, and various intestinal bacteria are other micro-organisms commonly seen. An especially troublesome form of Staph. Aureus has shown resistant to the usual antibiotics used.  This is called Methicillin Resistant Staph. Aureus, better known to the public as MRSA.  Once only seen in hospital-based infections, this resistant micro-organism is now seen in the general population.

 

It’s important to not let a wound infection become severe because these are difficult to cure without IV antibiotics. For mild to moderate infections, consider some of the following antibiotics:

 

  •         Bactrim (Bird-Sulfa)
  •         Clindamycin (Fish-Cin)
  •         Doxycycline (Bird-Biotic)
  •         Cephalexin (Fish-Flox)

 

To find out more about these antibiotics and othersas well as dosages, and indications, check out our series of articles on the subject at doomandbloom.net or check out a print or digital copy of the Second Edition of our book “The Survival Medicine Handbook”.

 

There is more to prevention and treatment of wound infections than was covered in this article.  What tips do YOU have for dealing with this important issue?

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How to be as scary as hell in less than 5 seconds http://thesurvivalmom.com/scary-hell-less-5-seconds/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=scary-hell-less-5-seconds http://thesurvivalmom.com/scary-hell-less-5-seconds/#comments Sat, 05 Apr 2014 13:40:35 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13437 As a new college graduate, I toiled for five long years in the underbelly of public education: the middle school. Although I loved my job and students, I was a mere 7 or 8 years older than some of my Read More

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image by Sarah G.

image by Sarah G.

As a new college graduate, I toiled for five long years in the underbelly of public education: the middle school. Although I loved my job and students, I was a mere 7 or 8 years older than some of my students and more than a few inches shorter.

I had to quickly learn how to take control of a situation and let every student know that this short little teacher, fresh out of college, could handle anything. I learned how to give The Stare.

Now, you may think that giving someone, “the stink eye”, or, “the evil eye”, is a matter of scrunching up your face, squinting  your eyes, and curling your lip. In fact, to truly scare the hell out of someone with just a look, it’s a matter of doing none of that.

Instead, learn to relax every facial muscle.

You do this naturally when you’re laying down resting or sleeping. Every muscle in your face is completely relaxed. Now, just learn to relax those same muscles quickly while you’re standing up.

Practice in front of a mirror. You’ll know you’ve got it right when you have “dead eyes.” Lower your chin just a tad for an even more threatening, maniacal look.

I’ve done this with my kids on a number of occasions and it completely freaks them out.  My daughter tells me I look like a zombie.

It’s a lot easier to maintain this expression for a long period of time than it is to maintain a sneer, squint, or face scrunch for those times when you need a prolonged stare to get your message across.

If you ever have to confront someone because you feel threatened, this is the look you want to have on your face: devoid of expression, scary as hell.

Remember, every muscle has to be relaxed. This takes practice but after a while, you’ll be able to switch from your normal facial expression to this one in a matter of a second or two.

When you think you’ve perfected this new skill, try it out on someone you love and report back to us their reaction.

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DIY Survival: Make a Buddy Burner http://thesurvivalmom.com/diy-survival-make-buddy-burner/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=diy-survival-make-buddy-burner http://thesurvivalmom.com/diy-survival-make-buddy-burner/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 08:05:24 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13438 By contributing writer, Jim Cobb. There are many ways to heat food during an grid-down emergency.  Most of them, though, such as gas grills, rocket stoves, and camp stoves, aren’t suitable for indoor use.  This can be a problem given Read More

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Buddy Burner

By contributing writer, Jim Cobb.

There are many ways to heat food during an grid-down emergency.  Most of them, though, such as gas grills, rocket stoves, and camp stoves, aren’t suitable for indoor use.  This can be a problem given that many emergencies that cause the grid to go down are weather related…the type of weather where you really don’t want to be standing outside and flipping burgers on the grill.

Buddy burners are a cool DIY project that give you an excellent tool for heating food indoors.  Granted, you won’t be preparing Thanksgiving dinner with one but they work quite well for warming a can of soup or stew, as well as heating water for coffee or tea.

To make a Buddy Burner, you’ll need the following:

  • Corrugated cardboard
  • A box cutter or sharp knife
  • An empty and clean tuna or cat food can
  • A pile of old crayons or broken candles
  • An empty and clean soup can

Start by having your kids peel the paper off the old crayons or breaking the candles into small chunks.  While they’re doing that, take a small pot, fill it with a couple inches of water, and start it heating on the stove.

Put the wax from the crayons or candles into the soup can, filling it about halfway or so.  Place the can into the hot water, keeping the burner low.  You don’t really need the water to boil, just at a simmer.  What you’ve done here is create a primitive double boiler.  The water will heat and melt the wax, while the can prevents everything from getting messy.  Put one of your kids in charge of stirring the melting wax with a twig you picked up outside while you work on the other parts of this project.

Using the box cutter or knife, cut the corrugated cardboard into strips.  The width of the strips should be just slightly less than the depth of the tuna can.  Also, the cardboard should be cut across the corrugation, meaning along the long sides of each strip you should be able to see through the small “tubes” of paper to the other side.  I wish I could give you an exact measurement of how many inches of strips you’ll need but it varies.  Safe to say, though, you’ll need more than you probably think.

Begin placing the cardboard into the tuna can, wrapping the strips along the inner walls.  Be careful as the inside rim of the can may be sharp.  Keep adding strips, going around and around in ever smaller circles, until the entire can is filled with the cardboard.  When filled, looking down into the can you’ll see nothing but what appears to be a spiral of small holes.

By now, the wax should be completely melted.  Using an oven mitt because the can may be hot, pour the melted wax into the tuna can, filling all of those little holes in the cardboard.  If you run out of wax before the tuna can is full, just melt some more and add to it.

Let the buddy burner sit for a while to allow the wax to cool and harden.

To use, you simply light a match and use it to light the wax.  I’ve found if I hold a lit match just a bit above the wax, letting the wax melt a bit, then placing the match right onto that puddle works well.  It doesn’t take long before you’ll have a good flame rising up from the burner.

Now, you can’t just place your soup pot directly on the burner, of course, as that will smother the flame (not to mention get melted wax all over the bottom of the pot).  What I do is grab either a couple of small bricks or a few large rocks and bring them inside.  Placing the bricks on either side of the burner, or putting the rocks in a triangle around it, gives you a place to rest your pot, suspending it above the flame.  The buddy burner will burn for a long time, plenty long enough for a pot of soup or to boil water.

To extinguish the flame after you’re done cooking, take a square of aluminum foil and crimp it down over the top of the burner.  Alternatively, you could plate a pot lid over it.

 

Jim  Cobb is a Disaster Readiness Consultant and author of Prepper’s Home Defense, The Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Readiness, and Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide. His websites are Survival Weekly and Disaster Prep Consultants.

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A Single Survival Mom’s Essential Tool Kit http://thesurvivalmom.com/supplies-specifically-single-survival-mom/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=supplies-specifically-single-survival-mom http://thesurvivalmom.com/supplies-specifically-single-survival-mom/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 08:28:05 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13418 Guest post by Kris A.  My imagined scenarios for potential problems have always had one assumption in common: my husband would be right beside me sharing the workload.  But last year he fell off a roof and fractured his spine Read More

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Guest post by Kris A. 

My imagined scenarios for potential problems have always had one assumption in common: my husband would be right beside me sharing the workload.  But last year he fell off a roof and fractured his spine while attaching a tarp to the roof.

tool box picmonkeyHe fully recovered within a year, but that really woke me up to a dismal contingent:  What if he was sick, injured, or didn’t make it home right away?  Could I really do the day-to-day business of providing for two kids on my own?  I hope I never have to find out.  But if I had to, what simple tools could I procure now to make that a little easier?  Here are some preps  I’ve added with that in mind:

LED head lamp—Doing dishes in the dark? Searching the basement for preps during a power outage? Soooo much easier if you have both hands free. (And the kids can actually help instead of just holding the flashlight!)  Better yet, they only get to wear the headlamp if they’re directly involved in the task.  I can hear them begging to help already.

Wallet-friendly multi-tool—After “American Blackout” showed kids stranded in the elevator, I realized my awesome bug-out bag would do me no good in the trunk; I needed more in my purse.  Then I found a multi-tool that fits in my wallet just like a credit card.  Lots of uses and virtually no weight, husband not required.  And another lightweight addition…

Solar-powered flashlight—I clipped it to the purse strap so it doesn’t take up any room, and it gets sporadic sunlight.  No batteries necessary. E-bay and Amazon also haves several key chain varieties, but I liked this one.

Staple gun—If you had to quickly secure a tarp to your roof or black-out curtains to your windows, I think this would come in pretty handy.  I picked one up for less than ten bucks and then bought an extra box of staples for about $3.  I like that it doesn’t take a lot of muscle to use it, too.

Knife sharpener—Hubby usually takes care of the tools, and we sort of assumed I would be handling most of the food preparation in dire circumstances.  Those meat knives are my tools, and I want them in tip-top condition.  I figured I’d better be able to sharpen them myself.

Zip ties—I’ve already used these to reinforce the chicken pen and the garden fence.  If I’m fending for the family on my own, this might be like having an extra set of hands around to help me “hold it all together.”

Spray paint—If I need to conceal something in a hurry, signal for help, mark belongings for each child, color-code preps, or leave a permanent message behind, this should do the trick.  What could be easier than one-handed application?

Work gloves—I’m almost ashamed to admit I didn’t already have these.  But these delicate hands are not accustomed to chopping wood or carrying heavy loads.  And if I only had my two hands, a couple of fists full of blisters could be a major catastrophe.  I think I’ll hide them, though, until I absolutely can’t talk my way out of using them.

Wheels—Whether it’s a wheelbarrow, a dolly, or the kids’ Radio Flyer, I would definitely need help lugging around firewood and buckets of hand-pumped water from the well.  Maybe I should get some weightlifting equipment in the meantime.

5-Hour Energy—I hate this stuff. I used it once on a drive-through-the-night-while-the-kids-are-sleeping vacation, and I hated that “buzzed” feeling.  But if I’m the only security detail—or even if hubby is around and we’re taking turns doing night watch—I’ll definitely need help staying awake.  Sam’s sells it by the case, and I’ll never be tempted to open it prematurely.

I have so much respect for you single moms who do it yourself on a daily basis.  Please share your wisdom by posting a comment below.  What tools and/or supplies would you add to this list?

 

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