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There are great concerns about possible Ebola pandemic spreading outside Africa, media is bombarding us with this information. We also have ongoing discussion with interesting updates on our forum.
You can read all sorts of information online, like possible reasons for fast spreading in Africa including religious beliefs and rituals there where people handled bodies without proper knowledge, contributing to the fast spreading. They also say that lack of general knowledge about diseases, hygiene and eating bush meat along with lack of training of local medical professionals caused the mess. Interesting to read, no doubt.
They also say that there is no way of some doomsday scenario of sick person getting onto regular flight, contaminating everyone, because it spreads through body fluids only etc.
All good info, but somewhere at the end of article there is one sentence that goes like this: „… so there is clearly no reason for panic…“
As I said few times before, whenever someone from government, law enforcement, or similar says „no reason for panic“ I get strong urge to buy more ammo (food, water, gas masks…).
OK, I’m a burned man and had bad experience from listening to similar statements, if you are member of my course you know what kind of messages we heard even in days before we were surrounded in the city with no way out.
Just use common sense here. Would media really ever say it is time to panic? It is time to prepare? No. This would cause chaos and some people would overreact. Not show up to work anymore, this could lead to collapse itself. People do not think for themselves anymore so media to certain degree has to always calm people down. It is how the system works.
Panic is bad in any case. Reading how scared some preppers are, some people seem to be in constant state or emergency. This makes no sense and just life miserable. We prepare for every possibility to not be in panic mode.
First be prepared, then do not panic. Of course stay alert and use common sense.
Ebola is scary, and it can become big problem for sure, but just like sharks kill just about 10 people every year and elephants kill 10 times more, it is often what we perceive as harmless that can cause biggest problems. Survival is a lot about seeing dangers where they are. In this sense you should make sure your bathroom is not slippery because many people die by slipping in shower. Today I write about the regular killers I experienced during my time in war.
It does not have to be big wound to get you into the trouble. When SHTF small cut can kill (literally). In world where there is no proper medical care you need to be ready to deal with problems like this.
During my SHTF time there were lots of troubles with wound infections. Everything from minor cuts to bullet wounds had chance to be infected.
We treated infected wounds with what we had, over time with less and less resources it mostly became simple water cleaning, and local mixtures of things for treating infections. Recipes were different, from pine pieces to onions on wounds and similar, and of course local alcohol beverages.
Sometimes we had antibiotics, mostly we did not. Results were very random. What worked for one guy sometimes did not work for someone else. Some people died, others became crippled.
For future SHTF scenarios I suggest to learn as more as you can about wound treatment.
- How to clean and close wound and how to use antibiotics on proper way.
- Remember that simply procedures like wound closing with steri strips can save you lot of troubles later, of course as more as you know (suturing, staples) it is better, and do not fall under the influence of movies, for example no, tourniquet is NOT always best choice for bleeding (mostly it is last), and simple covering of the wound with sterile 4×4 can do miracles later for preventing infections.
- Store normal saline, iodine, peroxide and similar for wound treatment.
- Learn how to do pain management, I did it many times with simple alcohol drink, it does not work well always. Again forget about movies.
- Good advice to know how to use what you have, having needle and sutures without knowledge does not make too much sense.
- Do not blindly follow advertisements about „miracle first aid kit for all SHTF troubles“ you may end up with useless stuff in nice cammo bag. Like in all areas of life today, people try to also sell snake oil and miracle solutions in survival area. Knowledge is king.
Of course there is good stuff around to buy, but be sure to check what you get, good idea is to ask your friend who is in medical field what you actually gonna get in that kit, or even better to assemble your own. I have listed some suggestions what should be in every basic first aid kit here and Cajun who is medical professional like me lists his first aid kit from his bug out bag in our forum.
Food (and water) poisoning
You can be sure that sooner or later you will have to deal with this. It is not only dangerous to be crippled with diarrhoea and vomiting because at the end it can kill you, but also it can make you so weak that you can not perform your duties.
In SHTF that means that you are too weak to defend yourself, or to go out and gather resources and similar, and that is bad. Again, thats why groups are important and lone wolfs have odds against them.
I think that everyone was poisoned with bad food or water at least once during my SHTF time. We dealt with it with teas and simply trying to give the person more water than he is losing it.
There were casualties of course, mostly very old or very young.
First line of defense would be hygiene. Be very serious with it when SHTF. Have plan how to keep yourself and your home (and food and water) clean when SHTF. It is much better to think more about preventing that stuff to happen by how you store your food and handle it instead of having great first aid kit to treat the problems.
Mistake that people often make in case of diarrhoea and vomiting is that they try to consume too much water too fast and that causes more harm than good. Point is to consume fluids very slowly and in small amounts. For example one sip of fluids every 20 minutes or similar, take rest and be careful with water and food intake in next 24 hours.
Already sick people
I know many people think that when we experience breakdown of system and total collapse everything will be about adrenaline, fighting, chaos and blood.
This is part of it, but mostly, especially in first weeks people who lived with small conditions are going to experience them much worse. Think about what small problems you might have at the moment that can become huge if you have to live survival lifestyle with heavy physical work every day, maybe lack of sleep, extreme stress and less hygiene. Problems will be multiplied many times.
For example your uncle had high blood pressure for years, he is on pills, and his family tries to „force“ him to eat healthy, and it is working more or less, but every now and then he ends up in emergency room because his blood pressure goes dangerously up. When SHTF what is the plan to regulate his high BP, and for how long you have stash of pills for him? Or how he is gonna be able to eat healthy or similar when SHTF? From my experience in survival situations, these people are the first to go.
Solution could be to try to regulate his blood pressure today as good as you can, to have stashed good amount of medication for him, and of course to learn everything about alternative means of treating that condition (with herbs for example). Point is to do all this today, because when SHTF you may not have chance or enough time for that.
As heartless as it sounds but also think about what to do with people who are against prepping today and who you know will run into serious problems once normal system is not there to support them anymore. Who will be angry and cause problems in your group if you simply decide to leave that sick uncle to his fate? At some point you have to know when train is full and you are leaving and it makes sense to think about this before.
How do you prepare for diseases? Besides first aid kit(s), what plans do you have? Share in comments below or on our forum.
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It is discussion without end, and there will always be people who prefer one over the other choice. We have pretty interesting discussion about if survival in urban setting is even possible right now in the forum.
It is OK, we all have opinions, and there should be nothing wrong in discussing opposing opinions. It is good to do that, because we can spot some things that we did not think about and somebody else did.
I prefer to find myself in rural settings when SHTF. I am subjective with that opinion simply because I experienced urban survival in urban setting once and can not imagine that it can be worse on country side. In fact, relatives who survived in rural setting simply had much better time.
But we all need to consider the actual pros and cons of choosing between these two options and we need to be objective, it is hard but we can try.
What you have with you is what you gonna have for some time if you find yourself in urban survival scenario.
If you have stored food and water most probably you can count on that only for some time, before situation changes or you manage to find some more supplies.
There are ways to obtain resources at the beginning of SHTF in the chaos, but it is not like in the movies, and you can count on the fact that mostly you will be late for these events and more organized units such as local gangs control who gets what when looting. It is high risk, medium reward and most of us prepare to not have to risk anything in this chaos.
Some greedy prepper will still head out to get that bit of extra and if you know my story from my time in war, that we looted the alcohol factory was very helpful in the weeks and months after. But we were not prepared. Big difference.
Better organized groups will control looting so this is no real benefit for urban survival.
Count on the fact that being in a city when SHTF means too many folks and way too little resources, and when that happens you can expect bad things.
Being in rural settings gives you advantage of having some (if not all) resources, of course with some planning ahead.
Trees in forests close to you or some small creek will mean a lot to you when SHTF. Not to mention animals, and food production from land of course.
No matter in what kind of house or apartment or whatever you are living in urban area, sooner or later you will be forced to defend it.
It is hard job, simply because you will not be sure who is your enemy, or in other words, you gonna have too many possible enemies.
When you have too many hungry folks everyone is your possible enemy. Can you imagine how much effort and time will this fact cost you? You gonna need to be alerted and ready to fight-defend at every minute and after you see true nature of most people trying to survive (and doing whatever necessary) there will be very few friends left.
Being in rural settings does not mean that you do not need to be prepared do defend yourself, but it is gonna be much easier because as I said less (unknown) people mean less troubles and less very desperate people mean people stick together more.
If you planning ahead to be in rural setings when SHTF you should have your group of people that you can trust, family or friends and neighbours, together with plans how to defend yourself. This is big ideal for most of us and just having bug out location and plan to get there is not enough.
Common sense, again
Now please, you need to understand that I am not saying that in case of SHTF it is impossible to survive in the city. I survived. I am just saying that in most of the SHTF cases it is gonna be MUCH HARDER to survive in the city than in some small rural community.
Of course I am talking here about real SHTF event. I know there are opinions that in some cases of SHTF there is gonna be much safer to stay in the city where there is some kind of law, and where that law still can protect you.
There are opinions that in distant rural places most of the murders, robbing and rape will happen because law is gone first in more remote areas. All this still makes rural settings much better in my opinion.
If you compare it to the normal life that most of us have today of course my relatives who survived war on the countryside had some hard time. They lost electric energy, almost all ways to make money, people who worked in cities lost jobs, it was war and situation was hard.
But point is that they had RESOURCES all around them, land for growing food, woods for fuel, animals for hunting etc.
And as you can imagine some old skills were in use again. People started to make juice from fruits, older folks remembered what kind of wild fruits and berries were used in hard time of WW2.
Folks simply „re-invented“ for example very old style wooden press for making jams and syrups from different kinds of fruits. It looked funny, it used very long skinny trunk (timber) as a kind of leverage, from the distance it looked like someone want to launch something from old Roman catapult.
But it worked, and it was not nothing new, people used that thing for centuries maybe, just it was forgotten maybe because it is easier to buy jam, or to make it with electric devices.
Horses were put in use for plowing fields, tobacco was grown etc. But what was most important is fact that people stood together much much better in small rural communities, they were in many cases relatives, or simply people who know each other for years.
In cases like that security issues were easier to solve, people were better in any kind of organisation.
One of the guys I know started getting rich at that times. He simply grew potatoes in big amounts, and had good connections for smuggling them to places where price was many times higher.
In short, resources and security are much easier to have in rural settings than in urban settings. Urban survival matters a lot but do not forget that all our goal should be to just need it until we left urban areas.
It is not some hard rule, but there is gonna be much more fighting for small amount of resources in urban settings, while there are many more resources and probably less fighting for it in rural settings.
What is your take on this? Share in comments below or in our discussion in the forum.
Popular picture of „true survivalist“ can often fool you down if you are easily get under the influence of stereotypes.
So for example you gonna see true survivalist with his favorite rifle standing while world is going to hell behind him, and he is tough. He has rifle and lots of ammo.
It is good picture, but rarely you are gonna see picture of that true survivalist with rifle in one hand, and 1 year old baby with bad case of diarrhea and vomiting in other hand.
It is not nice picture, but it is realistic. Personally I did not have kids during my SHTF time, but I saw how relatives had problems with kids and babies. And more important is that I have kids now, so I want to be prepared for some stuff.
When SHTF all you people who have small kids can count on multiplying all of your problems with kids so it is good to be prepared to some of those. Having kids during SHTF can be burden but at same time it is not, because if you have kids it becomes your reason for everything. Some people might fight harder or see more sense in staying alive to protect family than just for themselves. In my opinion there is no “right way” here and we still have to live in present moment and not in future that looks dark but we do not know what and when things will turn really ugly.
All this is also if you have very old people or people with handicap in group of course. You can replace babies and small children simply with “people who need help”.
1. Health problems
Be ready for “usual” emergencies that can strike your kid, remember that most probably you are not gonna be able to take your kid to the pediatrician, so you gonna be forced to solve emergencies like:
- Typical first aid „cases“ (cuts, scrapes, fractures etc.)
- Ear or throat infections and similar
Talk to other mothers and fathers what works with their kids with typical child illnesses.
Research what kind of illness you can expect, usual symptoms, therapy, care etc. Lot of that knowledge can be found online, but also be ready to invest in some literature.
If your kid lives with some health problems already, learn about it and also learn alternative treatments so you can help your kids when modern medicine is not there anymore.
2. Store things
One very valuable thing during SHTF was baby food. Very valuable. It may sound too “heartless”, but it is simply mathematics – kids are precious to the parents, and because of that baby food became very valuable. People have been ready to do a lot to get some of that.
So do not become some of those desperate folks when SHTF. If you have baby be ready to store A LOT of baby food, especially if your kid is allergic to some ingredients and you need to have some unusual baby food.
You can imagine how rare and expensive it will be to get that stuff.
3. Be there for them
When SHTF we had many other things on our minds so for kids it was only about how to keep them safe, and that was it. I mean somehow most of the folks thought that if they put kids in some safe room inside house, provide them food it will be somehow all OK when everything ends.
But in lots of cases it was not OK at all. Great number of those “safe” kids grow up and become very troubled people. Lots of them adopted philosophy that violence is key for everything, or others simply grow up without influence of their parents. No surprise, everyone struggled to pick up and rebuild life from nothing after war was over.
They have been safe, but not paid attention to.
So keep in mind that part of survival is also raising your kid into a normal person. If you failed to do that, somebody could say that there was no sense in surviving. Do not let part of your children die when you can avoid it. It is maybe crazy if you hear me talk about this now but maybe one day you remember this and use the last bit of energy after long and hard day getting things in order to survive you spend some time with kids instead of just relaxing. This can make huge difference.
Include your kids in everything and be there for them on bad days. They see everything, and if they do not have someone who is explaining to them what is going on, they could come to their own conclusions, wrong ones and that can mark them for rest of their lives.
As a part of preparing, be ready to teach your kids at home (homeschooling) and to spend time with them with games and teaching. It is survival too. Just the family side of it.
Never forget that even during collapse time still goes by. It is not like you are in frozen space and everything is different. It looks like that but we all keep learning and experience shapes what we become later. A “master” survivalist also manages to be good father or mother even in times of hardship. Many generations before us did and so can we.
What do you do prepare for, for your kids or those who need help? Join our discussion in our forum or in comments below.