Stay Healthy In An Emergency

When it comes to alternatives to medication, you need to be really careful. After all, if something isn’t Food and Drug Administration-approved, then there’s no guarantee that it’s gone through the years of testing required to prove that it’s fit for human use. However, during an emergency situation, you might not have the benefit of being able to acquire your regular prescription medications. When that happens, you’ll be thankful for whatever alternatives you might have sequestered away in your emergency storage.

Here are five ways to stay healthy during a disaster situation:

  1. Prescription medication: If you have a good enough relationship with your doctors, you may be able to convince them to prescribe a surplus of your needed medications so that you can have extra to place in emergency food storage. However, you’ll need to keep an eye on your medications’ expiration dates, as expired medication can cause unintended side effects.
  2. Fish antibiotics: Infection can be a real danger in any emergency situation, both from sickness and injuries. However, most physicians tend to keep a tight rein on their antibiotics. This is because there are people who want to use antibiotic treatments to combat everything from allergies and common colds to more serious diseases. However, antibiotics are effective only when dealing with bacterial infections. What’s more, overuse of antibiotics can lead to resistant strains of bacteria. However, if you have the medical know-how to accurately assess an infection, then having antibiotics around could literally save a life. So, how can you get your hands on antibiotics for your emergency storage? It’s simple. Head to a pet store or a fish supplier and pick up some fish antibiotics. The fact is that, chemically, fish antibiotics are identical to prescription human antibiotics (for example, Fish Mox Forte is actually amoxicillin). You’ll need to check dosage, but beyond that, there really isn’t any difference. Fish antibiotics can be purchased over the counter. Be warned, however, because the official stance on fish antibiotics is that they are not for human use. Yes, they’re exactly the same as prescription antibiotics, but if you decide to take them, you’re doing so at your own risk.
  3. Over-the-counter drugs: Many over the counter drugs fulfill the same function as prescription drugs. For example, most prescription painkillers use either acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen, which can easily be purchased over the counter without a prescription in the form of Tylenol, Advil or Aleve. As for other medications, ask your doctor about over-the-counter alternatives that you could use in an emergency storage. You might be surprised what’s available. Just be careful to follow all instruction and heed any warnings printed on the packaging; these drugs may be sold without a prescription, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t also dangerous.
  4. Foods: Certain foods have been known to have immunity boosting properties and curative effects. Onions, for example, contain high amounts of the antioxidant quercetin, which help speed up the repair of damaged cells. Raw garlic can act as a blood thinner for heart attack victims, reducing pressure on clogged arteries. Honey can provide quick relief to sore throats. Really, there are too many to list here. But if you do a little research, you’ll be able to find all sorts of foods that can double as medication in a pinch.
  5. Water: Invariably, when doctors wants their patients to get over a minor ailment, they generally recommend the same thing: Rest and plenty of fluids. Water makes up about 60 percent of the human body; yet it is constantly being lost throughout the day thanks to evaporation, waste excretion and a number of other factors. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you’ve got more than enough clean drinking water in your food storage. Water helps oxygenate the blood and remove toxins from the body. It also aids in the production of lymph, which is a necessary component of the immune system. Water helps digestion, keeps your kidneys healthy, provides energy to your muscles and can be used to treat chronic ailments such as arthritis and even leukemia.

–Lee Flynn

Where to Keep Your Emergency Supplies

Forward-thinking homeowners, or even renters, generally have some emergency supplies on hand. A typical kit includes a certain supply of safe drinking water, food, medical supplies, identification, candles or flashlights, blankets and weapons. If you are short on space and don’t know how to store your emergency kits, you may find yourself in a desperate situation in an emergency. Here are the places where you should keep your emergency supplies.

Food

A store of food is of the utmost importance when considering emergencies. The food storage items should be non-perishable, meaning in cans or shrink-wrapped packages. Good choices are canned vegetables or soups that can be eaten at room temperature, shrink-wrapped crackers, cookies and granola bars. Store your food in a cool, dry place with steady temperatures. Make sure to keep a can opener in with your canned goods. Check the cans periodically for expiration dates and rotate your stash so you’ll always find something safe in an emergency. Toss any dented or bulging cans. If you have grain or wheat products in boxes, place those in sealed paper bags so pests cannot reach them.

Water

Safe drinking water is vital to survival in an emergency. The recommended amount is a gallon of water per person per day, preferably in sealed jugs to maintain purity. You should keep the water in the same place as your food. Iodine droplets, boiling or water purification tablets can be used in an emergency if you’re unsure whether your water is safe. While these purification methods will help clean water of bacterial contaminants, they cannot protect against chemical contamination; so be sure you know what you’re up against before drinking purified water.

Medical Supplies

Most people keep first-aid supplies in their bathroom, but if you have a safe place like a panic room, cellar or bunker, you should keep all your emergency supplies together. Check your supplies periodically to ensure they’re still safe to use; they should be stored in a cool, dry place where they are unlikely to become contaminated or get wet. While it’s tempting to put them under the sink in the bathroom, they should be kept in the same cool, dry place as your food and water.

Weapons And Ammunition

For optimal safety, weapons should always be kept unloaded and locked away in an approved gun safe. Only adults should have access to the weapons, and children should be taught to alert adults to the presence of any firearms. A safe is the best place for long-term storage, as it prevents accidental discharge, theft and rust or other harm due to humidity. You should have a solid supply of good ammo, and it should also be kept in a cool, dry place; it will keep practically forever in the right environment.

Light And Heat Sources

Flashlights, candles, matches and blankets should also be part of your emergency kit. You should have at least one very high quality flashlight and a several days’ supply of corresponding batteries. Blankets can be stored just about anywhere; but be sure they’re safe from moths, rodents and dampness. Baking soda and cedar chips in the storage area can protect blankets; and, of course, you have to keep your candles and matches dry so they will ignite. Sealing them in plastic is the best way to keep them safe.

While it’s important to have an emergency kit in the home, it’s also a good idea to have one outside the home, too — in your car, your cellar, your shed or wherever you may find yourself in an emergency. The same rules apply: Keep them safe, dry and cool. You may want to put important documents like your car’s title, medical documents and your home’s deed in a fire-safe box or in a safe deposit box at the bank, in case of a fire. Using these tips, you and your family can survive an emergency and its aftermath.

–Lee Flynn

Powerless Cooking

For preppers, learning how to cook without electricity or gas is a survival necessity. It is also a very handy skill to know. There are plenty of ways that you can go about cooking without any power and still create a great meal. Here are a few ideas of powerless cooking that you can frequently use:

Dutch Oven

This is one of the most common and tastiest ways for campers, preppers and outdoor enthusiasts to cook their food. One of the biggest assets of the Dutch oven is their versatility. You can cook meat or fish or even make biscuits and delicious peach cobbler. I’d suggest lining the oven with tinfoil before you start cooking so that it’s easier to clean afterwards. After you line the oven, put your favorite seasonings in and start cooking. After you’re done cooking, it’s time to clean the oven. If you didn’t put tinfoil on the inside, you’ll quickly realize why I advised you to as you’re cleaning. One of the biggest disadvantages to Dutch ovens is that they are very heavy. They aren’t exactly easy to pack either. If you have room to bring a Dutch oven, bring one. If not, there are other ways to prepare your food.

Solar Oven

If you have the time and resources, it would be a good to invest in making your own solar oven. This method takes a little longer than other methods requiring fire, though you don’t have to waste time collecting fuel for and preparing a fire. Plus, it allows you to cook a wider range of foods than fire does. On the downside, it takes much more preparation than a simple fire and is much less portable than a matchbook.

Meat On A Stick

This is one of the oldest forms of cooking meat, and nearly everybody has experience doing it. If you don’t have pre-made skewers, you’ll want to make your own out of wire hangers without a coat of paint or a cleaned off and debarked branch. Be sure to use a branch that’s still green, which will prevent it from actually catching on fire itself.

Tinfoil Dinners

These are another great meal that you can have while you don’t have any power. Create any combination of meat, vegetables, eggs and anything else you’d like to make a hearty meal for yourself. Prepare the food accordingly, put it in some tinfoil. You’ll want to make sure to put items that will need to cook longer at the bottom followed by quicker-cooking items at the top: i.e., put the potatoes and carrots on the bottom, followed by beef or chicken, topped with spices or supplemental vegetables like corn. If you don’t feel comfortable cooking or storing your raw meet with vegetables, you could even consider using some freeze dried hamburger. All you’d have to do is reconstitute it before cooking, and the fire will do the rest. Throw some salt and pepper on there and lay it down on some hot coals. You’ll want to check on it and turn it every 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to keep a pair or two of pliers handy to grab the pack off the coals and have a cool, clean surface ready on which to place the dinner. Make sure the meat is cooked all the way through; then enjoy your meal.

There are plenty of alternative ways to make food for yourself when you don’t have an oven or a gas stove to aid your cooking. If you haven’t already, start a food storage stockpile that includes the basic cooking tools mentioned above. Learn how to start a fire and you’ll know everything that you need to in order to make some great food for yourself. Take your cooking expertise to the outdoors and you’ll have an excellent experience.

–Lee Flynn