Category Archives: First Aid

Medicine Supplies

Medicine to Stock up on for When There Is No Doctor

As preppers we stock up on supplies that we think we will need in an emergency. The order of priority for these items is usually tied to what our bodies need to survive. We can only live for 3 days (on average) without water so we make plans to purchase storage containers and water filtration systems to cover that base. We next need food, so we stock our pantries full of store-bought and freeze-dried food for a situation where the grocery store is either unreachable or out of food. Security and shelter round out the list of initial survival concepts you want to take care of but what else is there?

There are so many aspects to preparedness, but one of the more important ones to consider is medicine. If the grid goes down, the pharmacy will be in the same boat as that grocery store. If you are still able to purchase items (grid up), they may be sold out with no reasonable hope of resupply. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you need simply medical supplies to treat illness or injury and aren’t able to procure them for your family. Thinking about your families’ health from an injury standpoint isn’t as sexy as buying a good SHTF weapon, but knowing which medicine to stock up on for an emergency will allow you to plan for disruptions and possibly keep your family more healthy when they need it the most.

What are important types of medicine to stock up on?

This list certainly won’t take the place of a hospital pharmacy and it surely won’t give you the skills you need to treat every injury, but even the most basic of medical supplies and a little knowledge could help you out. When shopping for medicines or thinking about first aid, I consider what types of injuries you could encounter in a disaster.

Disasters both natural and man-made bring death, disease and injuries. The medicines you need to stock up on should take some of these into consideration while not addressing every conceivable ailment under the sun. To achieve a basic level of preparedness I would recommend having the following items on hand.

Pain Medication / Fever Reducer

By pain medication I am referring to over the counter pain relievers. This can help with anything from headaches, sore muscles from too much exercise after SHTF or injuries. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is good for relieving pain and fever. It is generally less irritating to the stomach and is safer for children but can be toxic to the liver if you take too much of it.

Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) are examples of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These reduce inflammation caused by injury, arthritis or fever. They can also assist with pain associated with menstruation.

Children shouldn’t be given aspirin as it has been shown to cause Reye’s syndrome and can cause other bad effects. For pain medication I would have at least a bottle or two of your favorite pain reliever. For smaller children who might take liquid or chewable tablets I would stock up on that also. You don’t want your child to experience a fever without having medicine to bring that fever down if needed. The medicines above can be useful for both reducing inflammation, relieving pain and reducing fevers. I personally like aspirin for headaches but we do have large bottles of the other two on hand as well.

Anti-diarrheal

One of our readers put this as his top 4 or 5 items to have in his bug out bag and I can understand the rationale. The last thing you need to worry about in a bug out scenario is pulling over every twenty minutes or trying to find a safe place to let it all out. Diarrhea besides being messy as all get out can dehydrate a person quickly. Dehydration leads to weakness, irritability and confusion. Not the state you want to find yourself in an emergency.

There are two main types of medicines that help stop diarrhea, thickening mixtures (psyllium) absorb water and gives number 2 a little more volume. Antispasmodic products slow the spasms of your lower intestine. Loperamide is the active ingredient in products like Imodium and Pepto Diarrheal control. I have also seen loperamide hydrochloride in pill form in dozens of first aid kits. Fortunately, I have never had to use them but have them just in case. Better safe than sorry.

Antibiotics

Sooner or later someone you know will need something a little stronger than a clean bandage. Antibiotics are used in the treatment of bacterial infections. A cut from a rusty piece of metal when the grid is up isn’t life threatening. Without something to fight the infection in a grid down world, a bacterial infection could spell death. Antibiotics do not work on viruses though, so they won’t help you out with every illness.

How do you know when to use antibiotics?

The answer depends on what is causing your infection. The following are some basic guidelines from Familydoctor.org:

  • Colds and flu. Viruses cause these illnesses. They can’t be cured with antibiotics.
  • Cough or bronchitis. Viruses almost always cause these. However, if you have a problem with your lungs or an illness that lasts a long time, bacteria may actually be the cause. Your doctor may decide to try using an antibiotic.
  • Sore throat. Most sore throats are caused by viruses and don’t need antibiotics. However, strep throat is caused by bacteria. Your doctor can determine if you have strep throat and can prescribe an antibiotic.
  • Ear infections. There are several types of ear infections. Antibiotics are used for some (but not all) ear infections.
  • Sinus infections. Antibiotics are often used to treat sinus infections. However, a runny nose and yellow or green mucus do not necessarily mean you need an antibiotic.  Read more about treating sinusitis.

In addition to the more serious antibiotics, you could avoid a lot of problems with simple topical antibiotic creams. If you only have small injuries (not serious burns, puncture wounds or deep cuts), quick and repeated application of this ointment per instructions could keep any bacterial infections at bay.

Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver isn’t loved by the medical or scientific establishment, but that doesn’t mean it does not work. Colloidal Silver or CS as it is referred to by some is said to be an excellent antibiotic with the side benefit of being able to be made with simple materials by anyone. You should research for yourself whether or not this is a prepper supply you want to store and there are well documented cases ofpeople who have abused this. I have some in my medicine cabinet.

Additional medical supplies

  • Oral re-hydration solution – To offset the effects of dehydration caused by illness or diarrhea, make your own by adding 6-8 teaspoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 liter of water. Best to boil the water, add the sugar and salt while it is still warm to dissolve completely and let cool.
  • Multi-vitamins – I know the experts say that vitamins don’t do anything for you, but I believe if your body is deprived of vitamins supplementing with a good multi vitamin is a good idea.
  • Bandages – Probably more than you would ever expect to need. Bandages on wounds need to be routinely changed and the wound cleaned (based upon injury of course, consult a medical resource book for frequency) and you can easily go through dozens with one injury.
  • Rubbing Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide – Both alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are useful for cleaning wounds but each have many other benefits in the prepper’s first aid kit.
  • Cough Drops – Sure there are natural alternatives to cough drops, but you can buy a few hundred for less than $10
  • Anti-itch creme – Itching sucks.
  • Honey – Natural honey can be used to treat wounds and never goes bad if you have it stored properly. Plus it tastes great on that oatmeal you have stored in your pantry too.
  • Knee Braces and Ace Bandages – A lot of injuries will simply take time to heal. A goodknee brace can make getting around possible for someone with mild injuries. Ace bandages can help with sprains.
  • Any prescriptions you take regularly – An entire post could be written about obtaining supplies of life-saving medical prescriptions. The sad fact is that in a grid down world, many people who can no longer access prescriptive medicine may die. There are alternative treatments, homeopathic remedies and natural substitutes for some specific medicines, but these should all be researched thoroughly on your own. At a minimum you should have at least a one month supply of any medicine you must take. If the disaster allows you to make it to another medical provider you have some time.
  • Thermometer – Get the old-fashioned kind if you are worried about EMP, although thenewer digital thermometers are really nice too.
  • Blood Pressure Cuff – Helpful in situations although requires some training on how to use one properly. Don’t forget the Stethoscope to hear the heartbeat. – Hat tip to Ty for these last three great recommendations.

When does medicine go bad?

Yes, medicine does go bad, but it may not be bad in the way you think or as quickly as you might believe. For one thing the expiration date on medicine does not mean that the medicine is badafter that date. Medicine does start to lose its effectiveness over time though so keeping your medicine up to date is the best approach to having a good supply of medicine in your home.

How quickly a particular medicine loses its potency will vary by the medicine and the conditions where it is kept. Moisture and heat are not friends to medicine so a cool dry place out of sunlight is the best location. Medicine that has changed color, texture or smell even if it has not expired shouldn’t be taken. If pills stick together or are harder or softer, show cracks or chips they likely need to be replaced.

This is really just a start at some of the most obvious medicine to stock up on but each person has their own needs. What is your plan if you can’t get to the doctor?

 

Medicine to Stock up on for When There Is No Doctor was written by Pat Henry with Prepper Journal and can be viewed here:

http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2015/09/07/medicine-to-stock-up-on-for-when-there-is-no-doctor/

7 Unexpected Items You Can Use As Urban Survival Tools

Urban-survival-7-titleNo one ever plans on ending up stranded in a survival situation.  Even if you’re the world’s savviest survivalist, you can still be caught of guard and have to make do without your gear.  Luckily, there are some unexpected items that can aid in your efforts to stay alive.

Seemingly useless and random objects that can make the difference between life and death- now all you need is some luck.

Read on to lear how to use improvised items(dental floss, condoms, bandanas, wristwatches, soda cans, shoe laces, and cell phones) as survival gear.

 

1. Dental Floss

This sturdy string that sometimes makes your gums bleed can be used as a fishing line or a snare to catch small animals. Floss can also be used to bind items that can be used for shelter and protection, such as sticks. Want to learn how to turn floss into a bird trap? Check this out:

dental

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Condoms

Imagine this: you’re stranded without water for an extended period of time and then finally find some water… but are still stranded. Well, you’re going to want to keep moving and you’ll surely want to bring that water you found with you. Here’s how to make your own condom water carrier:

condom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Bandana

The uses of a bandana may seem obvious, but this item can do a lot more than you think. Bandanas can aid breathing, serving as a filter when conditions are dusty or cold. In both hot and cold conditions, they can hold in heat or reduce heat gain. Bandanas can also be used to strain water, and as a tourniquet for wounds… as you probably already figured. For a demonstration of twenty uses, take a look at this:

bandana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Wristwatch

No, you probably won’t care much about the time of the day when you’re trying to survive, but a wristwatch can help you in a way you probably never imagined. If you don’t have a compass, a wristwatch can serve the same purpose! Learn how here:

watch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Soda Can

If you happen to have one of these, or come across one that has been littered on the ground, you’re in luck. An empty soda can can be used to collect water, start a fire, or you can convert the tab into a fish hook. Assuming you have a knife or something sharp, you can even make a “stove” out of a soda can! Watch this:

soda can

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Shoe Laces

Other than tying objects together for various purposes such as shelter, when paired with sticks and wood, shoe laces can be used to start a fire or make a raft. Laces can also make a pretty good fishing line. But best of all, laces can be used in climbing trees. Watch this clip from Man vs. Wild to see how it’s done:

shoelaces

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Cell Phone

You likely won’t be able to call someone… but your phone is made up of many parts that can be useful in survival. Here’s how to use them:

 

Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community –Visually.
This article can also be viewed at Survival Life

What Am I Prepping For? Nothing Ever Happens…

What Am I Prepping For? / The DayOne Gear BlogWe all get discouraged from time to time especially when events or results we expect are right around the corner, do not happen. This makes perfect sense with a diet when for example you reach a plateau and all the rice cakes and sacrificing desserts in the world won’t take off a single additional ounce. Another example could be a skill we try to master like golf.

Sometimes, no matter how much effort we put into practicing, money we blow on the latest hi tech clubs, how much sweat blood and cursing we expend on that stupid ball, nothing seems to make your score any lower. At a point, you may start to worry if this just isn’t meant to be. That you were born to be a little chunkier, that golf is a lot harder than it looks and you will never be anything remotely close to the next Tiger Woods.

Losing your motivation or interest in something can be very discouraging. What used to occupy your waking hours with such intensity can vanish quietly without as much as a second thought. For some people, prepping is like that. In the beginning, there is a sense of urgency and we scoured the internet for tips on how to grow the best gardenhow to store food in plastic buckets. We research the best firearms for self-defense and start making our plan on how to be better prepared for any emergencies with the end goal of living completely off the grid on 50 acres in Idaho.  With our Bug Out Bag checklists we head to the camping section at Walmart or online to get the best survival gear and then over time notice that your expensive lifesaving gear that you had, has been sitting alone and quiet in the corner of the closet for a year.

What are you prepping for?

I have said this before on the Prepper Journal but I think it bears repeating and that is Prepping is not something you can ever master. This isn’t a skill that you get a certificate of completion for. There are no expert preppers out there regardless of what any blogger tells you. Prepping is a daily process of taking steps and making decisions that will improve your chances of surviving anything that life can throw at you. Prepping is a lifestyle, not a destination and if you are doing this right, you will always have something you can learn and something else to do.

Most people start out with a single point that drives them to prepare. Either it is the news reports that we hear, or dire warnings from a thousand websites, radio and internet hosts or the ads blaring from websites (mine included) about the “one weird trick” you need to have or the next “big thing” to worry about. For me, it was less specific than something like mutant zombie bikers from Mars, but I had several things that prompted my own personal journey into prepping. I quickly found out that regardless of what it is you think can happen or is likely to happen to you that would turn your world upside down; the survival requirements for everyone do not change.

In most instances. It doesn’t matter what the emergency is that you are faced with. In most survival situations, you are still going to need clean water to drink or you will die. You are going to need food or you will starve and you will need shelter and security or someone could kill you. You always run the risk of being injured or becoming ill, so a way to treat injuries or illness is also important. It doesn’t matter if this disaster you are faced with is an earthquake, an economic collapse, war, disease outbreak, revolution, depression, plague or a polar shift, global warming or alien invasion.

Preppers seem to easily become disenchanted with the whole idea of prepping if their big fear doesn’t materialize quickly. Preppers who are looking for either a government tyranny or an economic collapse are probably the worst at this; second only to people who believe whatever the latest disaster of the year is (y2KHale-bop comet2012 Mayan calendar). If you don’t see your envisioned future that you are prepping for materialize, or worse the day comes and goes and nothing happens, a lot of people feel foolish and think their prepping efforts were all a giant waste of time.

Prepping should be focused less on any event and more on situations. What if I have to leave my home and can never go back (for any reason)? What if I am unable to pay for my home anymore (maybe due to a job loss)? What if I am trapped in my home with no food (because of a winter storm)?

Does this mean you aren’t a real prepper?

It is more exciting I guess for the lack of a better word to crystallize your attention on one boogeyman or threat. It may even be easier to prepare when you have the face of what you are worried about so clearly in front of your mind, but it is a trap. If you focus your attention on one enemy, spend your energy and thought on one outcome, what will you do if something you didn’t expect happens? If you have worked yourself up for a complete and total economic collapse, but that never materializes; are you prepared to live life however you need to regardless of the economy?

Maybe that was a bad example, but I think the point should be that we have to prepare to survive. We shouldn’t be preparing for an economic collapse. We should be gaining skills to become more self-sufficient, not spending all of our time building a warehouse full of freeze dried foods. Now, I am not saying we shouldn’t take the bad realities of a possibility like an economic collapse into consideration. I am not saying that we shouldn’t store up food, but as much as possible we should be focused on what our family or we need to survive regardless of what happens. If we do have an economic collapse, you are going to need to eat and pay the bills aren’t you? If we have a global pandemic, you are still going to need to keep yourself healthy, just like you would if there was a hurricane or a flood, or an earthquake.

When you ask yourself why you are prepping or I guess when you start to question if anything you are doing is worth it. When you start to feel foolish staring at your stocked pantry and your hundreds of gallons of water, fuel, first aid supplies and survival gear stop and think. Think about how what you have done could help you and others in a thousand different ways. Think about how you will have options if the cold hand of fate comes knocking at your life one day way in the future. Don’t worry if it never does because that right there is the best outcome we could all hope for.

This information has been made available by The Prepper Journal

This article was written by Pat Henry at The Prepper Journal.  The original article can be viewed here.  Like them on Facebook while you are there!

The Myth of Expiration Dates on Prescription Meds

 

Myth-of-Expiration-Dates-on-DrugsIn the aftermath of disaster, you evacuate your home with your family and your bug-out bag.  For one reason another, you overlooked swapping out your three year old medications and now are faced with a dilemma.  Are they still safe to use?

 

I am not a medical professional but everything that I have read says, yes, they are not only safe but that the expiration date printed or stamped on those bottles represent more of a CYA for the manufacturers than any thing else.

According to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide:

Most of what is known about drug expiration dates comes from a study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration at the request of the military. With a large and expensive stockpile of drugs, the military faced tossing out and replacing its drugs every few years. What they found from the study is 90% of more than 100 drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, were perfectly good to use even 15 years after the expiration date.

So the expiration date doesn’t really indicate a point at which the medication is no longer effective or has become unsafe to use. Medical authorities state expired drugs are safe to take, even those that expired years ago. A rare exception to this may be tetracycline, but the report on this is controversial among researchers. It’s true the effectiveness of a drug may decrease over time, but much of the original potency still remains even a decade after the expiration date.

Read more here…

This article was written by Gaye Levy from Backdoor Survival

Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.

To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com.

10 Diseases That Will Become Far More Common After The Collapse…

common-diseases-300x336We try to prepare for everything… Unfortunately there are some things that you can’t be fully prepared for.  A little slip with a knife, a brief brush from an infected animal, or even something as small as contact with a person who hasn’t bathed in a while…  Most of the time these are a single trip to the Doctors office, and you’re all patched up and ready to go.

But In a SHTF scenario, the DR. will not be in.  And scrapes and cuts will be a much bigger issue.

Especially when you factor in diseases that would otherwise not be an issue…

When TSHTF the diseases that we pay little to no mind about now, will come back with a vengeance…

Check out this article from AllSelfSustained, that talks about the 10 Diseases that will be far more common after a collapse:

Diseases come and diseases go…rather like fashions, but with diseases it’s the general conditions prevailing at the time that denotes what gets a foothold and what doesn’t. Many diseases are opportunists, they will surface at a time the conditions are right for them to flourish and most often this is at a time when humans really could do with concentrating on other stuff. Here are ten diseases that will make their presence felt after a major, long term,disaster be it war, societal collapse or in some cases even an economic downturn.

1.Typhus:Typhus is spread by the body louse, it’s all around us, prevalent amongst the homeless and those living in unsanitary overcrowded conditions. the only reason we are not all infected with it is our ability to launder our clothes and shower/bathe regularly. History teaches us that typhus loves downturns and has been shown to surge during and after every major crisis, be it war or a stock market crash.

2.Typhoid:Not to confused with typhus typhoid is caused by the bacteria salmonella typhi and is spread by contaminated food and water. It spreads quickly in overcrowded and/or unsanitary conditions.

3.Pellagra: Pellagra is caused by a lack of vitamin B3 and was endemic just a few decades ago, Those eating diets with low levels of B3 are at risk of suffering from pellagra. Its a debilitating disease that causes a slow and painful death.

4. Hantavirus: Hantavirus is caused by ingestion of dried mouse droppings that are commonly found in sheds, cabins etc. It’s a serious disease that will kill if not treated promptly. In a situation where the mouse population can’t be controlled and contact with droppings is more frequent cases of Hantavirus will rise.

5. Bubonic Plague: Plague has two forms, bubonic and pneumonic. Bubonic plague is often fatal if left untreated, pneumonic plague is almost always fatal if left untreated. Both are spread by the bite of a rat flea. As with hantavirus if rodents can’t be kept under control the disease will spread. It causes agonizing swellings, often in the groin or armpits that are full of pus and black in colour, hence being called the black death. Read the full article on All Self Sustained

Click here to see the remaining diseases on AllSelfSustained…  

This is all the more reason to make sure you factor  sanitation into your emergency planning!

One more thing to watch out for (that is not on the list) is the Norovirus… After helping my wife through her bout with it, this is not something that I would want to be facing when medical care is not available…

Click here to read about our encounter with it

What is your Survival Sanitation Plan?

By  on February 3, 2014

This article can also be viewed here.

About ‘Above Average’ Joe

I am just an average guy with a passion for learning. I am excited to share the things I learn with you but I am most interested in learning from you. Survival Life is more than just one man. It is a growing and living community of individuals; all with the desire to be prepared to survive and thrive no matter what this world throws at us. I look forward to growing with you! Feel free to follow me on google+