Monthly Archives: August 2014


Water is the single most important item to plan for in your 72- hour Kit. Allow a minimum of 3 Liters (preferably one full gallon), per person per day. This is absolutely essential. The body can live without food for extended periods of time, up to 2.5 months [BOBBY SANDS of the IRA early 1970s]; but can live only about three or four days without water. This is at rest, not considering people in active, stressful or emergency situations.

Be sure that all family members know how/where to find safe water and how to purify it.

Carry your water inside your backpack (or other container) or strapped to the outside. Use canteens; empty one or two liter Coke bottles work great too.

NEVER use milk jugs because they are designed to self-destruct. Be sure that all water containers are clean and free of defects. Check them from time to time, at least every six months, to insure that they have not developed any leaks and to verify that the water is still usable. You should consider having six two liter Coke bottles per person. That will give you three days supply. If you don’t have adequate water, DON’T eat as this will de-hydrate you even faster. Remember that the BEST way to store and carry water is inside of you. NEVER ration drinking water!

In addition to the water you actually carry with you, be sure to carry supplies to purify more water. Liquid chlorine bleach, iodine tablets and iodine crystals are good disinfecting agents. Learn how to use them and rotate them properly to insure maximum shelf life (See chapter on Water Storage and purification for further details). Nevertheless, be sure to include in your kit any one of the above-mentioned items to disinfect water because in times of emergency you may not be able to build a fire or have access to other heat sources to boil water.

Office supplies

Office Supplies

It is a good idea to have some office supplies on hand. Below is a list that can be helpful. Now is
A great time to get these items as they will be on sale for back to school. Also look at second hand stores and garage sales for these items, too.

filler paper
composition or spiral notebooks
stapler and extra staples
colored pencils
paper clips and larger clips
3 ring notebooks various sizes
copy paper, various colors of copy paper
paper dividers
index cards, dividers and card box
3 hole punch or single
power strips
power adapter
file folders and labels
some type of file cabinet or portable file
if you use mechanical pencils have extra erasers and whatever size lead
envelopes of different sizes
extra checks if you use them
forever stamps
sticky notes of different sizes
a paper dictionary and thesaurus
glue, Elmore type and super glue
rubber bands

If you have a computer
whatever programs you are using
if you have a printer have extra ink and copy paper.
A shredder is good to have to prevent someone getting into your trash and getting your info.


Disinfection between patients

Appropriate disinfectants for Ebola virus include 10% sodium hypochlorite (bleach) solution or hospital grade quaternary ammonium or phenolic products.
Can an outbreak of Ebola happen in America
Oh, yes it can. I have worked in several different hospitals and have seen how they run and I can tell you that they are not equipped with the knowledge and supplies that are needed to prevent a full blown outbreak in this country.
As examples some of the patient care rooms have carpet in them. This LOOKS nice and more like a hotel than it does a hospital. The problem with carpet is that body fluids such as urine and IV fluids [with antibiotics in it] sometimes leak and provide a growth media for germs. Generally the privacy curtains are not washed in between patients and sometimes not changed or cleaned for months on end. Most facilities make huge use of the alcohol hand sanitizer between patients instead of proper hand washing. *** NOTHING is better than proper hand washing with soap and water***.

Please share your thoughts with the rest of us. Thx


Could An Ebola Outbreak Happen In America?

History of Ebola
Ebola virus was isolated first in 1976 and there are 5 subtypes of the family known. Four can be transmitted from human to human and one is listed only in primates – the last time that I checked humans were also considered as primates so I am not sure about that classification. The most deadly is the Zaire subtype and it is believed to be transmitted through the urine, feces or bite of the fruit bat. The virus has also been found in porcupines, primates and wild antelope. The fruit bat is found in Africa and the Middle East. The reason this virus has become epidemic is because it can be transmitted between humans and not just between urine/feces/bite of an animal and humans. –disease transmition is one of the bigger reasons to have good sanitation and to cook all animal products till it is WELL DONE to be sure all pathogens are killed. The previous largest outbreak occurred in Uganda during 2000-2001 with 425cases/224deaths. Since 1976 there have been more than 20 EVD outbreaks across Central Africa. If you remember we had an outbreak of Hanta virus back in 1993 and the bird flu [H5N2] in 2004 in south central Texas. But they never became epidemic because they did not transmit between humans.
1. Sudden onset of fever from 101.5 to as high as 105F, intense weakness, sore throat, headache, muscle and abdominal pain
2. Profuse vomiting and diarrhea can start within 1-2 days after first symptoms
3. Bleeding from nasal and oral cavities along with hemorrhagic skin blisters and internal bleeding (hallmark of disease)
4. In fatal cases it leads to renal function failure, multisystem organ failure in 3-5 days
5. Die within 8-9 days
If the patient survives beyond 2 weeks then they will have a better outcome.
How spread from human to human
So far it cannot be spread during incubating period which can be from 8-9 days, not until fever starts, but can spread from then on through post mortem period when the body is being prepared for burial. The easiest way it is transmitted through blood, urine, feces, vomit, breast milk and semen (virus can live in this for 62 days). It can also spread through sweat, saliva and tears, if you come in direct contact with these secretions. If you have an open sore or you touch the infected patients secretions then touch your mouth, nose or eyes the virus can be transmitted.

How to treat
Since Ebola is a virus it does not have a cure. What can be done is supportive methods including: IV fluids, oxygen, medication to control fever and headache, blood and platelet transfusions, electrolyte balance, IV medication for vomiting, oral and IV nutrition, medication for pain, anxiety and agitation.
Healthcare providers who take care of these patients need to use full Personal Protection Equipment including eyewear or goggles, facemasks, gloves, gown, shoe covers and in some cases use positive pressure headgear and negative pressure patient room.
Treatment facilities
Several hospitals in West Africa have closed their doors because they are short of staff due to staff coming down with the Ebola Virus or they are afraid of going to work in case they come down with the virus.

CDC suggests testing people who acquire a fever within 21 days of being exposed to Ebola virus or who have traveled to infected areas.

National Institutes of Health will begin a human vaccine trial in September 2014, this vaccine contains no infectious Ebola virus genes and works by entering a cell and delivering the new genetic material. The new genes that are inserted cause a protein to become expressed, which in turn produces an immune response in the body, has shown early promise in a primate model.
Another approach to help infected patients involves transfusing blood or plasma from those patients who have recently recovered from Ebola virus, is based on the premise that the plasma from recovered patients contains life-saving antibodies. This is experimental treatment that has been used, according to recent reports during this epidemic, although results of such treatment have not been formally reported.

Home invasion part 1c

Alarm systems are a good idea too. Each door and window can be equipped with magnet switches so that they sound when the door or window is opened and they can be either local only or hooked up to a central panel which can call the police and or fire department as needed. Monitored systems are considered to be the best situation. Most monitored alarm systems depend upon land line telephones to call for help. It is too bad that telephone lines can be cut which disables the notification properties and the bad guys know this. There is a new system out which uses cell phone technologies to make the connection with the authorities and cell phones being wireless can not have the wires cut. Simply Safe is the first such alarm system that I have heard of and it supposed to be great. I have not actually seen them but they do sound good. This is as far into monitored alarms that we will go into at this time.

You can go the DIY route in setting up alarms with simple dead man switches that when ‘tripped’ would sound the alarm noise system to wake you up and hopefully scare the bad guys away. You can also get off the shelf components for really advanced alarm systems. We will talk about this more later.

Some considerations that are often overlooked. Regardless of how ‘good’ your security set is, it is useless without you the human factor. If you do not pay attention to detail and consistency. Set up whatever procedure that you are going to use and follow it all the time. Another thing to kept in mind is that IF someone is willing to invade your home knowing that you are home they may be looking to do more than just rob you. If cornered the bad guy most likely will do whatever they think that they have to, to get away if caught. This includes inflicting great bodily harm to you or even killing you. Do not delude yourself into thinking that they wont.

Home invasion part 1b

Doorways deserve special considerations for lights. There should be general switchable lights that do not leave shadows AND motion activated spot lights which only come on when someone is within 6 to 10 feet.

That takes care of the lighting on your outer and inner parameters. Next we will discuss indoor lighting.

Any lights on the inside of the home when you are not actively using the rooms should be keep low and diffuse so that you can see to move around in the room, but dim enough so that someone on the outside with the stronger light will not be able to see clearly into your house. To see for your self how this works have a friend [and you too when it is your turn at their home] dress in dark clothing and have them walk up to your house with the indoor lights on but the outside lights off and then again with your inside light off and your front porch light on. If you can arrange to do the same thing with someone who has motion activated lights, all the better. ;]

On the inside of the house you can set up lights that are both switchable and motion detecting. The entranceway can have spotlights so that when the door opens you can see whoever is coming in better than they can see you. Each entrance to each room ideally will have switches which can turn the lights on AND off. Some people that I know have room lights that are set up on remote controls so that you can turn on a light in another room from where you to distract an intruder. I think that is a great idea.

Ideally your security lights / system should have backup power so that they stay working even in a power outage.

This is just a quick once over on the light topic.

Home invasion part 1a

Home invasion

Awhile back an ‘elderly’ friend, who is a snow bird, related that they had just that week returned from a trip. The night of their return their home and RV was burgled while they slept on the second floor. Fortunately this was discovered when they got up the next day instead of the intruders waking them up to get more stuff out of them. Thankfully the criminals ‘only’ stole and damaged stuff instead of beating and or killing the home owners.

Some general observations and opinions about this situation. The times that you are most vulnerable are the time while you are in transit to and from home [or destination] and the time right around that. Generally you are less alert due to the details and confusion of packing/unpacking and being tired after the trip. Often valuables are not as secure as people are often too tired to put stuff away properly.

Some considerations to improve your general security and safety. Shorten the time spent on each leg of your journey so that you can be more alert.

Keep the outside of your home well lighted with lights on poles such as ‘streetlights’ or lamp posts. Switchable lights over each window / doorway and at the corners of the house tends to dissuade people from trying to break into your home, scatter some motion activated spot light fixtures pointing out from the house that are coupled with some sort of noise maker like a radio other music player will help to alert you to activity.

You can set up switchable general lighting systems on your fence which will also tend to keep wrong doers away. Most robbers that I have dealt with would stay in the shadows and avoid well lighted situations.

Ebola 2

Ebola 2

Years ago, back in the 1980s and early 90s I worked with ‘high risk’ HIV patients. How the general public is responding to Ebola reminds me a lot of the attitudes back then, except this time around there is not the stigma of it being a homosexual [only] disease as was believed back then. Some of my friends worked in public health at the time. One of them who I will call Rob was a minister by training and was working as a paper pusher compiling statistics and writing reports except on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. On Monday, Wednesday and Fridays the nurses in the clinic drew all the blood and collected other samples for syphilis and gonorrhea screenings and they were not concerned for their own safety beyond ‘universal’ precautions. However the blood draws for HIV screening were done Tuesday and Thursday mornings NONE of the nursing staff would do those blood draws due to fear of catching the HIV bug. Rob had to do all the HIV blood draws because of this. Rob and I discussed all this often and we would both laugh – AT those nurses – because it was the same patient group who had been in the day before for the syphilis blood draw. It would have been easier on the patients [and the nursing staff] if all the blood was collected at the same time.

The short of the story is that there is a lot of fear over some things that as long as you take reasonable precautions and pay attention to details you will remain very safe even when dealing with deadly diseases such as HIV and Ebola. That is as long as whatever ‘bugs’ of the day have not been tampered with and weaponized. If they have been, well all bets are off.

Basically if you treat everyone as if they have everything –germ wise- and take those Universal Precautions AND use your head, you should be reasonably safe. or



Its very name strikes FEAR into the hearts of men!

And it SHOULD….. 90% fatal if untreated and only 60% fatal with treatment. This last week Ebola has been in the news with a death count of over 800 so far, I bet that it is actually higher. Then over the weekend one of two healthcare workers contracted it and one of them has already been flown here to the US. According to the news people our public opinion was strongly against allowing the importation of the 2 healthcare workers to one of our best CDC hospitals. Rightly so…. Perhaps. Consider this on the other hand, thi8s may well be the first time someone with the disease has come here BUT it is not the first time that the infective agent has been brought into our country. Both the CDC and our military bio warfare facilities have active samples that they have been experimenting with and in some cases turning into a weapon. How do you think that CDC has serum to use to treat the 2 healthcare workers?

As a practical matter our government is going to do whatever they jolly well want to do and we the people can not really stop them. At least so far the Ebola bug is not truly all that contagious. YET.

So what do we the general public do in case the bug starts spreading here in the US? Same thing as we can do for most anything. Stay away from sick people unless you are their care giver. Beware of others body fluids. Wash your hands with plain soap and water and a lot of it. That alcohol gel stuff is not all that it is cracked up to be and the antibacterial soap isn’t all that good either. If the sick person is coughing or sneezing have them wear a mask to protect everyone else – you can wear one too if it makes you feel better. Ideally a glass walled sick room [or a green house] so that a lot of direct sun light can get to most sides of the treatment area and patient so that the UV light can help disinfect the area and the air. The more filtered air flow that you can provide the better. – is possible the air should be filtered entering and leaving the sick bay area. Limit the exposure to sick folks.

Keep the patient clean, dry, well hydrated and nourished. Keep your local environment clean and well ventilated.

You may consider making quarantine signs a head of time to warn others that you have sick folks in your house.

Some things to consider stocking include;
Chlorine bleach to disinfect things
Medical gloves of whatever fits most of your people
N 95 masks – these really should be fitted to you but most folks wont do that
A large supply of linens, towels and wash clothes
Safety goggles or face shields
Soap [bar, dish and laundry]
Wash basins
Outdoor drying lines so that the sunlight can get to the laundry

What else can you think of along with this?

Food Formula


Number of days packing for [3-6-14 days,3-6-12 months]
X Number of meals per day [at least 2-3 sort term and at least 3 for longer term – at least 2,500 cal a day and most likely you will still lose weight]= Supply

Supply X Number of family or team members
= TOTAL FOOD SUPPLY NEEDED for the given time span.

As a general rule it is best to eat prior to grocery shopping so that you do no impulse buy extra stuff. On the other hand when planning your food storage or packing your evac kits it is best to be on the hungry side as historically people tend to under plan food needs. Perhaps this would be a good project for fast Sunday.

As you can see this formula could be extended out very far.

Points to ponder: dry goods store better and longer than wet pack does. Dry goods survive temperature changes better than wet pack does and especialy if the temps drop to or below freezing.