Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas and books

Merry Christmas to all. Have a good Holiday with family and friends. Enjoy the past year's bounty. And remember the reason for the Season; the birth of the Redeemer (whether Jesus, Mithra, et al).

Two books I just finished might be good choices for New Year's reading. Both cover preparation through clear analysis of the problem areas rather than yet another doom and gloom Jerimiad. Both are written by experts in their respective fields.

The first, The Edge of Disaster, is a well written book about strengthening our nation's infrastructure against disasters of various sorts. It would be most useful to those involved in government planning though the author also includes several good suggestions for the individual prepper.

The author also advocates a great philosophy, proactive preparation. Not just "stocking up" or learning how to survive after the "big one" or TEOTWAWKI. It would also be very useful to anyone involved with CERT groups as the author provides good coverage of this level of preparedness.

The second book, Homeland Siege, deals with the spread of narcoterrorism and 4th generation war attacks on our nation. It makes for fascinating reading for those who like to "look behind the curtain" of current event reporting. This book covers our developing disaster exposure from foreign powers buying up critical infrastructure here and covers the Gramscian threat to our culture in clear, concise fashion. For those who might be wondering, this is not "militia nutcase" material. This author states facts , draws logical conclusions from said facts, and then suggests common sense solutions to the problems identified.

Very plausible crime wave scenarios in this book. And yes, it could happen in Montana; when I correlated the Montana gang coverage from the October '09 Crime Prevention Conference with what this author describes, I got a bit scared at the possibilities. A combination of our [thankfully] few Gramscian politicians, gang members, and compliant news media could turn Montana into a narcoterrorist-infested region. For an idea of what this would mean for us, read this book or read the factual news reports from Arizona, Los Angeles, and Canadian reports of their drug distribution hub in BC.

This book is also mainly useful to those involved in making policy or commanding security forces. But this author also includes ample material for the average citizen, even including ideas for political action (organizing for the disasters, pressuring politicians).

Not a book for those who read the Daily Kos and believe it is the "voice of truth",or believe BHO is the reason for the season. All in all, filled with information on disaster threats that are rarely discussed in the MSM as well as good suggestions for those who believe in prepping our society as well as our own family.

Merry Christmas to you all. Or as Party members say it: "Merry Solstice Proximate Federal Holiday".

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Winter Storm Coming!

The winter storms are coming this weekend. Glacier County, Great Falls, and Lewis and Clark Counties will be hit Friday night. Big Timber to Billings areas will start seeing problems tonight with wind. The storm hits them Sunday. Double digit negative night time temperatures, daytime temperatures in teens and single digits, heavy snow, low visibility.

If you must drive, make sure that your vehicle is equipped with extra clothing, water and food, needed tools, etc. Don't forget a good pair of work gloves and blankets or sleeping bags. . Stock up your home before the storm hits if at all possible. Use this weekend to conduct a shakedown of your disaster plan.

Thank you Canada for the Arctic air mass; we need the snow for skiing and playing! All of you stay safe and warm until this storm front passes early next week.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

To all, a happy day together with friends and family. Enjoy the bounty. Treasure and nurture the social relations.

Will post again starting next week.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Personal Safety Seminar

I am holding an NRA Refuse To Be A Victim seminar in Great Falls this week. Lots of good information for securing the home/retreat and cutting down on the number of unwanted visitors post-disaster.

Great Falls Library; 301 2nd Avenue N, Great Falls, in the Conference Room; 6-9pm, Thursday, 19nov09. No charge for those attending.

Hope to see you there.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Montana Issue and Ideas

I attended the MT State Crime Prevention Conference a couple weeks ago. One of the best sessions I attended was the one on Montana's issue that we don't like to discuss, suicide. For the last 30 years, Montana has ranked in the top five for suicide rates in the nation. This year we are third in the nation. Grim statistic but it was a good presentation which pointed out ways to cut this number.

This is on a prepper blog because I believe that part of our duty as preppers is to educate our neighbors, family, and co workers in preparation and in encouraging good mental attitudes. The two presenters covered this grim subject in such a dynamic and optimistic way that we all learned lessons we probably would never have picked up otherwise. Karl Rosston, a LCSW and the State Suicide Prevention Coordinator, gave us the facts and figures as well as information on formal programs and simple interventions which could make the difference between life and death. Don Wetzel Jr., Director of Planting Seeds of Hope, gave the perspective from Indian Country and inspired with his talk re: the importance of reconnecting with one's traditions.

Important things for us as preppers to remember. The problem is not suicide, it is the person's perceived lack of options or feeling trapped. Sure, sometimes the person is "crying out for attention" or help; but we must take all suicidal behavior as serious. We are all "gatekeepers", we all need to be able to ask that hard question, "are you suicidal"? According to Rosston, asking that question can often be key in starting a conversation with the suicidal person. The critical period is not while the person is suicidally depressed, it is in the 90 days after the person's depression starts to lift.

And, studies show that for every completed suicide, there are six survivors. Given that we have about 180-200 suicides/year here in Montana, that means tha there are about 1,100 new suicide survivors in Montana every year! We need to break this chain of tragedy for them and for all of us. SAee the link for AFSP below for more information.

Practical measures that both proposed included overcoming the stigma of being suicidal by building on our Montana tradition of neighbors looking out for each other, and minimizing the gossip factor present in our multitude of small communities. Also, anything we can do to bridge our vast spaces and connect someone in crisis with help is useful as our geography itself can encourage suicidality as people are isolated from each other. We also learned a simple intervention model called QPR

  • Ask The Question
  • DON'T ask: "suicide is dumb, you're not thinking about it are you?" or start The Question with "why?" (tends to make them defensive, not communicative)
  • If you can't ask The Question, find someone who can
  • Listen and give your full attention
  • Don't rush to judgment
  • Offer hope somehow, someway
  • Then offer to help; get them to come with you to help, try to get them to agree to hang on until they get to help
  • Suicidal people tend to be "hard sells" on the possibility of help for their situation; be prepared to give your best oratory
  • Best referral is getting the person immediately to a professional helper
  • Next best is getting the person to commit to seek help, then you arrange the appointment
  • If you have to, give referral information and try to get a commitment from the person not to suicide, even if it is not until after the appointment
Don Wetzel's program has a good motto for all of us to keep in mind: "Honor Your Life, Honor Your Ancestors". His talk dealt with this issue of cultural alienation as a strong factor for both Native Americans and others. In Montana, suicide is the number one cause of death for children aged 10-14. And in Montana, the suicide rate for Native Americans ages 15-24 is three times the national rate. Alienation is a big part of this. Keeping our culture strong and keeping the communication clear with our children will help with this.

Here are some resources for further study or referral: (Planting Seeds of Hope) (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) (Resource on child and adolescent depression, etc.) (Good source for written materials and statistics) NGO here that provides education, outreach, advocacy and sponsors the Warm Line

Montana Statewide Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (National number routed regionally depending on prefix of phone number)
Helpline Mental Health Center, Billings 252-5658
Community Crisis Center, Billings 259-8800
Voices of Hope; Great Falls, North and NE Montana 268-1330
Center for Mental health; Helena 443-5353
Gilder House Crisis Line; Butte 723-7995
Help Center; Bozeman, S. Central and SW Montana 586-3333
Montana Warm Line (Support service for referral or just talking, not a crisis line) 877-688-3377

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tea Party Express

Part of prepping is ensuring that our country remains free. Living a live episode of Amerika or a live performance of The Survivalist may seem like fun, but it is much better to just work to keep our country true to its founding principles.

Inviting all real Montanans to show up for one of the two rallies in our state this weekend to network and to feel the real power of real Americans instead of the "astroturfed" mobs of ACORN and some of our state's Party. Media nuanced "demonstrations" cannot compare to true Americans rallying as our Founders did, against incipient tyranny.

The Party wants to ruin our economy with "cap and trade"in order to remake America into a communist state. It wants to centralize power under the guise of "health care reform", while rejecting REAL reform measures such as tort reform, allowing insurers to sell over state lines, and fixing pre-existing condition problems (ok, so the Party is really trying on this one). The Party wants to control the Internet under the guise of Net Neutrality (with government mandates and oversight). Dear Leader wants all news outlets to sing his praises, not like that nasty old FOX counter revolutionary, running dog lackey of the paper tiger Fundamentalist homophobic racist Nazi network.

Who knows? Maybe we, the people, might be able to get this country off the greased rail of socialism our betters in the Party cadre have planned for we peasants. Maybe we can get it across to our US Senate delegation, and to any state representative who works behind the scenes for the Glorious Socialist Revolution, that the real Montanans far outnumber the twisted cadre followers of the Dark Lord Alinsky here. Time for Minas Tirith (Montana and the other still free states) to stand up to these devotees of failed communism and spiritual negation. Time for a new party to arise, God only knows, the Republicans are moribund and probably won't survive until 2012 (assuming Dear Leader allows elections).

Many good people on this tour. Here's the link. One fellow who will be there is Kenneth Gladney, a Black Conservative who was beaten up by SEIU thugs in August of this year at a town hall meeting in St. Lewis. He was called a nigger, by a Black assailant. Racism in my book, no "reclaiming words" none sense. It was meant as an insult to this Black Conservative. I don't want to be called a cracker or an umlungu (White scum). I don't address Blacks ever as nigger or kaffir. But such language comes naturally to Party cadre and sturmabteilungen as everything is allowed that furthers the Glorious Revolution.

Dear Leader's street thugs are out in force to prevent us from retaking our country from the left-over hippies who never got over their love affair with Castro and Pol Pot. Maybe they'll show up at either the Helena or Bozeman rally. Maybe we can stand against them. Maybe we can reason with some of them, assuming they took their meds this week.

I have seen a few of this ilk in Helena over the last year; White Liberals to a "person" with zombie-like faces that remind me of Moonies. I'm sure they'll be at this historic event, let's be there too. They will try to act as if they represent the "oppressed peasants", in true Alinsky fashion. Let's drown out their foul slogans and chitterings with our real voices of everyday Montanans who love this country and support a bright future for our kids. I'll still be too ill to go out but I will try for the sake of my country.

Tea Party Express National Bus Tour will be in Helena on Sunday, November 1st, at 11am, at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds, 98 West Custer Avenue.

Tea Party Express National Bus Tour will be in Bozeman on the same day at 5pm at Heritage Christian School Gymnasium, 4310 Durston Road, Bozeman.

Sorry for the hyperbole. But I believe that our country is slipping away rapidly and all the stored MREs and solar panels won't save it. Only we, the people can save it from the "elites" of DC and all too many Starbucks franchises. Keep the faith, keep the nation. Support your local Patriot organizations. Set up samizdat networks against the possible victory of the Party over our people and nation.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Home Defense Drills

Final installment in the Home Invasion series. I am not trying to provide a full home defense and firearm course here, just some quick notes to remind and point the way for further study. And I want to focus this forum more on general survival rather than making it yet another weapon-brandishing Jerry Ahern dream-come-true blog. With all the drills which follow you need to practice enough so that your body will have the instinctive memory needed to react automatically in a crisis. This doesn't mean daily hours of practice, it does mean doing some training every week or so. For example, I practice my moving and aiming a couple times a week for 3 minutes per session using a orange gun to “draw down on” objects in my home.

Here in Montana we haven't had a bad home invasion problem per se, but with our vast spaces there can be prolonged delays in getting police to our homes. With a worsening Hopey Changey economy, crime will increase here too. For example, if there was a home invasion burglary going down in Augusta and the resident deputy was off on a call it could take over half an hour or more for a deputy to get there from Helena or Lincoln. Death or rape can happen within seconds. The police will arrive to take a report from any lucky survivors.

Having piles of guns and ammo for after the collapse is great, if you know how to use it. Counting on the much vaunted adrenaline rush, alone, to enable you to carry the day might cost you your life. Using your gun in the event without prior practice might lead to tragedy if you can't hit what you aim at.

Before you start practicing mouse holing, dynamic room entry, and house clearing you need to have a good base of familiarity with your chosen gun or other weapon. You need to know how to quickly and efficiently draw it from your holster rig, be able to fire it with a reasonable balance of speed and accuracy at realistic ranges:handgun: 1-10yd shotgun: 1-50yd (for slugs), rifle: 5 to limit of your need.

You must practice moving and firing; the bad guys don't hold still like range targets, they move and/or shoot at you. You must practice this until you can again be reasonably accurate even while you move off the enemy's line of fire. Also, it is vital that you be able to immediately and effectively respond to your gun jamming or not going “bang” in a crisis situation, or you are dead. In addition, you must be able to identify your target as friend or foe, even in low light conditions. Code word challenges and responses must be worked out ahead of time so that you can avoid inadvertently shooting a family member.

Some basic principles for setting up your house to prevail in a home invasion. Have weapons pre -positioned, out of sight, throughout the house so you and yours have a good chance of becoming tool using survivor wherever you retreat or are dumped (by robbers). Consider having a Wedge-It by the front door so you can slide it along with the door when you open it a few inches to talk to a stranger. This way, if the stranger(s) try a push-in invasion, the Wedge-It will jam the door within a few inches of travel, startling the robbers and giving the good guys a couple extra seconds to react.

Have a safe room set up and have all family members drill on quickly getting there and securing the room. Impress on your kids that if scary people break in that the kids need to be absolutely quiet sometime even though they are very scared. Know ahead of time what role family pets will have; what to do if the invaders torture your pet to get you to make a mistake, use your dog to delay the invaders, pet goes to safe room also?

Have a plan for getting house keys out to the police if an invasion happens and you are holed up in your safe room. Work out a hostage family member drill out before you need it! See below for some suggestions in this regard.

A vital part of prevailing is practicing with the winning attitude and demeanor. Channel Mel Gibson as Mad Max ( ) , emulate Charles Bronson in Death Wish (, method act Camille Keaton from I Spit on Your Grave ( ). This way your commands and responses to the bad guys will demonstrate your determination and courageous spirit.

No: “don't make me shoot” or “don't hurt us, please”. It's: “if you do anything other than what I tell you, I will shoot you. Got it it ,entiende, comprè?” and “Kill, Kill, Kill!” Remember, criminals don't fear your gun, it's just a piece of metal, they fear the person behind the gun if that person appears resolute. Those criminals lost the right to mercy when they invaded your home; you must go down fighting to win. Complying with invaders commands nearly always results in serious harm or death for the good guys. This is not the U.N.; you resist or you die.

Basic home invasion drills:

  1. Good proficiency with your weapons: move and aim, target identification (vital: practice in low light also), weapon malfunction.

  2. Push in” invasion (door answered, robbers push their way in): Retrieving weapons and aiming, kids retreat to safe room? Close quarter combat evasion drills. Know who has what role (one always answers door, other always covers?)

  3. Hostage drill: Extremely grave situation. Maybe you and the hostage family member live, maybe you die. But at least you try to prevail. Ideas: hostage drops, full force, to the floor when family member gives code word; then other family member takes out bad guy as the hostage moves clear of impact area. Hostage feigns illness, other family member takes action. Hostage taker threatens to kill hostage if you don't hand over/drop your gun. You tell them:” kill them, then I'll kill you slowly, I'll make you last” (Dexter or R. Lee Ermey emulation helps with this one).

  4. Bedroom Invasion Drill: fast access to weapons with team coverage of all openings if possible. Practice accessing weapons from anywhere in the room. First aid drills for gun shot wounds or knife wounds. Practice 911 calls, with disconnected phone, giving full report of what's happening, who good guys are and how they are dressed.

  5. Alarm goes off: If a central system, consider having control panel in sleeping quarters so you can identify breached zone. Otherwise, someone has to go to the display panel to determine where the breach is; very scary prospect and fraught with danger. If you have individual zone alarms, try to vary their alarm sound to give you an idea of where the problem is. Do you lock down if the alarm goes off?

  6. Noises by garage or in back yard: searchlight area? Searchlight then investigate? What to do if it is just rowdy teens? What if you detected incoming invasion and they fire on you?

  7. Post-disaster siege: How to lift siege; sortie? Plan your fields of fire ahead of time to enable you to pick off besiegers. Night sortie to relief? Exfiltrate a family member to get help? Nasty command-fired, BATF no-no devices?

Have fun with this stuff. The more you rehearse, the better your performance when the real thing comes.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Flu: Deadly Lessons Learned

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. I contracted [lab confirmed] swine flu (I have asthma) . Within 22 hours of onset of symptoms, I was unable to stand, moving less than half the air I normally can, high fever with confusion, in shock, and with a low oxygen level. I was brought to the ER by my wife and admitted to hospital. If I had not gotten to the ER that night and had instead gone the next day, I would be in ICU right now instead of writing these words.

I made mistakes in my prepping plan. Some of these mistakes could have cost me my life. I want you to learn from my mistakes. I list what went wrong, what went right, cover home care, and then list some advice I got from the hospital staff to help you all keep from ending up a statistic.

What Went Wrong
Too many trips outside the home. We live about six miles outside of town in a sparsely populated area. So limiting exposure to the "herd" is easy for us. But I did not plan trips to town efficiently, making about 60% more trips than actually needed, thus increasing my exposure to potential infection. Worst of all, I visited a house where a child had been recently ill with a respiratory infection without masking up while I was there. Even though I was there only a few minutes, it would have been enough to expose me to a disease.

I didn't pay attention to good hydration. When the disease manifested,, it came on with bad nausea and severe coughing. Initially, I could replace the fluid lost by drinking some water. But as the severity of the coughing itself induced vomiting, I stopped drinking water completely. Within a few short hours I began to show the symptoms of dehydration as I lost ever more water through coughing, sweating, tears, and vomiting. With the high fever, my falling oxygen saturation, and confusion I was soon beyond being able to save myself by drinking water. My wife should have forced me to take small sips of water as often as possible, but her concern for not causing me further suffering won out. In the event, the ER staff had to run 3l of IV fluids into me before the shock lifted. Dehydration can be a killer, get water into the patient as often as you can, even if it is only a tablespoon at a time.

No oxygen available in my house. I have asthma and used to have a home oxygen unit. But I never replaced it when we moved to Montana. I required oxygen in hospital for about 20 hours off and on. If I had oxygen available in my home, I would not have arrived at the ER in such desperate shape. Maybe it might have even given me the edge to be able to realize that I was getting shocky from fluid loss and got me drinking water again. Having a pulse oximeter available would have allowed us to monitor how well the bronchodialators and oxygen were working for me.

A decent oxygen rig can be assembled for about $220 that will allow about 2 hours+ at 3l/minute flow rate, enough to help a flu patient. Aviation oxygen is "OTC", medical oxygen (100% rather than 99%+) is by prescription.

What Went Right
Our IC plan works. We have a good supply of earloop medical masks and some N95 "rubber banded" masks available as well as ample supplies of gloves, disinfectants, paper towels, etc. So my wife was able to disinfect the house after I was admitted to hospital and I was masked when I was taken to the ER, thus cutting the chances of me infecting others.

I am in strict quarantine for 10 days; it was an easy matter for us to turn the master bedroom suite into our "prepper quarantine ward". I only need to leave it to eat, having masked, washed my hands, and gloved up. I spend only the minimum time outside the isolation room and wipe down everything I touched/handled with disinfectant before I return to my room. My wife is masked when she is in our home and we keep the CDC recommended distance of six feet apart at all times.

Could This Have Been Handled at Home?
I have a rescue inhaler with a spacer. In hospital, and for the next week or so, I require frequent nebulizer "breathing treatments". Using the puffer inhaler instead of a nebulizer would be less efficient and deliver much less medication than the nebulizer would. So it might have taken two days to even start to improve my breathing capacity. Plus, my puffers would have run out within a day and a half at the heroic dosing levels that would have been necessary. I might have been able to do it if my wife could have gotten more inhalers.

Without an oxygen tank, the shock would have worsened some more , I would have been unable to help myself for a longer period of time, and the risk of death would have increased. If I had just a little D cylinder with a nasal cannula, I would have improved some and the real risk of death would have been lower.

I had some prednisone on hand, though at a lower dose than used at hospital, so I was covered on this. I have a penicillin and a macrolide antibiotic on hand so I might have been able to treat the bacterial pneumonia that started up, though the hospital used a quinilone antibiotic. So I had a chance of treating the incipient, potentially deadly complication of bacterial pneumonia. I had a small supply of antiemetics to treat the nausea so I had a chance to slow the deadly fluid loss that would have killed me.

If my wife had forced fluids on me, an ounce or so at a time, I would have had a small chance of recovering from the developing shock. I was down nearly three quarts of water so it would have required round the clock intensive nursing care on her part and a lot of luck to correct the deadly fluid deficit. Between the shock, the low blood oxygen/seriously impaired respiration, and incipient bacterial pneumonia, I probably had about a 65% chance of surviving this flu with home care only.

Notes on the Disease
First, in our area of SouthWest Montana, there have been no cases of the seasonal flu at all, only H1N1 (swine flu) to date. Silver Bow and Lewis and Clark Counties lead the state in case reports, for week ending 17oct09, (1,501-3,000 cases each), with Galatin County close behind (751-1,500 cases). Generally, Eastern and Western Montana counties are reporting between 1-250 cases. Central Montana counties and Broadwater County are reporting 0-0.9 cases.

Montana's Department of Public Health has received the first shipment of H1N1 vaccine, they are deciding which groups to offer it to first. Watch your local newspaper and TV for further news. So get your regular flu shot but exercise meticulous infection control behavior in your family to avoid H1N1 infection. I had had the regular flu shot 8 days before I came down with the swine flu, maybe I became lax in my precautions? Here is the flu information page for our State.

The doctor told me that the H1N1 virus is transmissible by indirect means (infected person touches object, you touch object with germ and then touch your eyes or nose) also, not just by the infected person coughing or sneezing droplets that you inhale. As an added note, pets should be excluded from the infected person's room as their fur can serve as a "fomite" to carry the virus between people. The infected person could pet the cat or dog if the person washes their hands thoroughly before hand or wears gloves. But no nuzzling by the animal or kissing by the human. Imagine trying to sanitize a cat after the patient coughed and then pet it!

The virus is shed for up to 10 days after the patient's fever breaks. This means the patient is still highly infectious even after they feel fine again. So wearing a mask when out in public and using hand sanitizer or gloves frequently is not only common courtesy for the recovering H1N1 patient, it is sound public health policy. All door handles, light switches, etc. need to be disinfected regularly during the course of the patient's illness and the whole area given a thorough cleaning and disinfection after the disease has passed.

This strain of flu is highly infectious; consider it as infectious as measles or tularemia if that helps give you the mental image that this is not a trivial disease. Pregnant women, young adults, and those with chronic diseases (diabetes, heart disease, chronic respiratory disease) are at real risk of death from this flu strain.

Use masks! Sure it looks funny in the USA but in Asia it is a social custom to wear a mask when you are ill with the cold or flu as a courtesy to others and as a good public health practice.

N95 masks tend to have higher breathing resistance and be less comfortable to wear than procedure masks. But they offer a slight edge in risk reduction. Earloop masks are the easiest masks to wear for long periods of time, just remember to form it to your face carefully. Traditional string-tied masks tend to have more "breathing room" so they would be a good choice for the patient as they have low breathing resistance. There downside is that they take more time to don and doff and tend to shift position easily.

That's all for today. I'm glad I'm still alive and I hope you can learn from my mistakes so you don't end up in serious crisis due to the H1N1 flu.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Next Posts

Off to MT Crime Prevention Convention, in Bozeman, through Friday. Posts will pick up again Saturday, the 17th.

In the meantime, here is a site for prepping your computers. The Technibble site is a good resource for computer repair software, much of it free, and has very useful forums where you can get help with computer problems. Prepper tools for our computer tools.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

(Home Security) Home Invasion #2

Notes for hardening your house, and retreat, so the bad guys pass you by in favor of soft targets. In part #1 of Home Invasion, I mentioned the need to use strong, long screws for your hinges, locks, and frames. Consider also installing metal clad industrial doors for your exterior doors and the door to your safe room. These will provide superior resistance to kick-ins and fire.

If possible, eliminate windows in doors. Or install double deadbolt locks (key needed for each side) in said doors to eliminate the criminal's easy access. Another alternative is to install a sheet of lexan over the interior side of the door window to hopefully give the burglar a broken hand when they try to bash in the door window.

Everyone has heard about the latest trend in burglary; lock bumping. This is a quick way to jar many locks open with a minimum of effort. Bump proof locks are widely available, expect to pay about twice the cost or more for them. In Montana, our burglars are behind the times so bumping is not a real problem here now. But with all the people moving here??

Good visibility is vital to home and retreat security. Make it hard for bad guys to skulk near your doors by eliminating concealing bushes, etc. near your exterior doors. At entrances to your property, be aware of possible vantage points for wrong doers spying on your retreat/compound. Be especially aware of places enemies can lie in wait near where you must dismount to work your gates or doors. Rehearse what you would do if some person accosted you as you got out to open your gate.

For your retreat, plan now for how you will dominate your approaches and interior lines whether with firepower, obstacles, fences, light or use of animals. Consider setting up motion detector floodlights around your house and barn. Solar powered ones are available that are easy to set up without the need for an electrician. If you can afford it, have all of your exterior floodlights tied into a single switch in your sleeping area. This way you can light up your whole compound if you suspect a burglary of your house or barn is in progress.

Making the house look occupied by using lights that turn on at dusk and off at dawn is nice. For added security, and a nasty scare for home invaders utilize remote controlled light sockets, available from Sportsmans Guide among others. Imagine the thieves surprise as lights come on in widely separated rooms and a radio comes on. Probably send them running or at least give you a few seconds of surprise to run your plan on them.

Key control is vital. Change locks as soon as you move to a new home. Be very careful who you give keys to. Impress on them the need to maintain control of your keys at all times.

A quick way to control access to your property is to use tanglefoot. This slows down those approaching, it will not stop them. Traditionally, you make it by driving in a number of posts in the area, of varying height. You then string wire between the posts, usually barbed wire. This will force any bad person to slowly pick their way through, giving you plenty of time to sound the alarm, etc. But this is an inflexible system that is highly visible and tends to make your property, in peacetime, look like a little piece of Kosovo.

A more flexible way to use tanglefoot is to just make loops of baling wire, about 2.5 feet around, and scatter them around the area to be protected. For added force, scatter broken cinder block or broken glass around the area. The booby steps on the front of a loop, or gets an ankle in it, and steps on the trailing edge of the loop=trip time from the trap for the booby. This "trap field" is easily cleared as needed with just a sturdy metal rake and a good pair of gloves.

Deploying inexpensive IR and contact alarms that have built in sirens is a good move for outbuildings, and can be used for the house to provide uninterruptible alarm coverage.

Your home is your castle. fortify it like one. In TEOTWAWKI conditions, be prepared to dominate the space around your home. Make plans for how to respond to threats from "dead spaces" (i.e. you cannot directly see them) around your area. Fill such spaces with barbed wire? CCTV Camera system? Sonic "crowd control" devices set up to turn on by remote control?

Have safe holidays in your secure home. Next up; drills for home invasion/intruder on your land. Until then, enjoy our coming Montana Winter. Hope you got your vegetables in in time, I did.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Survival Mindset and Personal/Social Survival

Fast one here on a stirring article I read yesterday on a South African blog. It really hits the fastener on the broad spot in its exegesis of the survival mindset for self, family, and society. I also include a link below to a worthy organization here that works to promote more support for our hard working "sheepdogs", the police in their often lonely jobs.

Note that the South African blog does contain some profanity, little in this article though, and it does contain some unkind epithets in re: historically disadvantaged groups. But keep in mind, South Africa made our 2008 mistake in 1994 (believing "Progressive", dialectical materialism trumped common sense) so they are, in a way, our future if we don't remind ourselves as a nation of the words of MLK: that we should all be judged by our abilities and individually rather than discriminated against [or for] merely on the basis of our "paint job". And if we also let the Party balkanize us further in order to rule us completely. Ally with decent people, support appropriate interventions for those of whatever ethnic group who ravage rather than contribute.

If you explore this South African blog further, remember, unlike in the USA and Australia, they did not attempt to exterminate the peoples they found in the lands they settled. Rather, they worked with them, sure sometimes exploiting them but much more often helping improve those peoples' standard of living and education.

Their apartheid system produced some injustices but it also produced much more benefit for the Liberal's "pet- causes-peoples" than the American and British Liberal installed government has done with its system of kleptocracy in the last 14 years there. For example, health care and housing starts were drastically better under the "evil" apartheid regime than under the "rainbow nation" regime that was elected, in a manner similar to Dear Leader's election, in 1994.

Like any society, they took a reasonable idea, separate development of ethnic groups according to their capacity and current values/mores, and implemented it with all the human capacity for good and evil that we all possess. If they had just implemented a political apartheid, which could have helped the various groups develop into the Liberal ideal of citizens, then there might have been less international condemnation than did occur because of the South Africans' social apartheid policies. But in any event, the "Progressives" would have opposed them as part of their Gramscian strategy to destroy the West and set up a Workers Paradise worldwide.

Most of the writers on that blog are people like us who feel cheated by the lies of Hopey Changey that is planned to destroy our very culture in the name of some over grown adolescent "ideal" of "social justice" Party cadre and their dupes heard from their college professor back when the students could still squeeze into their tie dyed bell bottoms.

I write today's post as someone who grew up in a mixed race neighborhood; few Whites with many Chinese, Guamanians and Filipinos. So I know what I am about. I will fight anyone who calls a decent person of whatever race, ethnic group or religion a demeaning name in prejudice. Again, every American deserves to be treated with dignity, even the criminal as they are gunned down by their victim in self defense or the ACORN apparatchik who schemes against our very culture and is caught.

Ends the disclaimer. Enjoy the blog article, it is PG for mild profanity.

Support these people, and our police. One of the best days of my life was when a motorcycle cop was t-boned by a speeder and I was part of a group of neighbors who detained the speeder and watched over the cop until the ambulance arrived. When the cop told us thanks, we told him that we were paying him back in a small way for all he and his lot had done for us.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Survival Movie Review

Just got back from watching a good survival movie at the local cineplex. This one would be good for those of you with friends, coworkers, and family who just don't seem to "get" prepping. This one teaches even while it evokes gales of laughter. As I wrote back in June, humor is a great way to get past the scary aspect of thinking about prepping. Survivalist advice in this one is packaged in scenes and narration straight out of a wild Joe Lansdale story.

The movie is Zombieland. This is TEOTWAWKI at [Matheson's original book] I am Legend level. A food-borne virus has turned the USA, at minimum, into a still moving charnel house. Across this chaotic world, a college nerd, Columbus; a redneck ultimate-survivalist, Tallahassee; and two grifter sisters, Wichita and Little Rock, travel to a place rumored to be free of the zombie plague. The acting is great, the gore is less than that in Shaun of the Dead and is only enough to advance the plot, the survival lessons are presented in an easy to remember form as rules.

The film opens with the viewpoint character, a nerdy college student going over the rules which enabled him, the unlikeliest person to survive, to endure. Rule 1 is telling: "Cardio" (be in good physical condition). The prepper who is not in good tune will have much less chance in a crisis situation. Rule 23, "Enjoy the Little Things", is a lifesaver for the characters' sanity and is vital to keep in mind in real world survival scenarios. Rule 2, "Double Tap", is applied in such varied and hilarious manners that even dedicated anti gunners will feel a glimmer of the survival spirit.

The characters' foraging is handled in a so so manner. The personal dynamics of making common cause with strangers in a horrific disaster is handled very well.

The college student starts out as the prepper who relies on "bugging out" to stay alive. The redneck seems at first glance to be the ultimate macho survivalist until you find out what he is fleeing, in a tragic scene. The two grifter sisters of course rely on their wits and their Rule: "Trust no One but Me". This group finally comes together as a post-apocalyptic "family" when the dysfunction of their individual survival strategies results in a near massacre of them. Unfortunately, the movie ends there, but it is clear that this "family" will pull through anything now.

Give this one a look see with family and friends. It certainly has the potential to evoke prepper discussions after leaving the theater. Rated R for gore (about 2qts of blood, entrails told once, multiple zombies shot), language (but much less than the typical, current, Hollywood excreta), brief drug use, and [brief] nudity.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Home Invasion #1

Just some quick notes on this one. I missed the Spike Surviving Disasters episode on this one. But it is a truly timely issue. With Hope and Change spreading unemployment and, with "cap and trade" threatening to collapse our economy, home invasion could soon happen here in Montana. In 2007, there was a home invasion attempt in Butte, but an un-PC 11yo girl shot the two invaders, killing both innocent "wealth redistributors".

The Spike episode seems to stress evolutions for unarmed home owners. Which is good so that Massachusetts and California viewers or others, within the Party-held areas, can also benefit from the series' advice. I think this is a good thing as over reliance in a gun, or other self defense tool, limits your options in an assault.

Here are some quick notes on setting up a safe room, so-called "panic room" in your home. As always, get legal input and make sure all family members know their role come the invasion.

It is important to have a safe room set up where you and your family can retreat if need be. If you have young kids or infants, use their room as it is easier for the adults to rally to the childrens' room than it is for the kids to retreat in good order to the parents' room. The hinges and latch hole need to be secured with long screws, not the low-bidder short screws used by default. The door needs to be solid core and it would be useful to install a single cylinder deadbolt lock on the door. Room must have survival kit stored and easily accessible.

In your safe room, be aware of windows, having bars without a fire release just traps you. Plus, the well organized gang could send a second breaching team in your window so your side must watch the banging door and the window(s). As Murphy says: if you make it hard for the enemy to get in, you make it hard for you to get out.

An old street fighting trick is to have a bare live wire to lay on the door knob to give the bad guys a little jolt, assuming they didn't cut your power. Another nasty trick is to retreat deep into the safe room, while crying piteously, and let the bad guys breach. When they rush in they encounter quickly scattered caltrops, or other tripppers. Obviously, in most jurisdictions, doing street fighter traps could be construed as an element of murder if you are not careful, but you and yours will be alive. As with any of this, consult an attorney before going Beirut in your own home on a criminal.

The room needs a reliable communication device; cell phones are good as the invaders will cut phone and power if they can. A couple of good flashlights are needed; consider having one of those nice 1 million + candlepower searchlights in the room also for temporarily blinding the bad guys if they break in. Having a set of keys , attached to a light stick, to throw out a window to the police when they arrive is a good thing. When you call 911, remember: describe who the good folks are and how they are dressed. The responding officers will be in survival mode too, wouldn't want one of your side shot by accident, eh?

Body armor or not? It takes several extra seconds, when milliseconds count, to don. It is heavy, especially if rated to stop rifle rounds. It can give the non-professional a false sense of security and bravado.

But it might save your life. If you have multiple family members, maybe add a body-armor-donning evolution to your practice. With this, one member covers while the other one dons their armor, then the roles switch. But, it would be tragic if the bad guys burst in just as one good guy was donning their armor and the bad guys killed the covering good guy. There are many many sources for body armor. The folks at Bullet Proof Me are nice , offer quality gear at good prices, and are commonly cited on survival blogs.

"When they kick in your front door, how you gonna come? With your hands on your head or on the trigger of your gun."
Guns of Brixton, The Clash

At a minimum, know if your state has a Castle Doctrine law. Montana now has one, it is common sense and allows defense against those intent on entry to commit a violent felony. It states that there is no duty to retreat/flee, or summon police, first before defending yourself from a violent assault.

The new law is currently being invoked in two court cases here. expect controversy for awhile with this one, and the Party railing against armed peasants. Read the law, know it, comply and stay alive. Think it through ahead of time; decide on your courses of action before the heat of the moment, else tragedy can result.

Weapons of your choice in the room. Even in California, we were politically incorrect and included guns in our safe room "arms locker". Your mileage would vary if you were in a Party controlled region where armed self defense is illegal and proof of racism/disbelief in "social justice".

But prior drill is vital. We had an alarm situation at home that nearly ended in needless tragedy with two armed good guys separated; with one entering the other's line of fire about 10 yards downrange in the dark, with no recognition signals/challenges worked out ahead of time. A recipe for disaster, a potential "accidental discharge" at one of your own in an unsecured, unlit area!

With guns, make provision for hearing protection for when you must fire. Most of the time, you will know and hear the bad guys trying to breach even with ear plugs/muffs. Your hearing is important for the rest of your life, firing in an enclosed area will hurt at a minimum and might damage your hearing for an extended time--use protection if you can.

If you have several family members in the safe room, one can light up the bad guy while another violates his civil right-to-"social-justice" with the gun. Don't forget shooting through the door if the bad guys are actively trying to breach it and you know there are no friendlies on that side of the safe room door. If possible, blast both sides of the door frame and the door simultaneously to get maximum roach knockdown.

Other weapons to consider are: going medieval with a solid fighting knife or modified bayonet-on-a-shaft; if allowed by local law, a baton; or use pepper spray. Remember that OC (pepper spray) can easily come back on you if used in an enclosed space. Include some OC "antidote", such as Sudecon Wipes, in your kit.

Don't forget to have a good first aid kit in the safe room. Consider getting one of the nice compact ones made for SWAT officers as these are designed for scenes of violence, unlike nearly all kits on offer at the local variety store. Quick Clot or the like is invaluable for quickly stopping bleeding, just follow directions or it won't work as advertised. Know how to stabilize a sucking chest wound, pack a wound to stop bleeding, and deal with a facial wound which impacts breathing.

Train ahead of time, again and again so your body will know what to do in that moment of chaos and terror. As the saying goes: the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat.

Part #2 will deal with common sense home security measures, to include advanced precaution for post-disaster times. Here are a few links for buying or making trauma blowout kits:
Very bare bones kit, but used properly, it will do the job. Blog thread on making your own kit. Article on assembling an advanced kit. Makes good point: these kits are for use on you, the owner of the kit, just like military battle dressings. Good, short article on assembling a kit. I own one of these kits and use it for demonstration in classes. Company makes many useful kits at a good price.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Children and Emergencies

Children are part and parcel of prepping at the family level. And where necessary, at the level of the day care. We all pray that children need never experience privation or be harmed. Yet life sometimes happens to them too. How can we minimize the harm to the child in the event, and help them integrate the frightening experiences in a healthy way to learn valuable life lessons?

"The wind howls through the empty blocks looking for a home
I run through the empty stone because I'm all alone"
London's Burning, The Clash

Child Emotional Stress:
Children can develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder too. But good early care, coupled with healthy reassurance can greatly reduce the likelihood of this developing. Here are some useful links to learn more:

Link to the American Red Cross page about their Facing Fear... series of books that deal with helping children cope with the stresses of terrorism, natural disasters, and the "24 hour news cycle".
As of today, the link to download the lesson plans does not work, nor the link to the Red Cross online store. But the book is available at your local Red Cross. Donate generously so the Red Cross can complete their website redesign.

This is a link to a very useful website from Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. This site has a short quiz for the parents, and the child, to fill out re: stress reactions post-injury that gives helpful, positive advice on how to further help the injured child.
The link: Find ways to help your child recover provides excellent advice on basic, immediate crisis intervention for the child and best communication practices with the child in the hard times. Also covers dealing with new fears in the child, a significant factor in development of longer term problems if not dealt with. Good section on self care for you, the parent. Common sense section, with resource links, for when to seek outside professional help for the child or you.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers free, online courses in child disaster trauma , grief, sexual abuse, provision of services, complex trauma, etc. Requires free registration but the courses seem worth it. The Terrorism, Disaster, and Speaker series seems most onpoint for the general prepper parent or day care provider.

Day Care and Disasters:
Nice link from Ohio Child Care Resource & Referral Association about rating your child's daycare for disaster readiness as well as resources for better preparing your family for life disruptions.

Learning Prepper Skills, For Kids:
FEMA has a great website for kids that will teach them valuable skills in how to prepare and how to cope with uncertain times.
A family of mountain lions, and their hummingbird friend, guide your kids through various fun family activities around disaster prepping. Kids learn about the types of natural disasters, and how to best survive them. They learn how to make a communication plan and how to make up a disaster kit. Site also has very good links for teachers and parents to learn more, especially about post-disaster coping skills. Good resources on this page for the teacher or school principal.

The City of Vancouver, BC has a site that guides parents in how to teach children disaster survival skills, in how to prepare the family home for disasters, and how best to return to the home post-disaster.

Children, the next generation, the future citizens. Get them involved in prepping now so that they can pass on the skills of self reliance and can-do attitude to their kids in turn.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Crime Prevention Conference

Part of prepping is doing your part to help your neighbors and community in preparing. The Montana Board of Crime Control and Crime Prevention Council are holding a conference next month.

The 3rd Annual Montana Crime Prevention Conference will be held in Bozeman October 14-16 at the Best Western Grantree , 1325 N 7th Avenue. Registration is free and available online.

If you are affiliated with a law enforcement agency, court, service provider, educator or the like, then sign up for this conference. There will be some good sessions this year on police-citizen cooperation, some good youth-related sessions, and a session on our state's high suicide rate.

Bozeman is a great town for a conference too. For a great lunch; try the Pickle Barrel just off campus of Montana State University or Naked Noodle on Higgins, just off Main. For dinner, Montana Aleworks, on the far East end of Main serves awesome food and brew. Montana Harvest Natural Foods, on South Higgins just off Main, is very prepper friendly and has an excellent selection of grains and other prepper needs. Gallatin County Pioneer Museum is a real treat and is only about 1.5 miles from the Conference.

If you come to the conference or if you are in the Bozeman area, let's meet. I'll be the guy from the NRA with the cane.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Preparedness Month Exercise

While the heads of state are having their fun
Are they ready?
We're looking at the world through the barrel of a gun
Are we ready?
And you stand there beating on your little war drum
Are you ready?
And it won't be long before your time has come
Are you ready? ; Warhead; UK Subs

Today's idea is from MT-Mauser, a thoughtful prepper here in Montana. I like the sound of this drill. MM estimates that a high percentage of people would fail this exercise, would you? I figure my family might pull through this one ok other than the lack of power (we are on well water) causing a worrisome run on water supplies. Try this one, take notes, learn. I sure will!

Here's a little drill to try with your family or prepper group to test your level of preparedness. Announce to the group that there will be a group get together [a dinner and strategy meeting] in two weeks. between now and the time of the meeting, you cannot go to the store for food [major regional grid-down conditions] and must make do with only what you have stored in your home/retreat as of that moment. For best test conditions, live off the grid for the next 14 days and off whatever fuel you have stored. This also means the toilet won't work unless you have solar power for your well pump, etc.

The day of the drill, you must act as if the power grid is down [so cooking is by LP or the like, lighting is candle/lantern, etc.]. You must assume that there has been wide spread social unrest, with looting, for the last 13 days [post an EMP event]. So you must travel armed to the meeting, with full use of bounding overwatch/covoy, etc.

The house where the meeting is to be held must have full black out precautions [looters, like moths, are drawn to light]. Sentries must be posted, incoming vehicles must be identified and challenged as needed. Full security must be maintained during the meeting.

The food on offer may be potlucked from all attendees but again, must come strictly from stores which were in place two weeks before. maybe throw in a simulated medical problem for additional fun.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Self Preservation or Political Correctness?

"Hold your head up high-for there is no greater love
Think of the faces of the people you defend
And promise me, they will never see the tears within our eyes
Although we are men with mortal sins, angels never cry"
Winterborn ;The Crüxshadows

Short one today on whether to resist a criminal intent on doing you and yours harm. Or to be sensitive to their "cultural issues", be "practical", and give them what they want free of any effort.

Noted self defense writer Gabriel Suarez decries the modern tendency of the authorities to advise potential crime victims to just be "reasonable" with the criminal and give them what they want. Suarez rightly points out that the urge to self preservation, to say nothing of basic human dignity, calls for us to resist those who would harm us (The Tactical Pistol; Suarez, Gabriel; Paladin Press; 1996; page 2).

In South Africa, the criminals nearly always go above and beyond the "reasonable demands" of robbery or rape, etc. into protracted torture, mutilation, and wanton destruction. As the recent events in St. Louis schools, two assaults in one week, and the dismissal of the Black Panther intimidation case by the US Justice Department indicate, we are on the same road to culturally sensitive crime here.

Lest anyone mistake me, I am writing to readers of all races and ethnic groups. No one deserves to be a victim of crime and no one deserves to be a victim of assault just because of the color of their skin or their origin. Demagoguery only serves the speaker, it demeans and divides the rest of us at a time when we should be looking toward working together.

Here are links to two proponents of opposite approaches for dealing with being faced with crime against us. You decide which approach better becomes a prepper.

The first is a news story about an academic who interviewed 30 robbers in prison. His advice is effectively based on what the robbers said would make them most comfortable when robbing you and yours. This fellow could come here and be a czar for our Justice Department with his brilliance.

The second article is by a missionary with extensive experience in numerous war zones. His advice is based on his experiences with the Rwanda Genocide, the Rhodesian war against the Communists (and Progressives), and in South Africa. Consider reading some of his other books for the history which you never read in the PC MSM.

Evil can and should be resisted. But at the same time, you must factor in your personal situation at that moment. If you can talk your way out of the tight spot, do so. Maybe read up on basic crisis negotiation to help give you the edge if crime comes to you and yours. Do what you must, think it through ahead of time to reduce your reaction lag time.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pain Relief and the Prepper Medic, Part 2

Control of pain post-disaster can be problematic. Getting your personal physician to write you the prescriptions for effective pain meds can also be problematic. Many of the “good” painkillers are on the DEA schedules, so you and your physician can easily become targets of a DEA no-knock raid. Better to avoid the potential problem in the first place by stocking only non-scheduled drugs.

Non-drug pain management is best for our purposes. Consider learning hypnosis for pain control. I had good results using hypnosis as an EMT, etc. In any event, account for pain management in your medical kit and plan. Read the link below from the University of Basel re: pain management. Then integrate pain management into your prepper medical plan.

There are some useful prescription pain killers that are not on DEA lists and should be fairly easy to obtain. All have the potential for significant side effects so thorough study is required before using these drugs.

Toradol (ketorolac) is the strongest drug in the NSAID class and is available in pill,eye drops,and injectable forms. As eye drops, it can be used for a [very] few days for relief of pain from a corneal abrasion. It provides excellent relief of post-operative pain. It is also an anti coagulant so any bleeding must be under good control before giving Toradol. It can cause serious liver or kidney problems in relatively rare cases. Because of these “side properties”, Toradol cannot be used for more than 2 days of continuous dosing for injection or 5 days of oral dosing.

Tramadol is a pain killer which works well for moderate to moderately severe pain. Or in laypersons terms, it will do for pain relief for most of the common injuries the survivalist might deal with . It is available as both a pill and in an injectable form. It does not elicit as much nausea as other opiods such as morphine and unlike morphine, will not completely shut down the breathing reflex at high doses.

Another bright spot is that tramadol is rarely associated with addiction as it relieves pain without euphoria. But addiction can occur sometimes. If needed, it can also be used for your dogs or cats. On the downside, it does lower the seizure threshold so it is a poor choice if the patient has a history of seizures or is taking other drugs which lower the seizure threshold.

Nubain® (nalbuphine) is a very strong pain reliever that is only available in an injectable form. It is incompatible with ketorolac and is an “opiod effect reverser”. This means that giving Nubain to someone who is addicted to opiods will result in withdrawal symptoms. I was told by an Army medic, who had completed the US Army Field Anesthesia course, that Nubain is ineffective for bad war wounds.

There are a few prescription “para anesthesia” drugs which should be stocked. For reversal of overdoses of opiods, stock Narcan (naloxone). It has significant side effects, be aware, be proactive. Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is a useful antiemetic, antihistamine, and mild sedative. Prilosec or the like would be useful for victims of significant injury to help prevent stress ulcers.

Murphy's Law says that the group member who requires emergency surgical care will have a full stomach, risking aspiration of vomitus, a serious complication. Reglan (metoclopramide) is an anti nausea/vomiting drug and it accelerates stomach emptying. But do not rely solely on Reglan in the patient who ate or drank within a few hours pre-surgical- need.

Phenergan (promethazine) is a venerable anti emetic and sedative that also helps dry up secretions. It is available in both pill and injectable forms. If injecting it, dilute and give slowly and carefully as it can cause tissue damage and does cause pain on injection. When injecting phenergan, correct technique is critical as the drug can damage tissue if not injected properly.

Again, local anesthesia is the safest for the prepper medic. Here are some good online resources for learning more about local and regional anesthesia. As always, study hard, practice, talk these issues over with your personal physician or nurse practitioner.
(from University of Wisconsin Dept. Of Anesthesiology. Quick overview of how local anesthetics work, basic technique and spinal blocks—do not attempt these) (an international online journal of anesthesiology; a few articles on local anesthesia, many articles on the fundamentals of anesthesia for practitioners in developing countries. Good site for preppers) (Very good slides on various regional blocks. Site is for Internet Explorer only)
(Anesthesia volume of the US Textbook of Military Medicine. Very good reference on anesthesia. Good chapter on local/regional anesthesia)
(from University of Basel, Switzerland. This link is to a page re: pain management. There are many more useful pages here: (Excellent PowerPoint-based course on local anesthesia. Many more courses in operational medicine available from this site)
(New York School of Regional Anesthesia. How to do regional blocks if you have local anesthetic agents in your kit. Thorough, with very good illustrations).

Anesthesia and pain control must be factored into planning a survival medical kit. I hope this article has helped point you in a useful direction. With the items described in this article, you can provide better, more comfortable medical care to your group members in a crisis environment. In a 96 hour crisis, you will have the ability to perform exigent minor surgery. In a TEOTWAWKI scenario, you will have a solid base for providing [very] basic anesthesia care to your group members.


Introduction to Anesthesia; 9th Edition; Longnecker, edited by: David E. and Murphy, Frank L.; Saunders; 1997. Good coverage of the theory and practice of anesthesia from the ground up.

Special Forces Medical Handbook; Citadel Press; 1982. ISBN: 0806510455 A very good general reference. Good, simple chapter on anesthesia using ether as an inhaled agent, local /regional anesthesia and excellent charts showing signs of anesthesia depth).

Saturday, September 12, 2009


All survivor group members need to keep up their immunizations! Critical ones are: Tetanus & Diphtheria (1/ten years), Hepatitis B (series of three, retest antibody titers at times), Hepatitis A (series of two, good for 10-20 years), measles-mumps-rubella (MMR; for measles, those born after 1957 need to have 1 dose unless they have contraindications). Contrary to endless hysteria, the measles vaccine does not cause autism; the original study which "proved" that the vaccine caused autism was poorly designed and used statistical analysis that would embarrass a ten year old.

Why bother? In the 1990s, it was estimated that about 30%+ of the US population of age 50+ had no immunity to tetanus, due to not keeping up on vaccination. Now, tetanus is a horrible disease; the death rate can be as high as 78%, it causes extremely painful muscle spasms that can be triggered by something as trivial as a slight breeze, and death occurs due to a spasm being so prolonged that the patient suffocates, fully aware until the end. Good reason to get a booster every ten years.

With hepatitis A, the average time lost off work is about six weeks from the infection. Imagine your group having to care for a patient with tetanus, diptheria , or hepatitis A post-disaster. Precious resources and personnel used to care for a person with an easily preventable disease.

For those survivor group member who are susceptible, varicella vaccine (chickenpox, a serious disease for adults). For those at risk, due to chronic illnesses, the pneumococcal vaccine. A good one to have anyway as it is a common bacteria in the nasal passages of people. Rawles merry band in his book, Patriots, Surviving the Coming Collapse, were all immunized against pneumococci.

A single dose of zoster (shingles) vaccine is recommended for those over 60. A single dose of polio vaccine, as an adult ,would be good and neighborly to do in case NWO really opens our borders.
For those survivors under 18 years of age, completion of CDC recommended vaccination schedules is necessary. Especially, in Montana, pertussis (whooping cough).

For preparedness for true TEOTWAWKI times, consider keeping up on: typhoid (every 5 years for oral form, not 100% effective), yellow fever (1/ten years, was a significant problem in the USA until early 19th Century, negligible risk ever in Montana) , meningitis (roughly 3 years of protection, a disease of young adults, in crowded places in the USA, shows up in North Dakota)

The CDC publishes adult and child vaccine recommendations. as needed, please read them. They also maintain a good page that answers common vaccine questions.

There is an good series of information sheets CDC publishes called Vaccine Information Statements that cover each vaccine in good detail, with the risks and benefits spelled out. I passed these out to the day care providers who attended our course and heard reports back of how well received the forms were by the parents in their programs. Print these out for you and your group.

Be prepared for the coming Change. Get immunized now, survive beyond the American Year Zero of Dear Leader and his cadre. More on this aspect of prepping in part two of Civil Unrest. In the meantime, remember to live your faith, tell truth to the Party apparatchiks and do your part to make this a better world.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pain Relief and the Prepper Medic, Part 1

Providing relief for moderate to severe pain post-disaster can be a problem for the prepper group. Same for providing basic, light anesthesia for minor procedures such as wound debridement, wound closure, and bone setting.

Biting a stick or having the patient swig some whiskey may make for good cinema but it makes for bad medicine. The anesthetic dose of alcohol is near the fatal dose. The severe pain and stress associated with doing surgical procedures without pain relief or anesthesia can seriously compromise the patient's recovery.

This is the first installment of a two part article on very very basic “survival anesthesiology”. I'll cover some basic terminology and standard rules as well as the use of two herbs for pain relief. Part two will cover some good pain relievers that are not on the DEA's scheduled list, so easier to obtain legally. Part two will also cover local and regional anesthesia and list some useful references for learning more about this vital part of survivalist medicine.

I am writing from my experience as a former EMT, dental surgical assistant; my brief, additional anesthesia training; my experiences as a chronic pain patient for 16 years; and my research into anesthesia for austere environments. This does not constitute medical advice. These two articles are for informational purposes only. Discuss these subjects with your personal physician and get his or her advice in this area. I write this only to help the prepper to learn more about this important aspect of SHTF medical care.

The aim is not to enable the prepper to ape the highly trained anesthesiologists who are experienced physicians,with extensive post-graduate work. That could never happen without intensive, extensive study, a great deal of practice, coupled with an incredible amount of good luck. The end result of such madness would likely be a dead patient. But by using the information in these articles, coupled with some hard study and practice, the layman prepper medic could safely manage control of an injured person's pain and anxiety.

The focus here is on enabling the intelligent prepper to provide their wounded companion with some modern pain relief in an austere situation. Providing good pain relief to an injured companion helps with their recovery, through reducing the severe stress pain places on the body, and and enables the prepared, trained, practitioner to care for the patient's injuries in a systematic and thorough manner without having to additionally deal with a patients cries and throes of agony.

Always remember, whenever you anesthetize someone, there is always the risk of serious complications or death. It is a fine line between rendering a patient insensible to the procedure and killing them. Study hard, be alert, use common sense. And most of all, only use these techniques and materials when a real professional is not available within the needed time frame.

The aim here is to point you toward some useful choices for relieving pain in hurt companions and facilitating relatively “comfortable” minor surgery in an austere or post-Obammacare environment. This first article will deal with two useful herbs for your prepper medical kit that could serve you well in lieu of morphine or ketamine: morning glory and salvia.

Note that the first one is illegal to use for non-gardening purposes in the USA, so only use this one under true emergency conditions. The second herb is illegal in several jurisdictions in the USA as well as several countries. Research your local laws before stocking this herb in your medical kit. And most of all, use these for legitimate medical purposes, not for “kicks”. Because if you use these herbs irresponsibly,then you risk the One World Government, or other modern demon, banning access to these useful herbs for all of us.

Definitions and Principles

For our purposes, anesthesia is defined as a state in which the patient is unconscious of their surroundings and of sensations , has amnesia for the operation, muscles are relaxed, and the body's visceral reactions to the operation (e.g. increased pulse rate) is blunted.

There are three types of anesthesia: general, where the patient is completely insensible and every term of definition is present. The patient's airway, circulation, and general well being are completely in the hands of the anesthetist. Regional anesthesia involves the injection of local anesthetics around a nerve such that an entire region of the body is anesthetized. Examples are wrist blocks to allow repair of a mangled hand. And finally, local anesthesia where local anesthetics are infiltrated into the soft tissues around the area that needs operation. An example is anesthetizing a tooth so it can be filled.

In a survival situation, local anesthesia and where needed, regional anesthesia are the preferred techniques for the prepper. There are risks of possible infection, allergies, and serious cardiovascular effects if too much agent is injected or injected into a blood vessel. But, with study and some practice, a reasonably intelligent, deft prepper could safely do the job. The patient is still fully conscious so airway problems will be nearly non existent.

General anesthesia is to be avoided for the non-physician because of the risk of complications up to and including death. General anesthesia means the patient is no longer conscious. At the depth of anesthesia required to do involved surgery, the patient has no gag reflex and if you are not careful, no breathing reflex! As we all know, the patient can "vomit" while going under or during the operation resulting in the risk of getting vomitus into the lungs--a serious complication. For general anesthesia, the prepper medic must be able to secure the patient's airway and be able to recognize a developing crisis and respond effectively to it. A very tall order for the layperson!

As prepper medics, we will only be doing minor surgical procedures so general anesthesia is not going to be needed.

The best, safest, choice for the lay person is local anesthesia and where needed, regional anesthesia if the prepper medic has received thorough instruction and practice in the procedures.

It is important to remember that local anesthetic agents relieve pain first, then at higher dosages' the other sensations (temperature, pressure, proprioception, etc.) are temporarily shut off. But these higher doses tend to be very near the toxic threshold for the agent, so just use local anesthetics to eliminate the pain of the procedure. In practice, this means that when you use a local anesthetic, expect your fully conscious patient to still report feeling “pinching”, stretching, and any temperature differences.

This is where distraction, use of sedation or "disassociative agents" is useful. The two herbs described below provide relative analgesia and some amnesia for minor procedures, with the caveats listed for the herb.

For our purposes analgesia is defined as the state of being pain free while still being conscious. Analgesia is familiar, with a little common sense, analgesia can be achieved safely for your patient.

The standard of care for anesthesia calls for monitoring of the patient's body state during the procedure. For our purposes, you need to monitor their pulse, blood pressure, breathing [depth and rate], and where needed, the amount of oxygen their blood is carrying at a point in time.

The instruments needed are simple: a blood pressure cuff, your two eyes and one hand (to check pulse), and for oxygenation, a pulse oximeter. There are several combo devices on the market that can monitor blood pressure and pulse simultaneously and pulse oximeters monitor both the pulse and the oxygen saturation (of the arterial blood). Pulse oximeters can cost under $200 or as much as $800+ for very advanced models.

For all survival medical procedures, keep good records. For the “survival anesthesia worker” , you must note carefully how the patient's physical and mental condition fluctuated over the course of the procedure as well as what effects the agents administered had on said conditions over time. By keeping good records you also tend to be more focused

We've flotsam been, and the jetsam In highness being,
gonna get some On the water walking,
it's easy to be Centralised we to infinity

Dying Seas, Hawkwind

The two herbs described below are widely available in most jurisdictions and can be used for pain relief and the induction of light anesthesia in survival situations. Both provide a useful alternative to stocking morphine or ketamine, both DEA scheduled drugs, for relief of moderately severe pain and for [very] light anesthesia.

However, the DEA and NWO types want to ban people from using these herbs whose roots surely must be in Hell itself. Part of the reason is irresponsible [ab]users of this class of herbs, part is in getting political mileage out of sheer demagoguery. Neither herb, with the exceptions noted below, will harm the prepper who uses them for the stated purpose of pain control or light anesthesia. In many cultures around the world this class of herb is used frequently for various folk medicine purposes as well as use as sacraments. Common sense says that usage of these herbs does not mix with driving, handling guns or the like.

Long and the short: be responsible, don't encourage the DEA or manipulative politicians in curtailing access to this useful class of herbs for all of us. The effects from these two herbs can be very powerful; note the cautions given below, use them only for necessary medicinal or spiritual purposes, and take responsibility for using them—no blaming their being available for any stupid act you do which results in harm to another!

These herbs are psychedelics, some call them hallucinogens or even entheogens. They provide pain relief and [very] light anesthesia by two mechanisms: making all sensory input “equal” so that pain becomes no more important than the fact that the Earth orbits the sun, and these agents facilitate a disassociative state in which the patient's interpretation of pain or pressure signals can be radically altered by simple measures such as playing music, reading of Bible verses or the like.

Extensive research in the 1950s and 1960s, and today, on LSD; for example, found that the drug provided better pain relief than morphine or demerol, with few, if any, side effects. The few formal studies done on salvia, the second agent below, have found that it also offered strong, short-acting pain relief, tends to calm the patient to a degree where continuing pain perception and anxiety are reduced for a relatively long period, and has the potential to be used as a general anesthetic.

In using these herbs, one must pay special attention to two vital factors; set and setting. Set refers to the state and focus of the patient's mind; a relaxed patient who is focused on positive thoughts will be unlikely to experience an anxiety attack whether given one of these herbs, ketamine, or morphine. Setting refers to how pleasant, or at least non-chaotic the treatment or convalescence area is. Operating in a quiet, clean room will help allay patient anxiety and thus reduce the need for additional meds during the procedure. If available, readings from religious texts or use of music will help control your patient's anxiety and pain levels.

Good setting, coupled with a show of calm competence from you, should help ensure a good psychological outcome for your patient. When using either of these two herbs, good set and setting are vital because of the mechanism of action of their active agents; as psychedelics. When using either of these agents, you need to assign one person to do nothing but serve as a "companion" for the patient, providing distraction as needed, monitoring their psychological condition, and serving as a "reality anchor" (point of stability for the patient's altered perceptions). If possible, this person should not be the same person who is assigned to monitoring the patient's vital signs.

This means that if you do not maintain a good environment and support calmness and positive introspection in your patient the dreaded "bad trip" (marked increase in anxiety, coupled with a shift of perceptions toward the horrific and negative)can occur. If this does occur, you must capture the patient's attention through mirroring calmness and serenity for them, keeping them from physical harm, redirecting them gently with music/religious text/beautiful objects (e.g. flowers, actual or in pictures). And most importantly, reminding the patient that they have taken a medication which has altered their perceptions and that the effects will pass as the drug effects pass. In extreme cases, confer with a psychological professional as soon as you can while keeping the patient physically and emotionally safe.

The first herb might be as available as your garden; morning glories, preferably Heavenly Blue or Flying Saucers. Yes, these are the real names. But the truth is that the active agent in the seeds, lysergic acid amide, is a strong analgesic that can provide six or more hours of pain relief with a single dose of roughly 200+ seeds that are chewed thoroughly and swallowed. Pain relief is less than that which can be achieved with LSD but is still an effective, strong analgesic.

Effects begin in about 1 hour after ingestion. Pain relief is variable, but generally this herb can relieve pain of level 6,or higher with larger doses, out of 10.The active agent, LSA, also has potential for use for cluster headaches.

The downside is that tolerance, of about three days duration, develops quickly. So that a second dose given for pain control 10 hours after the initial dose must be roughly twice as large and so on. The total effects last for upwards of 12 hours.

The seeds must not be treated or must be washed free of the arsenical which is commonly used on the seeds to prevent psychonauts or survivalists from utilizing them for non-gardening purposes.

The taste is vile and tends to induce moderate nausea and vomiting, treatable with mild anti emetics such as Benadryl, so the patient will probably never want to repeat the psychedelic trip. So be aware of the patient's state at all times; protect that airway if vomiting occurs. Satan is unlikely to make a new convert of the patient who is given these seeds to facilitate a wound repair.

Cautions. The seeds contain several ergot alkaloids and the active agent, LSA, causes uterine contractions so this agent is contraindicated in the pregnant patient! Do not use if the patient is taking MAO inhibitors such as Nardil or Parnate as dangerous cardiovascular effects can occur.

Use in patients who are in significant psychological distress or in patients with a family or personal history of schizophrenia is unwise as LSA or salvinorin-A (described below) can exacerbate psychological difficulties or activate latent schizophrenia. Or, with expert use, say by a psychologist, these agents may help the wounded person's psychological state.

This agent will permit wound debridement or closure as long as the patient's attention is captured by music, art, or a deep discussion about whatever interests them at that millisecond. It would provide good relief of pain for bone setting but careful monitoring of the patient's blood pressure and heart rate would be required because this agent is a poor anesthetic and provides no amelioration of the patient's body's response to the surgery. Used in conjunction with one of the strong pain killers described in part 2 of this article, such as tramadol, this herb could be used for minor surgical procedures.

Salvia divinorum, a member of the sage family,is an herb which provides good pain relief and can significantly ease the pain and discomfort associated with minor surgical procedures. It provides profound pain relief for about 5-10 minutes, then good pain relief for about 1.5-2 hours more. Salvia frequently produces a calmness and “afterglow” for up to a few days post-usage that will help greatly in reducing post-op pain and anxiety. No study to date has shown any direct harmful physical side effects from usage of this herb or its active agent. But be aware that this agent has only been seriously studied since the 1990s so it is to be considered “experimental”.

It also produces a slowed reaction time and coordination side effects so the patient should not operate the retreat's truck for several hours after salvia dosage. Since it acts on the kappa-opioid receptor in the brain, rather than the mu-receptor affected by morphine and the like, salvinorin A is highly unlikely to turn the patient into a raving, addicted, member of the Army of Darkness. Euphoria is very uncommon with salvia use, indeed people do not tend to ever take it for “kicks”. It also has potential for treatment of addiction as the kappa-opiod receptor is key in addictive behavior.

Overdose will not kill , but it will result in a dangerous agitation of the patient though of short, under 30 minutes, duration. With higher doses, salvinorin A induces a dramatic urge to get up and move that could easily result in your patient sustaining secondary injuries as well as knocking you flat as a cartoon character. Salvia is usable for our purposes only if the operator pays very close attention to dosage, using only enough to enable the surgical procedure, but not so much that the operation suddenly becomes catch-the-delirious-staggering-patient!

My personal experience with salvia has been with use for relief of chronic and acute pain. It has reliably relieved pain of level 7 (roughly the pain from a leg being shattered in a bike wreck) completely for 1.5 hours, and kept said pain at endurable levels for three hours or more from a single salvia dose. Tolerance does not develop so analgesic doses of salvia can be given consecutively.

A salvia researcher, Daniel Siebert, has published a guide to salvia which includes his model of “planes of the salvia experience”. As “survivalist anesthesiologists”, we will be getting our patients to Siebert's “plane” 4 (vivid visionary state-with eyes closed, outside world is “gone”) to 6 (amnesiac state, also high movement potential!).

Salvia can be purchased as a live plant which grows very well in the Northwest USA as an indoor plant. It can be grown elsewhere if due care is taken to protect from frost and to provide enough humidity, etc.

It is also available as dried leaves. Dried leaves are only marginally usable for our purposes though. It is also available as a crude 5x or 10x concentrate, or as a standardized extract. The standardized form is obviously the best choice for our purposes.

It can be administered by mouth, by chewing 15-20 fresh leaves and holding the chewed leaves in the cheek for 15 minutes. The effects then last about 45 minutes. Ingesting the leaves or concentrate is useless as the agent is inactivated by stomach acid. Obviously, using the agent by mouth increases the risk of nausea/vomiting so be aware and monitor the patient's airway carefully.

Or it can be smoked, vaporized actually. Effects occur in under 30 seconds. Vaporization allows the best titration to effect. It also is associated with a high “failure rate” as it is very technique sensitive. When vaporizing salvia concentrate, it is vital that the concentrate be heated as much as possible (with direct flame), the smoke drawn deeply into the lungs, and held there as long as possible. Throat and lung irritation can happen when using the vaporization method . I have asthma; salvia vapor does not induce bronchospasm for me, but “your mileage may vary”.

The active agent, salvinorin A is extremely potent, being effective at 200-500mcg for an inhaled/vaporized dose. Its effects begin in under 30 seconds which makes titrating an analgesic dose fairly easy. It provides good analgesia, being about as potent as morphine, though it only provides, at best, two hours of strong pain relief. After inhalation, drug effects begin to fade within 3-5 minutes of dosing.

At higher doses of 500-1,000mcg, it provides relative disassociative anesthesia for about 5 to 7 minutes. However, at these doses the drug causes severe “motor hyperactivity”. Think a PCP zombie who also drank three double espressos! Heed the cautions that Siebert gives at the previous link Titrating the dose to true disassociative effect ,Siebert's “plane” 6, without the patient lashing about and injuring herself can be tricky.

If used for just relieving the pain of simple wound debridement, having the patient “smoke” small amounts of concentrate until they report no sensation when the intact skin is pricked with a sterile needle . If possible, capture the patient's attention while the wound is cared for. Patient will probably still be somewhat aware of pressure and stretch sensation, thus the need to capture their attention elsewhere.Then, work quickly and efficiently. If patient begins to feel pain, use more salvia.

If a bone must be set or extensive wound debridement is required, then a higher dose of salvia must be used, preferably along with a “conventional pain med” and maybe (with all due precautions and pre-research) an inhaled agent such as trilene (warning: can be toxic to liver in prolonged use) or methoxyflurane (warning: can cause kidney damage). This will mean a brief excursion back to pre-19th Century surgical practice; the use of sturdy assistants to hold the patient in place. The purpose here is to keep the patient from moving about and injuring themselves or facilitating a horrible surgical disaster.

As you can see from the number of links in this article and from the detailed knowledge needed to safely use these agents, careful study is necessary before the balloon goes up so that you can make a positive difference with your wounded companion or family member. Basic anesthesia care can be provided by the well informed, meticulous prepper medic when the nearest physician or anesthesiologist is under 50 tons of rubble. Just act only within the scope of your knowledge and only in case of true need.

Please consider the subject of pain control in a austere environment in your medical prepping plan. Read about the two herbs discussed here, consider stocking them in lieu of or as supplements to prescription pain killers. In Part 2, I will cover some useful analgesics that should be relatively easy to obtain from your doctor, the [very] basics involved with local anesthesia.

Montana Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Montana Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.