Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Reality Check


       I have never understood why some people consider preppers or survivalists to be a threat to the status quo.  Do they worry that we won't spend our disposable income in their businesses ?   Most preppers are simply being self sufficient to the degree that during an expected emergency, such as an earthquake, a hurricane or an ice storm, they won't need local or federal government help within just a few days !    Being reasonably prepared and reasonably self sufficient means that your family won't be a draw to local systems, thus diverting help from the people who might really need help when its stretched to its thinnest point.

                When I encourage all of you to be more self sufficient, I am doing so to encourage that direction.  I don't expect you to do your own brain surgery, raise sheep and salvage their thyroid glands to make your own dessicated thyroid, or take a chemistry class with the intention of trying to develop recombinant DNA origin insulin in the frij, right next to the jello.   Although we discuss things like emergency childbirth, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, none of us are an island.  It is not realistic to do everything for yourself in the long term.

                  It is appropriate to gather an Emergency Medical Kit for your home.  It is intelligent to gather an Family Evacuation Medical Kit. I would actually prefer one you gather yourself as it's less expensive and if you have amassed the supplies yourself you are more likely to remember what you have in it.  Emergency food that is palatable and long lasting is necessary for your home, and for family evacuation.  A specialized bag locked in a safe or locking cabinet with family documents, or spare original documents is also a good idea.  Having a plan for the evacuation of your family and for your animals is simply common sense.  In a wildfire, how quickly could you, your family, your pets and the items mentioned above evacuate your home ?
Most families can do these things quite effectively and fairly inexpensively.

                I do not expect you to gather all the clothing, food, toys, and Christmas presents you will need for the rest of your lives. I don't think you need to outfit a dental chair and hire a private dentist, (or worse, stock a dental chair with a copy of the book, Where there is no Dentist)   Unless you have some unusual special needs with regard to tornadoes and you are basementless, then I don't know that you should invest in a bunker, small or otherwise, because it might divert limited needed assets from things you need more.

              I do think that we should be preparing our children for real life and for employment.  I think that instruction for them in preparedness is a part of a good education, and that good parents educate their children, not simply abrogating the responsibility to a public educational system that does everything else but educate.    I think that you should learn whatever you can about your vehicles, and that you should have some capability with regard to repairs which comprise normal maintenance.  I think that within the confines of your present life, you should grow whatever food you can, even if all it is, are sprouts on the kitchen window, or tomatoes in a pot on an apartment terrace.  I think a nice professional haircut is a wonderful thing, but I also think that if you can trim your kids hair following the lines set by a professional hairdresser, and save half the money you would have spent on haircuts each year, then you and your family will be able to eat better than you would have otherwise.

           I believe that every adult should know how a handgun and a rifle works.  This way, you will be the first to know when someone is handling one improperly, and if need be, you can expel the magazine, check the chamber, and render the weapon ammoless.  Whether you choose to own one or not, is your business, but healthy adults without mental health issues should know how they work.

           If you live in a rural area, then unless you are being treated for cancer this year, or you are elderly, then you need to have a plan whereby you and yours can evacuate from where you live. The same is true for your animals, if in fact you have a hobby farm or livestock.  (See farm evacuation .)   See also farm disaster planning.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


This is Wendy's new interior plan for new restaurants.

    I am working to continue the series regarding Preparedness and the Childbearing Family .  Life has intruded and we have a busy week here.  I am also noticing that the number of readers of this blog from foreign lands has markedly increased, but interestingly, not so with Americans.  Snaring huge number of  readers, American or otherwise, was never really the objective. Placing accurate information on this blog, for reference, has been.

            This week my travels have been many.  I found myself sitting in a Wendy's restaurant eating a salad while hearing four conversations around me.  One man and his wife have seen their federal taxes skyrocket this year due to changes in the tax law which were instituted this year. They were discussing whether or not to leave the United States.The man and his wife discussed everywhere from the South of France to Costa Rica.    Two men to my right, who were some type of construction or infrastructure workers were discussing that they were each supporting several members of their family who can't find jobs of any type. One of them had been assigned to Maryland last week and was talking about scores of empty office buildings there.     By the window, on the tall chairs, two women in their sixties were having a conversation in which one postulated that the American collapse is already here.  There is no growth, simply deterioration and adaptation (paraphrased here).  More and more people are unemployed, dependent upon foodbanks and relatives. People with bachelors and master's degrees are applying to work in Wal-Mart, she said.  The media talks about a mythical financial improvement, and the Obama regime which has done a fair bit to perpetuate the lack of a recovery,  acts as if they have us right on track.  "It's the elephant in the room". Everyone knows it, but they are pretending that we aren't in a Depression.

           I crunched my dressingless salad while listening to the conversations.  I was oddly comforted by this dose of reality. For years I have managed preparedness as an intellectual exercise, and as changes came to America, post 2008, I wondered why, according to media, I was seeing changes, and not much about this was being reported on American mainstream media.  If the Wendy's conversations are any representation, then Americans are waking up.  The infrastructure construction men departed and their place was quickly taken by two older men who seemed to be friends.  They immediately began a conversation concerning drones coming to American cities. The conversation descended quickly to their dismay regarding the disregard of the Constitution and the erosion of American rights. They were surprisingly well informed concerning the Patriot Act, and oversteps which have been occurring with regard to the federal government.

           I had already spent more time on a lunchbreak than I should have.  I refilled my drink and started to head out again.  I was oddly recharged by my visit there, more so than a simple salad with chicken on it would normally have done.  Perhaps the American people are waking up. Perhaps they are talking.  Perhaps they can begin to select better representation and begin to address some of the really serious issues we have. I hope it's not too late.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Post Concerning the Fragility of Our Lives

    Please see my entry from another one of my blogs entitled,

      Tomorrow Might Be Too Late

  Our lives are finite, and quite short.  Try to live each moment, mindful of that, without being obsessed by this thought.

    Best wishes to you all.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Preparedness, Supplies and the Childbearing Family

(Photo: )

            First of all, for preparedness purposes, the definition of a potential "childbearing family" is any couple of childbearing age.  Whether married or not, whether intending to marry or not, emergency and stressful situations do tend to result in perhaps less well considered sexual contact. The strategy of "conserving the condoms" isn't always a good one.   Pregnancies that would normally be detected early, may not be, in a variety of longer term emergencies.Surprise pregnancies do not just happen with teenagers.  Women, married and single, in their twenties, thirties and forties may all discover a pregnancy much later than is ideal.  In addition, many women in their fifties are now in the best shape of their lives and are nutritionally quite well, and this too has resulted in some peri-menopausal and menopausal pregnancies that frankly have shocked the socks off their spouses and their families.

              I do recall one young woman who came through our emergency room with severe back pain. Later that day she later delivered a healthy boy, never having had the slightest clue that she had been pregnant !  Of course, for the vast majority of us who remember pregnancy to be fraught with a number of pretty significant changes and discomforts, think that such a case can only be the result of some type of  denial of a  psychiatric level, but this is simply not always the case.  Sometimes, a healthy woman carries a baby she just doesn't know about.  This is simply a part of the saying, "In reproduction, anything is possible".

               Since you are reading this, I am going to assume that you are either a member of a childbearing family, or a principle family member planning preparedness for yourself and perhaps your extended family, which also includes daughters or sons who could be members of a childbearing family.   I am also for purposes of this post going to assume that in an emergency such as civil unrest, financial collapse, earthquake, hurricane or ice storm with protracted electricity outage, that your extended family has been instructed to come to you.

                Of course as a person with even a passing interest in preparation, you have general references which indicate how you should supply water and food.  My first book would be one such source, and there is a lot of valuable information there, which you should read.  However, today, I am focusing on the potential that you will provide safe harbor for a child bearing family who is related to you.

                The first supplies you need to have:

 1. Buy a bulk container of non deodorant sanitary napkins.   (These have uses other than for menstruation,        and post childbirth discharge. These can also be used over top of sterile dressings at times.)  Shop around.  I bought 120 of these plain and clean without deodorant ( which can cause allergies and limit uses), for about twelve dollars.

2.  Buy a large container of condoms with an expiration date as far in the future as possible.  Again, big box stores and Wal-Mart could be the least expensive suppliers.  Big Lots is a great store, but I don't recommend the initial purchase of expired condoms, although they probably can be used for a short time past expiration, if you already own them.

3. Buy a tube of Ortho-Gynol brand of nonoxyl 9.  When used as a lubricant after a condom is already applied,( in amount of about one tsp) the effectiveness of the condom in terms of pregnancy prevention can become 99 point something percent in one study.   Make sure your family members know you have these.  I know this can be an uncomfortable conversation, but this is an emergency.  Yes, this is the same gel used with diaphragms.
     Ortho-Gynol Extra Strength Contraceptive Gel

There is an expiration date, but it reasonably can be used for eight weeks or so past its stated date of expiration if kept in a cool dry place.

4. Buy a set of perianal cleansing bottles.
   These can be used for menstruating women.  These can be used for those with bladder infections who need to run a stream of warm water over their urethra to permit the starting of a urinary stream.  They can be used to supplement daily perianal cleansing in anyone.  They can be very useful if you have a bedridden patient and need to do some perianal cleansing on a bedpan.   However, they are probably most useful in the important cleansing with must take place following childbirth, each time a woman urinates or defecates, for potentially weeks.

Remember that these supplies are in addition to your Family Evacuation Medical Kit and your Home Medical Kit which I speak about in my book at length and you can learn about at the following blog links:

Continuing with todays subject of disaster management of the childbearing family:

   The least expensive and some of the best Perineal Cleansing bottles

5.  The last thing you really do need to add to your supplies is something we used to call a precipitous delivery pack.   Now it's easier to find as simply a "birth kit".   Although on all my other first aid and medical evacuation kits, I urge you to assemble your own, this is the exception.  It is more frugal to simply purchase the kit readily assembled and sterile until opened.  Do not open such kits until you are about to use one.

Custom Birth Kit from Precious Packages                                  $79.00

This one contains:     It is a deluxe home birth kit often used by midwives

20 Basic Underpads, 23x36"
10 Alcohol Prep Pads
1 Plastic Back Sheet
1 Sterile OB Pads, 12/pkg
5 Synthetic Pair Gloves, medium
5 Synthetic Single Glove, medium
2 Mesh Panty, choose size
1 Peri Bottle
2 Cold Peri Pack, Standard
1 Economy Bulb Syringe, 3 oz
1 Digital thermometer with case
10 Gauze, 4x4, 2 per pkg. Sterile
2 Straws, Individually Wrapped, Flexible
2 Newborn Paper Tape Measure, 36”
1 Newborn 100% Cotton Hat
1 Povidone Iodine Solution, 4 oz.
5 Lubricating Jelly, 5 g
1 Mattress Cover, choice of King or Queen
2 Umbilical Cord Clamps, sterile
1 Fracture Bedpan
1 Kleenprint Footprinter
1 HomeBirth Certificate
1 Infant Heel Warmer
1 DeLee Mucous Trap, 8 Fr
2 Gallon Size Ziploc Bags
1 Sterile Field
1 Bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide, 16oz

The ones that I keep in house are:

 Birth Kit                                                                             $24.20

This one contains:

Underpad 23 X 36 15
Pad, Non-Sterile, Contoured, PEACH 10
Peri Bottle, 8 oz 1
Bulb Syringe, 2 oz. 1
Scrub Brush, Hibiclens 1
Gauze sponge, 4 X 4 12-ply (2/pkg) 6
Stretch Briefs - unisize 1
Tape Measure, infant, 2 ft/60 cm 1
Infant hat 1
Glove  Sterile Medium Single, VINYL 3
Glove, Medium, Pair, VINYL, sterile 3
Plastic Cord Clamp - Sterile 1
Lube Jelly, 3 grams, sterile 6
Flexible Drinking Straws 2
Plastic Backed Sheet, 40 X 72 2
Sani-Cloth towlette, germicide cloth, 11" X 11" 1

If you have everything listed in my listings at the links above, and you have everything listed in this post, you may wish to consider purchasing a #14 sized foley catheter and urine drainage bag.   A non-medically trained individual should not insert one of these, but in an emergency situation, if a physician on the phone or over a HAM radio instructed you to have a neighboring nurse insert one, it would be awfully good to have one.   If you do purchase one of these, DO NOT disrupt its sterile packaging by opening it.  It needs to be stored in a clean place and opened only immediately before use.   Buy also several packages of sterile gloves in both medium and large sizes.

One source of foley catheters

Lubricating jelly for foley catheter insertion

One source of Urinary drainage bag

The next post in this series will discuss attending emergency childbirth, and where to get the best written references for doing so

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Parliamentary Association of Europe Strikes Out Against Parallel Societies, or Homeschoolers


Funny, they don't look dangerous.  PACE might wonder what they are plotting.

           Once again, Europe is overreacting to the potential that extremist Muslims might create schools in their midst.  Europe is involved in wholehearted attempts to integrate foreigners into their societies.  Although I understand the intent, I disagree in the manner in which this is being done.

               This week, the Parliamentary Association of the Council of Europe, or PACE declared that homeschooling should be severely restricted because it opens the possibiities of parallel societies !
In order to make doubly sure that no Terror Camps for Tots emerge in their nations, they want to ensure that no one homeschools !    That's a bit like stopping pertussis by beheading all of the children in a nation who are of an age in which pertussis could be fatal !      Stopping homeschooling removes an excellent and viable means of education for many.

            Why should we care what happens in Europe ?    We should care because whatever madness comes to Europe, sooner or later hops the pond to our shores.  In the United States, homeschooling has provided the only means for many families who can't afford a private school education to ensure a superior education for their children.  My own children have graduated from universities with honors following almost exclusively homeschooling.  I am not entirely sure, had they remained in the chaos of the public school system that they would have had the inclination, desire, and the nerves to continue in college and university.   Why discount an entire alternative that has been proven to benefit many families ?

          If Europe wishes to monitor Neo-Nazi's, extremist Muslims, Mansonites, and Ku-Klux-Klanners then knock yourself out.  Our nation is already monitoring the Conservatives at our expense.  Perhaps keeping their meddling hands off the only bodies of learning which are successfully teaching reading, writing, history, geography, and the like should be left unmolested !   After all, we are going to need someone to do the work and the thinking of the world after the rest are simply mesmerized by their iphones.

Information on this development:

Council of Europe Threatens Homeschooling

On Fighting "Sects"

Monday, April 7, 2014

Another Look at Emergency Freeze Dried Food Stores for Diabetics

You can buy this book, and others on amazon. com or on  Keep in mind that you should always have hard copies of recipe books for emergencies, and not exclusively internet or kindle editions.

    Pre-packaged food stores, many of which are freeze dried, often have an abundance of carbohydrates, calories and often entirely too much salt.   MREs and camping foods were originally constructed for soldiers and hiking campers where 2800 calories a day or more and abundant carbohydrates were really important to fueling the kind of activity that was necessary.  Abundant salt was added not only to enhance palatability but to prevent too much water loss through perspiration.

               However, when we are talking about stockpiling freeze dried emergency foods for families, or for family members who are women, or for someone who is Type I or Type II diabetic, then excessive carbohydrate is pre-packaged packets is unwise, and we might need to consider other freeze dried alternatives.  (Keep in mind that Type I autoimmune/juvenile diabetes mellitus is a different illness than Type II diabetes mellitus. However both have the same "rash" in terms of glucose regulation difficulties. Although the control strategies for each do differ, there are commonalities in that the regulation of carbohydrate intake needs to be organized,  planned and mindful.)

               For example, if you, a non-diabetic or active male, are looking for high calorie food, then look to

             Expedition Foods  which sells a macaroni and cheese freeze dried, reconstituted with water, entree which is 800 plus calories per serving.

              However, if you have a family member who must conserve carbohydrates and perhaps enhance protein and vegetables as in diabetics, then perhaps your best bet is not to purchase much of the pre-made entree ready meals, and do what I do.


Most of the time our chickens keep us blessed with plenty of eggs. However, there are times when whole eggs which are freeze dried can be very useful.

               I purchase #10 (industrial cans) of Augason Farms freeze dried food which has the calorie counts and grams of protein etc. for each measured serving clearly on the can. This way I can custom construct exactly what my diabetic daughter needs even in emergencies.   I can reconstitute chicken, beef, potatoes, vegetables and a variety of fruits and provide exactly the correct diet for her fairly easily.  The freeze dried eggs work well and one can make a crustless quiche which works well.  There are recipes on the Augason Farm website which you can make using their broad range of meats, vegetables, potatoes, rice, and grains, etc.    She can also eat servings of the prepared entrees, but we often need to provide only 3/4 of the adult serving.

              Another important strategy is to buy a modern diabetic cookbook which has the calorie counts broken down for each serving, and then to substitute the plain Augason Farms freeze dried origin foods (reconstituted)  

             Remember if you have diabetic family members after planning their basic meals,  to stock nice-to-haves like sugarless chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch, and cheesecake flavored puddings.  These are not freeze dried but will last a couple of years in a clean dry cabinet.  There are some excellent and very low calorie and carbohydrate controlled hot chocolate mixes.  In addition, stock some freeze dried fruits ( I use the large cans Augason farm strawberries or apples)  These can be reconstituted as fruit or measured out so you know how many carbs and calories you are ingesting, and eaten as a snack. If you are even moderately creative, you can provide interesting meals with variety which do fit within the confines of even a restricted weight reduction diabetic diet. It's certainly possible to structure interesting meals for diabetics without a need for weight reduction.

           In addition to stocking certain emergency freeze dried foods for diabetics, it is important to make use of growing your own sprouts and growing some lettuces when possible in anything from a window or porch garden, where you can not only attend to these items and water them often, but where you can harvest from them, often daily.  (The easier your access is, the more likely you will use them in your daily diet.)

          If you do grow  kiwi, blueberries, blackberries, apples, tomatoes etc., make sure that you use this when fresh especially in diabetic diets, and find some ways to save this bounty for later in the year through either canning or dehydratiing these yourself.

These are some interesting recipes which can be used for diabetics:

Vegan cheese

Gluten free vegan cookies

These are some of our earlier posts which are beneficial in providing emergency food for diabetics:

This is an earlier post on exactly this subject:

Other Rational Preparedness posts on the subject of preparedness which may well be of interest to

These  are also  interesting links:

State of N.J. Disaster Preparedness Pages for Diabetics

Diabetic diet plans for 1200, 1500, or 1800 calories

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Value of Guaifenesin (AKA Mucinex)

Mucinex is a name brand of Guaifenesin. (  Robitussin cough syrup contains some Guaifenesin )

  By far, the best strategy in order to remain healthy, is to eat plenty of vegetables and fruits as a source of varietal vitamins and trace elements. Drinking plenty of pure water is also important.  In the past fifty years or so, diets in the industrialized world, and particularly in the US, have become more refined, less healthy and higher in many things that we simply don't need. (Like larger amounts of fat and large amounts of refined sugars.)

              Sometimes however, we eat as well as we can and we still develop clogged sinuses, the occasional cold or flu.  Guaifenesin is a drug that used to be available only in a prescription strength. It was most often prescribed for those with very thick mucus, usually accompanying head or chest colds, sinusitis, pertussis, laryngitis,  and sometimes pneumonia. Some people also use it in addition to antihistamines during allergy season.   In my lifetime, it has always been available in lesser amounts in some liquid cough medicines.  In my adulthood, it joined a number of drugs which are no longer prescription, and are available in the US and Canada as over the counter or OTC.  (There is still a prescription strength of the drug which is formulated in a fairly high dose, but more is not necessarily better.)

               Generally, Guaifenesin liquifies mucus secretions and can be of great benefit if you need it. In the US, the name most people know it by is Mucinex. There are a great many preparations of Guaifenesin available as a generic drug. It's even readily available from most dollar store shops that sell medicines and toiletries. The drug used also to be called Glyceryl Guaiacolate, and in some other nations, probably still is.

This generic form is available from Sam's Club fairly inexpensively.

              This is indeed one of the drugs that you and your family should have stocked in your emergency medical kits for home and also in your Family Evacuation Medical Kit.  A larger container can be purchased for home, and a smaller one can be placed in your family evacuation medical kit.  Wal-Mart has been selling a small bottle of pills as a generic for only 88 cents. There is an extended release variety, but most people should simply stock the standard tablets because you are unsure which family members will be using this, and for how long. It often doesn't serve to buy high doses or extended release of something, unless you know you have a clear purpose for doing so.  The tablets I recommend are 400 mg. variety for adults and children over 12.
            If you have younger children or elderly family members who have difficulty swallowing tablets, then your family needs to stock a liquid preparation of Guaifenesin in addition to the tablets you stock for everyone else. 

This is liquid Mucinex.

         The normal dose for adults is 200-400 mg. every four hours, not to exceed 2.4 Gms a day. (That's 2400 mg. per day)   The drug needs to be taken with plenty of water.   Most of us can take 400 mg. every twelve hours and still notice positive effects.   In higher doses, many people can taste it in their saliva and smell the drug in their urine, and it adversely impacts their appetite, and this is why I am saying that often, less of this drug is more, in that if 400 mg. taken twice daily does the trick, then stay out of the higher OTC dosage range which may contribute to nausea.  In higher doses it may occasionally cause some transient diarrhea.

        Children's dosage with regard to liquid preparations of Guaifenesin

Adults and children over 12:     10-20 ml (or ccs)   every four hours as needed

Children ages 6-12                   5-10 ml     every four hours as needed

Children ages 2-6                     2.5- 5ccs  every four hours as needed.

Under age 2                              Contact your pediatrician or family physician.

          Pregnant women should clear this, and any drug with their physician before use, because it can potentially disrupt the mucus plug which is not supposed to emerge until birth is fairly imminent.

           This is a remarkably shelf stable drug, in that it has been safely and effectively used in its pill form, when kept cool, clean and dry, as many as ten years past its manufacture.  Of course, we always shoot for the purchase of a drug with an expiration date as far in the future as possible, whenever this is possible.

           Although Guiafenesin is most often used for the purpose I have described, there is another exciting use.  After some doses of Guaifenesin became OTC, more members of the public began to use it. Some patients who had joint discomfort, or who had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia found that when they took it for mucus relief in colds or flu, their joint pains and discomfort seemed much better.  Of course, at first most physicians dismissed this as simply anecdotal information. Eventually a study comparing Guaifenesin for joint pain as compared with a placebo was performed. In this particular study, no evidence was found that Guaifenesin performed better than a placebo.

   Information regarding Guaifenesin Joint Pain Study

Dr. Bennett's Clinical Trial

         There remains a group of patients with fibromyalgia or with arthritis symptoms who do seem to derive clear benefit from the continued daily use of Guaifenesin, and we do not yet know why.  I have encountered such patients myself.

        For most people, this is an innocuous drug.  I thought you all should know of this alternate use.
Before doing a clinical trial on yourself or on someone you love, check that doing so is agreeable to your physician.   If you do try it for this purpose, please let me know if it has any positive impact on your own discomfort.

Mucinex and Arthritis