Saturday, August 27, 2011

For those who don't know

For those who don't know, TEOTWAWKI is an acronym for "(The End Of The World As We Know It)".

It refers to a total long term breakdown of government, financial systems and society. Think the Mad Max movies or, more realistically, the book/movie No Blade of Grass to get an idea of what the term means.

If you Google TEOTWAWKI and do a bit of research you'll find TEOTWAWKI adherents generally break down into two groups: Gun Nuts and Sustainable food storage/growing Nuts.

The food nuts point out, correctly, that you can't eat guns.

The gun nuts point out, correctly, that a guy with a gun can get pretty much anything he wants from a guy without one.

(This is not an idle argument. I'd once just met a man who, when the subject of Y2K came up, opined that he wasn't storing any food because he had a gun. This man was a sergeant on the local police force.)

The term TEOTWAWKI became popular during the run up to the Y2K (Year 2000) nonevent in 2000 but its roots go back before that.

Gary North, among others, foretold the End Of The World As We Know It because computers hadn't been programmed and/or hardwired to acknowledge the year 2000 and all subsequent years. The theory was that computers would either read '00 as 1900 or wouldn't be able to cope with 2000 at all.

If you feel yourself becoming enmeshed in a desire to prepare for TEOTWAWKI keep in mind that beyond a certain reasonable point preparation for TEOTWAWKI hinders or even prevents preparation for other, more likely, events.

Yes, in the year 2011, a recession or depression seems likely in our future, but which action makes you more prepared for the MOST LIKELY scenario of 2012 or 2015 or whatever:

Paying down Credit Cards, car loans and other high interest debt as you buy cases of canned foods you normally eat and rotating them (eat oldest first and replace with case of similar), building up a reserve of cash and MAYBE a gun.


Buying an "assault rifle" with hundreds of rounds of ammo and 500 pounds of rice & beans for storage in air tight containers in your garage?

Perhaps some adherents to TEOTWAWKI are attracted to the idea of avoiding car, mortgage and Credit Card payments in the smoking ruins of civilization, but the more rational approach to the MOST LIKELY scenario is to pay down debt, build up an emergency supply (one month's worth of expenses) of cash and buy foods you'll actually eat by the case.

Of course if TEOTWAWKI really comes (you turn on the TV and see smoke coming from the White House, riots on Wall Street and some guy proclaiming himself interim emperor) you can run down to Costco and buy cases of everything with your credit card and pick up a pistol on your way home. If it turns out that Orson Welles' grandson was having a bit of fun at your expense, well, Costco has a wonderful return policy.

All fun aside, most states have waiting periods for handguns so if you want one (non shooters should buy a .38 special caliber double action revolver with a two inch barrel and a box, fifty rounds, of bullets.) buy it and a trigger lock now. If you want to wait and buy a rifle or shotgun, remember there'll probable be a bigger rush at the gun store than Costco so you might stop by Pistol Pete's Pistol Trading Post first; right after you gas up the car.

Superfluous Survival Tip of the week:

Time is what keeps everything from happening at once which is why you'll have a hard time filling the pantry, buying bottled water, filling the gas tank(s) on your vehicle(s) and buying that gun all at once.

Desert Dave's helpful hint: if you get as many of those items checked off your list BEFORE the $#!t hits the fan you'll be ahead of the game.

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Quack Medicine

In the wake of a TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) or WTSHTF (When The $#!t Hits The Fan) event you may find yourself "playing doctor" with a dearth of modern medical equipment and supplies. The following are some "make dos" and "work arounds" that may help until help arrives or you can get the patient to professional help.

As your read this keep in mind that I'm no doctor. In fact I don't even play one on the Internet.

Click here for more about Honey. See also Sugardine & Sugardyne in this document.

Live active culture Yogurt fights both diarrhea and constipation.

Mole Skin
Mole Skin (to prevent/treat blisters) Out of Moleskin? Don't forget blisters are best treated when you first notice the irritation (sometimes called a "hot spot") not after they've bloomed into full blown blisters.

Duct tape
Duct Tape can be used as a field expedient in place of Mole Skin just place a small piece of paper over the blister or hot spot and then duct tape in place. Duct tape can also be used to hold a temporary splint in place or as a bandage. Duct tape occlusion therapy for warts.

New Skin
New Skin is so useful for small cuts and scrapes you should have a bottle in your home first aid kit. It almost removes the need to stock band-aids. New Skin covers the wound, holds skin together and forms a clear antibiotic protective shield over cuts and abrasions thus protecting the wound from further infection. You can find New Skin in the First Aid section at you local drug or grocery store.

Most commonly found in red or blue paisley patterns bandannas have 1001 uses, everything from triangle bandages to tourniquets to dust masks to a Kerchiefs (head cover) or neckerchiefs (scarf) to compression bandages. They can be worn under the back of a baseball cap (effectively turning it into a Legionnaire's hat) to keep the sun off of the sides of the face, ears and neck. Be sure to buy one large enough to wrap around your head.

Brightly colored bandannas can be used for signaling (movement & contrast) but I prefer subdued colors like dark greens, dark tans, browns, black or camouflage so as to blend in with my environment. You can make an impromptu bandanna from any piece of cloth.

Expired Over the Counter Medicine
A retired SF medic once told me that the expiration dates on most over the counter medicine is there more to protect the companies from lawsuits than to protect the customers. Most over the counter medicine simply looses potency over time so you may end up having to take four pills instead of the recommended two, but work up to that slowly and only if you can't get fresh meds.

Animal Medicine
I keep hearing from various sources that the animal meds sold to farmers, ranchers and at some pet stores are "human grade" medicines. Some people even claim to take or have taken these meds with no ill effect. In a TEOTWAWKI situation with no human medicine available that might be worth a shot. (Literally ;-)

Sugardine & Sugardyne
Packing wounds with sugar and/or 10% iodine Povidone iodine (brand name "Betadine") solution now used mostly for horses has purportedly worked on humans with similar infections for over 3000 years.

QuickClot is New Skin's big brother. It is intended to stop bleeding from major wounds. It's standard issue for our military and some police departments as well as being used by EMT's to stop bleeding until they can get the patient to a hospital.

Graphic Video: Test of QuikClot on a live pig

You can sometimes find QuickClot in military surplus stores, hiking, hunting, camping and extreme sports stores. If the you know what hits the you know what QuickClot would be a good item to have in your survival first aid kit.
(Two civilian versions)
QuickClot Sport

QuickClot Combat Gauze

Extreme Measures
[Addendum, I found this on another site. It's apropos for most if not all "self treatment" of injuries and ailments pre-TEOTWAWKI and the laws of nature/medicine will still apply after TSHTF too.]

"Just a note to all you guys who like to take fish antibiotics... I am not against that notion especially if that is all you have, but certain antibiotics treat certain bacteria based on the pharmacology of the drugs and their actions on varying structures on the surface of or inside bacteria.

Some antibiotics are bacteriocidal (kill bugs) others are bacteriostatic (just prevent bugs from multiplying) Do you all trust your knowledge to know which are which, or will you just take a guess.

If you take amoxicillin for a skin infection that is being caused by a bacteria that is resistant to that drug, you are going to get sicker, and you may actually have some side effects from the drugs.

Drugs are not benign, I don't care if they have been around for 50 years, people still die every year just because they took Penicillin.

And there can be long term (or short term if particularly aggressive) effects from many antibiotics including anaphylaxis, liver damage, kidney damage, gastrointestinal effects, interactions with other medications...and the list goes on and on... sigh..

So in short learn the subject, don't just take chances... sorry I got on my soap box. It just bothers me that with this subject, a little bit of knowledge can be a very dangerous thing..."

(In an extreme emergency fish antibiotics may help. Many of these are made to USP pharmaceutical specifications.)

Fish-Mox exerts a bactericidal action on gram positive and some gram negative bacteria. Useful for control of some common bacterial diseases.

Be sure you know what you're doing when using these.

Go to Lambert Vet Supply when the page comes up, look on the left side and click on
Pet Medications
You will see a page entitled, "pet medicines", click on
You will see a page entitled, "antibiotics", click on
OTC Pet Medications
Scroll down until you see ... "Fish Cillin" ... and you are there.

They have:

Fish Cillin, 250 mg Ampicillin x 100 Capsules, Non-prescription
Fish Cycline Forte, 500 mg Tetracycline x 100 Capsules, Non-prescription
Fish Cycline, 250 mg Tetracycline x 100 Capsules, Non-prescription
Fish Flex Forte, 500 mg Cephalexin x 100 Capsules, Non-prescription
Fish Flex, 250 mg Cephalexin x 100 Capsules, Non-prescription
Fish Fungus, 200 mg Ketoconazole x 100 tablets, Non-prescription
Fish Fungus, 200 mg Ketoconazole x 30 tablets, Non-prescription
Fish Mox Forte, 500 mg Amoxicillin x 100 Capsules, Non-prescription
Fish Mox, 250 mg Amoxicillin, 100 Capsules, Non-prescription
Fish Mycin, 250 mg Erythromycin x 60 Capsules, Non-prescription
Fish Pen Forte, 500 mg Penicillin x 100 Caps, Non-prescription
Fish Zole Forte, 500 mg Metronidazole x 100 Tablets, Non-prescription
Fish Zole, 250 mg Metronidazole, 100 Tablets, Non-prescription

Be sure you know what you're doing when using these.

Superfluous Survival Tip of the week:

Emergency/improvised cold weather clothing

If caught away from home/supplies in cold weather stuff crumpled newspaper, phone book pages or other paper under your clothes for insulation. This is the equivalent of using leaves in a wilderness situation.

An improvised rain coat can be made from a large trash bag after cutting holes for your head and arms. Cutting out the bottom of another bag allows you to use it as a "skirt" or kilt to give a raincoat effect.

To Comment on this article
(If that link doesn't work for you try sending your comments to me, please put "Blog" in the subject line, thanks, Dave.)
Unless you specifically ask me not to, I'll post your reply here in the blog so everyone can read it. Of course I'll remove your name, email address and any other specific information for privacy purposes.