EMT Training For Preppers

Today we present another article in our non-fiction writing contest – by RickS

I suspect that one of the most neglected aspects of “Prepping” in the broader Prepper community is the acquisition of valuable skills. This is certainly not the case for many of the devoted fans of this blog as evidenced by the “What Did You Do To Prep This Week” feature where we learn of numerous participants who have acquired extensive skills in areas such as growing and preserving food, animal husbandry, radio communications, and many more. However, for many who are interested in prepping it is much easier to purchase “stuff” then it is to learn a new skill. There are likely many preppers who have stored seeds but never planted a garden, acquired an extensive collection of firearms and ammunition but never trained with them, and put together an impressive library of self-sufficiency books but never actually read any of them. They assume they will be able to quickly acquire skills when needed as long as they have the necessary materials. Of course, anyone who has undertaken to learn and refine such skills has realized there is often a very substantial learning curve, a fact that may prove disastrous in a time of crisis if that skill has not been developed beforehand.

This was certainly true in my case in the area of medical preparations. My background is in electrical engineering with absolutely no medical training. I purchased (and actually read) the excellent book “The Survival Medicine Handbook” by Joe and Amy Alton regarding medical care when traditional professional resources are not available and began to acquire medical supplies for use in a crisis situation. After acquiring several IFAK kits for the treatment of trauma (particularly gunshot wounds) I suddenly realized that I had very little idea how to use them.  Although I am in my late 50’s, I considered for the first time acquiring some formal medical training.

After investigating the possibility of studying to become a Paramedic through the local community college I learned that I would need to invest three full-time semesters, a requirement that would be very difficult while continuing to operate my business. I then observed that a pre-requisite to studying to be a Paramedic is certification as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). I discovered that an EMT program is sponsored by the community college through the municipal Public Safety department.

While the time commitment is substantial (fourteen weeks times three evenings per week at four hours per evening plus three Saturdays), it was also feasible for someone with full-time employment (although it helped considerably that my business has been slow: I invested approximately 30 hours per week between in-class and out-of-class preparation). I decided to take the course, culminating in a National Registry Psychomotor exam to verify basic life support skills such as CPR, medical/trauma assessment, bleeding control, and airway management followed by a final certification exam. While this area of study was far outside my “comfort zone” I finally completed my certification as an EMT.

In addition to the manageable time requirements, EMT certification had another very positive advantage: it was very cost effective. The course was only $285; text books added $275, background checks and immunizations/screenings were approximately $200, and the final certification exam cost $70: in short, for a total cost of less than $900 I was able to become certified as an EMT.

When considering studying to become an EMT it is important to understand clearly what it is not. EMT is BLS: Basic Life Support. In fact, EMT training provides very little preparation to solve medical problems. The role of the EMT is to manage life threats and get the patient to doctors and nurses who provide definitive care. Indeed, there are a variety of situations where EMT training, equipment, and techniques are not even adequate to manage life threats; it is necessary to call on Paramedics to provide ALS (Advanced Life Support).

With this limitation in mind it is reasonable to ask “what use is EMT training in a crisis situation where doctors and nurses are not available?” I would like to suggest at least four reasons why EMT training is worth the investment. Note that these thoughts are based on the very valuable insights of other patrons of this blog given to me at the outset as well as my observations.

First, EMT training provides an excellent foundation for more advanced  training. Basic anatomy, obtaining and interpreting vital signs, medical and trauma assessment, and personal protection in a medical environment are just a few of the basics that are emphasized in EMT training. Whether this training is supplemented by instruction in Wilderness EMT, Advanced EMT, Paramedic, or a variety of other areas, EMT training provides the basis for more advanced studies.

Second, EMT training opens the door to working with more advanced medical professionals. The EMT course includes an introduction to Advanced Life Support skills such as endotracheal intubation, intravenous fluid/medication therapy, electrocardiogram application and interpretation. While an EMT is not authorized to employ these skills, assisting a Paramedic will provide the “on-the-job” training necessary to be capable of using these skills in a societal collapse.

Third, volunteering to serve as an EMT with the local fire department or ambulance service will enable the volunteer to know and become known within the local emergency services community including police, fire/rescue, and emergency medical  personnel. This community integration is likely to be very valuable in a crisis.

Finally, volunteering to serve as an EMT in the local community will provide valuable experience in functioning effectively during a medical emergency. EMT training focuses on the ability to rapidly assess a medical crisis and manage life threats when minutes (or even seconds) count. It is one thing to have a theoretical knowledge and another entirely to be able to function decisively in an actual emergency: experience is an essential ingredient in that ability.

EMT certification has proven to be a challenging but attainable goal that has introduced me to an entirely new world of medical evaluation and treatment. While EMT constitutes the lowest rung of “emergency medical professional”, it has proven to be an excellent balance of time/cost versus benefit and opened the door to continuing growth in a variety of ways.

Prizes For This Round Include: (Ends July 29, 2016)

First Prize:

Second Prize: 

Third Prize:

Please read the rules that are listed below BEFORE emailing me your entry… my email address can be found here – please include “writing contest entry” in the subject line.

The more original and helpful your article is, the deeply and less basic it is, the better the chance, that I will publish it, and you will win. Only non-fiction how-to-do-it type articles, please.

Cut, Stab & Puncture Protection in an Austere Environment

Today we present another article in our non-fiction writing contestKeith

One of the most primitive threats one can face is that of being cut, stabbed or punctured. These threats can manifest from an intentional attack, such as being stabbed by an attacker, or from negligence, like by stepping on a nail or cutting your hand while sifting through debris. While a relatively low percentage of the population has experienced being shot by a firearm, nearly everyone has experienced an accidental cut at some point in their life. Puncture wounds to the feet, grabbing vegetation with thorns or being bitten by an animal is far more likely to happen to you than being shot. Those that regularly work with tools know the importance of safety gear to prevent injury from equipment. Did you know that one of the most common weapons on the planet is a simple knife? And that it’s found in every city, town and country around the world?

While some preparedness-minded individuals imagine threat scenarios involving a gunfight, many overlook non-ballistic threats that are actually far more common. These dangers grow worse in austere environments where medical attention is either a long way off or not coming at all. In those situations, injury carries with it the risk of infections, poisoning, disease and death. Risks of bacterial wound infections in trauma patients include gas gangrene and tetanus. Puncture wounds force bacteria and debris into living tissue and organs, which tend to close quickly, forming an ideal environment for pathogenic organisms to multiple and grow. Without proper care this can develop into long-term disabilities, chronic wound and bone infections and death. Designers of protective gear have developed materials to directly address these threats. The purpose of my article is to encourage readers to add this to their preparedness list. Please do not assume I am ignoring the possibility of a gunfight or advising anyone to ignore ballistic protection. Rather, my point is that, statistically, you are much more likely to face one of the many different cut, stab and puncture [hereinafter “CSP”] threats than you are to experience a gunfight – although both could happen.

First, determine the level of CSP protection that fits your environment. If you’re off to see a sporting event, do you have protection from someone who sticks you with a broken glass bottle if the crowd gets out of control? If you’re in the city and come across a protest do you have protection from someone who throws a rock at your head? Do you have protection against a criminal who plans to survive by stabbing you with his two dollar knife and taking your gear? These are all examples of attacks that happen daily around the world, even in current times. In the event of a breakdown of civil order these forms of attack may be even more common as they are easy to commit and potentially deadly. Imagine how frustrating it would be for an otherwise well-stocked and prepared person to be taken down by such a simple attack?

Stab threats are much more difficult to thwart than slashing threats. However, you will find that armor designed to protect against stab threats tends to be less flexible and less comfortable than that designed for slashing threats. As such, the starting point of protection is to guard against slashing attacks. Many companies offer products to minimize cutting risks, for example HexArmor.com, Turtleskin.com and SuperiorGlove.com. These companies can provide cut protection up to the American Society of Testing and Materials [ASTM] ANSI Level 5. Many industry-specific gloves and other personal protective equipment is available to address certain threats over and above CSP, such as from handling chemicals. Choosing something that maintains its integrity with a lot of wear but also offers protection may be the best fit for a person in a survival situation.

My recommendation for your first purchase against intentional CSP attacks is a pair of cut-resistant, puncture-resistant gloves. Your hands are naturally going to come up in defense if you’re approached by a threat, and your gloved, protected hands are a much better target for the attack than the rest of your body. Further, a pair of quality gloves with protection will guard against accidental injury from debris, such as what you might encounter if you were sorting through debris and came across a discarded needle. Don’t rely on your winter gloves or gloves better suited for yardwork!

Next, consider purchasing a slash-resistant shirt. The online retailers cited above have selections that look identical to a common polo shirt and others that wear and feel much like a long-sleeved shirt. These items are worn daily by corrections officers, police and security personnel but are helpful for everyone interested in boosting their protection from slashing attacks.
If stab protection is desired, there will be a trade-off between comfort and protection. “Stab” protection can be something as simple as a knife thrust or needle attack, or it could come from stepping on something sharp. The National Institute of Justice [NIJ] has test standards for stab- and puncture-resistant body armor. NIJ Standard 0115.00 generally categorizes three “Levels” of stab threats [I, II, III]. Each level brings with it a greater level of stiffness with the protection. As such, consider sites like Bulletproofme.com and others that offer stab-resistant clothing.

Foot protection is typically in the form is purchasing boots with an aluminum shank. If you anticipate being in an environment where debris is strewn around or a combat setting, or even a dangerous work environment during normal times, you don’t want to find yourself without foot protection.
It’s amazing to read the list of preparedness items in many people’s gear and see a total lack of forethought about CSP threats. Don’t make the same mistake!

Prizes For This Round Include: (Ends July 29, 2016)

First Prize:

Second Prize: 

Third Prize:

Please read the rules that are listed below BEFORE emailing me your entry… my email address can be found here – please include “writing contest entry” in the subject line.

The more original and helpful your article is, the deeply and less basic it is, the better the chance, that I will publish it, and you will win. Only non-fiction how-to-do-it type articles, please.

Prepping With Herbs – Tips for Better Health Now and After the Grid Goes Down

by Champ Ferguson

This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest

My wife and I have for some time been researching and attempting to approach the issue of medicine in our preparedness. There are several websites that are dedicated to grid down medicine from a preparedness mindset. The information and instruction many of these sites offer are just as important as your water, food, and safety preps. There is the option of ordering medicines in powder form that are produced for exotic fish. No prescription required and available in bulk. This is a great source of antibiotics. I know of doctors who are aware of the dangers that we face in society today that will write prescriptions (non-pain meds) with an extra refill for their patients to put back. If you are one of these people that think this is unethical and illegal, you just go ahead and sign up for Obamacare and wait for the government to come and rescue you and everything will be okay.

The above-mentioned ideas are great and should be implemented into your preps. The encouraging thing that my family faced in looking into medicines is that everyone in our household is currently healthy and not required to take any medication on a regular basis. Those that rely on medicines have to deal with a different set of circumstances. We were also curious about the regular over the counter preventative medicines that we sometimes consume. Medicines for basic ailments such as colds, flu, sore throat, headache, etc… Yes we could just purchase some of these medicines and stock them, but we wanted to get away from anything mass produced by a pharmaceutical company. We are not anti-doctor, but we do avoid any doctors who just want to subscribe multiple pills to take when we get sick. It reminds me of the woman with the issue of blood in Luke 8:43 … which had spent all her living upon physicians neither could be healed of any.

Over time we began to educate ourselves in the use of herbs. The first step was to incorporate herbs into our diet. The easiest method was to begin cooking with herbs. Dried as well as fresh herbs are readily available in most grocery stores, but once again you must deal with the question of; have they been sprayed with anything? There are a multitude of mom and pop health food stores in this great land. There are also the larger chain health food stores as well. You may not live close to either one of these, which makes it difficult to get good herbs. Our remedy to increase the availability of herbs was to grow our own. That sounds easy enough. Most people who have decided to use fresh herbs usually have a garden. All you need to do is put some seeds in the dirt and eureka! I suppose our vision of herbs wasn’t on a large enough scale. The raised beds I made close to the house were productive. They were not productive enough to provide us with the amount of herbs necessary for everyday use.

My very studious wife located several options of ordering dried herbs online and was able to join a local co-op that had bulk deliveries once a month. This helped alleviate the lack of local availability and our insufficiently sized raised beds. She also discovered that many of the websites which she found also offered various packaged mixtures of herbs. We purchased some herbal tea as a trial. Growing up in the south, I love sweet tea. Any other tea is just not tea. Green tea, hot tea, raspberry tea, and unsweetened tea was/is viewed as an abomination. I was reluctant at first, but the first time I was all stopped up and miserable I let my guard down and gave in. I did make my ancestors proud by demanding that my wife add a little honey to make it somewhat sweet. I must admit I began requesting the herbal tea even when I wasn’t sick. These hot teas were made from a wide variety of herbs. We have yet to try to mix our own herbs for use in teas. The prepackaged options are available in bulk and quite affordable, so we have decided to continue to purchase those.

We then learned through some friends about infusing oils and herbs into a salve. Most of the salves that we make are available to buy in completed form, but making your own can be a fun project with the kids and even empowering. There are bundles of all the ingredients needed to make the process easier for beginners. The first salve we made was a green salve that is used for just about anything and everything. We use it on open wounds, rashes, and even bug bites. Our chickens even get their legs treated with the green salve. There is also a burn cream that works wonders for minor sunburns and even 2nd degree burns. We have recently found a deep tissue salve that is similar to the popular Icy Hot. This salve will help heal pulled or sore muscles, jammed joints, or injured ligaments. There are various different oils that can be used in salves along with the endless variations of herbs that can be used.

Our latest trial has been herbal tinctures. A tincture is basically a liquid infused with herbs. There are various methods of making tinctures. The main difference is the base liquid that is used. The most common bases are vegetable glycerin, vinegar, and alcohol. The vegetable glycerin tincture has to be cooked with the herbs in a crockpot for several days. This method wasn’t one that we chose for several reasons. The first was having a crockpot that would be dedicated to that use. The other reason for us not choosing the glycerin base was that the cooking process can lessen the healing properties of certain herbs. The vinegar and alcohol base tinctures have to be mixed with the herbs and placed in a dark cool place for 3-6 weeks. Once the herbs are infused in the vinegar, the tincture has to be kept refrigerated. Since refrigeration is required; the vinegar base tincture will lose potency and therefore not last as long. The alcohol base requires no refrigeration and will also draw more of the healing nutrients from certain herbs. With all of these factors to consider, we chose to do the alcohol base. We are totally against the social consumption of alcohol due to effects of alcohol in the lives of our parents and the consistent warnings of the effects of consuming alcohol in scripture. So the decision to use the alcohol based tincture was made with much prayer and contemplation. There are various methods to remove the alcohol from the tincture if your conscience will not allow you to use it, but please realize the amount is miniscule when taking the tincture properly.

Our first tincture was a prepackaged winter tincture for colds and flu. It was a mixture of leaves and roots of Olive, Echinacea, Garlic, Elderberries, Yarrow, Astragalus, and others. We used 100 proof vodka as the base. I am not aware if the brand of alcohol will affect the tincture so the brand was insignificant to us, but it is recommended that it be at least 80 proof. The herbs were placed in a large jar with the vodka and placed in our cellar for six weeks. After that time, the liquid was strained and placed into smaller glass bottles. The size of the prepackaged herbs determines the amount of base to be used. If I remember correctly we used a half-gallon bottle of vodka. As you can imagine a half gallon makes a lot of medicine. We had to have several smaller bottles to put the tincture in. We ordered the dark glass medicine bottles with the dropper caps. It was timely because all four of us had a mild variation of the bug that was going around at the time. We each took a teaspoon of the tincture twice a day along with some other immune boosting remedies and we actually survived. It didn’t taste good by any stretch of the imagination, but then again it isn’t supposed to. I would just use the tincture in a small amount of water, while our children ended up taking the tincture with Orange Juice, no pulp.

The misconception people have about all medicines is that they are supposed to work instantly. Pharmaceuticals will address the symptoms and make one feel like they are no longer sick while the body is still actively fighting the virus, illness, infection, etc… Natural medicines work differently in that they provide your body the nutrients needed to fight the sickness while not really addressing the symptoms. God created our bodies to heal themselves and they will do just that in most cases. God also created the plants that we are supposed to consume to provide our bodies the necessary ingredients to aid in the healing process.

We next made a tincture that can be taken as a preventative or to aid in recovery during a battle with sickness. It had herbs such as Nettle, Peppermint, Echinacea, Elderberries, Eleuthero, and Rosehips. To answer the eminent question; No, I do not know what most of these herbs are nor could I spot them in the wild or without using the labels in the health food store for that matter. That is the next step in our ongoing lessons. In the meantime, these herbs will also be purchased premixed. We have acquired several books on herbs with pictures to identify them and the properties each herb possesses. There are also several recipes in the books that we have acquired. The use of herbs is and will continue to be a process.

With our mindset of self-sufficiency before a collapse, these tinctures are right up our alley. By using these natural remedies now we are allowing our immune systems to work as they are supposed to and build up strength instead of pumping man-made chemicals into our bodies and nullifying our immune systems. Most people will argue that they have to take a pill for this, another pill for that, and probably a pill to offset the first two pills. Remember that most manmade medicines are copied from a naturally occurring medicine. There are plenty of natural remedies for blood pressure, blood sugar, hypertension, heart problems, gout, migraines, high cholesterol, etc… Why not try to get off some the prescribed drugs now before you are forced to? Our plan is to stock the ingredients to make our own medicines, and hopefully, reach a point where we will be able to grow and/or forage for some ingredients. Everyone who preps needs to add medicines to their thought process. Hopefully, it is evident that the natural medicines are in every way better than the manufactured ones.

Research it, plan it, then do it. Even if nothing happens, which is highly unlikely, you will be healthier and happier.

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. If you have a health issue and need medical advice go see a doctor.

Prizes For This Round (Ends April 12, 2016) In Our Non-Fiction Writing Contest Include…

  1. First place winner will receive –   A gift certificate for $150 off of  rifle ammo at Lucky Gunner, an Urban Survival Kit a $109 value courtesy of  TEOTWAWKI supplies, a WonderMix Deluxe Kitchen Mixer a $299 value courtesy of Kodiak Health and a LifeStraw Mission Filter a $109 value courtesy of EarthEasy, and a 4″ Heavy Duty WaterBoy Well Bucket a $106 value and a WaterBoy Tripod Kit courtesy of Well WaterBoy Products for a total prize value of over $867.
  2. Second Place Winner will receive – 30 Day Food Storage All-in-One Pail a $119 value courtesy of Augason Farms.com and Berkey Light with 2 (9″) Berkey Earth Elements a $157 value courtesy of LPC Survival, for a total prize value of $276.
  3. Third place winner will receive –  International MRE Meals Supply a $72.00 value, a LifeStraw Portable Water Filter a $19 value, Yoder’s Fully Cooked Canned Bacon a $15 value all courtesy of CampingSurvival and one copy of each of my books “The Prepper’s Primer” and a copy of “The Prepared Prepper’s Cookbook“ for a total prize value of $137.

Help for Insomnia – Natural Remedies to Sleep BETTER!

Top Expert: Zika is Biowarfare

All About Zika Virus

by Joe Alton, MD, co-author of The Survival Medicine Handbook
asian-tiger-mosquito
One of the scenarios we write about is the “Pandemic”. Although we have had success curing many illnesses with antibiotics, we are still struggling with outbreaks of viral diseases. In 2014, thousands died in West Africa during the Ebola epidemic. In 2015, Chikungunya virus crossed the Atlantic into the Western Hemisphere and infected a million people. This year, Zika virus is the latest pandemic, and the first to generate travel warnings specifically for women that are pregnant or of childbearing age.
A little-known virus of equatorial Africa and Asia, the Zika virus has “jumped the pond” and is wreaking havoc in South America, especially among pregnant women and their newborns. Like its predecessors, it’s a mosquito-borne virus. Citizens of the Americas have little immunity against it.
Most people experience mild flu-like symptoms, but an infected during a pregnancy can yield a newborn with brain damage. In late 2015, it was mainly a Brazilian problem. A congenital abnormality (once called a “birth defect”) called microcephaly started appearing among newborns. Microcephaly presents as an abnormally small head and is associated with mental handicaps; if severe, it may be incompatible with life.
Brazil is a large country with a youthful population; in an average year, it sees about 150 cases of microcephaly. Since the arrival of Zika virus in May 2015, there have been 3,500. Now, cases of the virus are being reported in the United States from Virginia to Arkansas to Hawaii (mostly in returning travelers from South America). In total, 25 countries so far are reporting evidence of the virus.
spanish flu ward
EPIDEMICS VS. PANDEMICS
Infectious disease can be endemic, epidemic, or pandemic:
–An Epidemic infectious disease is a community-wide outbreak of an illness that is not always present in an area. Influenza, EnterovirusD68, and Ebola are examples.
–An Endemic infectious disease is one that is normally found and expected in a certain area. Malaria is endemic in many tropical countries.
–A Pandemic occurs when an infectious disease crosses various borders and runs rampant throughout a large region, or even the whole world. The Spanish Flu of 1918 is the classic example.
Zika has had outbreaks in Africa, Asia, and now, South America. Cases have been reported in Denmark and Sweden as well.
WHAT IS ZIKA VIRUS?
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Zika virus is a member of the Flavivirus family, which contains a number of well-known diseases such as yellow fever, chikungunya, and West Nile virus. Like the others, Zika virus is carried by Aedes mosquitoes, which are the main agent of transmission (human to human transmission can also occur); unlike the others, the virus affects the unborn.
Symptoms of the virus include headache, rash, fever, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). The grand majority of infected people have no signs of the infection whatsoever. This is ominous for a pregnancy, as the mother doesn’t even know she was at risk.
TREATMENT AND PREVENTION OF ZIKA VIRUS
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There is no vaccine or treatment available that is effective against Zika virus. Prevention, however, is simple: Don’t travel to the countries where widespread outbreaks are occurring. If you have to go, use sunscreen, long pants and sleeves, plus mosquito repellant or netting. Standing water near your location in affected areas should be drained.
Mosquito control efforts are underway in Brazil and other countries at risk. Besides the usual sprays with pesticides, you might be surprised to know that GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are playing a part.
A male “Franken-mosquito” called OX513A has a gene that kills his offspring. Female mosquitoes only mate once during their lives, so this might have a significant effect. Brazil claims more than a 90% decrease in the population after release. OX513A was also used in the Florida Keys in 2012 (over protests) to combat an outbreak of another Flavivirus, Dengue Fever.

Tips For Getting A Good Nights Sleep…

Today we present another article in our non-fiction writing contest –Denise H

Consider “sleep” …What is sleep? What good is it? Why is it important? How can I help myself to get adequate amounts? Am I doing the things for me to get the restorative rest I require? Are there relatively safe things I can do, to assist when I have a wakeful night? What am I doing to sabotage healthy sleep habits?

These are the things I have been struggling with for some time. I had many things that break the rule of good restorative sleep. Some of those things were beyond my control. Since my responsibilities have changed, I no longer have an excuse for sitting up late, drinking coffee late at night, and remaining awake until zero-dark thirty! Now is the time, for me to make changes to reduce the stress, and restore my health. This is a journey, and mine is not complete, but I am making headway and you can as well.

I found have found several tips that have begun to help me. Evaluate your life and see if they could help you.

In general, I found if a sleep issue is still bothering you, after one month, you should see a Dr./ PCP. It could be a symptom (of an illness) OR a side effect of a medication. A occasional night of “late wakefulness” is not something to stress over, but adds to your over-all stress and health issue flares.

Proper sleep is necessary for our health and safety, and for the sanity of those who care for us.

There are many things that can interfere with restful sleep…including the medical issues of restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea. If you believe you have one of these things, go get it treated to start things off.. and apply these tips to help set you up for sleep success.

TIPS: In no particular order……General… with specific notes.

1. MAKE SLEEP A PRIORITY. How?

  • Set a specific time for sleep and wakefulness.
  • Go to a quiet place for meditation,and/or quiet reading with reduced light stimulation. Turn the lit clock dial away, turn off/ block the light from all electronics.Reduce electronics at least one hour before bedtime.The light at night prevents the body’s natural release/production of Melatonin that regulates sleep cycles.
  • Avoid all stressful things just before sleep.
  • When you awake, get out in the bright light as soon as possible. The bright light stimulates the melatonin production which regulates sleep cycles.
  • Get a quality mattress and pillow. Put good covers on mattress, box springs and pillow to reduce allergens.
  • Limit bed sharing to your spouse…not children or fur children.

2. CONTROL DIET. What? How? When?

  • Limit caffeine, allow at least 6 hours before bedtime…
  • Reduce sugars and chocolate during this time , too
  • Stop most liquid intake at least three hours before bed…if it goes in, it will come out even if it is in the middle of your sleep time.
  • Generally, Night meal should be lightest, with less spices, for ease of digestion.
  • Reduce alcohol use. Even tho you may be initially sleepy after ingestion,it can disturb your ability to remain asleep.
  • Seek natural foods or fluids to enhance your sleep cycle.

3. UN-WIND … after your routine day.

  • Take time for meditation/ evaluation.. soon after you get home, then put your work away…
  • Do some kind of exercise, change it up!
  • Enjoy your companions, whether 2 or four-footed
  • Avoid afternoon naps, in any case limit to 20 min max.

4. SET A SOOTHING BEDTIME routine…It could include..

  • Reading time
  • a favorite calming tea with a light snack
  • Cuddle (or more,) time with your sweetie
  • Special night-time routine with your child
  • A calming bath
  • Reduce outside noises. This can be done by turning off a dripping faucet, or wearing ear plugs.
  • Use white noise, if sleep still and issue.. wind machine, low calming music …whatever YOu find calming

NOTE: Of course , bedtime medications and regular nutrition for management of medical conditions are exempted from this rule. Some persons must eat at night to maintain blood sugar levels, or to maintain hydration in the case of extreme small capacitys. If you are in trouble see your DR. These are general guidelines, garnered through observation and assimilation of varied materials.

POSSIBLE SLEEP SOLUTIONS.. Common remedies for the occasional night of late wakefulness.

List ..in no particular order, some with rationale

A. FOODS

  1. Certain foods…that boost tryptophan/ one of sleep hormones… like turkey.
  2. Foods high in carbs, like whole grain crackers…
  3. Foods high in B6… wheat grain, sunflower seeds, Bananas
  4. Foods high in Magnesium and calcium
  5. Herbal teas: There are some commercially prepared..Two of those are called Sleepytime and Sleepytime extra. common ingredients are chamomile, passion-flower and/or Valerian.

These are all avilable as separate herbs,but use them with caution. …IF you are unsure of your response to them.. ex…Valerian works well for some people with no adverse effects, but I have a poor tolerance to it…it produces sleep very well, for too long with me!! The amount in the Sleepytime extra is minimal, because I do well with it.

If you are in doubt, Here is MY solution, brew it for a shorter time,(3-5 min.) in whole cup of water. Drink half, for the first serving..if still awake after an hour, drink the rest..

B.NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS

  1. These include but are not limited to Valerian,chamomile, passion-flower, holy basil, L-Theanine, 5 HTP. Chamomile tea is also very soothing to the intestines, so is a good choice, when I just feel yucky.
  2. A warm bath with Epsom salts could have a profound effect as it is high in magnesium. Magnesium and Calcium supplements assist in all kinds of muscle issues that often make us, just uncomfortable enough, to not be able to go over into dreamland.
  3. Vitamin supplements with vitamin D3, B- supplements and specifically Niacin.. these should be taken routinely during the morning, especially the Vitamin B, as a dose can provide an energy boost. Gastric acids destroy much of the dietary B vitamins, so sublinguals are preferred method.
  4. There are OTC herbals and sleep supplements to boost your sleep routine into a set pattern…they are many and varied…if you do not get satisfaction from one, there are many..Do your due diligence.

C. AROMATHERAPY Aromatherapy is very simple, and inexpensive. It is practiced by placing a soothing fragrance on a cotton ball, sniffing it a couple of times and laying it near your pillow. Some common products used for this are Lavender, Clary sage and Roman Chamomile oil.

D. MEDICATIONS There are OTC meds for the occasional night, if nothing else has worked Pharma has given us anti-histamine and they do make most people sleepy, Benadryl is in most of the OTC sleep preparations. When these are not effective it is time to see a Medical professional. .. to check for underlying conditions and medication side effects. It could take some time and trying many products to find one that you tolerate. Do not despair, there is something that can help you to find a night of peaceful rest.

E. OTHERS. There are several other things that can be done for sleeplessness. Many of these I have explored briefly. I will mention them briefly, with and without comments.

Meditation.. Calm thoughts, dwelling on meditative readings such as the Word of God..can take you away from the cares of the world and direct attention to things most important in life.This would include Prayer.

Hypnosis, can be done alone, with training..I used this for childbirth with success.It can be applied to what ever area of your life you choose.I was trained, for that purpose by a licensed psychologist. Had not considered to put that to use for this until studying this subject.

Light Therapy… Light in the morning, when too low, affects sleep hormones that are released at night . Lack of proper light in early evening can have a similar result. A sleep log and weather/light log can be kept to help a health care professional work you through needs. There are broad spectrum light bulbs that help some people through seasonal disorders. Those same bulbs are not expensive and could help here too if appropriate.

Acupuncture.. I have not and AM not exploring needles in any form, but it has a history of working for some people and for some things…I just am not desperate enough!

Traditional Indian and Chinese Medicine practices, i know nothing about these, but they care for large populations of people with basic herbs and compounds and have for many centuries, so I am not knocking them.

Common sense notes, and thoughts…

  • I try to limit my use of even herbals to no more than two nights a week. The rest of the time I use the other methods to limit my sleep disruptions.
  • Try to go to bed with a clear mind, this is one of the benefits for doing what you can where you are and leaving the rest to a loving Creator.
  • Most common sleep issues can be addressed without medications. In general, they can create a bigger monster and produce their own side effects
  • If you are having sleep issues.. frequently.. a health check is in order to determine any underlying issues and treat them.

Note: Nothing in this article should be perceived or taken as “medical advice”, this information is presented here for informational purposes only. If you have any reacquiring sleep issues please consult a certified medical professional for treatment.

Prizes For This Round (Ends December 21 2015) In Our Non Fiction Writing Contest Include…

  1. First place winner will receive –   A gift certificate for $150 off of  any bulk ammo at Lucky Gunner, three bottles of Fish Cillin – Ampicillin 250mg (100 Count) courtesy of Camping Survival, and a WonderMill Electric Grain Mill courtesy of  Chef Brad Revolution.
  2. Second Place Winner will receive – 30 Day Food Storage All-in-One Pail courtesy of Augason Farms.com.
  3. Third place winner will receive –  A copy of my book “31 Days to Survival” and a copy of “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat“.

Please read the rules that are listed below BEFORE emailing me your entry… my email address can be found here – please include “writing contest entry” in the subject line.

Straight Talk About Expiration Dates

by Joe Alton, MD of www.doomandbloom.net, Co-author, The Survival Medicine Handbook

Antibiotics

Years ago, I wrote an article about the truth relating to expiration dates on medications. Lately, I’ve seen some confusing information on the internet that tells you how dangerous they are while telling you that, in a survival scenario, you should probably use them. So I think it’s time to set the record straight with regards to expiration dates on medications.

Before I start, I want to tell you that my focus is medical preparedness for major disasters and long-term survival. That means a strategy of putting together stockpiles of supplies that might save a life in times of trouble. In normal times, when you can just call your doctor for a fresh prescription, seek modern care by qualified professionals.

Now, what you need to know. Expiration dates were first mandated in the us in 1979. They are the last day that a drug company will guarantee 100% potency of a medicine. These medicines do not, by and large, become toxic after the expiration date. I promise you that you will not grow a horn in the middle of your forehead if you take a pill the week after it expires.

In many cases, drugs in pill, powder, or capsule form will be 100% potent for years after their expiration date. How do I know this? FEMA, the federal emergency management agency, and the Department of Defense stockpiles millions of doses of medications used in emergency settings. In the past, When those drugs expired, they were discarded.

This gets to be pretty expensive, so a study was performed called the shelf life extension program, something I first wrote about years ago. This program found that most medications, as long as they are in pill or capsule form, were still effective after their expiration dates, sometimes for years. As such, I recommended not throwing them away but, instead, making them part of your survival medical storage.

This, by the way, was not the case for medicines in liquid form. They lost potency quickly after their expiration dates, so are not useful for long-term survival settings.

These findings led the government to put out extensions of expiration dates for certain drugs as needed, such as the 5 year extension given the anti-viral drug tamiflu during the 2009 swine flu epidemic.

Despite this, you’ll see quotes, often from academic types, that medications are dangerous when expired and should be tossed. These opinions are fine in normal times, but if you’re reading this article, you’re probably a member of the preparedness community or at least interested in the subject. You might even be the person that would be medically responsible in situations when the rescue helicopter is heading the other way.

Good, you’re exactly who I want to talk to. you may one day have to make a decision in a true disaster setting about whether or not to use an expired medication.

Let’s say a loved one is fading from an infection. Something bad has happened and you’re off the grid with little or no hope of getting to modern medical care. You have an expired bottle of antibiotics. What are you going to do? Someone you love is dying. Are you going to use the expired drug or not? Exactly.

Of course, medicines should be stored in cool, dry, dark conditions. Their potency will fade twice as fast if stored at 90 degrees as if stored at 50 degrees. Freezing them, however, is rarely helpful. Even if stored in suboptimal conditions, a capsule or tablet that hasn’t changed color or consistency is probably still worth keeping for austere settings.

Sometimes, In a true disaster, the issues that will facing the medically responsible will be very basic. What’s the problem? Do I have medicine that will treat it? Could this medicine, although it has expired, possibly save a life? When it comes down to it, can you really choose to not use it to prevent a death because it may possibly have side effects or not be quite as strong as it was?

I say: In this situation, don’t withhold a drug because some professors said it wasn’t a good idea to use it. Believe me, they weren’t seriously considering a time when an expired medication might be the only option you have left.

Let’s hope it never gets to that point, but preparing for the worst, while hoping for the best isn’t a bad strategy to deal with the uncertain future.

3 Things You MUST Know – Prepper Medicine

Blood and guts!!!!

by BCTruck

M.D. Adds: Medical preparedness is an important but often overlooked survival prep, please get all of the training that you can now. Take every class that you have time for. Start out with a basic first-aid and CPR class, then expand into EMT and nursing classes. You should have at least one EMT or nurse in your survival group (two or more is even better). I also recommend Survival MD for your medical library.

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