Category Archives: Survival Manual

A place where we don’t take for granted, what we’ve taken for granted.

The Zeer pot emergency refrigerator

(Survival Manual/3. Food & Water/Zeer pot refrigerator)

A.  Zeer pot fridge
Pasted from <http://practicalaction.org/zeer-pot-fridge-2>

How a clay pot refrigerator can help beat hunger
In hot climates, food doesn’t stay fresh for long. Tomatoes go off in just two days. After four days carrots and okra are rotten. With no means of preserving their crops, poverty-stricken families have been battling hunger and even famine.
One ingenious solution is the zeer pot. Using this simple technology, the same vegetable can last for up to 20 days. This all natural refrigerator offers families, who already succeed in food production, their right to food preservation and really can help to improve their everyday lives; for now and for the future.

A simple technology that brings fresh hope
The zeer pot is a simple fridge made of local materials. It consists of one earthenware [or metal] pot set inside a larger earthenware clay pot, with a layer of wet sand in between.
•  The space between the two pots is about 2 inches (50mm) on either side.
•  Moisture from a layer of wet sand allows for evaporation.  As the moisture evaporates it cools the inner pot, keeping up to 26 pounds of fruit and vegetables fresher for longer.
•  The pots should be covered with a ceramic lid or cloth. They should be kept in a well-ventilated area but out of direct sunlight. The pots worked best when they were stood on a metal frame that allowed air to circulate under them as well as around the sides.

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B.  What: For less than $2 for a clay pot system to refrigerate up to 12 kg of produce
. [It may cost $2.00 in Africa, but not $2.00 in the USA, see my expense list and photos, below. Mr Larry]
Pasted from <http://www.brinq.com/workshop/archives/2005/01/08/keeping-it-cool-clay-pot-refrigeration>

This is a relatively old story but a great one. In 2000 Mohammed Bah Abba was awarded the Rolex Award for Enterprise for his innovative Pot-in-Pot system to provide affordable, electricity free, refrigeration in arid Nigeria. Mohammed took an old local understanding of the cooling properties of evaporating water, combined it with the ancient tradition of making clay pots, and turned into a useful, world-changing innovation: a “desert refrigerator” that helps reduce food spoilage and increases income by increasing the shelf-life of farmers’ produce for sale.

Eggplants, for example, stayed fresh for 27 days instead of three, and tomatoes and peppers lasted for three weeks or more. African spinach, which usually spoils after a day, remained edible after 12 days in the Pot-in-Pot storage.”

The Pot-In-Pot system consists of two earthenware terracotta pots of different diameters, one placed inside the other. The space between the two pots is packed with sand, the sand is kept wet by pouring water into the sand about twice a day. Produce is placed within the inner pot and then covered with a damp cloth, and the system is left in a dry ventilated area. As the water in the sand evaporates throughout the day, the law of thermodynamics ensures the temperature in the inner pot drops. Our bodies use the same technique to keep us cool.

How well does it cool? Well,one quantitative study was performed in Ramona, CA by student Garret Rueda in his 2003 entry to the state Science Fair. Rueda found the average daily temperature drop inside the system was 23.5 F (4 C), keeping produce at 59F (15 C), while the outside temperature is 82.4F (28 C) .

Finally, the Rolex Awards Committee makes a great point about ideas vs. innovation in their article about the Pot-in-Pot award: “Good ideas are indeed rare, but good ideas that actually become good projects and bring lasting benefits are even rarer still,” In other words, an innovation is an idea that is brought to life and changes people’s lives.

C.  Off-Grid SHTF Survival: Ancient Technology for Refrigeration
September 25th, 2011, Tess Pennington
Pasted from <http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/off-grid-shtf-survival-ancient-technology-for-refrigeration_09252011>

As most of our readers understand, in a collapse, be it natural or man-made, there is a distinct possibility that we may experience a cascading power-failure from which there may be no recovery for the majority of the population for weeks or months at a time. You’ll have no way of keeping short-term perishable food fresh, especially meats. But what if you were able to create a refrigerator out of just sand, water and a couple of clay pots, giving you the ability to keep meat cool for a few days at a time? In our view, that could significantly alter your survival preparation plans for the better. In addition to food, for those with critical needs that require refrigeration of medicine, this could be a life saver. This ancient technique is one you’ll want to consider, test, and archive in your personal planning and preparedness strategies .

 SHTF Survival: Clay Pot Refrigeration
by Tess Pennington
Have you ever wondered what our ancestors did without refrigeration? How were they able to prevent their food from spoiling? Some of our ancient civilizations did in fact have refrigeration and used simple items they had on hand to create it.

The zeer clay pot refrigerator keeps food cool (icy cold) without electricity by using evaporative cooling. Essentially, a porous outer earthenware pot, lined with wet sand, contains an inner pot (which can be glazed to prevent penetration by the liquid) within which the food is placed. The evaporation of the outer liquid draws heat from the inner pot.

In a short or long-term disaster where power is out, knowing essential skills on how to prevent foods from spoiling as quickly, will help you survive longer and stay healthier. Further, having this simple device can also help you have a diverse diet during a disaster and prolong food fatigue. The best part is that making this device is incredibly cheap, very effective, and doesn’t require any electricity, which is perfect for those disasters where the power is affected and you have no fuel to power your generators.

All that is needed to create a clay pot refrigerator is two terra-cotta pots, one larger than the other, as well as some sand, water, and cloth. To make the “fridge”, you just put one pot inside the other, and fill up the spaces with wet sand, which keeps the inside of the pots cold. You will also need to put a wet towel over the top to keep the warm air and light from getting in.

Rather than re-inventing the wheel, perhaps we could learn a thing or two from our ancient ancestors. Using what they had available to them, our ancestors seemed to have many of the modern-day conveniences we have today.

D.  Impact of the  Zeer pot
Pasted from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pot-in-pot_refrigerator
 Construction
A zeer is constructed by placing a clay pot within a larger clay pot with wet sand in between the pots and a wet cloth on top. The device cools as the water evaporates, allowing food stored in the inner pot to be kept fresh for much longer in a hot, dry climate. It must be placed in a dry, ventilated space for the water to evaporate effectively towards the outside. Evaporative coolers tend to perform poorly or not at all in climates with high ambient humidity, since the water is not able to evaporate well under these conditions.

If there is an impermeable separation layer between the food and the porous pots, undrinkable water such as seawater can be used to drive the cooling process, without contaminating the food. This is useful in arid locations near the ocean where drinkable water is a limited commodity, and can be accomplished by using a pot that is glazed on the inner wall where the food is stored.
Extended operation is possible if the pots are able to draw water from a storage container, such as an inverted airtight jar, or if the pots are placed in a shallow pool of water.
Pot-in-pot refrigeration has had multiple positive impacts on the population that uses them beyond the simple ability to keep food fresh for longer periods of time and decreasing instances of food-related disease.
•  Increased profits from food sales: As there is no rush to sell food to avoid spoilage, farmers are able to sell their produce on demand and can command higher prices.
•  Increased opportunities for women: Women can sell food directly from their homes, decreasing their dependence on their husbands as sole providers. Also, because girls traditionally take food to market to sell, and because food in the zeer stays fresh long enough that they can go to market once a week rather than once a day, there is more time for them to attend school.
•  Rural employment opportunities: Farmers are able to support themselves with their increased profits at market, slowing the move into cities. Also, the creation of the pots themselves generates job opportunities.
•  Increased diet variety because food is available for longer into the year.

Effectiveness
Food  –    Refrigerated shelf life  –  Shelf life with zeer

Carrots                  4 days                                   20 days
Eggplant            1-2 days                                   21 days
Guava                    2 days                                   20 days
Meat                       1 day                                   ~14 days
Okra                      4 days                                    17 days
Rocket                   1 day                                        5 days
Tomatoes             2 days                                    20 days
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E.  Mr. Larry’s Zeer pot emergency  refrigerator
Parts list:
1) 16″ terra cotta clay pot, Home Depot, $19.98.
2) stock pot, IMUSA, aluminum, 16 qt covered pot with tempered glass lid, Wal-Mart, $19.94
3) plastic ‘cover’ Lowes Garden center, $14.04 (this was an 18″ tray that normally sit s under a pot)
4) bath towel, Wal-Mart, $2.97
5) Quikrete Play sand, #50 lbs, Lowes, $3.28

(Photos above: (L) My zeer pot. I’m using an aluminum interior pot. It’s felt that a thin metal interior pot will cool your perishables faster and maintain a lower temperature than a terra-cotta  interior pot. Also shown is a 50 lb bag of sand and a cheap towel that would be wetted and used to cover the pot when in use. The aluminum pot came with a glass top and I bought an 18″ plastic flower-pot base which is being used as a cover. (R) My zeer set up along side the house. To a passer-by who happens to see it, the zeer pot looks like a simple planter that’s being used as a ‘table’ for a smaller planter. Meanwhile, my zeer is set up and ready for use. The frig is currently sitting on three bricks, raised a couple of inches off the ground. On my next trip to Lowes or Home Depot, I’ll buy a short metal planter stand to set it 6-12 above the ground to increase the opportunity for draft, hence evaporation, across the bottom of the pot.

Photo above: (L) A home-made zeer pot using two nestled terra-cotta pots. (R) A native zeer showing a  quantity of tomatoes and green string beans being cooled.

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The following YouTube video link demonstrates the construction of a zeer pot frig and goes on to test the temperature drop within the interior pot:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcuSlaecvIw&feature=related

(end of article)

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Filed under Survival Manual, __3. Food & Water

Modern Air & Water, Part 3 of 3

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/ Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Air & Water)

Modern Air & Water topics:
1.  Air pollution (it hasn’t gone away)
2.  Water, with chlorine, fluorine, pharmaceuticals and more.
3.  Berkey water purification system, Royal model
4.  Mercury in food & vaccines
5.  Pollution causes 40% of worldwide deaths

3.     Berkey Water purification system, Royal model

(The advertisement) The versatile Royal Berkey system (see arrow in picture below, 3.25 gallon capacity)  is the ideal system for use at home with large families, travel, outdoor activities or during unexpected emergencies. This powerful system purifies both treated water and untreated raw water from such sources as remote lakes, streams, stagnant ponds and water supplies in foreign countries, where regulations may be substandard at best. Perfect for outdoor activities and a must in hostile environments where electricity, water pressure or treated water may not be available. The Royal Berkey system removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites entirely and extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes. It also reduces nitrates, nitrites and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury. This system is so powerful it can remove red food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. Virtually no other system can duplicate this performance. Constructed of highly polished 304 stainless steel, the system comes complete with two purification elements and utilizes the latest technological advances. This system has a storage capacity of about 3.25 gallons (12.3 liters) and when in use it stands 23″ in height with a diameter of 9.5″. The upper chamber nests within the lower chamber for transport and stands only 15.25″ in height. Configured with two Black Berkey purification elements the system will purify up to 4 Gallons (15.1 liters) per hour. This system can be expanded to use four purification elements and is capable of purifying up to 8 Gallons (30.3 liters) per hour.
Price: $283 + any additional Purification Elements.
[The Royal Berkey Water Purification System that I have and use continuously at home, see white arrow below.-lfp]

Black Berkey Water Filters
http://www.berkeywaterfilters.com/blbetesp.html
Each Black Berkey is able to filter up to 3,000 gallons per filter element, making it one of the most cost-effective filters on the market.
[My Royal Berkey using 2 Black Berkey elements can therefore filter up to 6000 gallons water-lfp]

We tested the Black Berkey purification elements with more than 10,000 times the concentration of pathogens per liter than is required by standard test protocol. This concentration of pathogens is so great that the post filtered water should be expected to contain 100,000 or more pathogens per liter (99.99% reduction – the requirement for pathogenic removal). Incredibly the purification elements removed 100%. Absolutely no pathogens were cultured from the effluent or were able to be detected, even under an electron microscope, setting a new standard in water purification.

Under normal conditions it is recommended that each set of two PF-2™ elements be replaced after 1,000 gallons. The Royal Berkey®system is about 3.25 gallons therefore the PF-2™ filters should be replaced after 1,000/3.25 or 307 refills. If the system is refilled about one time per day, the PF-2™’s should be replaced after 10 months, if the system is refilled about twice per day, the PF-2™’s should be replaced about every five months). Actual capacity is dependent on the presence of other competing contaminants in the source water. High levels of Fluoride, arsenic and heavy metals may reduce the capacity and efficiency of the elements.

The ‘Black Berkey’ purification/filter elements (a 7 Log device, 99.99999%) remove or reduce the following:
– Pathogenic Bacteria and Cysts (E. Coli, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Raoltella Terrigena) – Reduced to > 99.999% (100%)
– Viruses (MS2 – Fr Coliphage) – Reduced to >99.999%
– Parasites – Reduced to > 99.9999%
– Harmful or unwanted chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides
ChlorineRemoved to Below Detectable Limits (99.9999999%)
– Detergents

Organic solvents removal
- THM’s (Trihalomethanes – Bromodichloromethane, Bromoform, Chloroform, Dibromochloromethane) – Removed to Below Detectable Limits (99.99999%)
– MTBE’s (Methyl tert-Butyl Ehter) – Removed to Below Detectable Limits
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Table below: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) removed:

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Removed to below detectable limits
Alachlor
Atrazine
Benzene
Carbofuran
Carbon Tetrachloride
Chlorine
Chlorobenzene
Chloroform
2,4-D
DBCP
p-Dichlorobenzene
o-Dichlorobenzene
1, 1-Dichloroethane
1, 2-Dichloroethane
1, 1-Dichloroethylene
cis 1, 2-Dichloroethylene
Trans  1,2-Dichloroethylene
1, 2-Dichloropropane
cis l,3-Dichloropropylene
Dinoseb
Endrin
Ethylbenzene
Ethylene Dibromide (EDB)
Heptachlor
Heptachlor Epoxide
Hexachlorobutodiene
Hexachlorocyclopentadiene
Lindane,
Methoxychlor
MTBE
Pentachlorophenol
Simazine
Styrene
1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane
Tetrachloroethylene
Toluene
2,4,5-TP (Silvex)
1,2,4-trichlorobenzene
1,1,1-trichloroethane
1,1,2-trichloroethane
Trichloroethylene
o-Xylene
m-Xylene
p-Xylene

- Cloudiness, removed.
– Silt, removed.
– Sediment, removed.
– Radiologicals – Radon 222 – Removed to Below Detectable Limits
– Nitrates & Nitrites, Greater than 95% reduction
– Heavy metals: Lead, Mercury, Aluminum, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper  – Greater than 95% reduction.
– Fluoride- With PF-2 fluoride filter, Fluoride reduced greater than 95%
– Iron
Foul tastes and odor.

PF-2™ reduction elements are designed for use in conjunction with Black Berkey® water purification elements to absorb the following unwanted elements found in drinking water:
•   Fluoride
•   Arsenic V and pre-oxidized Arsenic III
•   Other residual heavy metal ions

Heavy Metals reduced by up to 95% by the Black Berkey Filter:

Contaminant Health effects
Lead kidney, nervous system damage
Mercury kidney, nervous system disorders
Aluminum respiratory, nervous system disorders
Cadmium kidney damage
Chromium liver, kidney, circulatory system disorders
Copper gastro-enteric diseases

 .My estimated filter change periods:

Use rate

(gallons per day)

Black Berkey   days/yrs

 Mfg Suggested      My Actual

PF-2   days/years

Mfg Suggested       My actual

1/2 12000/32                       4 2000/5                            2
1 6000/16                         4 1000/2.75                       2
2 3000/8                           4 500/1.36                         2

Change PF-2 every two years and change Black Berkey every 4 years (at every other PF-2 change) . Change more often if, even after cleaning, the filtration rate does not increase, but continues to become slower. Have one set each of  PF-2 ($55/pair) and Black Berkey Filters ($107/pair) on hand for emergency backup.

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4.    
Mercury in food & vaccines

 A.   Dumbing Down Society Part 2: Mercury in Foods and Vaccines
July 9th, 2010, By VC
http://vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/dumbing-down-society-pt-2-mercury-in-foods-and-vaccines/
Even though mercury is known to degenerate brain neurons and disrupt the central nervous system, it is still found in processed foods and mandatory vaccines. In this second part of the series examining the intentional dumbing-down of society, this article will discuss the presence of mercury in common foods and vaccines.

The first article in this series – Dumbing Down Society Pt 1: Foods, Beverages and Meds – looked at the effects of aspartame, fluoride and prescription pills on the human brain. These substances all cause a decrease of cognitive power which, on a large scale, leads to a dumbing down of the population that is ingesting them. This second article focuses on another toxic product found in everyday foods and mandatory vaccines: mercury.

Mercury is a heavy metal naturally found in the environment. However, it is not suitable for human consumption, as it is extremely harmful to the human body, especially the brain. While some people say that anything can be consumed in moderation, many experts agree that no amount of mercury is safe for the human body. Despite this and the many studies concerning the negative effects of mercury, the heavy metal is continually added to mandatory vaccines and processed foods.

Mercury is known to cause brain neuron degeneration and to disturb the central nervous system. Direct exposure to the metal causes immediate and violent effects:

“Exposure to high levels of metallic, inorganic, or organic mercury can permanently damage the brain, kidneys, and developing fetus. Effects on brain functioning may result in irritability, shyness, tremors, changes in vision or hearing, and memory problems.”

Most people do not come in direct contact with mercury, but are exposed to small doses at a time, resulting in a slow but steady poisoning of the brain. As the years go by, the effects of the substance impairs judgment and rational thinking, decreases memory and disrupts emotional stability. In other words: It makes you dumber.

Mercury has also the unfortunate ability to transfer from pregnant woman to their unborn babies. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, mercury passed on to the fetus during pregnancy may have lasting consequences, including memory impairment, diminished language skills and other cognitive complications.

It has been highly publicized that mercury is found in dangerous quantities in seafood, such as tuna, swordfish and tilefish. This creates a rather ironic situation: Instead of making you smarter because of all the Omega-3 they contain, the fish produce exactly the opposite effect on the brain due to mercury poisoning.

Unfortunately, mercury is also found in other products: vaccines and high-fructose corn syrup.

“I think it’s absolutely criminal to give mercury to an infant.” – Boyd Haley, Ph.D., Chemistry Department Chair, University of Kentucky

Mercury is found in great quantities in mandatory vaccines. Before we get into the details of it, here are some facts about vaccines in America as noted by Dr. Sherri Tenpenny:
•  The U.S. government is the largest purchaser of vaccines in the country. In fact, nearly 30 percent of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) annual budget is composed of purchasing vaccines and ensuring vaccination is completed for every child in the country.
•  Private insurance companies, which do the best liability studies, have completely abandoned coverage for damage to life and property due to: Acts of God, nuclear war, nuclear power plant accidents and … vaccination.
•  Laws have been passed to protect vaccine manufactures from liability, while at the same time, state laws require parents to inject their children with up to 100 vaccination antigens prior to entering school. If a vaccine injury–or death–occurs after a vaccine, parents cannot sue the doctor, the drug company or the government; they are required to petition the Vaccine Court for damages, a process that can take years and often ends with a dismissal of the case.
•  Each state has school vaccination laws that require children of appropriate age to be vaccinated for several communicable diseases. State vaccination laws mandate that children be vaccinated prior to being allowed to attend public or private schools. Failure to vaccinate children can not only result in children being prohibited from attending school, but their parents or guardians can receive civil fines and criminal penalties. Schools don’t usually tell parents is that in every state, an exemption exists allowing parents to legally refuse vaccines while still allowing their children to attend school.
•  The medical industry advocates vaccines, often demanding that parents vaccinate their children in order to remain under their doctor’s care. A sizable portion of a pediatrician’s income is derived from insurance reimbursement for vaccinations. The ever-expanding vaccination schedule that includes increasingly more expensive vaccines has been a source of increased revenues for vaccinating doctors.

Thimerosal
A child receives approximately 21 vaccines before the age of six and 6 more before the age of 18, for a total of 27 shots during childhood. Many of these injections contain Thimerosal, a preservative added to the shots, made of 49% mercury. The unprecedented use of mercury on children has created a generation of cognitively impaired children.

      “The symptoms experienced by children exposed to mercury are real and can be directly linked to the vaccines they were given as infants. It’s ironic that the vaccines given to these young people are meant to protect them, when in fact they are adversely affecting their neurological development.”
On top of causing an entire generation of babies to have their brains damaged, the use of Thimerosal in vaccines has been linked by many scientists to the staggering rise of autism in the past two decades. Did the dumbing-down campaign go too far?

      “In children who are fully vaccinated, by the sixth month of life they have received more mercury from vaccines than recommended by the EPA. There are many similarities in symptoms between mercury toxicity and autism, including social deficits, language deficits, repetitive behaviors, sensory abnormalities, cognition deficits, movement disorders, and behavioral problems. There are also similarities in physical symptoms, including biochemical, gastrointestinal, muscle tone, eurochemistry, neurophysiology, EEG measurements, and immune system/autoimmunity.”

Due to the suspected link between vaccines and autism, more than 5,000 U.S. families have filed claims in a federal vaccine court against the companies producing the vaccines. In most cases, the plaintiffs received no compensation and all correlation between the illness and vaccines was denied by the defendants. A public relations war has been going on for years, as studies and counter-studies have appeared, proving or denying the links between vaccines and autism, depending where they originate from. The studies claiming that vaccines are safe have often been funded by the very companies that produce them.

Despite the denials, Thimerosal is slowly–and silently–being phased out of vaccines for babies. Not too long after the phasing out began, cases of autism have sharply dropped in the country.

“Published in the March 10 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, the data show since mercury was removed from childhood vaccines, the reported rates of autism and other neurological disorders in children not only stopped increasing but actually dropped sharply – by as much as 35 percent. Using the government’s own databases, independent researchers analyzed reports of childhood neurological disorders, including autism, before and after removal of mercury-based preservatives.

According to a statement from the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, or AAPS, the numbers from California show that reported autism rates hit a high of 800 in May 2003. If that trend had continued, the reports would have risen to more than 1,000 by the beginning of 2006. But the number actually went down to 620, a real decrease of 22 percent, and a decrease from the projection of 35 percent.
The phasing out of Thimerosal from vaccines intended for children is all well and good, but the preservative is still found in many vaccines intended for adults. Did someone realize that mercury in vaccines is too strong for children, making them sick and ultimately unproductive, but perfect to dumb-down fully developed adults? The ruling class is not looking to create a generation of autistic people who would need constant care, but a mass of “useful idiots” that can accomplish repetitive and mind-numbing tasks, while accepting without questioning what they are being told.

As of today, Thimerosal is still found in Influenza vaccines, commonly known as the flu shot. Those shots are seasonal, meaning that patients are encouraged to come back every winter to get their yearly vaccine/dose of mercury.

Makers of the Influenza vaccine say it boasts a “solid health record,” meaning the shot does not seem cause observable illnesses. What is NEVER discussed, however, is the slow and gradual brain neuron degeneration most individuals go through, year after year, due constant mercury poisoning. This process of slowing down brain functions is not easily observable nor quantifiable but it is still happening on a world-wide scale. If mercury can completely disrupt the fragile minds of children enough to possibly cause autism, it will, at the very least, impair fully developed minds.

Almost as if created to generate demands for vaccines, new diseases appear periodically around the world that, with the help of mass media scare campaigns, cause people to beg their officials for the miracle shot that they are told will cure everybody.

H1N1, also known as the Swine Flu, was the latest of those scary diseases that terrified millions of people for several months. When the shot became available, heavily promoted and massive vaccination campaigns sprung around the world. One fact that was not promoted: Swine flu was often easily curable, and not very different than the “regular” flu. Another fact that was not promoted: Most of the flu shots contained Thimerosal.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
A poison is a “substance that causes injury, illness, or death, especially by chemical means.”
Going by this definition, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is truly a poison. HFCS is a highly processed sweetner made from corn that has been used since 1970. It continues to replace white sugar and sucrose in processed foods and is currently found in the majority of processed foods found in supermarkets. Studies have determined that Americans consume an average of 12 teaspoons a day of the sweetner.

Here’s a graph depicting the rise of HFCS in our diets:

Due to its sweetening propreties, HFCS is obviously found in sugary products like jams, soft drinks and pre-packaged baked goods. However, most people do not realize that it is also found in numerous other products, including soups, breads, pasta sauces, cereals, frozen entrees, meat products, salad dressings and condiments. HFCS is also found in so-called health products, including protein-bars, “low-fat” foods and energy drinks.How can something that taste so good be so bad?
Here are some facts about HFCS:
•  Research links HFCS to increasing rates of obesity and diabetes in North America, especially among children. Fructose converts to fat more than any other sugar. And being a liquid, it passes much more quickly into the blood stream.
•  Beverages containing HFCS have higher levels of reactive compounds (carbonyls), which are linked with cell and tissue damage leading to diabetes.
•  There is some evidence that corn fructose is processed differently in the body than cane sugar, leading to reduced feelings of satiation and a greater potential for over-consumption.
•  Studies by researchers at UC Davis and the University of Michigan have shown that consuming fructose, which is more readily converted to fat by the liver, increases the levels of fat in the bloodstream in the form of triglycerides.
•  Unlike other types of carbohydrate made up of glucose, fructose does not stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin. Peter Havel, a nutrition researcher at UC Davis who studies the metabolic effects of fructose, has also shown that fructose fails to increase the production of leptin, a hormone produced by the body’s fat cells. Both insulin and leptin act as signals to the brain to turn down the appetite and control body weight. Havel’s research also shows that fructose does not appear to suppress the production of ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger and appetite.
•  Because the body processes the fructose in HFCS differently than it does cane or beet sugar, it alters the way metabolic-regulating hormones function. It also forces the liver to kick more fat out into the bloodstream. The end result is that our bodies are essentially tricked into wanting to eat more, while at the same time, storing more fat.
•  A study in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggested that women whose diet was high in total carbohydrate and fructose intake had an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
•  HFCS interferes with the heart’s use of key minerals like magnesium, copper and chromium.
•  HFCS has been found to deplete the immune system by inhibiting the action of white blood cells. The body is then unable to defend against harmful foreign invaders.
•  Research suggests that fructose actually promotes disease more readily than glucose. Glucose is metabolized in every cell in the body, but all fructose must be metabolized in the liver. The livers of test animals fed large amounts of fructose develop fatty deposits and cirrhosis, similar to problems that develop in the livers of alcoholics.
•  HFCS is highly refined–even more so than white sugar.
•  The corn from which HFCS is derived is almost always genetically modified, as are the enzymes used in the refining process.
•  There are increasing concerns about the politics surrounding the economics of corn production (subsidies, tariffs, and regulations), as well as the effects of intensive corn agriculture on the environment.

Many studies have observed a strong correlation between the rise HFCS in the past years and the rise of obesity during the same period of time.
Obesity, on top of being unhealthy for the body, directly affects brain functions. Some researchers have even questioned the role of obesity in brain degeneration.

Research scientists have long suspected that a relationship existed between obesity and a decline in brain power. New studies now confirm the contention that being overweight is detrimental to the brain. Researchers at the University of California in an article published in the Archives of Neurology demonstrated a strong correlation between central obesity (that is, being fat around the middle) and shrinkage of a part of the brain ( the hippocampus) fundamental for memory.

This does not mean that obese people are dumb. It does however mean that their brain is probably not processing as effectively as it could be. But even if HFCS does not make you fat, it will still affect your brain. Recent studies have shown that the sweetener contains … you’ve guessed it … mercury!
•  “One study – published in the journal, Environmental Health – shows mercury in nine out of 20 samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup.
•  The second study – by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) – finds nearly one in three of 55 brand-name foods contained mercury, especially dairy products, dressings and condiments. The brands included big names like Quaker, Hershey’s, Kraft and Smucker’s.”

Here is the table found in the IATP’s study called, Not So Sweet: Missing Mercury and High Fructose Corn Syrup, detailing the amount of mercury found in everyday products found in supermarkets.

Of course, companies who produce HFCS deny the results of those studies, claiming the sweetner is “natural”. But this is coming from those who, y’know, SELL the stuff. Corn refiners have even produced some strange PR ads to encourage people to keep ingesting their toxic product.

In Conclusion
Despite the existence of many studies describing the negative effects of mercury on the human brain, governments still push for the increased vaccination of the population with shots containing Thimerosal. Furthermore, governing bodies have protected the pharmaceutical companies who produce the vaccines and foods containing HFCS against any type of lawsuits. The fact that many high executives of these companies also hold key positions within the government, might provide an explanation. There are indeed a restricted amount of persons holding positions of high power in both the private and public sector. These people, in what are clear cases of conflict of interest, collide at the top to form what this site refers to as “the elite” or “the ruling class.” Most of these people have never been elected to governmental positions, yet they create public policies that further their agenda, regardless of the political party in power. Look at the membership of the Bilderberg Group, the Committee of 300 or the Council of Foreign Relations and you will find the CEOs of companies producing your food and medication … and the same people who pass laws governing your food and medication.

Since no public official is likely to betray his peers and fund-raisers to become a whistleblower, it is up to each one of us to learn about what we consume. The cliché saying “read the labels” is quite true, but if you have no idea what “monosodium glutamate” means, reading the label will not help you. This series of articles aims to raise basic awareness of the most harmful substances found in everyday products. I personally cannot claim to have a perfect diet … I grew up in the 80s and love the taste of processed foods like candy, sodas … even Hamburger Helper. But as you find more information and as you begin to realize that every step in the right direction really does make you feel better, each subsequent step becomes easier. No one can do it for you: It’s up to you to take that next step … whether it is toward your detoxification or to Burger King.

B.  Health: Foods Containing Mercury
eHow, By Alexander Grouch

http://www.ehow.com/about_5376461_foods-containing-mercury.html

Foods Containing Mercury
Mercury is a heavy metal that exists in many places throughout the earth. As a result, some of the food we eat contains traces of mercury. Fish in particular absorb copious amounts of mercury as they swim in the water. This is due both to the natural occurrence of mercury and various human actions that exacerbate the situation. While slight amounts of mercury usually will not have a noticeable effect on the human body, prolonged mercury exposure through food may lead to serious health problems such as methylmercury poisoning, vision problems and neurological disturbances in fetuses and infants.

Foods That Contain High Levels of Mercury
Although many foods may contain traces of mercury, fish and shellfish are known to have the most mercury overall. As mercury enters the water supply, all fish absorb some of it into their bodies. Fish that are higher on the food chain have especially high mercury levels since they consume smaller fish. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the largest fish often contain the most mercury. High-mercury fish include swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tile fish. Certain types of tuna also contain mercury well above U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s limits of 0.1 microgram per 2.2 pounds of body weight.

Other Foods That Contain Mercury
While fish gets most of the bad press regarding mercury, other food products also contain mercury. In early 2009, Environmental Health Journal reported on a study conducted by a team led by Renee Dufault that found high fructose corn syrup had high levels of mercury. Many mass-marketed food products contain high fructose corn syrup due the prevalence of corn production in America and the government’s corn subsidy. Popular products sweetened with high fructose corn syrup include most sodas, ketchup and even bread.

In the Dufault study, samples revealed 0.57 micrograms of mercury per gram of high fructose corn syrup. When you consider the large quantities of high fructose corn syrup that most American ingest, many people’s mercury consumption exceeds EPA or U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendations. To find products free of high fructose corn syrup, read all the ingredients in food products. The earlier in the list you find high fructose corn syrup, the more of it that’s in the product.

Effects
In high doses, mercury wreaks havoc on the central nervous system. Pregnant women especially should avoid fish that may contain mercury. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, mercury passed on to the fetus during pregnancy may have lasting consequences such as memory impairment, diminished language skills and other cognitive complications. If you are pregnant, look for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or EPA updates on what foods contain high levels of mercury and avoid them to prevent possible damage to your child’s cognitive development.

Mercury Poisoning
In rare cases, some people may consume so much fish and other mercury-rich foods that they experience mercury poisoning. One of the most highly publicized cases of mercury poisoning occurred in 2008 when actor Jeremy Piven had to drop out of a play due to mercury poisoning.
Symptoms of mercury poisoning include impairment to your sight, hearing and touch. Some people who suffer from mercury poisoning report ambulatory trouble and tingling around the lips. If you have a diet high in fish and suffer any of the above symptoms, visit a hospital promptly for evaluation.

Fish Low In Mercury
Since several fish contain such powerful nutrients and healthy oils, the benefits of fish may outweigh genuine mercury concerns. If you want to balance the health benefits of fish with mercury risks, eat fish further down the food chain. According to the FDA and EPA, fish low in mercury include salmon, catfish and pollock. Canned light tuna also contains a relatively low amount of mercury per serving. However, other types of tuna such as albacore have higher levels of mercury. As long as you keep track of your portion sizes, you probably will not suffer any ill effects due to mercury in food. For optimal portion size, eat no more than 12 oz. (about two meals) of low-mercury fish a week.
Read more: Foods Containing Mercury | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5376461_foods-containing-mercury.html#ixzz1MFy97JfQ
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5.     Pollution Causes 40 Percent Of Deaths Worldwide, Study Finds

Aug. 14, 2007, ScienceDaily
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070813162438.htm
About 40 percent of deaths worldwide are caused by water, air and soil pollution, concludes a Cornell researcher. Such environmental degradation, coupled with the growth in world population, are major causes behind the rapid increase in human diseases, which the World Health Organization has recently reported. Both factors contribute to the malnourishment and disease susceptibility of 3.7 billion people, he says.

David Pimentel, Cornell professor of ecology and agricultural sciences, and a team of Cornell graduate students examined data from more than 120 published papers on the effects of population growth, malnutrition and various kinds of environmental degradation on human diseases. Their report is published in the online version of the journal Human Ecology and will be published in the December print issue.

“We have serious environmental resource problems of water, land and energy, and these are now coming to bear on food production, malnutrition and the incidence of diseases,” said Pimentel.

Of the world population of about 6.5 billion, 57 percent is malnourished, compared with 20 percent of a world population of 2.5 billion in 1950, said Pimentel. Malnutrition is not only the direct cause of 6 million children’s deaths each year but also makes millions of people much more susceptible to such killers as acute respiratory infections, malaria and a host of other life-threatening diseases, according to the research.

Among the study’s other main points:
Nearly half the world’s people are crowded into urban areas, often without adequate sanitation, and are exposed to epidemics of such diseases as measles and flu.
With 1.2 billion people lacking clean water, waterborne infections account for 80 percent of all infectious diseases. Increased water pollution creates breeding grounds for malaria-carrying mosquitoes, killing 1.2 million to 2.7 million people a year, and air pollution kills about 3 million people a year. Unsanitary living conditions account for more than 5 million deaths each year, of which more than half are children.

Air pollution from smoke and various chemicals kills 3 million people a year. In the United States alone about 3 million tons of toxic chemicals are released into the environment — contributing to cancer, birth defects, immune system defects and many other serious health problems.

Soil is contaminated by many chemicals and pathogens, which are passed on to humans through direct contact or via food and water. Increased soil erosion worldwide not only results in more soil being blown but spreading of disease microbes and various toxins.

At the same time, more microbes are becoming increasingly drug-resistant. And global warming, together with changes in biological diversity, influence parasite evolution and the ability of exotic species to invade new areas. As a result, such diseases as tuberculosis and influenza are re-emerging as major threats, while new threats — including West Nile virus and Lyme disease — have developed.

“A growing number of people lack basic needs, like pure water and ample food. They become more susceptible to diseases driven by malnourishment, and air, water and soil pollutants,” Pimentel concludes. He and his co-authors call for comprehensive and fair population policies and more conservation of environmental resources that support human life.

“Relying on increasing diseases and malnutrition to limit human numbers in the world diminishes the quality of life for all humans and is a high-risk policy,” the researchers conclude.

We are affliced by and bringing on ourselves, a global human condition tantamount to ‘Death by 1000 cuts.’, Mr Larry

End of article, Modern Air and Water
Read also the 4dtraveler posts: Modern Competition, Modern Foraging, Modern Freedom of Choice and, Modern Living.

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Filed under Survival Manual, __2. Social Issues

Modern Air & Water, Part 2 of 3

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/ Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Air & Water)

Modern Air & Water topics:
1.  Air pollution (it hasn’t gone away) .
2.  Water, with chlorine, fluorine, pharmaceuticals and more.
3.  Berkey water purification system, Royal model
4.  Mercury in food & vaccines
5.  Synopsis; Pollution causes 40% of worldwide deaths

2.  Water, with chlorine,  fluorine,  pharmaceuticals  and  more

[Photo above: Garbage concentration in a perpetual and growing trash vortex, located 800 miles north of Hawaii, in a 10-million-square-mile oval known as the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. This is an odd stretch of ocean, a place most boats purposely avoid. For one thing, it is becalmed. “The doldrums,” sailors called it, and they steered clear. So do the ocean’s top predators: the tuna, sharks, and other large fish that required livelier waters, flush with prey. The gyre is more like a desert—a slow, deep, clockwise-swirling vortex of air and water caused by a mountain of high-pressure air that lingers above it. The huge trash concentration began with a line of plastic bags ghosting the surface, followed by an ugly tangle of junk: nets and ropes and bottles, motor-oil jugs and cracked bath toys, a mangled tarp. Tires. A traffic cone. Out in this desolate place, the water is a stew of plastic. It is as though someone has taken a pristine seascape and turned it into a landfill.
Scientists refer to this area as the “Eastern Garbage Patch”, a place in the ocean where the trail of plastic goes on for hundreds of miles.
Yachts traveling through the Gyre sail for a week amongst bobbing, toxic debris, all trapped in a purgatory of circling currents in this 21st-century Leviathan. It had no head, no tail. Just an endless body. http://jonbowermaster.com/blog/tag/30-days-of-oceans/page/4/]
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A.  The Water Resources of Earth
Over 70% of our Earth’s surface is covered by water ( we should really call our planet “Ocean” instead of “Earth”). Although water is seemingly abundant, the real issue is the amount of fresh water available.
•  97.5% of all water on Earth is salt water, leaving only 2.5% as fresh water
•  Nearly 70% of that fresh water is frozen in the icecaps of Antarctica and Greenland; most of the remainder is present as soil moisture, or lies in deep underground aquifers as groundwater not accessible to human use.
•  1% of the world’s fresh water (~0.007% of all water on earth) is accessible for direct human uses. This is the water found in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and those underground sources that are shallow enough to be tapped at an affordable cost. Only this amount is regularly renewed by rain and snowfall, and is therefore available on a sustainable basis.

Water as a Resource
Since antiquity, irrigation, drainage, and impoundment have been the three types of water control having a major impact on landscapes and water flows. Since the dawn of irrigated agriculture at least 5000 years ago, controlling water to grow crops has been the primary motivation for human alteration of freshwater supplies. Today, principal demands for fresh water are for irrigation, household and municipal water use, and industrial uses. Most supplies come from surface runoff, although mining of “fossil water” from underground aquifers is an important source in some areas. The pattern of water withdrawal over the past 300 years shows the dramatic increases in this century.

[Human Appropriation of the World's Fresh Water Supply
<http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/freshwater_supply/freshwater.html>]

A timeline of human water use:
http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/   freshwater_supply/freshwater.html
•  12,000 yrs. ago: hunter-gatherers continually return to fertile river valleys
•  7,000 yrs. ago: water shortages spur humans to invent irrigation
•  1,100 yrs ago: collapse of Mayan civilization due to drought
•  Mid 1800’s: fecal contamination of surface water causes severe health problems (typhoid, cholera) in some major North American cities, notably Chicago
•  1858: “Year of the Great Stink” in London, due to sewage and wastes in Thames
•  Late 1800s-early 1900: Dams became popular as a water management tool
•  1900s: The green revolution strengthens human dependency on irrigation for agriculture
•  World War II: water quality impacted by industrial and agricultural chemicals
•  1972: Clean Water Act passed; humans recognize need to protect water
•  The six billion people of Planet Earth use nearly 30% of the world’s total accessible renewal supply of water.  By 2025, that value may reach 70%.  Yet billions of people lack basic water services, and millions die each year from water-related diseases.

B.   The unHealthy side Effects of Chlorine in Drinking Water
http://www.pure-earth.com/chlorine.html
The U.S. General Accounting Office reports that there are serious deficiencies in water treatment plants in 75% of the states. More than 120 million people (about 50% of the US population) may get unsafe water according to a study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

U.S. Health Officials estimate 900,000 people each year become ill – and possibly 900 die – from waterborne disease. The General Accounting Office estimates 66% of Safe Drinking Water Act violations aren’t reported.

The contamination of water is directly related to the degree of contamination of our environment. Rainwater flushes airborne pollution from the skies, and then washes over the land before running into the, rivers, aquifers, and lakes that supply our drinking water. Any and all chemicals generated by human activity can and will find their way into water supplies.

The chemical element chlorine is a corrosive, poisonous, greenish-yellow gas that has a suffocating odor and is 2- 1/2 times heavier than air. Chlorine belongs to the group of elements called halogens. The halogens combine with metals to form compounds called halides. Chlorine is manufactured commercially by running an electric current through salt water. This process produces free chlorine, hydrogen, and sodium hydroxide. Chlorine is changed to its liquid form by compressing the gas, the resulting liquid is then shipped. Liquid chlorine is mixed into drinking water and swimming pools to destroy bacteria.

Until recently, concerns about drinking water focused on eliminating pathogens. The chlorine used to reduce the risk of infectious disease may account for a substantial portion of the cancer risk associated with drinking water. Chlorination of drinking water was a major factor in the reduction in the mortality rates associated with waterborne pathogen. The use of chlorine was believed to be safe. This view is evident in an article, which appeared on the back page of the New York Times. The report stated that with the use of chlorine, “Any municipal water supply can be made as pure as mountain spring water. Chlorination destroys all animal and microbial life, leaving no trace of itself afterwards”. This statement reflected opinion accepted until recent years when halogenated organic compounds, such as chloroform, were identified in chlorinated drinking water supplies. Recent surveys show that these compounds are common in water supplies throughout the United States.

These concerns about cancer risks associated with chemical contamination from chlorination by-products have resulted in numerous epidemiological studies. These studies generally support the notion that by-products of chlorination are associated with increased cancer risks.

Chlorine is used to combat microbial contamination, but it can react with organic matter in the water and form dangerous, carcinogenic Trihalomethanes. According to Dr. Joseph M. Price, MD, in Moseby’s Medical Dictionary, “Chlorine is the greatest crippler and killer of modern times. It is an insidious poison”.

In a 1992 study that made front-page headlines, and was reported on in the July issue of the American Journal of Public Health researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee found that people who regularly drink tap water containing high levels of chlorine by-products have a greater risk of developing bladder and rectal cancers than people who drink unchlorinated water. The study estimates that about 9 percent of all bladder cancer and 18 percent of all rectal cancer cases are associated with long-term consumption of these by-products. This amounts to over 20,000 new cases each year.

Morris, with epidemiologist Thomas C. Chalmers and his colleagues at Harvard, used a new technique called meta-analysis to combine the results from the 10 best studies, yielding the new findings. They report that people drinking chlorinated water over long periods have a 21% increase in the risk of contracting bladder cancer and a 38% increase in the risk of rectal cancer. “I am quite convinced, based on this study, that there is an association between cancer and chlorinated water.”, says Robert D. Morris of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, who directed the new study.

About 90% of the population is drinking water which may contain hundreds of these Disinfection By-products (DBPs), also known as Trihalomethanes. The Environmental Protection Agency lowered the Maximum Contaminant Level for Disinfection By-products but it will be years before the new standard goes into effect.

In his book, Coronaries/Cholesterol/Chlorine, Joseph M. Price, MD presents startling evidence that Trihalomethanes, are the “prime causative agents of arteriosclerosis and its inevitable result, the heart attack or stroke.” These Trihalomethanes are created when the chlorine that is added to the municipal water supply reacts with organic matter such as leaves, twigs, or chemicals from agricultural runoff.

Here’s What The Experts Have To Say
•  Drinking chlorinated water has finally been officially linked to an increased incidence of colon cancer. An epidemiologist at Oak Ridge Associated Universities completed a study of colon cancer victims and non-cancer patients and concluded that the drinking of chlorinated water for 15 years or more was conducive to a high rate of colon cancer. Health Freedom News, January/February 1987
•  Long-term drinking of chlorinated water appears to increase a person’s risk of developing bladder cancer as much as 80%, according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Some 45,000 Americans are diagnosed every year with bladder cancer. St. Paul Dispatch & Pioneer Press, December 17, 1987
•  Although concentrations of these carcinogens are low…it is precisely these low levels which cancer scientists believe are responsible for the majority of human cancers in the United States.  Report Issued By The Environmental Defense Fund
•  Chlorine itself is not believed to be the problem. Scientists suspect that the actual cause of the bladder cancers is a group of chemicals that form as result of reactions between the chlorine and natural substances and pollutants in the water. (organic matter such as leaves and twigs.) St. Paul Dispatch & Pioneer Press, December 17, 1987
•  Greenpeace reports have found chlorine-based compounds to be the most common toxic and persistent pollutants in the Great Lakes.

Summary and Prevention Strategies
Contaminants may enter water supplies at many points before reaching the tap. The carcinogens in drinking water at the point of use may result from contamination of source water, arise from the treatment processes, or enter as the water is transported to the consumer. Varied carcinogens may contaminate the source water, but they usually exist in drinking water at low concentrations. However, chemicals that enter drinking water during water treatment are limited in number, but appear in drinking water supplies with greater frequency than most source water contaminants.

Under conditions of average temperature, humidity, and activity, the human body loses and, therefore, must replace about 2.3 liters of water each day. Two-thirds of this consumption is in the form of water or some other beverage. Concerns about the health risks or taste of drinking water may cause those who consume tap water to shift to bottled water, or other beverages. These beverages may include sweetened soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, which can pose health risks greater than those associated with drinking water.

To stop chlorination of drinking water to eliminate the elevated cancer risks from chlorination by-products would be foolhardy. Nonetheless, the data provide strong evidence to support expanded efforts in research and development of alternatives to chlorination for the disinfection of drinking water. Chlorination is particularly effective in preventing recontamination during distribution. Alternatives must provide a similar level of protection. Perhaps the most viable alternative is point of use water treatment units.

The weight of the evidence suggests that chlorination by-products pose substantial cancer risks that should be reduced.

Dr. Herbert Schwartz of Cumberland County College in Vineman, N.J. says: “Chlorine has so many dangers it should be banned. Putting chlorine in the water supply is like starting a time bomb. Cancer, heart trouble, premature senility, both mental and physical, are conditions attributable to chlorine treated water supplies. It is making us grow old before our time by producing symptoms of aging such as hardening of the arteries.”

Chlorine has been hailed as the saviour against cholera and various other water-borne diseases; and rightfully so. Its disinfectant qualities and economy of production have allowed communities and whole cities to grow and prosper by providing disease-free tap water to homes and industry. Some people have grown-up on tap water, and believe the taste of chlorine signifies purity and safety. Well, not necessarily so.

      Chlorine is, essentially, bleach. And what comes out of most municipally delivered faucets is, quite actually, a mild bleach solution. Consider some well-known attributes of chlorine. Let’s say, “the dark side” of the saviour. A PhD chemist friend put it this way: “If I were assigned to go into a lab and produce a menu of known carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), the first thing I would do would be to grab-up a cylinder of chlorine and start bubbling it through some water that contains naturally occuring organic acids (humic and fumic acids — as are found in all natural bodies of water like rivers, lakes, reservoirs, etc.).”

      Note the “chloro” part in the following: trichlorophosphate (TCP) and the trihalomethane group (THMs) which includes chloroform. You may recognize these known bad guys by the legally imposed requirement of your municipality to periodically make report to the public (newspaper) on the levels of these known or highly suspected carcinogens in the tap water being produced. There are others, but those are popularly known. And they’re all chlorine by-products.

      Another problem directly related to chlorine disinfection are the aesthetic properties imparted when chlorine is combined with organic compounds that are natural to open bodies of water (surface water). This regards the “taste and odor” problems many municipalities experience during certain times of the year (especially in four-season latitudes) which draw their water supply from surface water. Surface water includes ponds, lakes, reservoirs, rivers, etc., as opposed to underground sources (wells, aquifers). Bubble chlorine through humic and fumic acids common to surface water supplies and you produce the “fishy” or “musty” odors and tastes so common in the spring and fall, when the lake “turns-over.”

The good news is, you don’t have to drink it anymore. The most practical and efficient method for removing chlorine, chlorine by-products, and taste and odor problems, is to filter it with granular activated carbon (GAC) or other suitable chemical-removing filter media.

      The municipalities are stuck. Environmental and public safety laws require most to maintain a chlorine residual throughout the entire water main delivery system. This is to retain some disinfecting properties in the event of groundwater infiltration and other contaminations. Barking at your local water company or water department about the taste and odor will accomplish nothing. Chances are, they’re doing their best, and meeting the laws. The most practical solution to the problem is to take it back out at the “point of use” (POU) — your own home or office.

Environmental Systems Distributing
Sunday, 20 February, 2000, The Electronic Telegraph, London, England
An independent study into the use of chlorine-treated drinking water has been ordered by the Government because of fears that it may cause spina bifida and stillbirths.

Scientists from Imperial College, London University, will carry out the research after doctors in Norway, Canada and the United States reported higher levels of birth defects in areas where chlorine is used, compared with drinking water treated by alternative methods. All of Britain’s water companies chlorinate their supplies. The only people who have non-chlorinated water are those with their own bore holes or wells.

A Norwegian study of 141,000 births over three years found a 14 per cent increased risk of birth defects in areas with chlorinated water. Scientists have already found an association between chlorine and an increased risk of bowel, kidney and bladder cancer, but it is the first time that a link has been found with higher levels of spina bifida.

Last night the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association said it was “concerned” by the findings and would be discussing them with medical advisers before considering making representations to the Government. British water industry experts have not dismissed the findings but said that the safety benefits of purification outweigh the risks of birth defects.

Dr Per Magnus, who carried out the Norwegian research, said: “This is an important finding because we know there are chemicals released by the action of chlorine on organic particles at treatment works. We have observed mutations in these chemicals which seem to tie up with mutations that are found in babies. We were in a unique position in Norway to make these observations because in some areas our water comes from the mountains and doesn’t require cleaning with chlorine.”

The Norwegian government has ordered more research. Concerned families there have been filtering tap water. A popular method has been to place sachets of coral sand, dredged from fjords, into water before it is drunk, removing all traces of chlorine in tap water in 15 minutes. In Canada, at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, researchers found that high levels of trihalomethanes, a by-product of chlorine in drinking water, significantly increased the risk of stillbirth.

Dr John Marshall, of the Pure Water Association, a pressure group which has been campaigning for safer drinking water, said: “It shows we should be paying more attention to the chemicals we put in drinking water and be looking for other alternatives to chlorination. A number of safe, non-toxic options exist, such as treating water with the gas ozone or ultra violet.”

Chlorine is in the same chemical group as fluoride, which has been linked with cancer and osteoporosis. There is also a connection between fluoride and increased blood pressure and an increase in problems with the thyroid gland. John Fawell, a leading specialist on water quality, and an independent industry consultant, said the British Government and water companies were taking the danger of birth defects seriously. He said: “The people who have done this work in Norway and the United States are reputable researchers and the Government and water companies have commissioned their own research from London University.

“But at present the conclusion of the World Health Organization and other concerned bodies is that the risk from contaminated water supplies outweighs the risk to health from chlorine. Levels of chlorine and its by-products have been falling in water and the amount coming out of the average tap is half a milliliter per liter.”

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C.     Environment: Top 11 compounds in US drinking water
12 January 2009 by Rowan Hooper
<http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16397-top-11-compounds-in-us-drinking-water.html&gt;

A comprehensive survey of the drinking water for more than 28 million Americans has detected the widespread, but low-level presence of pharmaceuticals and hormonally active chemicals.
[Photo at left: Our image of the kind of polluted water you might expect to find under the worst conditions in a 3rd World rcountry. We need to realize it's not just how water looks that idicates it's not healthy. Tap water in the USA looks clean and pure, but in large percent of the country, various types and concentrations of chemicals are in our drinking water. Chemicals that we can't see it or taste. Think of this in the same way as nuclear radiation, we can't see it or taste it, but a slightly higher doases over a number of years can injure you, or in the case of 'high tech' chemicals in the water, can disrupt activities in your body's biochemistry causing premature illness, disability and a reduction in your quality of life over the long term.  lfp]

Little was known about people’s exposure to such compounds from drinking water, so Shane Snyder and colleagues at the Southern Nevada Water Authority in Las Vegas screened tap water from 19 US water utilities for 51 different compounds. The surveys were carried out between 2006 and 2007.

The 11 most frequently detected compounds – all found at extremely low concentrations – were:
•  Atenolol, a beta-blocker used to treat cardiovascular disease
•  Atrazine, an organic herbicide banned in the European Union, but still used in the US, which has been implicated in the decline of fish stocks and in changes in animal behaviour
•  Carbamazepine, a mood-stabilising drug used to treat bipolar disorder, amongst other things
•  Estrone, an oestrogen hormone secreted by the ovaries and blamed for causing gender-bending changes in fish
•  Gemfibrozil, an anti-cholesterol drug
•  Meprobamate, a tranquiliser widely used in psychiatric treatment
•  Naproxen, a painkiller and anti-inflammatory linked to increases in asthma incidence
•  Phenytoin, an anticonvulsant that has been used to treat epilepsy
•  Sulfamethoxazole, an antibiotic used against the Streptococcus bacteria, which is responsible for tonsillitis and other diseases
•  TCEP, a reducing agent used in molecular biology
•  Trimethoprim, another antibiotic

The concentrations of pharmaceuticals in drinking water were millions of times lower than in a medical dose, and Snyder emphasises that they pose no public health threat. He cautions, though, that “if a person has a unique health condition, or is concerned about particular contaminants in public water systems, I strongly recommend they consult their physician”.

Christian Daughton of the EPA’s National Exposure Research Laboratory says that neither this nor other recent water assessments give cause for health concern. “But several point to the potential for risk – especially for the fetus and those with severely compromised health.”

Daughton says the contamination surveys help people realize how they are intimately and inseparably connected with their environment. “The occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the environment also serves to make us acutely aware of the chemical sea that surrounds us,” he says.

Modern life
While the US government regulates the levels of pathogens in US drinking water, there are no rules for pharmaceuticals and other compounds, apart from one: the herbicide atrazine. The atrazine levels measured by Snyder and colleagues were well within federal limits.
Snyder says water utilities could make drinking water purer. But the costs of “extreme purification” – far beyond what is needed for safety alone – are huge in terms of increased energy usage and carbon footprint. Ultra-pure water might not even be safe, adds Snyder.
The widespread occurrence of pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors reflects improved detection techniques, rather than greater pollution, says Snyder. Contamination is a fact of modern life, he adds.
“As we continue to populate and aggregate, our wastes will certainly accumulate where we live,” he says. “We as a species have decided to live a modern life, with pharmaceuticals, plastics, transportation – therefore we must accept that there will be a certain degree of contamination.”
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D.     Pharmaceuticals and ther Contaminants in Our Drinking Water?
http://health-compendium.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=121&Itemid=9
We can’t live without water…, tainted water may not seem like a big deal now, and without sounding to much like an alarmist it is an issue that will eventually affect all of us if something isn’t done soon (if it isn’t already). The issue of contaminants in the water that we drink has come to light lately in the press, and whether you believe the news or not, it is really an insidious detriment to society.

The reality of the situation is that we are completely dependent on water to survive; however we have a tendency to take this fact for granted. It is yet another environmental issue that lies just under the medical radar, and isn’t taken seriously because many ‘so called’ experts say we should not be concerned. Then there are the political issues; if the scientists that worked for the government and water treatment plants all over the U.S. let on as to how big an issue this is, there would be wide spread panic.
•  With that said; just to let you know how big a problem this is, contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and other chemicals in our drinking water has been shown to affect 41 million people that live in the U.S. Many of the largest cities in the country have reported that their water has been found to contain everything from antibiotics to anti-depressants, birth control pills, seizure medication, cancer treatment meds, hormones, pain killers, tranquilizers and derivatives of cholesterol-lowering compounds. This is only the tip of the iceberg, because when these meds come in contact with the chlorine that is already in the water, there is evidence that they become even more toxic than their original form.
•  These public water statistics are those that can be quantified because they are being extracted from documentation that comes from cities that keep these kinds of records. What about the folks that get their water from wells; this water isn’t filtered or treated in any way and therefore may contain higher concentrations of the above contaminants. So, where do these toxins come from, who is dumping them into the ecosystem? Well, the answer is fairly clear. Most of what is ending up in the system comes from the pharmaceutical industry, hospitals and millions of households around the country. When people are done with meds that they have not used up, they many times dispose of them by flushing what is left down the toilet, the other way they end up in circulation is by being excreted from the body as waste into the toilet, which then gets re-circulated in the water table. Most of these drugs pass through conventional sewage treatment facilities intact, and get re-deposited back into streams, lakes and even underground aquifers. The same goes for meds that have been tossed into the garbage, these pharmaceuticals often end up in dumps and landfills, and eventually again end up in our ground water. When researchers tested water from remote streams, they really didn’t expect to find much, but instead found as many as sixty different common pharmaceuticals…this really is shocking. The drugs they identified ranged from lipid-lowering drugs, antiseptics, antibiotics, beta-blockers, analgesics and contrast agents used to process X rays.
•  The information provided above has only touched on what comes from humans; the ‘other side of the coin’ are the hormones and other drugs that get deposited back into the environment as they are excreted from animals. Farm animals are also a source of contamination because they are injected with a host of drugs, and the rest they consume. An unknown fact is that approximately forty percent of the antibiotics used in the U.S. are fed to farm animals to increase yields. Many of the pharmaceuticals these animals excrete end up back in the ground water that surrounds many of our largest cities.
•  The above discusses only the pharmaceuticals, but there is much more to the story. Now take into account the millions of gallons of personal care products that people worldwide use every day, that end up in our bath water, septic tanks and sewage treatment plants. These chemicals are the active ingredients in soaps, toilet/shower cleaners, and shampoo’s which include an array of ingredients too long to list here. All of these also have a direct impact on the environment. Should we even talk about the pesticides, fertilizers and chemicals that are used on farms, in home gardens and those discarded by industry? It is mind boggling…

      There has been a considerable amount of press on this subject that has been printed lately, and some scientific organizations are just now starting to take note. However, much of what is being found isn’t getting much traction. You see; since a direct correlation between what is being found in the water that we are drinking can’t be directly tied to causing any specific disease, no one in a position of authority seems to want to take this issue on. It is really all about money, since there isn’t any monetary gain to be garnered from testing for these contaminants; it is difficult to get funding to do what is needed to make the case against the contamination that is on going.

      Some will say that these toxins were found only in trace amounts, which are in the parts per million or even lower range. This may be true, but what they don’t tell you is that many of these drugs are fat soluble and they will accumulate in the body over time. And if you are already taking some of these meds to treat a disease, ingesting extra amounts from external sources, even in small amounts can be toxic. This brings up the subject of antibiotic resistance; this occurs when the system becomes resistant to certain types and therefore doesn’t protect the body from what it is supposed to. Virus’s also become resistant to some drugs after long term exposure, they then mutate and the drugs no longer perform as they are supposed to.

      What is really disconcerting is that these contaminants also make their way into the food table, that is in fish and any other wild life that drink tainted waters, it can become concentrated in their bodies and then when ‘they’ are eaten as food, the recipient gets a much more concentrated dose than they would even get from water. So, you can see that it isn’t as simple as the people in charge make it out to be. When young girls start having their periods at age ten, and young boys start to appear with what is known as gynocomastia (man breasts), this is a problem and it is happening more and more each year. This doesn’t take into account the idiopathic pathologies that manifest in millions of people that the medical profession can’t treat, because they don’t make the connection between the environmental issue and the pathology that the patient is presenting with.

      So, you have to be the judge as to whether this is an issue for you and your children, you should read everything you can get your hands on that discusses this subject so you can make an educated decision. The only way that you can protect yourself as of right now is to purchase a reverse osmosis filtration system; this is the only sure way to ensure your drinking water is safe to consume. If you listen to the officials that claim there isn’t an problem, and that their treatment plants meet government standards for safety, well the standard right now really isn’t set up to show what levels are of concern, mostly because they claim it isn’t an issue to begin with. And even if it did, to filter and treat water at this level would cost millions, and no one wants to pick up the tab for that.

So, until such time that science can show that this issue can be tied directly to large groups of people manifesting a certain disease, those that are suffering from exposure and are presenting in the doctor’s office with sub-clinical symptoms that most doctors do not know how to treat or test for…,they will have to suffer. In the mean time, we will have to take charge and fend for ourselves. When it is all said and done though, your best defense is to drink clean water to start with.

Continued in Survival Manual/Social Issues/Modern Air & Water, Part 3 of 3.

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Modern Air & Water, Part 1 of 3

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/ Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Air & Water)

Modern Air & Water topics:
1.  Air pollution (it hasn’t gone away) .
2.  Water, with chlorine, fluorine, pharmaceuticals and more.
3.  Berkey water purification system, Royal model
4.  Mercury in food & vaccines
5.  Synopsis: Pollution causes 40% of worldwide deaths

1.    Air pollution

[Above: US Air Quality maps present a visual picture of air quality for more than 3,000 US counties. This map shows United States air quality by county.]

 [Above: The global map of air pollution compares closely with this map of Gross Domestic Product Density.]

[Above: When the dominant airflow came from south and east Asia, the scientists saw the largest increases in   ozone measurements. When airflow patterns were not directly from Asia, ozone still increased but at a lower rate, indicating the possibility that emissions from other places could be contributing to the ozone increases above North America. The study used springtime ozone measurements because previous studies have shown that air transport from Asia to North America is strongest in spring, making it easier to discern possible effects of distant   pollution on the North American ozone trends.
We're All In This Together: I think the take home message here isn't so much that Asian pollution is affecting the US, but rather that the Earth is a closed system (well, not literally, but when it comes to pollution, it mostly is) and what happens in one place has impact on other places.
A lot of that pollution coming from Asia was created because goods bought by people in the US were manufactured there. A lot of pollution from the US affects other countries  (f.ex., coal plant emissions going up to Canada). It's not about pointing fingers, but about cleaning up the whole system. We can't expect that we can simply ship off polluting industries elsewhere forever; developing countries won't accept that indefinitely, and once they get out of poverty they'll also   be interested in clean air/water/soil, but also, political borders don't matter to the atmosphere and the oceans.]
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A.     Smog – Who does it hurt?
What You Need to Know About Ozone and Your Health
Airnow, http://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=smog.page1
In fact, breathing smoggy air can be hazardous because smog contains ozone, a pollutant that can harm our health when there are elevated levels in the air we breathe. This publication will tell you what kinds of health effects ozone can cause, when you should be concerned, and what you can do to avoid dangerous exposures.

On a hot, smoggy summer day, have you ever wondered:
Is the air safe to breathe? Should I be concerned about going outside?

What is ozone?
Ozone is a colorless gas composed of three atoms of oxygen. Ozone occurs both in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and at ground level. Ozone can be good or bad, depending on where it is found:
•  Good Ozone. Ozone occurs naturally in the Earth’s upper atmosphere-10 to 30 miles above the Earth’s surface-where it forms a protective layer that shields us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. This “good” ozone is gradually being destroyed by manmade chemicals. An area where ozone has been most significantly depleted-for example, over the North or South pole-is sometimes called a “hole in the ozone.”
•  Bad Ozone. In the Earth’s lower atmosphere, near ground level, ozone is formed when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants, and other sources react chemically in the presence of sunlight.

Should you be concerned about exposure to ground-level ozone?
That depends on who you are and how much ozone is in the air. Most people only have to worry about ozone exposure when ground-level concentrations reach high levels. In many U.S. communities, this can happen frequently during the summer months. In general, as ground-level ozone concentrations increase, more and more people experience health effects, the effects become more serious, and more people are admitted to the hospital everyone should be concerned about ozone exposure. Children and adults of all ages who are active outdoors are at risk from ozone exposure.

Scientists have found that about one out of every three people in the United States is at a higher risk of experiencing ozone-related health effects. If you are a member of a “sensitive group,” you should pay special attention to ozone levels in your area. z
This publication describes several tools that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with State and local agencies, has developed to inform the public about local ozone levels. These tools provide the information you need to decide whether ozone levels on any particular day may be harmful to you. When ozone concentrations reach unhealthy levels, you can take simple precautions to protect your health.

[Above: This photo shows a healthy lung air way (left) and an inflamed lung air way (right). Ozone can inflame the lung's lining, and repeated episodes of inflammation may cause permanent changes in the lung.]

How might ozone affect your health?
Scientists have been studying the effects of ozone on human health for many years. So far, they have found that ozone can cause several types of short-term health effects in the lungs:
•  Ozone can irritate the respiratory system. When this happens, you might start coughing, feel an irritation in your throat, and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in your chest. These symptoms can last for a few hours after ozone exposure and may even become painful.
•  Ozone can reduce lung function. When scientists refer to “lung function,” they mean the volume of air that you draw in when you take a full breath and the speed at which you are able to blow it out. Ozone can make it more difficult for you to breathe as deeply and vigorously as you normally would. When this happens, you may notice that breathing starts to feel uncomfortable. If you are exercising or working outdoors, you may notice that you are taking more rapid and shallow breaths than normal. Reduced lung function can be a particular problem for outdoor workers, competitive athletes, and other people who exercise outdoors.
•  Ozone can aggravate asthma. When ozone levels are high, more asthmatics have asthma attacks that require a doctor’s attention or the use of additional medication. One reason this happens is that ozone makes people more sensitive to allergens, which are the most common triggers for asthma attacks. (Allergens come from dust mites, cockroaches, pets, fungus, and pollen.) Also, asthmatics are more severely affected by the reduced lung function and irritation that ozone causes in the respiratory system.
•  Ozone can inflame and damage the lining of the lung. Some scientists have compared ozone’s effect on the lining of the lung to the effect of sunburn on the skin. Ozone damages the cells that line the air spaces in the lung. Within a few days, the damaged cells are replaced and the old cells are shed-much in the way that skin peels after a sunburn. If this kind of damage occurs repeatedly, the lung may change permanently in a way that could cause long-term health effects and a lower quality of life.
•  Scientists suspect that ozone may have other effects on people’s health. Ozone may aggravate chronic lung diseases, such as emphysema and bronchitis.
•  Also, studies in animals suggest that ozone may reduce the immune system’s ability to fight off bacterial infections in the respiratory system.

Most of these effects are considered to be short-term effects because they eventually cease once the individual is no longer exposed to elevated levels of ozone. However, scientists are concerned that repeated short-term damage from ozone exposure may permanently injure the lung. For example, repeated ozone impacts on the developing lungs of children may lead to reduced lung function as adults. Also, ozone exposure may speed up the decline in lung function that occurs as a natural result of the aging process. Research is underway to help us better understand the possible long-term effects of ozone exposure.

Who is most at risk from ozone?
Four groups of people, described below, are particularly sensitive to ozone. These groups become sensitive to ozone when they are active outdoors, because physical activity (such as jogging or outdoor work) causes people to breathe faster and more deeply. During activity, ozone penetrates deeper into the parts of the lungs that are more vulnerable to injury. Sensitive groups include:
1)   Children. Active children are the group at highest risk from ozone exposure. Such children often spend a large part of their summer vacation outdoors, engaged in vigorous activities either in their neighborhood or at summer camp. Children are also more likely to have asthma or other respiratory illnesses. Asthma is the most common chronic disease for children and may be aggravated by ozone exposure.
2)   Adults who are active outdoors. Healthy adults of all ages who exercise or work vigorously outdoors are considered a “sensitive group” because they have a higher level of exposure to ozone than people who are less active outdoors.
3)   People with respiratory diseases, such as asthma. There is no evidence that ozone causes asthma or other chronic respiratory disease, but these diseases do make the lungs more vulnerable to the effects of ozone. Thus, individuals with these conditions will generally experience the effects of ozone earlier and at lower levels than less sensitive individuals.
4)   People with unusual susceptibility to ozone. Scientists don’t yet know why, but some healthy people are simply more sensitive to ozone than others. These individuals may experience more health effects from ozone exposure than the average person.

Scientists have studied other groups to find out whether they are at increased risk from ozone. So far there is little evidence to suggest that either the elderly or people with heart disease have heightened sensitivity to ozone. However, like other adults, elderly people will be at higher risk from ozone exposure if they suffer from respiratory disease, are active outdoors, or are unusually susceptible to ozone as described above.

How can you tell if you’re being affected by ozone?
Often, people exposed to ozone experience recognizable symptoms, including coughing, irritation in the airways, rapid or shallow breathing, and discomfort when breathing or general discomfort in the chest. People with asthma may experience asthma attacks. When ozone levels are higher than normal, any of these symptoms may indicate that you should minimize the time spent outdoors, or at least reduce your activity level, to protect your health until ozone levels decline.

Ozone damage also can occur without any noticeable signs. Sometimes there are no symptoms, or sometimes they are too subtle to notice. People who live in areas where ozone levels are frequently high may find that their initial symptoms of ozone exposure go away over time-particularly when exposure to high ozone levels continues for several days. This does not mean that they have developed resistance to ozone. In fact, scientists have found that ozone continues to cause lung damage even when the symptoms have disappeared. The best way to protect your health is to find out when ozone levels are elevated in your area and take simple precautions to minimize exposure even when you don’t feel obvious symptoms.

How can I find out about ozone levels in my area?
EPA and State and local air agencies have developed a number of tools to provide people with information on local ozone levels, their potential health effects, and suggested activities for reducing ozone exposure.

Air Quality Index. EPA has developed the Air Quality Index, or AQI, for reporting the levels of ozone and other common air pollutants. The index makes it easier for the public to understand the health significance of air pollution levels. Air quality is measured by a nationwide monitoring system that records concentrations of ozone and several other air pollutants at more than a thousand locations across the country. EPA “translates” the pollutant concentrations to the standard AQI index, which ranges from 0 to 500. The higher the AQI value for a pollutant, the greater the danger. An AQI value of 100 usually corresponds to the national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for the pollutant. These standards are established by EPA under the Clean Air Act to protect public health and the environment.

The AQI scale has been divided into distinct categories, each corresponding to a different level of health concern. In the table below, the AQI ranges are shown in the middle column and the associated air quality descriptors are shown in the right column. The left column shows the ozone concentrations, measured in parts per million (ppm), that correspond to each category.

Though the AQI scale extends to 500, levels above 300 rarely occur in the United States. This publication and most other references to the AQI do not list health effects and cautionary statements for levels above 300. If ozone levels above 300 should ever occur, everyone should avoid physical exertion outdoors.

When pollutant levels are high, states are required to report the AQI in large metropolitan areas (populations over 350,000) of the United States. You may see the AQI for ozone reported in your newspaper, or your local television or radio weathercasters may use the AQI to provide information about ozone in your area. Here’s the type of report you might hear:

 AQI Colors. To make it easier for the public to quickly understand the air quality in their communities, EPA has assigned a specific color to each AQI category. You will see these colors when the AQI is reported in a color format-such as in a color-print newspaper, on television broadcasts, or on your State or local air pollution agency’s web site. This color scheme can help you quickly determine whether air pollutants are reaching unhealthy levels in your area. For example, the color orange means that conditions are “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” the color red means that conditions are “unhealthy” for everyone, and so on.

This map shows ozone  levels in the south central United States on May 15, 2011. Ozone maps are updated several times daily to show how ozone levels change throughout the day.

Ozone Maps. In many areas of the country, measurements of ozone concentrations are converted into color contours of the AQI categories (green, yellow, orange, red, and purple, shown above) and displayed on a map (see example below) to show ozone levels in the local area. The map is updated throughout the day and shows how ozone builds during hot summer days. In some areas, ozone maps are used to show a forecast of ozone levels for the next day.

What can I do to avoid unhealthy exposure to ozone?
You can take a number of steps. The chart below, Health Effects and Protective Actions for Specific Ozone Ranges,” tells you what types of health effects may occur at specific ozone concentrations and what you can do to avoid them. If you are a parent, keep in mind that your children are likely to be at higher risk, particularly if they are active outdoors. You may therefore want to pay special attention to the guidance.

In general, when ozone levels are elevated, your chances of being affected by ozone increase the longer you are active outdoors and the more strenuous the activity you engage in. Scientific studies show that:
•  At ozone levels above 0.12 ppm, heavy outdoor exertion for short periods of time (1 to 3 hours) can increase your risk of experiencing respiratory symptoms and reduced lung function.
•  At ozone levels between 0.08 and 0.12 ppm, even moderate outdoor exertion for longer periods of time (4 to 8 hours) can increase your risk of experiencing ozone-related effects.

EPA recommends limiting outdoor activities as ozone levels rise to unhealthy levels. You can limit the amount of time you are active outdoors or your activity level. For example, if you’re involved in an activity that requires heavy exertion, such as running or heavy manual labor, you can reduce the time you spend on this activity or substitute another activity that requires less exertion (e.g., go for a walk rather than a jog). In addition, you can plan outdoor activities when ozone levels are lower, usually in the early

Health Effects and Protective Actions for Specific Ozone Ranges
Ozone Level:
1. Good:   What are the possible health effects?  No health effects are expected.
2.  Moderate: What are the possible health effects? Unusually sensitive individuals may experience respiratory effects from prolonged exposure to ozone during outdoor exertion.
What can I do to protect my health?  When ozone levels are in the “moderate” range, consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion if you are unusually sensitive to ozone.
3. Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups:  What are the possible health effects? If you are a member of a sensitive group,(1) you may experience respiratory symptoms (such as coughing or pain when taking a deep breath) and reduced lung function, which can cause some breathing discomfort.
What can I do to protect my health?  If you are a member of a sensitive group, limit prolonged outdoor exertion. In general, you can protect your health by reducing how long or how strenuously you exert yourself outdoors and by planning outdoor activities when ozone levels are lower (usually in the early morning or evening). You can check with your State air agency to find out about current or predicted ozone levels in your location.
4. Unhealthy:  What are the possible health effects?  If you are a member of a sensitive group, you have a higher chance of experiencing respiratory symptoms (such as aggravated cough or pain when taking a deep breath), and reduced lung function, which can cause some breathing difficulty. At this level, anyone could experience respiratory effects.
What can I do to protect my health?  If you are a member of a sensitive group, avoid prolonged outdoor exertion. Everyone else-especially children-should limit prolonged outdoor exertion. Plan outdoor activities when ozone levels are lower (usually in the early morning or evening).  You can check with your State air agency to find out about current or predicted ozone levels in your location.
5. Very Unhealthy:  What are the possible health effects? Members of sensitive groups will likely experience increasingly severe respiratory symptoms and impaired breathing. Many healthy people in the general population engaged in moderate exertion will experience some kind of effect. According to EPA estimates, approximately:
– Half will experience moderately reduced lung function.
– One-fifth will experience severely reduced lung function.
– 10 to 15 percent will experience moderate to severe respiratory symptoms (such as aggravated cough and pain when taking a deep breath).
People with asthma or other respiratory conditions will be more severely affected, leading some to increase medication usage and seek medical attention at an emergency room or clinic.
What can I do to protect my health?  If you are a member of a sensitive group, avoid outdoor activity altogether. Everyone else especially children should limit outdoor exertion and avoid heavy exertion altogether. This information on ozone levels is available on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/airnow.

What does exertion have to do with ozone-related health effects?
Exercise and outdoor activities can play an important role in maintaining good health. Physical exertion helps build up strength in the heart and lungs. But exerting yourself outdoors can actually increase your chances of experiencing health effects when ozone concentrations are at unhealthy levels. Why is this true? Think of it this way: Exertion generally causes you to breathe harder and faster. When this happens, more ozone is taken into your lungs, and ozone reaches tissues that are susceptible to injury. Research has shown that respiratory effects are observed at lower ozone concentrations if either the level or duration of exertion is increased. This is why EPA recommends decreasing the level or duration of exertion to avoid ozone health effects.

Examples of typical daily activities that involve moderate exertion include climbing stairs, light jogging, easy cycling, playing tennis or baseball, and stacking firewood. Outdoor occupational activities such as simple construction work, pushing a wheelbarrow with a load, using a sledgehammer, or digging in your garden, would also involve moderate exertion. Activities that involve heavy exertion include vigorous running or cycling, playing basketball or soccer, chopping wood, and heavy manual labor. Because fitness levels vary widely among individuals, what is moderate exertion for one person may be heavy exertion for another. No matter how fit you are, cutting back on the level or duration of exertion when ozone levels are high will help protect you from ozone’s harmful effects.

 What can you do to reduce ozone levels?
Ground-level ozone is created when certain pollutants, known as “ozone precursors,” react in heat and sunlight to form ozone. Cars and other vehicles are the largest source of ozone precursors. Other important sources include industrial facilities, power plants, gasoline-powered mowers, and evaporation of cleaners, paints, and other chemicals.

We can all help reduce ozone levels by taking the following steps:
•     Drive less. For example, instead of using a car, you may want to walk, use mass transit, or ride a bike.
•     Carpool.
•     Make sure your car is well-tuned. Take care not to spill gasoline when you fill the tank of your car or lawn or recreation equipment.
•     Make sure that you tightly seal the lids of chemical products-such as solvents, garden chemicals, or household cleaners-to keep evaporation to a minimum.
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B.   Air and Water Pollution an Increasing Threat to Human Life
Did you know: about 2 million premature deaths are caused each year due to air pollution in cities across the world? And over a billion people in the world do not have access to clean water?
Despite attempts by the United States and other countries to regulate air and water quality, pollution continues to present a major global problem. If not fully addressed over the next few decades, air and water pollution will continue to worsen the environment and endanger other living organisms.
It will also harm our health and ultimately threaten the existence of the human species.

Attempts to Regulate Air and Water Quality
The United States began regulating air and water quality several decades ago. While Congress began passing air pollution laws as early as 1955, The Clean Air Act of 1970 was the first legislation to establish comprehensive federal and state regulations that limited emissions from both stationary and mobile sources.
The Clean Water Act, enacted two years later, called for the restoration and maintenance of the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters.

The Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act have greatly improved environmental quality in the U.S.
These acts have greatly improved environmental quality in the U.S. For example, the six most common air pollutants have decreased by more than 50 percent, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, while air toxics from large industrial sources, such as chemical plants, petroleum refineries, and paper mills have been reduced by nearly 70 percent. New cars are more than 90 percent cleaner than they were in the 1970s, and production of most ozone-depleting chemicals has ceased. (Ceased in the USA, remember we transferred our most polluting industries-steel making to China, along with a lot of other manufacturing. lfp)
The rate at which wetlands are lost has declined some 90 percent since the early 1970s, and the amount of oil spilled annually into our waters has fallen to one-tenth of the level that once prevailed.

Worldwide Population Growth is Outstripping many of these gains
While substantial progress has been made, our worldwide population continues to grow, putting added pressures on the planet. The earth’s population has doubled from 3.3 billion to 6.7 billion in the last 40 years, and is expected to reach 9 million by the year 2040.

In the U.S. alone, energy consumption has increased by 50 percent since the 1970s, and vehicle use has increased by almost 200 percent, contributing to ever higher levels of pollutants in our air and water. 

Air Pollution Causes Global Health Risk
Studies have found that the risk of lung cancer and heart disease increases along with the level of air pollution. According to one study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, the risk of lung cancer death went up by 8 percent for every 10 micrograms of fine particles in a cubic meter of air.
Air pollution is usually concentrated in densely populated metropolitan areas, especially in developing countries where environmental regulations are lax or non-existent. For example, in China, which has all 10 of the 10 most polluted cities of the world, air pollution is believed to cause 1.75 million premature deaths per year.

[Photos above: Beijing, China, air on a day after rain (left) and a sunny but otherwise smoky day (right)]

Even in cities across the U.S., air pollution is taking a toll on human life. For example, a recent study of the health impacts and associated costs of air pollution in the Los Angeles Basin and the San Joaquin Valley found that if Federal air standards were being followed the savings would be about 3,800 fewer premature deaths among those age 30 and older; 1.2 million fewer days of school absences; 2 million fewer days of respiratory problems in children; 467,000 fewer lost days of work and 2,700 fewer hospital admissions in the state of California alone.
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C.  The Major Sources of Air and Water Pollution
So what exactly causes our air and water to become contaminated? There are many sources of air and water pollution, both direct and indirect. These include emissions from power plants and factories; sewage and storm water runoff; oil pollution and motor vehicle exhaust; pesticides, fertilizers and chemical solvents; litter that makes its way into our waterways; and military weaponry.

Power Plant and Factory pollution release tons of toxic chemicals each year
Every year U.S. factories release over 3 million tons of toxic chemicals into the land, air and water. This hazardous waste causes us to lose over 15 million acres of land annually, and leads to respiratory complications and other health problems. It also makes our rivers and lakes too polluted for us to swim in and drink.

Power plants, especially coal-fired plants, are a major source of air pollution. Despite the fact that coal is responsible for nearly 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S., coal-fired plants continue to be used for about half of all electricity in the U.S, according to the Sierra Club’s Dirty Truth report.

[Photo at left: The Amos coal powered electric plant at Winfield, WV]

Other industries, too, including paper mills, chemical companies, mining companies and manufacturing firms emit acidifying gases such as sulphur oxide and dioxide, carbon monoxide and dioxide, nitrogen oxide into the air. During precipitation, rainwater dissolves these gases, lowering the pH level and becoming acid rain.
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D.     Other forms of air and surface pollution
•  Acid Rain is reducing fish populations and decreasing biodiversity
•  Acid rain falls into lakes and streams, reducing fish population and harming plants and other organisms. A survey by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that acid rain caused acidity in 75 percent of the acidic lakes and about 50 percent of the acidic streams, reducing fish populations and decreasing aquatic biodiversity.
•  Acid rain also damages trees and forests by harming their leaves, limiting the nutrients available to them, and exposing them to toxic substances slowly released from the soil. In addition, acid rain takes a toll on human health. Many scientific studies have identified a connection between acid rain and increased illness and premature death from heart and lung disorders, such as asthma and bronchitis, according to the EPA.
•  Sewage and storm water runoff are also major pollutants. Every year, 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, stormwater, and industrial waste are discharged into U.S. waters.
•  Sewage pollution costs Americans billions of dollars every year in medical treatment, lost productivity and property damage, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
•  Stormwater runoff, caused when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over impervious surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks, and streets, also presents a major problem. Along the way, stormwater can pick up oil from automobiles, pesticides, fertilizers from gardens, micro-organisms from animal waste, and other toxic substances, depositing them into our waterways, where they damage plants, fish, animals and people.
•  Stormwater runoff is among the top sources of water contamination in the country today, according to the NRDC.

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Oil Pollution and Motor Vehicle Exhaust are major sources of air and water pollution.
•  Another major pollutant is oil, which makes its way into the water from automobiles, ships, industrial sites and tanker spills.
•  Each year, more than 700 million gallons of oil end up in our oceans worldwide, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Roughly half results from used engine oil and oily road runoff, while about a fifth comes from bilge cleaning and other ship operations.
•  Other sources include air pollution from automobiles and industry, as well as oil spills due to major tanker accidents. Not only do motor vehicles leak oil; they produce a variety of emissions that can have negative effects on humans, plants, animals and the environment. Vehicle exhaust contributes up to 60 percent of carbon monoxide emissions in the U.S., and up to 95 percent in larger cities. Hydrocarbons, which are made up of unburned or partially burned fuel, are a major contributor to urban smog, and can cause liver damage and even cancer. Other motor vehicle pollutants include carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulates and sulfur oxide.

Agricultural Pesticides, Fertilizers and Chemical Solvents contaminate land and drinking water supplies
Pesticides, fertilizers and animal waste generated by the agricultural industry are another source of pollution. Americans use over 1 billion pounds of pesticides each year to control weeds, insects and other pests.
Pesticide contaminates land and water when it escapes from production sites and storage tanks, when it runs off from fields, when it is discarded, and when it is sprayed aerially. In a study by the U.S. Geological Service, one or more pesticides were detected in 90 percent of streams and 50 percent of wells that were sampled.
Pesticides have been shown to harm birds, fish and other aquatic life, and even amphibians. The use of pesticides also decreases the biodiversity of soil, reducing its quality over time.
In addition to pesticides and fertilizers, household products such as paints, paint strippers, and other solvents; wood preservatives; aerosol sprays; cleansers and disinfectants; insect repellents and air fresheners; stored fuels and automotive products; hobby supplies; and dry-cleaned clothing emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which may cause cancer in humans, depending on the amount and length of exposure.

 Litter especially plastics pollute our oceans and rivers
Every year, 15 billion pounds of plastic are produced in the U.S., while only 1 billion pounds are recycled, according to the non-profit Greenpeace. Some of this plastic ends up getting swept into the ocean, where it accumulates with other trash to form huge, swirling vortexes. For example, one huge vortex off the coast of Hawaii has now reached the size of Texas [See Post: Modern Air & Water,Part 2 of 3]. Animals often mistake the plastic for food, and die after ingesting the toxic chemicals contained within it.
Because plastic decomposes only very slowly, it remains in the ecosystem for decades. As the amount of trash increases in our oceans, it is creating a crisis of epic proportions.
An estimated 100,000 marine mammals and turtles are killed by plastic litter every year around the world. Large marine animals such as seals and dolphins sometimes starve to death when trapped by plastic litter.

 Chemical Weapons Production, Testing and Use leach into the soil and waterways
Chemical weapons also pose serious threats to the environment. Despite numerous efforts to reduce or eliminate chemical weapons, many nations continue to research and stockpile them.
To date, about 70 different chemicals have been used or stockpiled as chemical warfare agents by several countries ranging from the U.S. to Russia to Iran.
In addition, nuclear weapons release enormous amounts of radioactive materials when they are exploded during testing, while the production of nuclear weapons generates large quantities of waste material and contaminates surrounding areas.

Millions of gallons of Radioactive Waste has made its way into soil and water
In the U.S. alone, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) lists more than 4,500 contaminated sites.
Nuclear weapons production and energy research have generated “millions of gallons of radioactive waste, thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel and special nuclear material, along with huge quantities of contaminated soil and water,” according to a five-year DOE environmental management plan.
Pollution from weapons programs has been associated with millions of deaths, most of them cancer-related. For example, a 2003 report by the European Committee of Radiation Risk, an international body made up of 30 independent scientists, concluded that pollution from nuclear energy and of exposures to global atmospheric weapons fallout accounted for 65 million deaths through the year 1989.

Continued in Survival Manual/ Social Issues/Modern Air & Water, Part 2 of 3.


[1] Members of sensitive groups include children who are active outdoors; adults involved in moderate or strenuous outdoor activities; individuals with respiratory disease, such as asthma; and individuals with unusual susceptibility to ozone.

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Filed under Survival Manual, __2. Social Issues

Experiences in living without electricity

(Survival Manual/5. Energy/ Experiences in living without electricity)

Tempers flare over 6 days of Connecticut power outages
4 Nov 2011,  Associated Press, By Michael Melia
<http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OCTOBER_SNOW?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-11-04-19-00-14&gt;

Hartford, Conn. (AP) — Tempers are snapping as fast as the snow-laden branches that brought down power wires across the Northeast last weekend, with close to 300,000 Connecticut customers still in the dark and the state’s biggest utility warning them not to threaten or harass repair crews.
Angry residents left without heat as temperatures drop to near freezing overnight have been lashing out at Connecticut Light & Power: accosting repair crews, making profane criticisms online and suing. In Simsbury, a hard-hit suburban town of about 25,000 residents, National Guard troops deployed to clear debris have been providing security outside a utility office building.
At a shelter at Simsbury High School, resident Stacy Niezabitowski, 53, said Friday she would love to yell at someone from Connecticut Light & Power but hadn’t seen any of its workers.

“Everybody is looking for someplace to vent – not a scapegoat, just someplace to vent your anger so somebody will listen and do something,” said Niezabitowski, who was having lunch at the shelter with her 21-year-old daughter. “Nobody is doing anything.”
The October nor’easter knocked out power to more than 3 million homes and business across the Northeast, including 830,000 in Connecticut, where outages now exceed those of all other states combined. Connecticut Light & Power has blamed the extent of the devastation partly on overgrown trees in the state, where it says some homeowners and municipalities have resisted the pruning of limbs for reasons including aesthetics.

The company called the snowstorm and resulting power outages “a historic event” and said it was focused on getting almost all power back on by Sunday night. [Note what should already be obvious, 'historic events' happen, that's why you should be prepared. Mr Larry]
For some residents still dealing with outages, no excuse is acceptable.

In Avon, a Farmington Valley town where 85 percent of customers were still without power on Friday, town manager Brandon Robertson said he faulted CL&P for an “absolutely unacceptable and completely avoidable” situation. He said the high school that is being used as an emergency shelter was still running on a generator. Although public works crews had cleared most of the town roads, he said, more than 25 still were blocked as they waited for CL&P crews to clear power lines.

“Our residents are angry. We’re angry,” he said. “It’s just really shocking.”
The person who has taken the brunt of the public scorn is CL&P’s president and chief operating officer, Jeffrey D. Butler. He has been appearing with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy at daily news briefings, but he was left to face a grilling by the media on his own Thursday night when the governor left the room after criticizing the slow pace of power restoration.

Butler said he was sorry so many residents have been left without power for so long during the chilly nights. He said Friday that his own house in the Farmington Valley has been without power since a generator failed, and he urged customers to remember the extent of the damage. [Basically, if it's much more than the average storm, the public may have to fend for themselves. Mr Larry]
“People need to keep in perspective the magnitude of damage,” he said.

The outages have driven thousands of people into shelters in New England and have led to several deaths, including eight in Connecticut.
In North Brookfield, Mass., an 86-year-old woman was found dead Thursday in her unheated home, and her 59-year-old son was taken to a hospital with symptoms of hypothermia, subnormal body temperature. The local fire chief said it was unfortunate they had not reached out to authorities or neighbors for help.

In New Jersey, authorities said fumes from a gasoline-powered generator are believed to have caused the deaths of an elderly couple discovered hours before electricity was restored to their home in rural Milford, near Pennsylvania, on Thursday evening.
For many without power, the past week has been a blur of moving between friends’ homes or hotel rooms with occasional visits to their own houses to feed pets and check, in vain, for electricity.

Glastonbury resident Alison Takahashi, 17, said she has bunked with friends and, for a few nights, with her parents in a hotel 45 minutes away, the only opening they could find after the storm. She said her brother, a high school freshman, also has moved like a nomad between friends’ homes all week, heading to the next when he worried he’d started wearing out his welcome.

“The cellphones are our life lines right now,” said Takahashi, a Glastonbury High School senior. “It’s the only way to know where everybody is, and if you forget your charger and your phone is dead, you can’t reach anybody.”
Some Connecticut residents have vented their frustration through dark humor on the Internet, turning to social media websites to ridicule the utility – often with profanity. One person tweeted: “Really (pound)CL&P? A hamster on a wheel would be a better power source.”

A few particularly irate power customers have taken their anger out on utility crews.
CL&P spokeswoman Janine Saunders said some hostile customers have approached the crews, but she declined to provide details. A police officer posted outside the utility’s office building in Simsbury along with a National Guard soldier said line crews had been threatened and they wanted to make sure people could complain without letting things get out of hand.

The utility urged the public via Twitter not to harass or threaten the line workers.
Saunders said the utility understands what people are going through and has stressed to customer service employees that they need to be empathetic.
“If people want to vent, call us, see us on Facebook,” she said. “We’re doing our best to try to respond to people and answer questions in those medium. But let the folks out in the field do their job.”

In Massachusetts, where tens of thousands of customers were still without power, the National Grid said in a statement that there have been “only a couple isolated incidents” and that most customers have been thanking crews for their work: “They are demonstrating their appreciation by bringing crews coffee and food.”

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick asked state utility regulators on Friday to conduct a formal investigation into how the state’s major power companies prepared for and responded to the outages.
In Connecticut, CL&P has promised to restore power to 99 percent of its 1.2 million customers by Sunday night. Butler, the president, said more than 1,740 crews were working and the utility was prioritizing schools and polling sites for elections on Tuesday. [Prioritize schools and polling sites ahead of homes?]

Simsbury resident Chris Gauthier, 47, said he was frustrated the power lines weren’t maintained better before the storm, but he said he was too busy to worry about who to blame. Every day, he wakes up before the rest of his family to start a fire in his den’s fireplace. He and neighbors were clearing a dozen fallen trees around his house with hand saws Friday as National Guard troops removed debris from the street.
“I have better things to do than dwelling on who’s to blame and stuff like that,” he said. “There are trees to clear and these guys (his three children) to feed and keep warm.”

First Selectman Mary Glassman, of Simsbury, said many homes are still not reachable by car because of downed trees and power cables, and officials are concerned for the residents’ safety as people in cold houses resort to driving across power lines to seek shelter elsewhere.
“We’re concerned people are getting to their wits’ end,” she said.

Some business owners already were planning to pursue compensation from CL&P for their losses.
In Canton, Asylum Hair Salon owner Scott Simmons filed a negligence lawsuit against the utility to make up for $1,000 in lost business from Saturday to Wednesday. He said other businesses owners who still don’t have power are taking a much bigger hit.
“I just think it was completely mishandled,” Simmons said of CL&P’s response to the outages.
A CL&P spokeswoman declined to comment on Simmons’ claims.
.

B.  Life Without Electricity in a Semi-Tropical Climate
May 13, 2011 , Lynn M.
<http://www.survivalblog.com/2011/05/life_without_electricity_in_a.html&gt;

We are preppers. I love reading the prep/survival books. There’s so much information out there and so many people involved in prepping now, there’s just no reason to not do it! We learned from experience that you can never be over prepared. Since 2004 I’ve learned how to store food for the long-term, how to filter water (okay, I’ll give credit to my Berkey on that one), I’ve learned about bug out bags and how to build a fire with a flint, but what I learned the most from was living for more than two weeks without electricity after hurricanes Frances, Jeanne and Wilma. Even though we were only thinking hurricane preparedness then, we were still leaps and bounds beyond most of our neighbors.

The obvious things that one can’t miss are non perishable food and water. You’d be surprised how many people wait until a hurricane warning to stock up on these basics. Once a hurricane is within 3 days of hitting, the stores get crazy and empty out. Shopping during that time is no longer an option for us, we’re prepared far in advance. The only food I can see getting right before a storm is bread (although we stock up and freeze bread when it’s on sale) and fresh fruits and veggies. When a warning is issued water is the first to go, then canned soups, tuna, Spam, etc. Let me tell you folks, eating soup when its 98 degrees with 98 percent humidity is not appetizing. We have to think about what we’d normally eat and work with that. I stock up on canned meats and fruits and veggies. We have an extra freezer stocked with meat. Unfortunately, during Hurricane Frances the storm lingered for 3 days over our area. We could not run the generator during the storm. The power went out immediately and all of our meat was lost by the time the storm passed. So stocking up the fridge and freezer’s a great idea but in the end you could lose it all. We regularly eat tortillas of all kinds, so I have a stock of masa and a tortilla press. Tortillas can be cooked on a skillet over a grill in no time at all. Speaking of the grill, we have at least four ways of cooking outside and only two of those require gas. We have many propane tanks (I’m not even going to tell you how many, it’s almost embarrassing!). But we also have a charcoal grill and a fire pit, with wood stocked up for fuel if needed. The wood needs to be covered or brought in during a storm so it doesn’t get soaked or blown away.

So food and water, obvious, but how to live without electricity? Well folks, that’s where the rubber meets the road. The everyday little things soon become a chore. Take brushing your teeth for instance. When no water comes out of the faucet it’s a little more complicated. Not only is there no running water, but because we are on city sewer (and remember, no electricity) only minimal waste can go down the drain. Basically because whatever you put down the drain could potentially come back into the home once the power goes back on. This happened to several neighbors, but not us. The water that we store is not just for drinking. After a storm we take a 5 gallon bucket and fill it, halfway or so, cover it and put it on the back porch. This is where we get water to brush our teeth and wash ourselves. All the dirty water is poured into a corner of the yard.

We did allow for toileting inside but only flushing when necessary. Again water is needed for flushing and you can see our supply dwindling as I type. Washing not only ourselves but dishes also needed to be done outside. We set up a table and again a 5 gallon bucket of water for our outdoor wash area. We used a lot of paper and plastic but some things still needed to be cleaned (pans, pots, etc). Whenever possible I used just cold water, soap and bleach, but with very grimy stuff we’d boil water on the grill and wash dishes in that. I added bleach to every wash load just to keep the germs minimal. That’s just breakfast folks. Now, I’m going to admit, after a few days my husband hooked the generator up to the water pump and we were able to bathe and have water from the outside faucet but it’s very hard water, normally used for irrigation only. It’s not potable but can be used for bathing and washing. Again, it had to be done outside which was fine because we actually have an outside shower. Only cold water though. We were able to have a little warm water by hooking up a hose to the faucet and laying it on the roof. The heat from the sun warmed what was in the hose. It was good for a quick shower and I do mean quick.

A normal day was extremely hot and humid, we were inundated with biting flies and mosquitoes and we were typically dirty and very tired. Having decent screens on the windows was crucial as they were open all of the time. Bug spray helped but it made us feel dirty and grimy. I was not up on hand washing clothes at that time and the laundry pile was a nightmare. If I have to go through it again I would do things differently. I’d have two 5-gallon buckets, one for washing, one for rinsing and a hand washer. They look something like a plunger and are sufficient for hand washing shorts, underwear and tank tops. I’d also re-wear whatever possible so not to create so many dirty clothes. Now you may be wondering why we didn’t just hook up the generator to help take the edge off of the misery. We actually had the generator hooked up most of the time. It ran the fridge/freezer and a window air conditioner at night. Generators are great but they’re expensive to run and it’s important to be of the mindset that you may be entirely without electricity. Even the gas stations took several weeks to get up and running.

Being that the inside of the house was miserable, we spent a lot of time on our porch. It’s actually more of a deck, with privacy fencing surrounding us but no roof. My genius husband rigged a shade screen from material we had stored. That worked for giving us a shady area in which to clean and eat but it didn’t help with the bugs. I now have two mosquito nets stored away. If we have to do this again my husband can surely hang those to give us a protected area.

In the end we made it. My neighbors made fun of me when I washed our dishes outside but when the power came back on sewage didn’t back up into our house. We both missed a lot of work but managed to feed our family of four (my husband, myself, young teen daughter and a handicapped adult) and keep us clean and entertained. We played games at night before it got too dark. Bedtime came early. I put cute bandanas in our hair to keep it back and my daughter loved that. We put stickers on ourselves so as we tanned up (in the sun much more than usual) we had silly designs all over. We had a stash of special snack foods and kept our spirits up by joking around and not taking everything so seriously. When the power came back on after the first storm we had been over two weeks living primitively. I have to admit, I cried.
.

C.  How do you live without electricity
Issue 73 Jan/Feb 2002, By Anita Evangelista
<http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/evangelista73.html>
It’s going to happen. Sooner or later, the power will go off, and you won’t know when (or if) it will come back on. This doesn’t have to be the work of evil-doers, either. It could be a sudden ice storm that brings down the power lines. It could result from other severe weather such as a tornado or hurricane, or from a disruption caused by faulty power company equipment, or even something as simple as a tree branch falling on your own personal segment of the grid. The effect is the same: everything electrical in your home stops working.

For most modern Americans, the loss of power means the complete loss of normalcy. Their lifestyle is so dependent upon the grid’s constancy that they do not know how to function without it. How do you cook a meal if your gas stove has an electric ignition? How do your children find their way to the bathroom at night if the light switches don’t work? How do you keep warm if your wood heat is moved through ducts by an electric fan? What do you do with a freezer full of expensive meat? How do you find out what is happening in your area with the TV and radio silent? What will you drink if your water comes from a system dependent on electrical pumps?

These are questions that both the Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency are asking people to seriously consider. Both of these agencies have suggested that preparations for three days without power are prudent commonsense actions that all Americans should now undertake.

We’ll look at these issues in the broad context of living without access to the grid, whether you’ve chosen to separate from it or whether the choice is made for you by outside forces. What you can do now to mitigate your difficulties if the power goes off in the future, and what you can do then to help keep your situation under control, will be the focus of this article.

Remember, too, that an important principle in all preparations is that you maintain as much “normalcy” in your lifestyle as possible. For example, if television is part of your relaxation and unwinding process, don’t assume you can easily do without it. The closer you can keep your daily routines to “the norm” for your family, the more easily you can deal with power outages.

There are five primary areas that are easily disrupted if the power goes off. Each of these is critical to daily survival, as well, so when making preparations for emergencies keep these in mind. In order of importance, they are: light, water, cooking, heating/cooling, and communication.

Light:  While living on our Ozark farm without the grid, we spent some time rising with the sun and going to bed when the sun set. This would probably have been a pretty healthy way to live, if everyone else in the world did the same thing. Our children’s bathroom needs didn’t stop when the sun went down, our neighbors figured that nighttime visits weren’t out of the ordinary, and those midnight raids on the pantry for crackers and peanut butter turned into fumble-fests. Sometimes the barking of our livestock guardian dogs meant strange predators were too close for comfort, somewhere in the countryside darkness. Light is the most important item on our Big Five list because without light we are not able to efficiently carry on the other activities of daily living.

The most simple and familiar form of emergency lighting is a flashlight. Do you have one that you could find in the dark, right now? If so, congratulations. You are among a very small percentage of Americans. Better yet if you have one for each member of your family, with fresh batteries, plus three extra sets of batteries for each flashlight. That should be your minimum “safe” number. Store your flashlight where you can quickly reach it in the dark night—under the mattress of your bed, for example. Each child old enough to walk should also have his or her own flashlight, and be taught how to use it.

Flashlights range in price from the 79 cent cheapie to the fancy multi-function $80 special. Consider a small 2-AA battery flashlight with a halogen bulb. These cost about $4-5 each, give an excellent clear white light, and are easily portable in a pocket or purse. Additionally, when we discuss communications later in the article, the most common battery used in these devices is also the AA, so your life will be simplified if you stick primarily to one type of battery and don’t have to buy various odd sizes for different needs.

Batteries wear out rapidly if your flashlights are used continuously: figure two changes per week of regular use. Alkaline batteries last longer, give a more powerful light, but cost more than regular batteries. Most rechargeable batteries are suitable for flashlights, but should be recharged when the light begins to dim a little. Don’t let them get completely drained. This means you would need several sets of rechargables for each flashlight (some would be recharging while you use the others).

Recharging can be done by means of a charger plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter outlet. These DC-powered rechargers can be found at auto supply stores and at Radio Shack for about $30 or less. Solar rechargers work slower but produce the same results for about $30.

Candles are available, slightly used, at garage sales and thrift stores (5 cents to 10 cents each or less), and some outlet stores like Big Lots have new candles for 25 cents. We have a cardboard box weighing 35 pounds that is filled with various sizes and shapes of candles. This would be about a year’s supply for my family. We’ve acquired them gradually, every time we found them inexpensively. They never go bad! Candles are easy to use and familiar. Most of us can adjust to using candles easily. The light is soft and wavering. You’ll need at least three candles if you hope to read by the light. If you have small children or indoor pets, care must be taken where you place them. Metal candle holders that hang on walls are probably the safest. Remember to place a heat proof plate underneath the holder to catch drippings. Save your wax drippings, too, to make more candles later.

Oil (kerosene) lamps produce a steadier light than candles. Department store oil lamps cost about $10 each and come in attractive styles. Lamp oil is about $3 per liter. A typical lamp will burn one to two cups of oil per night, so you would use about two liters each week per lamp. The light from these lamps is not quite adequate to read by unless it is placed very close, and the light does waver a little. A single lamp can provide enough light in a room so that you don’t bump into furniture, but two or three may be needed to provide good functional light. As with candles, if you have children, these lamps need to be placed securely and out of reach. The smell of burning oil (kerosene) can get heavy in a closed room so keep ventilation open. Keep an extra set of wicks ($2) and chimneys ($3) in case of breakage.

The Cadillac of oil lamps is the Aladdin Lamp. These run from $60 up to several hundred each. The light given off is as good as a 60-watt bulb, clear, and unwavering. You can read or do needlepoint by the light of one lamp. These burn the same oil or kerosene as typical lamps, but because they burn hotter, there is much less odor. Position these lamps so that they cannot accidentally be overturned, and so that the intense heat coming from the chimney won’t ignite something. Purchase an additional “mantle” (the light-giving portion of the lamp – $3), and chimney ($15), as backups.

Solar powered lamps ($80-$120) are typically small fluorescents, and can be run off of battery systems. It may take more than one day of bright sunlight to recharge these lamps, so you may need several—one to use, while others are recharging. The light is white and clear, good for area-lighting, and rather difficult to read by. Have extra fluorescent bulbs on hand, too.

Water: If you live in a town or city, the loss of power to homes and businesses probably will not immediately affect your water pressure, but it could affect the purification process or allow reverse seepage of contaminants into the lines. If, instead, your water comes from an electrically-powered home water pump, your water stops flowing the moment the power does. Either way, with the loss of power comes the loss of water (or, at least, clean water). Water that is free of bacteria and contaminants is so crucial to our survival that it should be a special concern in your preparations.

The easiest way to guarantee quality water is to store it right now. The important question is: how much? Both Red Cross and FEMA suggest a minimum of one gallon per day per person. This is an absolute minimum, and covers only your real drinking and cooking needs; bathing is out of the question.

The typical American currently uses around 70 gallons a day, taking a nice long hot shower, flushing the toilet several times, washing a load of laundry, letting the water run while brushing teeth, and for cooking and drinking. In a short-term emergency situation, only drinking and cooking water is crucial, but if that short-term incident drags out to weeks or months, daily consumption would rise to include bathing and clothes washing. And this presumes that the family has prepared a sanitary “outhouse,” so flushing isn’t needed. In that case, 5-10 gallons per day per person would be a more reasonable amount, with a weekly communal bath becoming the routine.

One to three-gallon jugs, direct from the supermarket, run about 60 cents to $2; these store easily under cabinets and counters. A few tucked into the freezer will help keep things cold if the power goes off. You can also store water inexpensively in large, covered plastic trash cans; they hold 36 to 55 gallons each. Refresh the water every two weeks, so it will be ready in case the power goes off. Kiddie swimming pools—a 12-foot wide, 36-inch deep pool holds 2500 gallons and costs about $250—also make excellent above-ground holding tanks. Buy a pool cover, as well, to keep bugs out.

Farm supply stores often sell “water tanks” made of heavy grade plastic. These can be partially buried underground to keep water cooler and less susceptible to mold and bacteria. These run about $1 per gallon of holding capacity, so a 350-gallon tank new will cost $350. Plan to filter and purify the water before use.

Collecting water can be done by hand with 5-gallon plastic buckets if you live near a river or stream (it must be filtered and purified before use). You can also divert rainwater off your roof, through the rain gutters and downspouts into plastic trash cans. If you live in the Midwest, Northwest, or East Coast, rainfall is adequate to make this your primary backup water source. West Coast, high desert, and mountain areas, though, won’t have sufficient rainfall to make this a reliable source.

A drilled well with an electric pump can be retrofitted with a plastic hand-pump for about $400 – $600. These systems sit side-by-side with your electric pump down the same well-shaft, and can be put to use any time the power is off. Typical delivery is about 2 gallons per minute, and pumping strength varies from 11 to 20 pounds—a good but not exhausting workout.

Water can be purified inexpensively. Fifteen drops of bleach (plain unscented) per gallon of water costs less than 1 penny, and ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide (3%) per gallon will also destroy bacteria. Twenty minutes of a hard, rolling boil will, too. Bleach is effective against both cholera and typhoid and has kept American water supplies safe for decades. The chlorine taste can be easily removed with a charcoal filter system (such as Brita Pitcher or Pur brands for home use, about $30).

British Berkefeld water filters, along with various other brands, are more expensive ($150-$250), but can filter and purify water indefinitely. Both eliminate bacteria, contaminants, and off-flavors. We’ve used a “Big Berkey” for four or five years, and it is a very reliable gravity-fed system. When shopping for filters, if they only offer “better taste” they won’t protect you from bacterial contaminants.

Noah Water System’s travel companion will work great in case of a power outage, or your water supply becomes undrinkable. The Trekker is a portable water purification unit. With the Trekker you can get water from any river, lake, or pond. It’s small enough to carry like a briefcase.

Cooking:  A person can survive indefinitely opening cold cans of beans for meals, but it wouldn’t be a very satisfying existence. In times of crisis, a hot meal goes a long way toward soothing the day’s troubles. The simplest way to heat a meal is the Boy Scout method: a couple of bricks or rocks set around a small outdoor fire, with the bean can propped over the flames. It’s low cost, and it works. However, the cook doesn’t have much control over the outcome.

Outdoor cooking of all kinds, including grilling and barbecuing, all work during emergency situations, provided you have the charcoal or wood (and matches!) needed to get the heat going. These are familiar methods, too, so family members don’t have to make a huge leap to accept these foods. It’s difficult to cook much more than meats and a few firm vegetables over open heat like this, though. Also, never use these devices in a confined space, as they emit carbon monoxide.

Campfire” cooking can lend itself to some baking, if you also have a cast iron Dutch Oven—a large, heavy, cast iron covered pot. Place a well-kneaded pound of bread dough into a heavily-greased or oiled Dutch Oven and put the cover in position. Make a hole or pot-sized well in the ash near the fire, and line this with glowing coals. Put about an inch of ash over the coals, and place the Dutch Oven into this. Now, pile about an inch of hot ash around the oven and cover with glowing coals, then another layer of ash to keep the heat in. Uncover and check your bread in about 35 minutes, it should be done.

Propane and butane camp stoves are so much like ordinary home stoves that there is no difference in the cooking results. Portable RV 2-burner propane stoves are often available used—mine cost $5 at a garage sale—and can even do pressure canning because the heat is consistent and reliable. A typical 20 pound propane cylinder, the kind used for barbeques, costs around $50 new, and a propane fillup is about $12. This will last for nearly a month of daily use. You’ll also need a feeder hose and pressure regulator for the stove, which can be prepared by your propane dealer for $20 or so.

Butane stoves are also portable and run off of a cylinder of the same kind of butane that is used in cigarette lighters. These stoves are $80-90 new, and cylinders are $5 and last for 8 hours of cooking.

General camp stoves (around $65 at department stores) operate on “stove fuel” (basically, propane in a small 1-pound cylinder – $3). A cylinder lasts for around 8 hours of cooking. You can also find camp stoves that will cook off of unleaded gasoline, and there are some that are “multi-fuel,” using either kerosene or gasoline—handy in case of a shortage of one fuel or the other. Use outdoors or on a covered porch to prevent carbon monoxide buildup in your home.

Solar cooking is another option, if you have plenty of unobstructed sunlight and someone who is willing to adjust the cooker to face the sun every half hour or so. A solar oven need be no more fancy than a set of nested cardboard boxes painted flat black on the inside with tempura colors, a sheet of window glass, and some aluminum foil glued to cardboard panels. Total cost for this, if you can scrounge leftover glass and cardboard, is about $1.

A solar oven design made with cardboard boxes, aluminum foil, and a piece of window glass. Interior of the box is flat black paint.

Place your food in a covered lightweight pan inside the box, prop it so the entire interior is exposed to the sunlight (about a 45-degree angle), cover with the sheet of glass (and tape the glass so it won’t slide), then prop the aluminum foil panels so that they reflect more sunlight down into the box. Move the box every 30 minutes so it maintains an even temperature. It will get hot fast, easily up to 325 degrees, and hold the heat as long as it faces the sun. Remember to use potholders when removing your foods! Our first solar oven had a black plastic trash bag as a heat-absorbing inner surface; it worked superbly until the plastic actually melted.
[I bought a Global Sun Oven with Thermometer for about $250. It's a very efficient oven, cooking chicken and loaves of bread in the same amount of time as the kitchen stove's oven. Google 'Global Sun Oven' or bring it up in Amazon.com; the manufacturer has a video showing its use. Mr Larry]

Keeping foods cool if the power goes out can be as simple as looking for shade, even under a tree. Some Ozarkers have partially buried old broken freezers in the shade of backyard trees, storing grains and winter vegetables inside. During the winter, your parked car will stay at the same temperature as the outside air—below freezing on those cold nights—so you can store frozen goods there safely. During the daylight hours, the car interior will heat up, though, if it’s in the sun. Park it in the shade of the house, or cover the windows and roof with a blanket to keep the interior cool.

Kerosene refrigerator/freezers are alternative appliances that will continue to function with the power off because they are “powered” by kerosene. Their cooling and freezing capacity is exactly the same as a regular refrigerator, and they come in the same colors. Typically, they are a little smaller than conventional ‘fridges and cost up to $1500, but they’ll last for decades with care.

Portable battery-powered refrigerators that keep your foods 40-degrees cooler than outside temperatures are available at most department store sporting-goods sections ($90). These run off of both DC and AC power, so they can be plugged into your car battery through the cigarette lighter outlet or into a solar power system.

What about that freezer full of expensive meat if the power goes off? First step is to cover the freezer with blankets to help retain the cold. Then, find dry ice (if everyone else in your town hasn’t already bought out the supply). Blanket coverings will keep a full freezer frozen for two days, and the addition of dry ice will prolong that to three or four days.

If power stays off, it’s time to eat and time to can the meat remaining. Canning low-acid foods like meat calls for a pressure canner ($90), canning jars ($6 for 12), a source of consistent heat (like a propane RV stove), and some skill. In considering your time requirements, it took me two days of steady canning to put a 230-pound pig into jars. Each quart jar holds 3 pounds of meat.

Heating and cooling: It’s a funny thing that even though we know winter is coming, we put off cutting our wood until after the first really cold night has chilled the house below comfort levels. But with the instability in the world today, it is sensible, and reasonable, to prepare well in advance of season changes. Putting in supplies a year ahead of time is a traditional farm practice, and it gives a cushion of safety against uncertain conditions.

Woodstove heating is more common, and comfortable to use, than it was two decades ago. New wood heaters run from $100 to several thousands, depending on materials, craftsmanship, and beauty. Better stoves hold heat longer and may have interior baffles that let you use less wood to produce more heat. Even so, the most basic metal-drum-turned-stove also works to heat a room or a house.

Heating a 3-bedroom home that is moderately insulated will use about 8-12 cords of wood throughout the winter. The size of a cord  is  about 8′ x 8′ x 2′, roughly a pickup truck bed loaded even with the top of the sides. Prices will vary between $65 per cord to $150, depending on the region and type of wood. Hardwoods, such as oak and walnut, and fruitwoods like apple and pear, burn better and longer than softwoods like poplar. Don’t use resinous woods, such as the pines, cedars, and spruces for the main heating—only as firestarters—because they burn too hot and fast and generate creosote. Better home insulation and better quality hardwoods will decrease the amount of wood you need to use.

If you plan to secure and cut your own firewood, be willing to acquire a good-quality chainsaw—any that cost below $200 will only give you grief. Keep an extra chain on hand. Use safety precautions, too: wear ear and eye protectors, heavy gloves, and don’t chainsaw alone. Cutting your own wood will decrease your heating costs significantly, but increase your labor. It typically takes us a full week of constant work to put up a winter’s worth of wood.

Woodstoves require heat-proof surfaces surrounding them, an insulated chimney pipe (about $90 per 3-foot section), and some building skills in order to install. Installation costs can equal or surpass the cost of the stove itself. Chimneys need to be thoroughly cleaned of the black crusty buildup, creosote, at least twice each year (and more often if you use the stove continuously).

Propane heaters that don’t need venting to outdoors are a relatively new product. A plain one ($200) can be mounted on the wall in the home’s main room, or more fancy models that look like built-in fireplaces complete with fake logs ($450) are available. You will need a propane tank, regulator, and appropriate copper lines, but these will all be installed by your propane company for a small charge. Propane has varied widely in cost from year to year, but typically runs around $0.95 to $1.30 per gallon.

Kerosene heaters ($120) are freestanding units that burn kerosene in a way that is something like a lamp—it uses a wick system and flames to provide heat. These are best used in areas that can be easily ventilated, because of the potential for buildup of carbon monoxide. Kerosene has a strong odor, as well. Kerosene costs about $1 per gallon or less (in quantity).

Solar heat can be “grabbed” anytime the light from the sun hits your house. Even in the dead of winter, the south-facing walls will feel noticeably warmer than the shaded north-facing ones. You can “store” the sun’s heat in any surface. Ceramic floor tiles, for instance, are excellent at retaining heat. So will a flat-black painted covered plastic trash can filled with water. If these surfaces are exposed to sunlight, say, indoors next to a south-facing window, they will absorb heat during the day. At night, with the window curtains closed, the surface will release heat slowly and steadily into the house.

One of the most efficient ways to heat is something else we have forgotten in the past 50 years—close off rooms that are not being used. If doors aren’t available, you can hang curtains in doorways (or even tack up a blanket, in a pinch), and keep your heat restricted to the room you are actually in. In an emergency situation, you can curtain up a room and set up a tent-like “den” for the family to snuggle in under blankets. Body heat alone will keep the den’s interior comfortable.

A “shepherd” or “camp” stove offered by Cabela’s catalog. It has a detachable shelf on the right, detachable five-gallon hot water tank on the left, and an oven sitting above the stove body. The whole thing breaks down and is portable. It cooks very nicely, too. Costs about $500 for all components, excluding stove pipes, and it can be bought piecemeal. The light in the upper left-hand photo is a lit oil lamp, placed to give light when using the stove.

Cooling a residence during a hot summer requires just as much thought and advance planning as winter heating does. Battery and solar-powered fans help keep air moving, windows can be shaded by fast-growing vines and pole beans, and—planning way ahead—fast-growing trees like poplars can be planted on the house’s south side to shade the yard.

In areas where wind blows routinely in the summer, you can soak a sheet, ring it out, and hang it in front of a breezy window. The air passing through the window is cooled as it moves against the wet sheet, and helps to cool the house. Remember that heat rises, so make it easy for too-hot air to escape from the attic and upper floors by opening windows and vents.

Communications: In a time of distress, keeping in contact with family and knowing about local and national situations is important to maintaining both continuity and confidence. In general, telephone systems are on a different system than the electrical power grid, but they can be disrupted if there are earth movements or as the result of terrorist activities.

During the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, we kept informed about the damages by watching a 4-inch black and white TV set (bought used for $25) that was plugged into our car battery through the cigarette lighter. At night, we heard reports from the BBC via a 4-AA battery-powered shortwave radio ($70 from Radio Shack). I consider these two devices—shortwave and TV—the required minimum communication/ information devices during a crisis, especially if the phone system is down.

Satellite internet hookups, using a battery-powered laptop, could be an excellent communication tool, both for accessing news and for staying in touch with friends and colleagues by email.

Citizens Band (CB) radios are excellent tools, as well. These portable devices can be carried with you into the field and used to stay in contact with neighbors and family when you are away from the house. Basic models run $60—you’ll need at least two—and ones with greater ranges and features are more costly. They’ll run on 6 to 8 (or more) AA batteries.

“Family Radios” are FM-band devices that have a short-range, about ¼ mile ($60 for a pair). These are handy for keeping family in contact during outings, when traveling in a caravan, or when one member needs to go out to the barn during a storm. They run on 2 AA batteries.

Keeping things normal: Even though circumstances may change in the world, we can choose how we wish to react. We can live in a state of helpless anxiety—or control what we can. We can control our responses, in part, by maintaining as much normalcy in our lives as possible.

If your family relaxes in the evenings with a video, plan to continue doing that. Acquire a battery-powered TV/VCR combination, and make sure you have enough power sources to keep that going for at least two weeks. (If things get dicey, you can wean off the system in two weeks.) A cassette player or CD player with external speakers can provide relaxation and entertainment, and they run off of AA batteries as well.

Children have difficulty adjusting to sudden changes in their environment, so if you expect them to play board games if the power goes out, they should be comfortable with board games now. Keep routines consistent, arising at the usual time in the morning and going to bed as you have in the past. Prepare familiar meals with foods everyone enjoys. Have “fun foods” and goodies on hand. Remember to reach out to your neighbors and older folks who live nearby, and provide extras to help them, as well.
Use the knowledge you’ve gained, and your experience with non-electric living, to make your neighborhood a more secure and adaptable place.
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D.  How To Survive Without Electricity after Doomsday 2012?
22 July 2009, blog.2012pro.com , by Gerard Le Flamand
<http://blog.2012pro.com/2012/how-to-survive-without-electricity-after-doomsday-2012&gt;

How to survive in a situation when some major crisis occurs and leave everybody without electricity for months or even years?
The electricity has only been a common household item in the last 50 or so years. Before that, people have survived for ages – so a lack of electricity for any duration of time is something that can be overcome. But for most modern Americans, the loss of power means the complete loss of normalcy. Their lifestyle is so dependent upon the grid’s constancy that they do not know how to function without it. How do you cook a meal if your gas stove has an electric ignition? How do you keep warm if your wood heat is moved through ducts by an electric fan? What do you do with a freezer full of expensive meat? How do you find out what is happening in your area with the TV and radio silent? What will you drink if your water comes from a system dependent on electrical pumps?

These are questions that both the Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency are asking people to seriously consider.

There are five primary areas that are easily disrupted if the power goes off. Each of these is critical to daily survival, as well, so when making preparations for emergencies keep these in mind. In order of importance, they are: light, water, cooking, heating/cooling, and communication.

Lighting: It wasn’t too long ago that people were active during the day and simply went to sleep when the sun went down. Candlelight dinners were the norm. So candles or oil lamps and matches are one option. Stock up on oil and have enough candles to get you through the catastrophic event. However they are limited in quantity. After doomsday in 2012 you probably will need to learn how to make candles or lamps by yourself from the natural products.

Another option is to purchase a couple of solar or mechanically powered torches. For example, solar-powered lamps. They are typically small fluorescents, and can be run off of battery systems. It may take more than one day of bright sunlight to recharge these lamps, so you may need several—one to use, while others are recharging. The light is white and clear, good for area-lighting, and rather difficult to read by. Have extra fluorescent bulbs on hand, too.

Water: If you have a rainwater tank, no electricity means that pumps would not work to bring the water to your tap. Sure, having a generator would be handy for a few days, or as long as you have fuel. The easiest way to guarantee quality water is to store it. The important question is: how much? Both Red Cross and FEMA suggest a minimum of one gallon per day per person. This is an absolute minimum, and covers only your real drinking and cooking needs; bathing is out of the question. Another question is: how to get fresh water then the storage is empty? You will need to find a source of water (it must be filtered and purified before use).

Cooking:  You could quite easily cook a meal using a little portable gas stove – either a barbecue style apparatus. But you’d obviously need gas. Outdoor cooking of all kinds, including grilling and barbecuing, all work during surviving situations, provided you have the charcoal or wood (and matches!) needed to get the heat going. Never use these devices in a confined space, as they emit carbon monoxide!

Not having electricity brings the added difficulty of food storage. The old-time refrigerator is a round hole three feet deep. Dig it in your yard (or special place in your bunker) line it with plastic and place a hard cover over it. This hole will keep food from spoiling due to its lower temperature. Most foods would have to be non-perishable, pantry items. For meats you could salt and dry them (also the life important skills after doomsday 2012 ). You could plant some fruit trees and grow your own vegetables (& herbs).

Heating and cooling: All of the heaters obviously need fuel. It can be woodstoves, propane heaters, kerosene heaters…
One of the most efficient ways to heat is something else we have forgotten in the past 50 years—close off rooms that are not being used. You can minimize the heat lost in the closed room (or bunker) so you actually wouldn’t use that much fuel on heating.

Solar heat can be “grabbed” anytime the light from the sun hits your house. Even in the dead of winter, the south-facing walls will feel noticeably warmer than the shaded north-facing ones. You can “store” the sun’s heat in any surface. Ceramic floor tiles, for instance, are excellent at retaining heat. So will a flat-black painted covered plastic trash can filled with water. If these surfaces are exposed to sunlight, say, indoors next to a south-facing window, they will absorb heat during the day. At night, with the window curtains closed, the surface will release heat slowly and steadily into the house.

Communications:  It would be very hard to maintain the communication between a large numbers of people simultaneously without electricity after doomsday of 2012. Communication relates to our phones, cell phones, televisions and the internet. Radios would be the primary source of communication, as they were before television. There are some radios that you can buy which rely on solar or mechanically generated power to operate.

(End of post)

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Filed under Survival Manual, __5. Energy

Nuclear & Radiological Warfare, Part 2 of 2

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Nuclear & Radiological Warfare)

7.  List of supplies to acquire locally
If stores are still stocked and safe to go to, try to buy as many of the following items as possible… IMMEDIATELY! There are no quantities listed here on the food items below as family size because, as the emergency and panic widens, many items will be quickly sold-out or quantities restricted, and you’ll need to try to get more of what does remain on the shelves. At a minimum, you should be looking at two weeks of provisions, but much better to be aiming for two months or more. The reality is, if/when we are attacked, it will be a very long time before anything is ever ‘normal’ again, especially at any grocery stores. Hurricane victims can attest to the prolonged misery and disruptions from such a localized disaster, even with the rest of the country still able to help out. Nobody can begin to imagine how bad the suffering will be, and for how long, if nuclear weapons have gone off… and in multiple locations!

The half-dozen top listed and UNDERLINED food items listed below are primarily for use while in the shelter. They are mostly ready-to-eat that requires no cooking or preparation, just a can opener at the most. (The iodine solution is included here because of its importance for its thyroid-blocking topical use detailed above, IF you do not have KI pills, but it’s NEVER to be ingested or swallowed.) The other foods listed below there are better cost/nutrition staples for later use during the extended recovery period. Then follows general non-food supplies, tools and equipment.

Go Acquire It All Now, QUICKLY!
Better to risk being a little early when securing your families essential food and supplies, rather than a few hours too late and going home empty-handed:
›  Canned goods (pasta, soups, chili, vegetables, fruit, tuna, meats, beans, peanut butter, etc.)
›  Ready-to-eat foods (pop-tarts, raisins, cheese, granola/energy/protein bars, snack-paks, etc.)
›  Some perishable foods (breads and fruits like bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, etc.)
›  Assorted drink mix flavorings (with no cold drinks, just plain water, kids will appreciate it!)
›  Plenty of potent Multi-Vitamins, Vit C, Pepto Bismol, other meds, etc.
›  Iodine solution, like Betadine (16 ounces)- NOT TO BE INGESTED OR SWALLOWED!
›  Largest bags of rice, beans, flour, potatoes, pasta, quick oats and other grains
›  Multiple big boxes of dried milk (Could include/use some inside shelter, too.)
›  Multiple big boxes of pancake and biscuit mix & syrup
›  Large bag of sugar and jar of honey
›  Large 2 gallons or more of cooking oil
›  Baking powder & soda & yeast & spice assortment pack
›  Bottled water (especially if home supplies not secured yet)
›  Paper or plastic plates/bowls/cups/utensils and paper towels
›  Quality manual can opener, 2 if you don’t already have one at home
›  Kitchen matches and disposable lighters
›  New metal garbage cans and liner bags (water storage & waste storage)
›  5 gallon bucket and smaller garbage bags sized for it (toilet)
›  Toilet seat for the bucket (or use one from inside the house)
›  Toilet paper and, if needed, sanitary napkins, diapers, etc.
›  Baby wipes (saves water for personal hygiene use)
›  Flashlights (ideally LED) and more than one portable radio
›  Plenty more batteries, at least three sets, for each of the above
›  Bleach (5.25%, without fragrance or soap additives)
›  Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide and hand sanitizers
›  Aspirin/Tylenol/Motrin, Pepto Bismol, etc.
›  Prescription drugs filled, and as much extra as possible
›  First aid kits
›  Fire extinguishers
›  Plenty of inexpensive N95 particulate respirator masks
›  Plenty of cheap plastic hooded rain ponchos for everyone
›  Water filters and all other camping type supplies, such as portable camp toilet, cook stove and fuel, ammo, etc., if any sporting goods stocks still available.
›  And, of course, rolls of plastic sheeting, duct tape, staple guns, staples, etc.

Fallout topography and density for the USA following a extensive nuclear attack
  Pasted from <http://www.remm.nlm.gov/nuclearexplosion.htm>

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C.  What’s the Difference Between Alpha, Beta and Gamma Radiation?
Updated 15 Feb 2012, Nuclear Fallout Shelter Plans & Nuclear Civil Defense-Part2
Pasted from <http://www.radshelters4u.com/index2.htm>
Answer:  Everything in nature would prefer to be in a relaxed, or stable state. Unstable atoms undergo nuclear processes that cause them to become more stable. One such process involves emitting excess energy from the nucleus. This process is called radioactivity or radioactive decay. “Radiation” and “radioactivity” are often confused, the proper relationship is that “radioactive atoms emit radiation.”

The three main types of nuclear radiation emitted from radioactive atoms and included in all nuclear fallout are:
1.  Alpha:  These are actual particles that are electrically charged and are commonly referred to as alpha particles. Alpha particles are the least penetrating of the three primary forms of radiation, as they cannot travel more than four to seven inches in air and a single sheet of paper or the outermost layer of dead skin that covers the body will stop them. However, if alpha particle emitting radioactive material is inhaled or ingested, they can be a very damaging source of radiation with their short-range being concentrated internally in a very localized area.  (Alpha-these waves are easily stopped by normal clothing).

[Diagram above: Summary of fallout effects from a hypothetical 10 Kt nuclear explosion. The level of fallout decays quickly, declining by a factor of 10 for     every 7-fold increase in time.]

2.  BetaThese are also actual particles that are electrically charged and are commonly referred to as beta particles. Beta particles travel faster and penetrate further than alpha particles. They can travel from a few millimeters up to about ten yards in open air depending on the particular isotope and they can penetrate several millimeters through tissue. Beta particle radiation is generally a slight external exposure hazard, although prolonged exposure to large amounts can cause skin burns and it is also a major hazard when interacting with the lens of the eye. However, like alpha particles, the greatest threat is if beta particle emitting radioactive material is inhaled or ingested as it can also do grave internal damage. (Beta – these rays travel a few millimeters up to a couple of centimeters, and can penetrate exposed skin. These rays are generally emitted from light fallout that lands on the ground, skin, and vehicles. Having a proper chemical suit will help, but may not keep you from receiving Beta radiation.)

3.  Gamma: Gamma rays are similar to x-rays, they are a form of electromagnetic radiation. Gamma rays are the most hazardous type of external radiation as they can travel up to a mile in open air and penetrate all types of materials. Since gamma rays penetrate more deeply through the body than alpha or beta particles, all tissues and organs can be damaged by sources from outside of the body. Only sufficiently dense shielding and/or distance from gamma ray emitting radioactive material can provide protection. (Gamma- you can only protect yourself from this type of radiation by encasing yourself in dense cover, i.e.: 2′ of concrete all around, 3′ of densely packed soil, 6″ of lead, etc.)

Bottom Line: All three of the primary types of radiation above can be a hazard if emitted from radioactive nuclear fallout that was inhaled or ingested. Protected food and water and even a simple inexpensive dust protector face mask can go a long ways to denying this route of entry. However, for the penetrating gamma rays, it is essential to be able to identify the best protected shielding and distance options available, covered in the next, and last, Part 3 section. Pasted from <http://www.radshelters4u.com/index2.htm>
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 D How Much Radiation Is Too Much?
A: Before you can begin formulating a radiation protection shelter strategy (that will be covered in the next, and last, Part 3 section) you need to first understand and then determine the levels of radiation exposure one should be most concerned about in a nuclear emergency. Then the correct strategy best suited for the job will begin to reveal itself.

 _1. Table: Effects of radiation poisoning based on the millisievert mSv/hr dosage rates, the standard international measurement for absorbed radiation.

_2.  Table of expected health effects (below) for an adult assuming the cumulative total radiation (rads) exposure was all received within a week’s time. A rad (Radiation Absorbed Dose) measures the amount of radiation energy transferred to some mass of material, typically the human body.
One roentgen (R) of gamma radiation exposure results in about one rad of absorbed dose; measurement used in USA in the 20th Century.

Tables were prepared for measurements in RAD and R, I’ve pasted them together below; note that they are overlapping, the break down gives you a better idea of what medical consequences to expect at different exposure artes.
Bottom Line: Cutting through the above confusion, for purposes of practical radiation protection in humans, most experts agree (including FEMA Emergency Management Institute) that Roentgen, Rad and Rem can all be considered equivalent. The exposure rates you’ll usually see will be expressed simply in terms of roentgen (R) or milliroentgen (mR).

Table: Expected health effects from exposure to radiation

TOTAL EXPOSURE ONSET & DURATION OF INITIAL SYMPTOMS   & DISPOSITION
0-50   rads No   obvious short-term effects.
30 to 70 R From 6-12 hours: none to slight incidence   of transient headache and nausea;
vomiting in up to 5 percent of personnel in upper part of dose range.   Mild  lymphocyte depression within 24 hours. Full recovery expected.   (Fetus damage
 possible from 50R and above.)
80-120   rads You   have a 10% chance of vomiting and experiencing nausia for a few days.
70 to 150 R From 2-20 hours: transient mild nausea and   vomiting in 5 to 30 percent of
 personnel. Potential for delayed traumatic and surgical wound healing,   minimal clinical effect. Moderate drop in lymphocycte, platelet, and   granulocyte counts. Increased susceptibility to opportunistic pathogens. Full   recovery expected.
130   -170 rads You   have a 25% chance of vomiting and contracting other symptoms.
180-220   rads You have a 50%   chance of vomiting and having other severe physical effects.
150 to 300 R From 2 hours to three days: transient to   moderate nausea and vomiting in  20 to 70 percent; mild to moderate   fatigability and weakness in 25 to 60 percent of personnel. At 3 to 5 weeks:   medical care required for 10 to 50%. At high end of range, death may occur to   maximum 10%. Anticipated medical problems include infection, bleeding, and   fever. Wounding or burns will geometrically increase morbidity and mortality
270-330   rads 20%   chance of death in 6 weeks, or you will recover in a few months.
300 to 530 R From 2 hours to three days: transient to   moderate nausea and vomiting in 50  to 90 percent; mild to moderate   fatigability in 50 to 90 percent of personnel. At 2 to 5 weeks: medical care   required for 10 to 80%. At low end of range, less than 10% deaths; at high   end, death may occur for more than 50%.  Anticipated medical problems   include frequent diarrheal stools, anorexia, increased fluid loss,   ulceration. Increased infection susceptibility during immunocompromised   time-frame.  Moderate to severe loss of   lymphocytes. Hair loss after 14 days.
400-500   rads 50%   chance of death.
530 to 830 R From 2 hours to two days: moderate to   severe nausea and vomiting in 80 to 100 percent of personnel; From 2 hours to   six weeks: moderate to severe fatigability and weakness in 90 to 100 percent   of personnel. At 10 days to 5 weeks: medical care required for 50 to 100%. At   low end of range, death may occur for more than 50% at six weeks. At high   end, death may occur for 99% of personnel. Anticipated medical problems include   developing pathogenic and opportunistic infections, bleeding, fever, loss   of appetite, GI ulcerations, bloody diarrhea, severe fluid and electrolyte   shifts, capillary leak, hypotension. Combined with any significant physical trauma,   survival  rates will approach zero.
550-750   rads Nausia   within a few hours ; no survivors.
830 R Plus From 30 minutes to 2 days: severe nausea,   vomiting, fatigability, weakness,  dizziness, and disorientation;   moderate to severe fluid imbalance and headache. Bone marrow total depletion   within days. CNS symptoms are predominant higher radiation levels. Few, if   any, survivors even with aggressive and  immediate medical attention.
Greater   than 1000 rads Immediate   incapacitation and death within a week or less.

In a widespread nuclear event, there may be no escaping some radiation most everywhere. It would be very hard then not to exceed the conservative govt agencies peace-time usual advice to try to limit your normal exposure to 5 rad per year and 25 rad for lifetime and emergency workers to 50 rad. (Limits lower for children & fetuses.)

You always want to try to minimize any radiation exposure to As Low As Reasonably Achievable, ideally <100 rads, as that’s still 100% survivable for healthy adults, if not exceeded. “Very few of those receiving acute doses (received within 24 hours) of less than 100 R would become sick, even briefly.”

The response to radiation varies widely amongst people and the longer the time frame over which a specific dose is accumulated the better your body can respond to, and recover from, that radiation damage. In other words, a normally fatal (to 50% of a group exposed to it) cumulative dose of 530 R, if received all within a week or less, would create few noticeable ill-health effects if it was received, but spread out over a years time at the rate of about 10 R per week. That would be less than 1.5 R per day.

_3.  RadSticker’ dosimeter

[Image above shows a RadSticker dosimeter with different levels of exposure to radioactivity. Available through many site on the Internet. I bought mine for about $5 through Amazon.com.  PS. If you have a need for the dosimeter, you might also by a packet of KI pills while placing that order. Mr Larry]
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.E.  Protection:
KI4U, by Shane Connor (consultant and developer of Civil Defense solutions to government, NPO’s and individual families)
Pasted from <http://www.ki4u.com/illwind.htm>
“Potassium Iodide: KI tablets’, taken a half hour or more before exposure, and then for the next 7-10 days, saturates your thyroid gland with safe stable iodine where if you then later inhale or ingest radioactive iodine your body simply eliminates it. It provides nearly 100% protection from radioiodine and resulting thyroid cell damage and abnormalities, such as loss of thyroid function, nodules in the thyroid, or thyroid cancer. There is a cheap and effective preventative method to protect yourself and family from radioactive iodine. As of January 2005, Iosat, ThyroSafe, and ThyroShield are FDA approved KI products.

Safe room: Civil Defense and the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommend a safe room made from duct tape and plastic sheeting. However, the Israeli’s use this method of safe room in conjunction with a protective mask, as the safe room is not trusted to protect against aerosol agents, only liquid droplets. FEMA has neglected this in its recommendations. [Hence you might want to look at ‘gas masks, see: Survival Manual/6. Medical/General Clinic/Protective Equipment. Mr Larry) Even still, this is a minimalist method, and definitely not the best one out there, even when combined with a good protective mask. If you are, however, caught in a crisis situation when a good positive pressure safe room kit is unavailable, this may be your best option. Purchase the thickest plastic sheeting you can buy (6 mil is the thickest usually sold at most hardware stores.), and the silver looking duct tape, which is the stickiest available. Use pins to hold the plastic sheeting to the wall, then use the duct tape to seal it. Still, you will not be able to achieve an airtight seal, no matter how hard you try, make it the best you can, then don your mask.

Evacuation may be another possibility. However, just with radioactive fallout, chemical and biological weapons can shift as easily as the wind. You may be going upwind, but then have it change and blow the cloud of deadly chemical or biological agents right on top of you. Only consider evacuation if you have protective suits and masks, have a place to evacuate to, and have supplies already stored there. Otherwise, stay in place, and take shelter in a safe room or inside a protective mask and suit.

Either way, preparations made in advance and supplies pre-positioned, will be essential to assuring success. For instance, Chemical and biological agents can easily contaminate drinking water supplies. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep your water supplies in a tightly sealed container, and decontaminate the outside before opening.
It should be noted, that many of the current production NBC protective masks, such as the M-95, have a drinking attachment. The attachment allows you to drink from a special canteen without removing your mask. Check for, and decontaminate if necessary, biological or chemical agents on the canteen’s connection to the mask before use in a contaminated environment. Make sure you keep the canteen top well sealed on the canteen so agents do not leak inside.
There are special chemical detection kits that will allow you to detect certain chemical agents in water. The only one available to civilians is the M-272 kit. This kit will detect nerve, blister, and blood agents in water.
Bottom Line: Protection against chemical and biological weapons is possible. A safe room is probably the best option, but have quality protective masks and suits available as a backup. Evacuation may not be the best choice, for upwind may just become downwind easily.

Some Final Thoughts…
As mentioned above, this guide was written assuming it would not be read by the majority of its intended audience until a nuclear crisis is already fully upon us–when remaining time and resources to prepare will be extremely limited, maybe with only hours remaining before ‘the music stops’.
For that reason, the food, equipment and supplies listed above has been restricted to only the most common and typically available from local resources.
If you are fortunate enough to be reading this well before a nuclear threat (or other major disaster) occurs or appears imminent, there’s a great deal more that you can and should do beyond the scope of this brief guide.

Surviving the initial threats of a nuclear ‘event’ and radioactive fallout is relatively easy with the proper knowledge and even the most modest of preparations, as we’ve detailed above. The ongoing bigger challenge, though, will be the one brought on by the extensive and much longer-lasting disruptions of services after you survive the nuclear event and emerge safely once the fallout threat has diminished.

You might go many months with little or no new food supplies, along with disruptions of water, sewer, gas, electric, and telephone services, little or no gasoline, and severely limited medical and banking services, law enforcement and fire protection.

With more time to research, make plans, and order supplies, families are well advised to acquire more in-depth training, reference books, longer-term food and water stocks, fuel, medical supplies, personal security, communication equipment, radiation monitoring instruments, camping equipment, supplies and tools. Many informative web sites and suppliers make available all of the above, including military MRE’s ready-to-eat meals, dehydrated and freeze-dried foods, as well as buckets of beans, rice, and grains. They also offer solar cookers, water purifiers and barrels, camp and compost toilets, comprehensive medical kits and manuals, shortwave and local two-way radios, perimeter alarms, alternative energy and heating systems, fuel preservatives, long-term packaged seeds, gardening tools, canning equipment, etc. Survivalblog.com has many of the best advertising there. For radiation meters, potassium iodide, etc., see www.ki4u.com.

If all of this preparation seems daunting, here’s one strategy to make it a little less overwhelming: Think in two’s. First, acquire all the equipment and supplies your family would need to survive for two weeks if totally cut off from stores and utility and municipal services. It might help to consider all you would need during an extended camping trip in any season. Then, once you’ve accomplished that, expand your preparations and supplies to meet the goal of surviving at home for two months with no utilities or services. After that, continue adding provisions for two more additional months, with the eventual goal of gathering enough supplies so that your family can survive under these distressed conditions for a year or more.

A year might seem like overkill, but you’ll no doubt discover that in any disruptive event, numerous friends, neighbors, and relatives will be in need and you will want to help them if you can. Of course, ideally, they should also be preparing their own families for surviving coming disasters, so sharing this information with them might help get them started. Also, for your own family’s security, you always want to try to surround yourself with a buffer of like-minded people who are also doing the right things to prepare so they will become helpful allies instead of only a drain on your limited resources. Reality is, they could possibly even become an outright threat for your family retaining enough supplies for the full duration if difficult circumstances were to drag on and became ever more desperate.

Everyone that ‘prepares’ will be one less family standing in line for hours (or days) ahead of others who failed to, awaiting a hoped for arrival of a FEMA handout of food or water. Being prepared makes a ton of sense and will one day soon be seen by all, many painfully, perhaps even fatally, as clearly obvious and self-evident.

If you’re trying to convince yourself or a spouse to make the investment in prep equipment and supplies, also keep in mind this fact: Many of the supplies save money because buying in bulk and stocking up now is less expensive than buying smaller quantities later, especially as inflation ramps up and/or shortages appear. Further, if nothing bad ever happens, you can eventually eat the food and use most of the supplies, like toilet paper, fuel, etc., so they won’t go to waste.
They will also be useful in many disasters besides nuclear events. For example:
Job loss — Having two to four months of food at home would certainly relieve much of the stress of losing your job and being without an income while looking for another.
Pandemic – We could someday see a pandemic unleashed that would require families to self-quarantine themselves at home for many weeks to avoid catching the disease. Having these supplies and having made these preparations would make that extremely difficult time more endurable.
Natural disasters, economic dislocations, civil disruptions — Your family could ride out any number, or cascading combination, of these events in much better shape if you are sufficiently prepared.

Being prepared and stocking up makes sense on numerous levels, especially during this age when costs for many essentials, such as food, fuel, and ammunition, will surely only continue to increase. Stocking up now both saves money today and may well save your family tomorrow.”

[Image at left: The M-28 or M-29 Davy Crockett Weapon System(s) was a tactical nuclear recoilless gun for firing the M388 nuclear projectile that was deployed by the United States during the Cold War, photo taken at  Aberdeen Proving Grounds, 1961. This weapon had a maximum range of 1.24 miles to 2.49 miles. The XM-388 casing weighed 76 pounds, was 30 inches long and measured 11 inches in diameter at its widest point.   The Davy Crockett was developed before the Vietnam war, imagine what we have today, imagine the delivery systems: suitcase, launch from ship, drop from small private airplane, leave it in a car trunk parked at a major sports event; imagine the explosive power a device this size has today!...the thought is sobering! Mr. Larry]

(End of post: Nuclear & Radiological Warfare)
See additional in-depth discussions of protective techniques in the 4dtraveler, Survival Manual posts Categories: Social Issues, Food & Water, and Medical/General Clinic

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Filed under Survival Manual, __1. Disaster

Nuclear & Radiological Warfare, Part 1 of 2

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Nuclear & Radiological Warfare)

* Your own customized, nuclear weapons, ‘Thermal Damage Indicator’ map:
If you’d like to see a the area of thermal damage caused by a nuclear explosion shown on a street or satellite map, for any location in the USA, go to: <http://www.carloslabs.com/node/16> select your city and state, then from the drop down list, select the weapon’s size, press the “Nuke It” button and you have it.

A.  How to Kill America in 30 seconds or less
May 4, 2011, God like Productions, by John Galt
http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1475105/pg1
“On last night’s radio show, I outlined the absolute worst case scenario for America should the threats, which we must pray are hollow, of Al Qaeda and the Wikileaks information turn out to become reality. The twist is that instead of thinking “inside the box” I adopted the strategy that our nation’s war gaming community and others would and decided to identify the logical location inside the United States which would benefit one group of nations and enable the Al Qaeda terrorist movement to receive a virtually unlimited amount of funding which could allow them to parallel other Islamist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas in their civilian and military dual purpose roles within Arab societies.

The first thing to consider is the dangerous situation the United States and West now find themselves in. Killing Osama Bin Laden (OBL) was a necessity and as he apparently served little more than a figurehead role in recent years, that position still gave him great weight with the most radical extremists within the Islamist community. The other aspect which should give one pause is the failure of European and American governments to seriously secure the borders of their nations and accepting the open border policy as a solution to promote understanding and world peace, a long time goal of globalists and internationalists since the emergence of Marxism in the 19th century. This combination creates the formula for accessibility any radicalized terror cell would need to infiltrate and create another serious incident, perhaps one thousand times worse than the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The information gleaned from the Guantanamo Bay detainees also may indicate a cause for alarm if Al Qaeda has the existing capacity they are reported to have. From the U.K. Telegraph on April 25, 2011 article titled Wikileaks: Guantanamo Bay terrorist secrets revealed: Al-Qaeda terrorists have threatened to unleash a “nuclear hellstorm” on the West if Osama Bin Laden is caught or assassinated, according to documents to be released by the WikiLeaks website, which contain details of the interrogations of more than 700 Guantanamo detainees.

While the AQ boys have been known to write checks with their mouth that they cannot cash in reality, this is a disconcerting piece of information considering the wide open borders in our nation and the politically correct approach to dealing with terrorism until recently. The assassination of OBL may be the trigger event or signal which gives terrorists in the United States the green light to proceed; that does not necessarily mean just the Islamists either, as the internationalist movement has been looking for that one seminal event which forces the American population to ask for and accept an internationally structured system of finance and governance.

The information above might sound like something from an episode of the television series “24” or one of the conspiracy movies but think about the consequences of a nuclear attack on United States soil. If Al Qaeda does possess a functioning warhead or device, odds are it is from the old Russian nuclear arsenal, probably in the 10 kt to 25 kt range from the tactical warhead stockpile. In a worst case scenario it could even be a 100 kt or larger device from the Russian ICBM arsenal, yet it is highly unlikely that such a device would escape the Russian Republic, even during the confusion of the 1990′s.

The larger concern as outlined in Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons by Amy F. Woolf issued on February 2, 2011 from the Congressional Research Service is the estimated 15,000 to 25,000 non-strategic devices from their arsenal which were deployed throughout the old Soviet Union and its republics during the late 1980′s and early 1990′s. This report has one disturbing revelation on page 19 (See photocopied image below):

Unfortunately, like it or not, this gives the AQ threat a little bit more credence as even the Russians continue to refuse to acknowledge the numbers of nonstrategic weapons in their arsenal nor provide an inventory for review. This blind spot in the various nuclear weapons treaties is countered by the Russian argument that there is nothing to worry about as they have closed all storage facilities across their nation and consolidated all of the warheads in one central location. By using deductive reasoning is it not a major reach nor requirement to develop an extravagant conspiracy theory to assume that it is possible that one or more of the nuclear devices have escaped their oversight and control. That begs the question then; if Al Qaeda has studied the various documents about nuclear attack scenarios on U.S. soil provided by FEMA, the Department of Defense, and other agencies over the years, what location would cripple America for decades and kill our nation in thirty seconds or less?

Note the location, as the terrorists already have, of our petrochemical, refining, and other oil facilities in the Houston area. A detonation in the Deer Park area just southeast of the city destroying several large refineries, storage facilities, and natural gas electrical generation sites. The problem after the initial explosion beyond the immediate fatalities, panic initiated in one of America’s largest cities, contamination, and destruction of infrastructure is the spread of radioactive debris or fallout. An important difference between a surface burst and an air burst is, consequently, that in the surface burst the radioactive cloud is much more heavily loaded with debris. This consists of particles ranging in size from the very small ones produced by condensation as the fireball cools to the much larger debris particles which have been raised by the afterwinds. The exact composition of the cloud will, of course, depend on the nature of the surface materials and the extent of their contact with the fireball. I created the inset map to highlight the regions that would be impacted the greatest by a nuclear event in the Houston, Texas energy complex region. The fallout from a surface explosion based on the prevailing winds in the early autumn assuming a cold front is dropping from the north. The contamination for a small device would not be as widespread as the map displays but the terror to civilians would be palpable and create massive refugee flows away from coastal regions in the projected impact zones.

Unfortunately the areas most likely areas to receive a measurable threat from a sub 100 kiloton detonation would be more of the primary oil production and processing facilities from Beaumont, TX and coastal platforms through southern Louisiana, again depending on the upper level wind patterns at that time. Thus not only would a sizable percentage of our refining capacity be impacted directly in the blast zone, other areas would be temporarily unusable until the radiation levels decreased sufficiently for clean up and civilians were assured that they could work in those areas safely and returned.

This type of attack would remove close to thirty percent of our refining capacity not to mention an emergency evacuation of our platforms off the coast of that region, the shutting down of one of our most important military and commercial seaports, and the cessation of a large percentage of the oil and gas via pipelines originating from this region into the Midwest, Northeast, and South regions of the country. The United States economy would fall immediately into a depression, the dollar would collapse overnight, rationing of energy and foodstuffs would become a fact of life, and large quantities of our troops overseas would have to be recalled home to help maintain law and order. That begs the question, beyond Al Qaeda getting their “headline” and alleged revenge for the destruction of their leadership, who are the big winners?
•  Russia
•  China
•  Iran
•  Indonesia

Those nations either have strategic benefits extracted from the conversion of the U.S. from a superpower into a second world state or the much-needed boost into becoming an economic superpower. Russia would enjoy a renaissance as they would own Europe as a colony with the energy dependency they would gain as the American power vacuum expands instantly. China would achieve a strategic advantage over the Pacific and East Asian region as America would be economically incapable of stopping any actions they desired to engage in. Indonesia and Iran would instantly have the energy card to play and shift the OPEC dynamic from a consideration for the destabilized Arab states to a new cartel based on Venezuela, Iran, Indonesia, Nigeria, Angola, and other nations not experiencing domestic instability and dependent on the U.S. for their security needs. Thus one has to consider the economic benefits for promising Al Qaeda billions of dollars in gold or other financing to execute such an attack from some of the nations listed above. It would also give AQ the necessary funding so their organization could expand into programs similar to the infrastructure and political programs developed by Hezbollah and Hamas, and allow them to engage in activities in Arab nations which were allied with the U.S. as an ally or adjunct to groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, their old allies.

The biggest loser besides the U.S. would unfortunately be the nation of Mexico, already in the throes of domestic instability with a narco-terrorist war approaching the level of an internal civil conflict. The illegal and legal resident aliens would probably flee the U.S. as the border would instantly be militarized after such an event. With millions of unemployed citizens returning home plus the loss of one of Mexico’s largest crude oil customers (why would we buy oil we can’t process; remember that fact) the formula for a massive civil war to develop would be in place, putting further stress on our nation. One shot like this one and the United States is off of the geopolitical stage in less than thirty seconds.

These facts are nothing new to the terrorists nor those within the national security apparatus in Washington, D.C. or elsewhere. The government began taking measures to improve security and monitoring of these facilities and regions several years ago based on threats received from intelligence overseas and they have made no secret of their acknowledgment of the importance of these areas in our country. Unfortunately a nuclear device in a rental or stolen box truck with a suicide bomber at the wheel driving on the Pasadena Expressway or the Beltway would be unstoppable once the weapon is armed and he or she is on the road filled with evil intent.

Let us all pray hard that political correctness is under suspension again and those dedicated law enforcement and military personnel are doing everything in their power to prevent such an event. There are few choke points within the U.S. that could be called a “kill shot” location, but unfortunately the lack of an intelligent coherent energy policy to diversify and decentralize our energy infrastructure has created such an opportunity. I advise my readers and listeners to prepare for the worst case scenario as none of the information presented above is top secret nor classified in any way shape or form; it was all readily available on the internet and believe me, the enemies of our nation, foreign and domestic, are quite aware of this fact.”
..

B.  Where are the potential targets for nuclear attacks?
http://www.undergroundbombshelter.com/bomb-shelter-questions.htm
In general, potential military targets include:
•  Strategic missile sites and military bases.
•  Centers of government such as Washington, DC, and state capitals.
•  Important transportation and communication centers.
•  Manufacturing, industrial, technology, and financial centers.
•  Petroleum refineries, electrical power plants, and chemical plants.
•  Major ports and airfields.

Potential terrorist targets include:
•  Large cities such as NY, Boston, Washington, Atlanta, L. A., Dallas, Houston, Portland, Charlotte, Denver, etc.
•  Symbolic American cities such as Philadelphia, Hollywood, or Orlando (Disney Land).
•  Heartland cities such as St. Louis, Memphis, Chicago.
•  Cities or locations on the West Coast (taking advantage of maximum casualties created through east-traveling fallout).
•  Major sporting event such as Super Bowl or other sports game.

A bird’s eye views of events
Unlike the Cold War era when we would have some warning of an attack, in today’s world where the greatest possibility of a nuclear explosion will be delivered via terrorists, you will not receive notice of an impending attack. The unfortunate souls who are vaporized by a terrorist’s nuclear blast would probably be reserved to an area 1 mile in diameter.
The blast wave will move out so fast that people within 5 miles won’t have time to escape unscathed.
Those located 5 to 20 miles from the blast will probably see the mushroom cloud or panicking people and be able to make a hasty entrance into an underground bomb shelter in time to escape fallout hazards. Many baby boomers (people in their 50s) will race to local fallout shelters once maintained by the Civil Defense plan but no longer stocked with supplies. They are the ones who grew up doing monthly “duck and cover” drills in elementary or junior high school. The decision will improve their chances of receiving less radiation than most. But, many will die.

Within half an hour, most Americans will probably know a nuclear strike has taken place, and when and where it happened. Fallout charts will pepper the news and warn people in the predicted area.
Those of us who have built a shelter will have ample time to secure ourselves within the shelter.
Everyone else within the expected fallout zone will frantically pack their bags and hit the road in hopes of escaping the fallout, which will be falling 50 miles from ground zero an hour after the explosion. The traffic jams will see large numbers of people exposed to the radiation within the fallout. Those poor souls will be dead within hours. Some people within the traffic jams will escape with their lives by heading in a direction perpendicular to the expected fallout zone.

C.  What to do if a nuclear disaster is imminent!
This guide is for families preparing for imminent terrorist or strategic nuclear attacks with expected blast destruction followed by widespread radioactive downwind  fallout.
IF ONLY A ‘Dirty Bomb’ Attack (Not the vastly more devastating nuclear weapon blasts with fallout discussed below.) – You can expect localized and downwind contamination from the explosion and dispersed radioactive materials. If you are near enough to see or hear any local bomb blast, assume that it includes radiological or chemical agents. You should move away from the blast area as quickly as possible. If the wind is blowing toward you from the direction of the blast, travel in a direction that is crosswise or perpendicular to the wind as you move away from the blast area. If possible cover your face with a dust mask or cloth to avoid inhaling potentially radioactive dust. Upon reaching a safe location, remove your outer clothing outside and shower as soon as possible. Refer to local news sources for additional instructions about sheltering or evacuation. The government is better prepared to direct and assist the public in ‘dirty bomb’ emergencies, unlike more serious nuclear weapon attacks below.

In a national crisis of imminent nuclear weapon attacks, read all the way through this guide first, THEN TAKE EFFECTIVE PROTECTIVE ACTION, WITH CONFIDENCE… FAST!


1.  Stay or go?
If you are considering evacuation, your decision requires very high confidence that it is worth the risk. You do not want to get stuck between your current location and your hoped for destination, as there will probably be no easy getting back. If you fail to get to your destination, you may be exposed without shelter, in a dangerous situation with little effective law enforcement, perhaps among panicked hordes of refugees. Whatever supplies you have may be limited then to what you can carry on foot. IF you are in a big city or near a military target, AND you have relatives or friends in the country that you know are awaiting you, AND the roads between you and them are clear, AND the authorities are not yet restricting traffic, AND you have the means and fuel, evacuation may be a viable option for a limited time. DO NOT attempt evacuation if all of the above is not clearly known, or if the situation is deteriorating too quickly to assure the complete trip. You do not want to get stuck and/or become a refugee being herded along with panicked masses. If evacuation is truly a viable option, do not wait – GO NOW! Do so with as many of the supplies listed in #7 as possible. Better to be two days too early in arriving than two hours too late and getting snagged mid-way, potentially exposing your family to a worse fate than having stayed where you were. Because of the very real danger of getting caught in an evacuation stampede that stalls, almost all families will be better off making the best of it wherever they currently are.

2.  What you need to do first
Because time is of the essence, you need to first delegate and assign to different adult family members specific tasks so they can all be accomplished at the same time. Your first priorities to assure your family survival are: Shelter, Water, and Food/Supplies. While some are working on the water storage and shelter at home, others need to be acquiring, as much as possible of the food and supplies.

See related 4dtraveler posts in Survival Manual  Categories: Social issues, Food & Water, and Medical/General Clinic

3.  Food supplies
Because much of the food and supplies listed at #7 of this guide may quickly become unavailable, you need to assign someone NOW to immediately go to the stores with that list! Get cash from the bank and ATM’s first, if it can be done quickly, but try to use credit cards at the stores, if at all possible, to preserve your cash.

4.  Water
With one or more adults now heading to the stores with the list at #7, those remaining need to begin storing water IMMEDIATELY! Lack of clean water will devastate your family much more quickly and more severely than any lack of food. Without clean water for both drinking and continued good sanitary practices in food preparation and for bathroom excursions (which could be much less sanitary than normal), debilitating sickness could rampage through your family with little hope of prompt medical attention. That is a likely but, avoidable, disaster, ONLY IF you have enough water.

Every possible container needs to be filled with water RIGHT NOW! It will be very hard to have stored too much water. When the electricity/pumps go down or everybody in your community is doing the same thing, thus dropping the water pressure, what you’ve got is all you might be getting for a very long time. Empty pop bottles (1-3 liter) are ideal for water storage, also filling up the bathtub and washing machine. (Remember, later you’ll have some in your hot water tank.) If you have any kiddie pools or old water beds, pull them out and fill them up, too. (Water from a water-bed should be used only for bathing or cleaning, not for drinking as it may contain traces of algaecide and/or fungicides.) Anything and everything that’ll hold water needs to be filled up quickly RIGHT NOW!!

One of the shopping items listed at #7 is new metal garbage cans and liner bags which you’ll also use for storing water. If you can’t get any more new cans, you could clean out an existing garbage can and scrub it throughout with bleach, then put in a new garbage bag liner and fill it with water. Even sturdy boxes could be used with bag liners. (Use two liners if they are very thin/flimsy.) Choose well where you fill up garbage cans with water because they won’t easily be moved once full and many of them together could be too heavy for some upper floor locations. Ideally, they need to be very near where your shelter will be constructed and can actually add to its shielding properties, as you’ll see below. BE ASSURED, YOU CANNOT STORE AND HAVE TOO MUCH WATER! Do not hesitate, fill up every possible container, RIGHT NOW!

5. Shelter
The principles of radiation protection are simple – with many options and resources families can use to prepare or improvise a very effective shelter. You must throw off any self-defeating myths of nuclear un-survivability that may needlessly paralyze and panic and then seal the fate of, less informed families.

Radioactive fallout is the particulate matter (dust) produced by a nuclear explosion and carried high up into the air by the mushroom cloud. It drifts on the wind and most of it settles back to earth downwind of the explosion. The heaviest, most dangerous, and most noticeable fallout, will ‘fall out’ first closer to ground zero. It may begin arriving minutes after an explosion. The smaller and lighter dust-like particles will typically be arriving hours later, as they drift much farther downwind, often for hundreds of miles. Once it arrives, whether visible or not, all that will fall will have done so usually in under an hour, then blow around everywhere just like dust does on the ground and roofs. However, rain can concentrate the fallout into localized ‘hot spots’ of much more intense radiation with no visible indication.

This radioactive fallout ‘dust’ is dangerous because it is emitting penetrating radiation energy (similar to x-ray’s). This radiation (not the fallout dust) can go right through walls, roofs and protective clothing. Even if you manage not to inhale or ingest the dust, and keep it off your skin, hair, and clothes, and even if none gets inside your house, the radiation penetrating your home is still extremely dangerous, and can injure or kill you inside.

Radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion, though very dangerous initially, loses its intensity quickly because it is giving off so much energy. For example, fallout emitting gamma ray radiation at a rate over 500 R/hr (fatal with one hour of exposure) shortly after an explosion, weakens to only 1/10th as strong 7 hours later. Two days later, it’s only 1/100th as strong, or as deadly, as it was initially.

That is really very good news, because our families can readily survive it IF we get them into a proper shelter to safely wait it out as it becomes less dangerous with every passing hour.

What stops radiation, and thus shields your family, is simply putting mass between them and the radiation source. Like police body armor stopping bullets, mass stops (absorbs) radiation. The thicker and heavier the mass, the more radiation it stops, and the more effective it is with every inch more you add to your fallout shelter. The thickness in inches needed to cut the radiation down to only 1/10th of its initial intensity for different common materials is: Steel 3.3″, concrete 11″, earth 16″, water 24″, wood 38″. The thickness required to stop 99% of the radiation is: 5″ of steel, 16″ of solid brick or hollow concrete blocks filled with mortar or sand, 2 feet of packed earth or 3 feet if loose, 3 feet of water. (BTW, lead is nothing special, same as anything else pound for pound.) You may not have enough steel available, but anything you do have will have mass and can be used to add to your shielding – it just takes more thickness of lighter wood, for example, than heavier earth, to absorb and stop the same amount of radiation. Increasing the distance between your family inside and the radiation outside also reduces the radiation intensity.

[Concepts to learn from the images above: 1) If you have a basement in your home, or at a nearby   relatives' or friends' house that you can use, your best option is probably to fortify and use it, unless you have ready access to a better/deeper structure nearby. 2) Leave a small crawl-through entrance and more mass  there that can be easily pulled in after you, but with a gap at the top to allow exhaust air out. Have another gap of 4-6" square low at the other  end for incoming fresh air. Make bigger if crowded and/or hotter climate. A small piece of cardboard can help fan fresh air in if the natural rising  warmer air convection current needs an assist moving the air along. This   incoming air won't need to be filtered if the basement has been reasonably   sealed up, however any windows or other openings will require some solid mass   coverage to assure they stay sealed and to provide additional shielding  protection for the basement. More details on this in #6 section below]

The goals of your family fallout shelter are:
•  To maximize the distance away from the fallout ‘dusting’ outside on the ground, roof and trees.
•  To place sufficient mass between your family and the fallout to absorb the deadly radiation
•  To make the shelter tolerable to stay in while the radiation subsides with every passing hour

While a fallout shelter can be built anywhere, you should see what your best options are at home or nearby. Many structures already provide significant shielding or partial shielding that can be enhanced for adequate protection. If you do not have a basement available, you can still use the techniques shown below in any above ground structure, you’ll just need more mass to achieve the same level of shielding. You may consider using other solid structures nearby, especially those with below ground spaces, such as commercial buildings, schools, churches, below ground parking garages, large and long culverts, tunnels, etc.. Some of these may require permissions and/or the acquiring of additional materials to minimize any fallout drifting or blowing into them, if open ended. Buildings with a half-dozen or more floors, where there is not a concern of blast damage, may provide good radiation protection in the center of the middle floors. This is because of both the distance and the shielding the multiple floors provide from the fallout on the ground and roof.

Bottom Line: choose a structure nearby with both the greatest mass and distance already in place between the outside, where the fallout would settle, and the shelter inside.

For an expedient last-minute basement shelter, push a   heavy table that you can get under into the corner that has the soil highest   on the outside. The ground level outside ideally needs to be above the top of   the table shelter inside. If no heavy table is available, you can take   internal doors off their hinges and lay them on supports to create your   ‘table’. Then pile any available mass atop and around the other two open   sides such as books, wood, cord wood, bricks, sandbags, heavy appliances, full   file cabinets, full water containers, your food stocks, even boxes and pillow   cases full of anything heavy, like earth. Everything you can pile up and   around it has mass that will help absorb and stop more radiation from   penetrating inside – the heavier the better. However, be sure to reinforce   your table and supports so you do not overload it and risk collapse.

With more time, materials, and carpentry or masonry   skills, you could even construct a more formal fallout shelter, such as the   FEMA lean-to on the right, but you will need to assure structural integrity   is achieved and adequate mass is utilized.

An effective fallout shelter constructed in a basement  may reduce your radiation exposure 100-200+ fold. Thus, if the initial   radiation intensity outside was 500 R/hr (fatal in one hour), the basement   shelter occupants might only experience 5 R/hr or even less, which is   survivable, as the radiation intensity will be decreasing with every passing   hour.   Adding mass on the floor above your chosen   basement corner, and outside against the walls opposite your shelter, will   also increase your shielding protection. Every inch thicker adds up to more   effective life-saving radiation shielding.

As cramped as that table space fallout shelter might   seem, the vital shielding provided by simply moving some mass into place   could be the difference between exposure to a lethal dose of radiation and   the survival of your family.

The majority of people requiring any sheltering at all   will be many miles downwind, and they will not need to stay sheltered for   weeks on end. In fact, most people will only need to stay sheltered full-time   for a few days before they can start coming out briefly to attend to quick   essential chores. Later, they can begin spending ever more time out of the   shelter daily, only coming back in to sleep. As miserable as it might seem   now, you and your family can easily endure that, especially compared to the   alternative.

It’s really not so difficult to build an effective family fallout shelter, not to get it completed… RIGHT NOW!

6. Essential details
If you’ve accomplished the above; securing your supplies, stored water, and built your family fallout shelter, CONGRATULATIONS! You have now succeeded in improving the odds of survival for your family a 100-fold, or more! Now, you need to expand your knowledge and fine-tune the tactics that will make the most of your family survival strategy. .
_a)  If you are close to a target, your first indication of a nuclear detonation may be with its characteristic blinding bright flash. The first effects you may have to deal with before radioactive fallout arrives, depending on your proximity to it, are blast and thermal energy. Promptly employing the old “Duck & Cover” strategy, immediately upon the first indication of the flash, will save many from avoidable flying debris injuries and minimize thermal burns. Those very close will soon experience tornado strength winds and should quickly dive behind or under any solid object, away from or below windows. Even in the open, laying flat, reduces by eight fold the odds of being hit by any debris. A very large 500 kiloton blast, 2.2 miles away, will arrive about 8 seconds after the detonation flash with a very strong three-second wind blast. That delay is even greater further away. That is a lot of time to duck & cover IF alert and you should stay down for 2 minutes. If not near any target ‘ground zero’ you will only, like the vast majority, have to deal with the fallout later.
_b)  Government information and guidance is a vital resource in your response to a nuclear crisis, but for many reasons it may be late, incomplete, misleading or simply in error. While evacuation might be prudent for individuals who act quickly in response to a threat, governments will be slow to call for mass evacuations before an event because of their potential for panic and gridlock. As the past government calls for duct tape and plastic sheeting led to sold-out stores, anxiety, and derision from the press, there will be great reluctance to issue similar alarms. If you want to assure that you have adequate food and supplies for your family you must act BEFORE the panic without first waiting for government instructions that may never come or as urgently as warranted. You alone are ultimately responsible for your family.
_c)  Filtering the air coming into your home shelter won’t be required. Air does not become radioactive, and if your home is reasonably tight, there won’t be any wind blowing through it to carry the radioactive fallout dust inside. Simply sealing any windows and other openings prevents significant fallout from getting inside. To improve both the radiation shielding inside and to protect the windows from being broken and letting fallout blow in later, you should cover them all with wood, and basement windows with boards and earth, sandbags or solid masonry blocks, etc. on the outside and inside too, if possible.
If the basement air gets seriously stale later on, you could re-open a door into the upper floors of the still closed house, or secure a common furnace air filter over an outside air opening leading into your basement.

[The medical effects of radiation exposure are shown in a table in Part 2 of 2 of this post.]

_d)  Regarding fallout contamination, any food or water stored in sealed containers, that can later have any fallout dust brushed or rinsed off the outside of the container, will then be safe to use. As long as the fallout dust does not get inside the container, then whatever radiation penetrated the food/water container from the outside does not harm the contents.
If you suspect that your clothes have fallout on them, remove your outer clothing before you come inside and leave them outside. A cheap plastic hooded rain poncho that can be easily rinsed off or left outside is very effective. Have water and baby shampoo near the entrance to wash and thoroughly rinse any exposed skin and hair.
Exposure to fallout radiation does not make you radioactive, but you need to assure that you don’t bring any inside. If any are stricken with radiation sickness, typically nausea, it is when mild, 100% recoverable and cannot be passed on to others. Before fallout arrives, you might also try to cover up items you want to protect outside for easier rinsing off of the fallout dust later when it’s safe to come out and do so. For instance, if you have a vegetable gardening spot or cord wood for heating, you might try covering some of it with plastic or tarp and weighting them down.
_e)  If without sufficient time to acquire radiological instruments of your own, like survey meters, Geiger counters and dosimeters, you’ll need to be extra sure that your portable radios function properly from inside your shelter and that you have plenty of fresh batteries stocked for them. Without radiological instruments, listening for official guidance about the radiation threat levels in your particular area will be the only way you’ll know when it’s becoming safe to venture out. It might also be the only way you’ll know when you first need to take your initial maximum protective action.
When not in use, emergency  radios should not be attached to any outside antenna or even have their own antenna extended. And, they should be wrapped in any non-conducting insulation, like layers of paper or bubble wrap plastic and then stored in a metal container or wrapped in aluminum foil to minimize the potential of EMP ruining the electronics. Having back-up radios would be very prudent. With extra radios, you can have one always tuned to the closest likely target city and, if it suddenly goes off the air, that could be your first indication of an attack.
_f)  When fallout is first anticipated, but has not yet arrived, anyone not already sheltered should begin using their N95 particulate respirator masks and hooded rain ponchos. Everyone should begin taking Potassium Iodide (KI) or Potassium Iodate (KIO3) tablets for thyroid protection against cancer causing radioactive iodine, a major product of nuclear weapons explosions. If no tablets available, you can topically (on the skin) apply an iodine solution, like tincture of iodine or Betadine, for a similar protective effect. (WARNING: Iodine solutions are NEVER to be ingested or swallowed.) For adults, paint 8 ml of a 2 percent tincture of Iodine on the abdomen or forearm each day, ideally at least 2 hours prior to possible exposure. For children 3 to 18, but under 150 pounds, only half that amount painted on daily, or 4 ml. For children under 3 but older than a month, half again, or 2 ml. For newborns to 1 month old, half it again, or just 1 ml. (One measuring teaspoon is about 5 ml, if you don’t have a medicine dropper graduated in ml.) If your iodine is stronger than 2%, reduce the dosage accordingly. Absorption through the skin is not as reliable a dosing method as using the tablets, but tests show that it will still be very effective for most. Do not use if allergic to iodine. If at all possible, inquire of your doctor NOW if there is any reason why anybody in your household should not use KI or KIO3 tablets, or iodine solutions on their skin, in a future nuclear emergency, just to be sure.
_g)  When you know that the time to take protective action is approaching, turn off all the utilities into the house, check that everything is sealed up and locked down, and head for the shelter. You should also check that you have near your shelter additional tools, crow bars, and car jacks for digging out later, if required, and fire extinguishers handy, too. Also, any building supplies, tools, sheet plastic, staple guns, etc. for sealing any holes from damage. Your basement should already be very well sealed against fallout drifting inside. Now, you’ll need to seal around the last door you use to enter with duct tape all around the edges, especially if it’s a direct to the outside door.
_h)  You don’t need to risk fire, burns, and asphyxiation trying to cook anything in the cramped shelter space, if you have pre-positioned in your shelter enough canned goods, can opener, and other non-perishable foods, that are ready-to-eat without preparation. More food, along with water, can be located right outside your crawl space entrance that you can pull in quickly as needed when safe to do so.
_i)  For lighting needs within the shelter have some small LED flashlights or LED head-lamps to stretch your battery life. Try not to have to use candles if at all possible. Bring in some books for yourself and games for the children. Throw in a small/thin mattress, some cushions, blankets, pillows, etc.
_j)  Toilet use will be via a portable camp toilet or a 5 gallon bucket with a seat borrowed from one of the house bathrooms, if you did not purchase a separate one. Garbage bag liners, preferably sized for it, should always be used and a full-size and bag lined garbage can should be positioned very close outside the shelter entrance for depositing these in when it is safe to do so quickly. Hanging a sheet or blanket will help provide a little privacy as shelter occupants ‘take their turn’. The toilet needs to have its new ‘deposits’ sealed up tight with the plastic liner after each use and hand sanitizer towelettes nearby. Use a very secure top on the bucket and position it near the wall entrance with the outgoing upper air vent.
_k)  Pets, and what to do about them, is a tough call if you fail to make provisions for them. Letting pets run free is not a humane option, both for their potential to die a miserable death from radiation exposure outside and/or to be a danger to others, especially with dogs running in the inevitable packs of multitudes of others abandoned. Preparing for them is ideal, if truly realistic and not a drain on limited resources, while ‘putting them down’ might eventually become a painful, but necessary reality if the disruption of food supplies becomes very long-term.
_l)  Boiling or bleach water treatments will be used for cleaning questionable water later for drinking. (This is for killing bacteria, not for radiation contamination, which is never a concern for any stored and covered water containers or even sealed food.) Tap water recently put into clean containers won’t likely need to be purified before using.
To purify questionable water, bring it to a rolling boil and keep it there for 1 minute. If you don’t have the fuel to boil it, you can kill the bacteria by mixing in a good quality household bleach at the rate of 10 drops per gallon, and letting it sit for at least 1/2 an hour. The bleach should be at least 5.25% pure, like regular, Clorox,  be sure it has no additives such as soap or fragrance. You can later get rid of the flat taste from boiling, or some of the chlorine taste when using bleach, by pouring it from one container to another several times.
_m)  If still available and enough time to be overnight shipped your own radiation detection and monitoring instruments, potassium iodide anti-radiation pills, Nuclear Survival handbooks, etc., check at… http://www.ki4u.com/products1.php

Continued in (Survival Manual/ 1. Disaster/Nuclear & Radiological Warfare, Part 2 of 2)

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Places to hide money at home

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Places to hide money at home)

A.  Twenty Places To Hide Money At Home Besides Under Your Mattress
March 1, 2007, The Simple Dollar, Written by Trent
http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/03/01/twenty-places-to-hide-money-at-home-besides-under-your-mattress/

“Recently, I posted a discussion about why I keep a small amount of cash at home under the figurative mattress for major emergencies. One of the controversies with that article was the idea of actually storing cash under your mattress. So, to alleviate those fears, I sent out a call to a large number of contacts asking where they would keep money at home besides under the mattress and compiled the sensible responses into a list of twenty places where you can store your money besides under the mattress.
Why would you store it somewhere else? In the event of a burglary, under the mattress is one of the first places burglars look for cash, so by finding another place to store it, you’re drastically reducing the likelihood of having your emergency cash stash found or stolen. My recommendation is to choose one of these hiding places and place your cash there rather than actually under your mattress. I’ll even go so far as to say that I actually use one of these twenty myself.
.
Here goes:
1.  In an envelope taped to the bottom of a kitchen shelf
2.  In a watertight plastic bottle or jar in the tank on the back of your toilet
3.  In an envelope at the bottom of your child’s toybox
4.  In a plastic baggie in the freezer
5.  Inside of an old sock in the bottom of your sock drawer
6.  In an empty aspirin bottle in the bathroom (bundled up with a rubber band around it)
7.  In the pocket of a particular shirt in your closet
8.  In a “random” folder in your filing cabinet
9.  In an envelope taped to the bottom of your cat’s litter box
10.  In an envelope taped to the back of a wall decoration
11.  In between several pages in a random book or two on your bookshelf
12.  Buried in a jar in the back yard (my grandfather, incidentally, did this very thing)
13.  In an envelope in the glove compartment of your car
14.  Underneath a potted plant (or even buried in a small jar in the soil)
15.  In an envelope taped to the bottom of a dresser drawer (so you can reach it from the inside of the dresser below it)
16.  Inside of a big coffee cup in the back of a cupboard
17.  Inside your Christmas decoration box
18.  Inside of an empty bottle of Guinness in the back of the fridge with the cap seemingly in place (smash it to get the cash)
19.  In a plastic baggie inside of a flour or coffee container
20.  In an envelope inside of a DVD case
.

B.  Seven Secret Places To Hide Cash In Your Home
July 8, 2009, Frugal Dad, by Jason
http://frugaldad.com/2009/07/08/places-to-hide-cash/
It’s a good idea to keep a little cash in your home for emergencies. How much you decide to keep is up to you, but I would suggest keeping enough cash on hand to pay for a week of groceries, and maybe a night or two in a hotel. Because this money will not be earning interest, and is subject to being stolen by a burglar, I don’t suggest keeping a huge stash in your home. In addition to a small amount hidden at home, I also stash cash in our online savings account (my ING Direct review) to put a little distance between me and some of our savings. Think of cash stored in one of the best online banks as an offsite backup disaster recovery plan. When you’ve settled on an amount you should think about secret hiding places to stash the cash. We’ve all seen those spy movies where the guy removes the tile from the back splash behind his stove and pulls out a cache of bills, passports and ammo. Well, the following ideas may not be worthy of James Bond, but they will improve the chances of your money surviving a break in. Seven Secret Hiding Places for Your Cash

1.  In the freezer wrapped in aluminum foil. Save a little styrofoam from the next pack of meat you buy and cut it down to the size of a couple large steaks. Put your cash in a Ziploc bag, stick it between two pieces of the used meat tray and wrap it in aluminum foil. Take a piece of masking tape and write “Scraps – 05/22/2005.” Robbers are not likely to look through the pack, and if they pull back the foil they’ll only see the familiar styrofoam tray and stop.
2.  Sandwiched between the cardboard backing of a hard-to-reach picture frame. Most thieves pull back pictures from the wall to see if money is taped to the back, but they aren’t likely to take the time to look behind the glass, the cardboard backing and the picture itself. Use a pen knife to split the cardboard backing into two halves and sandwich the cash in between.
3.  Under a piano, entertainment center or anything weighing a couple hundred pounds or more. If you have a hand truck around the house it’s pretty easy to just lift up the corner of a piano and slide an envelope under it. However, a burglar probably won’t be able to lift something this heavy, and would spend his time digging through the drawers or inside of the furniture rather than trying to lift it.
4.  Inside a used can of soup. The next time you have soup, open the bottom of the can to empty the contents and the leave the top in tact. Rinse the can thoroughly, then use it to cover your stash of cash hidden inside your pantry. Stack a few cans of soup on top just to make it less convenient for someone to pick it up out of curiosity.
5.  Buried in the “soil” of a fake plant. If you have a fake plant, or small tree, in your home, wrap your cash in a Ziploc bag and nest it inside the “soil” of the plant.
6.  In hollowed out pages of a book on your book shelf. Using a pen knife or box cutter, carve out a few pages of your least favorite title. Hide your cash inside the book and return it to the book shelf.
7.  Inside a kid’s toy hidden in their closet. Kid’s rooms are notoriously messy, and kids are not known for having large sums of money. Take apart an old plastic toy they no longer play with and hide your stash of cash in there. Return the toy to the bottom of the pile of toys in your kids closet, or toy chest, and it should be safe. It’s important to remember that any cash saved at home could be lost in a fire or natural disaster. The ultimate hiding place is a fireproof safe bolted to the floor, and even that isn’t fool-proof. The ideal spot for storing large amounts of cash is an online savings account, far away from your house and any potential danger. But for the small amounts you stash at home, take the time to put it out of sight. Also, remember to tell a spouse or close friend about the money in case you are not able to get to it (you die, or become injured or ill and cannot communicate). Keep enough cash on hand to cover you a few days in a major emergency, but not so much that you’d be completely wiped out if it all disappeared.
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C.  The Ultimate Secret Hiding Place In Your House
Bit Rebels, By Diana Adams
Pasted from <http://www.bitrebels.com/geek/the-ultimate-secret-hiding-place-in-your-house/>

I’ve always thought the idea of leaving a time capsule for future generations to find would be fun. It’s even fun to pack away a magazine or trinket in a box only to find it years later in the basement or attic. Wouldn’t it be neat to find a tiny hidden treasure somewhere in your house that someone who lived there years before left for you to find? It reminds me of the story of the teenage boy who got a bible from his grandparents for his birthday. He tossed it aside, thinking it was such a boring gift. If he had just opened it up, he would have found the $100 bill tucked away inside. We never know what little life treasures we can find all around us in any given moment.
I remember when I wrote How To: Leave A Time Capsule For Future Generations. It was an article about how to hide a note behind a light switch. However, what if you want to leave more than just a note? What if you want to leave a little thumb drive of information or pictures, or even a little token representing the era?
This is the Doortop Stash project from Make. I have never before thought about using the inside of a wooden door to hide something. However, to me, this might be just a little bit too good. It’s so clever; there would be a good chance nobody would ever find it! If you would like to make one of these nifty little secret stashes for yourself, you can get the step-by-step instructions on DIY Doortop Stash.
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D.  The Construction of Secret Hiding Places
***
 a free downloadable pdf file ***
The pdf file can be downloaded from:
http://www.uaff.us/SecretHidingPlaces.pdf

The Table of Contents for that file is as follows,

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Syphilis

(Survival Manual/6. Medical/b) Disease /Syphilis)
 Source information pasted from <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/786191-overview>
<http://menshealth.about.com/od/sexualdiseasesstds/a/syphilis_treat.htm>
<http://www.stdservices.on.net/std/syphilis/management.htm>
<http://www.drugs.com/dosage/tetracycline.html>

History of Syphilis
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_syphilis>
The first well-recorded European outbreak of what is now known as syphilis occurred in 1495 among French troops besieging Naples, Italy. It may have been transmitted to the French via Spanish mercenaries serving King Charles of France in that siege. From this centre, the disease swept across Europe. As Jared Diamond describes it, ” When syphilis was first definitely recorded in Europe in 1495, its pustules often covered the body from the head to the knees, caused flesh to fall from people’s faces, and led to death within a few months.” The disease then was much more lethal then, than it is today. Diamond concludes,” By 1546, the disease had evolved into the disease with the symptoms so well known to us today.” The epidemiology of this first syphilis epidemic shows that the disease was either new or a mutated form of an earlier disease.
Researchers concluded that syphilis was carried from the New World to Europe after Columbus’ voyages.
Many of the crew members who served on this voyage later joined the army of King Charles VIII in his invasion of Italy in 1495, resulting in the spreading of the disease across Europe and as many as five million deaths.

Syphilis is caused by a bacteria called Treponema pallidum. The bacteria like the warm moist linings of the genital passages, the rectum and mouth, but dies quickly outside the body. Syphilis has an incubation period of between 9 days and 3 months. Syphilis is almost always a result of unprotected sex with an infected person.

 Definition
Syphilis is a bacterial infection usually spread by sexual contact. The disease starts as a painless sore — typically on your genitals, rectum or mouth. Syphilis spreads from person to person via skin or mucous membrane contact with these sores.
After the initial infection, the syphilis bacteria can lie dormant in your body for decades before becoming active again. Early syphilis can be cured, sometimes with a single injection of penicillin. Without treatment, syphilis can severely damage your heart, brain or other organs, and can be life-threatening.
Syphilis rates in the United States have been rising since 2000, particularly among men who have sex with men. The genital sores associated with syphilis can make it easier to become infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Symptoms
Syphilis develops in stages, and symptoms vary with each stage. But the stages may overlap, and symptoms don’t always occur in the same order. You may be infected with syphilis and not notice any symptoms for years.
Primary syphilis
 
[Photo at left, Primary Syphilis]
The first sign of syphilis is a small sore, called a chancre (SHANG-kur). The sore appears at the spot where the bacteria entered your body. While most people infected with syphilis develop only one chancre, some people develop several of them. The chancre usually develops about three weeks after exposure. Many people who have syphilis don’t notice the chancre because it’s usually painless and it may be hidden within the vagina or rectum. The chancre will heal on its own within six weeks.

.
Secondary syphilis
[Photo at right, Secondary Syphilis]
Within a few weeks of the original chancre healing, you may experience a rash that begins on your trunk but eventually covers your entire body — even the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. This rash is usually not itchy and may be accompanied by wart-like sores in the mouth or genital area. Some people also experience muscle aches, fever, sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. These signs and symptoms may disappear within a few weeks or repeatedly come and go for as long as a year.

Latent syphilis
If you aren’t treated for syphilis, the disease moves from the secondary to the latent (hidden) stage, when you have no symptoms. The latent stage can last for years. Signs and symptoms may never return, or the disease may progress to the tertiary (third) stage.
Tertiary or late syphilis
About 15 to 30 percent of people infected with syphilis who don’t get treatment will develop complications known as tertiary, or late, syphilis. In the late stages, the disease may damage your brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones and joints. These problems may occur many years after the original, untreated infection.
Congenital syphilis
Babies born to women who have syphilis can become infected through the placenta or during birth. Most newborns with congenital syphilis have no symptoms, although some experience a rash on the palms of their hands and the soles of their feet. Later symptoms may include deafness, teeth deformities and saddle nose — where the bridge of the nose collapses. 

When to see a doctor
Call your doctor if you or your child experiences any unusual discharge, sore or rash — particularly if it occurs in the groin area.

Causes
The cause of syphilis is a bacterium called Treponema pallidum. The most common route of transmission is through contact with an infected person’s sore during sexual activity. The bacteria enter your body through minor cuts or abrasions in your skin or mucous membranes. Syphilis is contagious during its primary and secondary stages, and sometimes in the early latent period.
Less commonly, syphilis may spread through direct unprotected close contact with an active lesion (such as during kissing) or through an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy or childbirth (congenital syphilis).
Syphilis can’t be spread by using the same toilet, bathtub, clothing or eating utensils, or from doorknobs, swimming pools or hot tubs.
Even if you’ve been cured of syphilis, you can become re-infected if you have contact with someone’s syphilis sore.

Risk factors
You face an increased risk of acquiring syphilis if you:
•  Engage in unprotected sex
•  Have sex with multiple partners
•  Are a man who has sex with men
•  Are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS

Complications
Without treatment, syphilis can lead to damage throughout your body. Syphilis also increases the risk of HIV infection and, for women, can cause problems during pregnancy. Treatment can help prevent future damage but can’t repair or reverse damage that’s already occurred.
•  Small bumps or tumors
Called gummas, these bumps can develop on your skin, bones, liver or any other organ in the late stage of syphilis. Gummas usually disappear after treatment with antibiotics.
•  Neurological problems
Syphilis can cause a number of problems with your nervous system, including: Stroke, Meningitis, Deafness, Visual problems,,Dementia
•  Cardiovascular problems
These may include bulging (aneurysm) and inflammation of the aorta — your body’s major artery — and of other blood vessels. Syphilis may also damage heart valves.
•  HIV infection
Adults with sexually transmitted syphilis or other genital ulcers have an estimated two- to fivefold increased risk of contracting HIV. A syphilis sore can bleed easily, providing an easy way for HIV to enter your bloodstream during sexual activity.
•  Pregnancy and childbirth complications
If you’re pregnant, you may pass syphilis to your unborn baby. Congenital syphilis greatly increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth or your newborn’s death within a few days after birth.

Tests and diagnosis
Syphilis can be diagnosed by testing samples of:
•  Blood. Blood tests can confirm the presence of antibodies that the body produces to fight infection. The antibodies to the bacteria that cause syphilis remain in your body for years, so the test can be used to determine a current or past infection.
•  Fluid from sores. Your doctor may scrape a small sample of cells from a sore to be analyzed by microscope in a lab. This test can be done only during primary or secondary syphilis, when sores are present. The scraping can reveal the presence of bacteria that cause syphilis.
•  Cerebral spinal fluid. If it’s suspected that you have nervous system complications of syphilis, your doctor may also suggest collecting a sample of cerebrospinal fluid through a procedure called a lumbar puncture (spinal tap).

Treatments and drugs
When diagnosed and treated in its early stages, syphilis is easy to cure. The preferred treatment at all stages is penicillin, an antibiotic medication that can kill the organism that causes syphilis. If you’re allergic to penicillin, your doctor will suggest another antibiotic.
A single injection of penicillin can stop the disease from progressing if you’ve been infected for less than a year. If you’ve had syphilis for longer than a year, you may need additional doses.
Penicillin is the only recommended treatment for pregnant women with syphilis. Women who are allergic to penicillin can undergo a desensitization process that may allow them to take penicillin. Even if you’re treated for syphilis during your pregnancy, your newborn child should also receive antibiotic treatment.
* The first day you receive treatment you may experience what’s known as the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction. Signs and symptoms include fever, chills, nausea, achy pain and headache. This reaction usually doesn’t last more than one day.

Treatment follow-up
•  After you’re treated for syphilis, your doctor will ask you to:
•  Have periodic blood tests and exams to make sure you’re responding to the usual dosage of penicillin.
•  Avoid sexual contact until the treatment is completed and blood tests indicate the infection has been cured.
•  Notify your sex partners so that they can be tested and get treatment if necessary.
•  Be tested for HIV infection.

 * The main of therapy for syphilis is antibiotic treatment, usually penicillin. Doxycycline may be used if you have a penicillin allergy.

Penicillin is given either intramuscularly or intravenously depending on the stage of syphilis. Follow up blood tests (RPR) are usually taken to track the efficacy of the treatment.

If the appropriate antibiotic treatment is given for syphilis in its primary and secondary stages it completely cures this disease. In the latent and tertiary or final stage of syphilis treatment can still eradicate and stop further damage occurring. The damage that has already happen has to be treated but is often difficult or impossible to repair.

Tetracycline dosages for syphilis:
http://www.drugs.com/dosage/tetracycline.html#Usual_Adult_Dose_for_Syphilis___Early
Usual Adult Dose for Syphilis – Early (less than 2 years duration)
Tetracycline should be used only if penicillins are contraindicated.
Doxycycline 200 mg orally daily for 20 days or tetracycline HCl 500 mg orally 6 hourly for 20 days

Usual Adult Dose for Syphilis – Latent
500 mg orally every 6 hours for 28 days; alternatively, 30 to 40 g in divided doses over a period of 10 to 15 days has been recommended.
Tetracycline should be used only if penicillins are contraindicated.

Usual Adult Dose for Tertiary Syphilis
doxycycline 200 mg orally daily for 30 days or tetracycline HCl 500 mg orally 6 hourly for 30 days

Prevention
To help prevent the spread of syphilis, follow these suggestions:
•  Abstain or be monogamous. The only certain way to avoid syphilis is to forgo having sex. The next-best option is to have mutually monogamous sex with one partner who is uninfected.
•  Use a latex condom. Condoms can reduce your risk of contracting syphilis, but only if the condom covers the syphilis sores.
•  Avoid recreational drugs. Excessive use of alcohol or other drugs can cloud your judgment and lead to unsafe sexual practices.

[End of post]

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Eye injuries

(Survival Manual/6. Medical/c) General Clinic/Eye injuries)

 A.  First Aid
Take prompt action and follow the steps below if you or someone else has an eye-related injury.
Pasted from <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000054.htm>

Small object on the eye or eyelid
The eye will often clear itself of tiny objects, like eyelashes and sand, through blinking and tearing. If not, take these steps:
1.  Tell the person not to rub the eye. Wash your hands before examining it.
2.  Examine the eye in a well-lighted area. To find the object, have the person look up and down, then side to side.
3.  If you can’t find the object, grasp the lower eyelid and gently pull down on it to look under the lower eyelid. To look under the upper lid, you can place a cotton-tipped swab on the outside of the upper lid and gently flip the lid over the cotton swab.
4.  If the object is on an eyelid, try to gently flush it out with water. If that does not work, try touching a second cotton-tipped swab to the object to remove it.
5.  If the object is on the eye, try gently rinsing the eye with water. It may help to use an eye dropper positioned above the outer corner of the eye. DO NOT touch the eye itself with the cotton swab.
A scratchy feeling or other minor discomfort may continue after removing eyelashes and other tiny objects. This will go away within a day or two. If the person continues to have discomfort or blurred vision, get medical help.

Object stuck or embedded in the eye
1.  Leave the object in place. DO NOT try to remove the object. DO NOT touch it or apply any pressure to it.
2.  Calm and reassure the person.
3.  Wash your hands.
4.  Bandage both eyes. If the object is large, place a paper cup or cone over the injured eye and tape it in place. Cover the uninjured eye with gauze or a clean cloth. If the object is small, cover both eyes with a clean cloth or sterile dressing. Even if only one eye is affected, covering both eyes will help prevent eye movement.
5.  Get medical help immediately.

Chemicals in the eye
1.  Flush with cool tap water immediately. Turn the person’s head so the injured eye is down and to the side. Holding the eyelid open, allow running water from the faucet to flush the eye for 15 minutes.
2.  If both eyes are affected, or if the chemicals are also on other parts of the body, have the victim take a shower.
3.  If the person is wearing contact lenses and the lenses did not flush out from the running water, have the person try to remove the contacts AFTER the flushing procedure.
4.  Continue to flush the eye with clean water or saline while seeking urgent medical attention.
5.  After following the above instructions, seek medical help immediately.

Eye cuts, scratches, or blows
1.  If the eyeball has been injured, get medical help immediately.
2.  Gently apply cold compresses to reduce swelling and help stop any bleeding. DO NOT apply pressure to control bleeding.
3.  If blood is pooling in the eye, cover both of the person’s eyes with a clean cloth or sterile dressing, and get medical help.

Eye lid cuts
1.  Carefully wash the eye. Apply a thick layer of bacitracin, mupirocin, or other antibacterial ointment on the eyelid. Place a patch over the eye. Seek medical help immediately.
2.  If the cut is bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a clean, dry cloth until the bleeding subsides.
3.  Rinse with water, cover with a clean dressing, and place a cold compress on the dressing to reduce pain and swelling.

DO NOT
•  DO NOT press or rub an injured eye.
•  DO NOT remove contact lenses unless rapid swelling is occurring, there is a chemical injury and the contacts did not come out with the water flush, or you cannot get prompt medical help.
•  DO NOT attempt to remove a foreign body that appears to be embedded in any part of the eye. Get medical help immediately.
•  DO NOT use cotton swabs, tweezers, or anything else on the eye itself. Cotton swabs should only be used on the eyelid.
•  DO NOT attempt to remove an embedded object
.

B.  Foreign Body, Eye Treatment
<
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/foreign_body_eye/page7_em.htm>

Self-Care at Home
You should be able to care for minor debris in your eye at home. If you have trouble removing something in your eye or if a larger or sharper object is involved, you should seek medical attention. If you are wearing a contact lens, it should be removed prior to trying to remove the foreign body. Do not put the contact lens back into your eye until your eye is completely healed.
For minor foreign bodies, such as an eyelash, home care should be adequate.
1.  Begin by rinsing your eye with a saline solution (the same solution used to rinse contact lenses). Tap water or distilled water may be used if no saline solution is available. Water will effectively flush out your eye, but the chlorine in most tap water can cause varying levels of irritation. How you wash out your eye is less important than getting it washed out with great amounts of water.
…..•  A water fountain makes a great eye wash. Just lean over the fountain, turn on the water, and keep your eye open.
…..•  At a sink, stand over the sink, cup your hands, and put your face into the running water.
…..•  Hold a glass of water to your eye and tip your head back. Do this many times.
…..•  If you are near a shower, get in and put your eye under the running water.
…..•  If you are working outside, a garden hose running at a very modest flow will work.
…..•  If washing out your eye is not successful, the object can usually be removed with the tip of a tissue or a cotton swab.
2.  Pull back the eyelid by pulling down on the bottom edge of the lower lid or by pulling up on the upper edge of the upper lid.
3.  Look up when evaluating for a foreign body under the lower lid.
4..  Look down when evaluating for a foreign body under the upper lid. You will often need someone to help you in this case.
5.  Be very careful not to scrape the tissue or the cotton swab across your cornea, the clear dome over the iris.
6.  For larger foreign bodies or metal pieces, you should seek medical care, even if you are able to safely remove them at home.
…..•  If the foreign body is easily accessible and has not penetrated your eyeball, you may be able to remove it carefully with a cotton swab or a tissue.
…..•  If you have any question about penetration of the eye, do not remove the object without medical assistance.
…..•  If you cannot remove the object or if you continue to have the sensation that something is in your eye even after the debris is removed, you should seek medical care.
7.  After the foreign body is removed, your eye may be red and tearing.
8.  You may protect your eye by cutting the top part off of a Styrofoam or paper cup and placing the cup over your eye. If you place a cup over your eye, do not put any pressure on the injured eye, because it could cause additional injury to your eye.
…..•  This cup can be taped in place and will form a cover over your eye.
…..•  It is very important not to rub your eye or to apply any pressure to your eye. If you have punched a hole in your eye (called a ruptured globe or eyeball), you can do significant damage by pressing or rubbing your eye. This is especially true with small children who will rub their eyes to try to remove the debris.

Medical Treatment
•  For scratches on your cornea (called corneal abrasions), the usual treatment is an antibiotic ointment and/or antibiotic eye drops and pain medicine. If the abrasion is large (greater than 50% of the corneal surface), then it may also be treated with a patch.
•  Any noted damage to the iris, the lens, or the retina requires immediate evaluation by an ophthalmologist and may or may not require surgery.
•  A ruptured eyeball requires surgery by an ophthalmologist.
•  If no other injury is noted, hyphema (blood in between the cornea and the iris) requires close follow-up care with an ophthalmologist.
.

C.  Corneal Abrasion
<
http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/firstaid/eyes.htm>
Scenario: A branch brushes your face and there’s sharp pain in your eye. It hurts to blink.
[Image at right: Description: A corneal abrasion is a scratch over the clear part of the eye. It causes an irritable   or sharp "foreign body" sensation in the eye. Often it feels like   something scratchy is stuck under the upper eyelid, because the eyelid rubs over the scratch as it blinks. With a very minor corneal abrasion, the eye may simply feel "dry." The abrasion usually heals quickly, often overnight.
Except for a   little redness, the eye with a corneal abrasion often looks normal. Painful eyes should be checked, regardless of how "normal" they look.]

Concerns:
A large abrasion may take a long time to heal, and can cause an inflammatory reaction within the eyeball. Sometimes a sharp object cuts into the deep tissue of the cornea. This can permanently change your vision. Debris in the scratch, such as shreds of tree bark, can lead to infection and ulceration of the cornea. There may still be a scratchy particle stuck under your upper eyelid, and it will continue to damage your cornea. So don’t take chances with your eyeballs. If the scratchy sensation hasn’t gone away after you get back to your car (around an hour), head for the ER.

See the doctor if:
– the scratchy sensation doesn’t go away promptly
– vision is blurry
– the eye is sensitive to light
– there is deep pain
– you develop mucous in the eye

Immediate care:
Don’t rub the eye. It’s best to rest a minute, letting the eye water, with the eyelids as relaxed as possible. If the symptoms don’t go away, turn around and head back.

Foreign Body
You get a chunk of something in your eye. The eye begins to sting and water.
[Image at left: Description: Foreign material in the eye can scratch the cornea. There may be an irritable, stinging, or sharp "foreign body" sensation in the eye.  Sharp bits of sand or wood can rapidly dig themselves into the tissue of the   cornea or underside of the upper lid.
Foreign body under the lower eyelid margin. Particles are   easier to remove here, but are actually more common under the upper eyelid.]

Concerns:
The foreign matter can damage the cornea — the part of the eye you see through. Debris in the eye can lead to infection and ulceration of the cornea. A scratchy particle under your upper eyelid will continue to scratch up your cornea. So don’t take chances with your eyeballs. If the scratchy sensation hasn’t gone away after you get back to your car (around an hour), head for the ER.

See the doctor if:
– the scratchy sensation doesn’t go away quickly
– vision is blurry
– the eye is sensitive to light
– there is deep pain
– you develop mucous in the eye

Immediate care:
Don’t rub the eye. (Rubbing the eye can grind loose sharp particles into the cornea!) It’s best to rest a minute, letting the eye water, with the eyelids as relaxed as possible. If the symptoms don’t go away, turn around and head back.

If you’re far out in the woods and the eye is extremely watery and painful, you can try to dislodge the particle. Usually it will be under the upper eyelid. Assuming your squirt bottle has clean water in it, flush the eye. Turn your head sideways, so the squirt bottle can aim slightly downward as it faces the eye. With the eyelids gently closed, put your index finger and thumb together and press against the eye, as though you were going to take hold of your eyelids.

[ Image at left: While holding gentle pressure, spread the thumb and finger to pull the lids aside. Now squirt for several seconds. If the scratching continues, grasp the upper eyelashes and pull the eyelid straight forward away from the eye. Squirt up into the slit between the eyelid and eyeball. Then rest a minute to see if   the symptoms subside.     Position of  the squirt bottle to flush debris from the eye. The victim is lying down, and   the bottle is aiming towards the gap between the retracted upper eyelid and   eyeball. The rescuer is pulling up on the brow and upper eyelid, while the   victim looks towards the feet.]

If you can feel exactly where the particle is, you could try to rub it off. Wash your hands thoroughly. Now pull the eyelid forward, with your thumb on the underside. As the eyelid comes forward, put a free finger (middle finger) against the cleft between the eyelid and eyebrow, then rotate the pad of the thumb so slips under the edge of the eyelid. Run it sideways along the underside of the eyelid where you feel the particle. Be careful about this — not every doctor would think it’s a good idea — because you’re getting germs from your finger into the eye. And (unless you succeed in removing a particle) the more you mess with your eye, the worse it will feel.

If the foreign body sensation persists, leave the eye alone. There may be an abrasion of the cornea, which feels exactly like something scratchy is still in the eye. Go have the eye

D.  UV Eye damage
<http://vision.about.com/od/eyeexaminations/a/sun_protection.htm>
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photokeratitis>
Ultraviolet radiation harms more than just your skin. Too much unfiltered sunlight can harm your eyes by damaging the lens and even the retina.
.
1.  Cataracts
•  Overexposure to the sun’s UV rays can damage the lens of the eye and increase your risk of developing cataracts.
•  Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, rendering all images blurry and out of focus.
•  Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness.
.
** See also the 4dtraveler post: (Survival Manual/6. Medical/c) General Clinic/Eyeglass repair & emergency glasses) which discusses how to make emergency glasses for several survival scenerios.

2.  Retinal damage – Macular Degeneration
•  Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can damage the retina (the sensitive lining of the eye used for sight).
•  Macular degeneration occurs when the macula (an area in the retina) is damaged, thus causing loss of central vision.
•  While studies have yet to prove what causes macular degeneration, it is possible that overexposure to the sun’s UV light may be a contributing factor.
•  Most forms of retinal damage are irreversible.

3. Snow Blindness
Exposure  to  reflected sunlight from  snow, ice, or water, even on grey overcast days, can result in  sunburn of the tissues comprising the  surface  of  the   eye, as well as  the retina, producing snow blindness. Symptoms. Symptoms  may not be apparent until  up  to 12 hours after exposure. The   eyes initially  feel  irritated and  dry; then, as  time passes, eyes feel as though they are full of  sand. Blinking and moving the eyes may be extremely painful.  The eyelids are usuallyred, swollen, and difficult  to open.

Remedial Action: A  mild case will heal spontaneously in a few days, but you can  obtain some relief by applying cold compresses and a lightproof  bandage.  An ophthalmic  ointment can be  applied hourly to relieve pain and lessen the inflammatory reaction.

Prevention: Snow blindness can be prevented by constant  use  of   sunglasses or a  tinted helmet  visor.  If  the  glasses or helmet are lost, an emergency  set of goggles can be made from a  thin piece of leather, cardboard, or other lightproof material. Cut the material the width of the face with  horizontal  slits over the eyes. These  improvised  goggles can be held in place with string or cord from the parachute shroud lines  attached to the  sides and tied  at  the back of the head.

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