Last month Survival Summit interviewed Nicole Telkes, an herbalist from The Wildflower School in middle Texas. Her definition has nothing to do with growing marijuana, but rather means foraging for, eating, and growing plants that we may have considered annoying weeds. It doesn’t matter where you are, you can create foraging space, even in urban areas. As people interested in using the plants we have and in conserving our environment, the first step is becoming aware of the plants growing around you. There are lots of useful and edible plants in your neighbor-hood. With only a few plants sprouting as spring begins, it is a good time to acquire a plant identification book or two to study before you start eating wild plants. Learn to recognize the poisonous plants first.* Here are a few edible plants to look for:
- Wild onions and wild garlic – these will have smaller bulbs than garden grown ones and will have a distinctive onion scent. They pack a lot of nutrients. Best cooked in soups.
- Chickweed – as one of the first spring weeds, it has small, white flowers that have five deeply lobed petals, a single row of hairs on the stem and opposite smooth edged leaves. High in vitamins A&C, it is also a good source of iron and anti-oxidants. Can be eaten raw as salad greens or cooked like spinach.
- Dandelions – the leaves, flowers and roots of this ubiquitous plant with toothed edged leaves and yellow flowers are edible. Young leaves are best when picked before the flowers appear. Serve them in salads or wilted with a hot dressing. Flowers can be cooked as fritters, and the roots used for tea.
There are too many people in the US to survive off wild plants. If we needed to forage for 100% of our food, we would need to get creative and very accurate in plant identification. In addition, we would be spending most of our days finding food. That’s why agriculture became so popular. Challenge: make a list of the top ten weeds in your neighborhood. Study them and learn their uses.
*Note: Never eat any part of a plant unless you are 100% positive of it’s identification. Plants along roadsides may have been treated with herbicides. Use common sense and reasonable caution when foraging. As you compare the book’s description with a real plant, do not mentally force the plant to fit the description. This can become a dangerous habit. A good reference is: The Forager’s Harvest by Samuel Thayer (http://www.ForagersHarvest.com)
This article was contributed by Robert Nicholson of Rusty Buggy Enterprises, Inc.
We are slaves of electricity.
It might appear that Edison wrangled electricity into submission —giving us usable power. Almost every facet of contemporary society is dictated by the properties of electricity. Ever since the first commercial light bulb and the telegraph, electricity has ruled the lives of men.
The reach of electric-powered devices and machines is unbelievably vast. With modern robots, there is almost nothing that electricity can’t do. The amount of work performed by electricity is beyond belief. From growing crops to preparing food, from making computer chips to manufacturing cars, electrical powered machines do much work that would otherwise have to be done by humans.
What is an Electromagnetic Pulse?
Just for a moment, suspend your scientific beliefs and imagine that electricity suddenly ceased to exist. Waking up, your alarm wouldn’t work. Unless you have a gas grill, you can say goodbye to your morning toast. Your car wouldn’t start. Trains and busses would useless. Automatic doors at the entrance to your office, school, or favorite coffee shop would remain shut. Prison cells would spring open. Elevators would not operate. Your PC, your wireless router, your digital camera, your smartphone — all computers everywhere would be dead. No telephone, radio or TV. Forget cable. No batteries either. The list is endless.
Enter the “Electromagnetic Pulse” or EMP. An EMP event can be either natural, such as solar flares and lightning strikes, or an EMP can be man-made by the detonation of a bomb. Whatever the cause of an EMP, it can disrupt electrical communications and electric power. Also all people wearing pacemakers will be affected. Modern vehicles, full of electronics, will stop working. In the past, EMP events have ruined telegraph equipment, disrupted radio signals, and taken down the internet for short periods of time. Military EMP events can be used to disable enemy electronics causing power outages, water systems to fail, and communications to fail. An EMP may well be the method employed as a future attack on America.
How would you prepare to overcome an EMP?
There is a simple way to do this. Buy or build a Faraday box, named after Michael Faraday, who discovered electromagnetic induction in 1831. The Faraday box is a metal enclosure, like a galvanized trash can, with a tight fitting lid. This shields the contents from an EMP event. You need to line the interior of the enclosure with insulation, such as styrofoam, cardboard, or the like. You can also wrap each piece inside your Faraday box with bubble wrap. During an EMP the electromagnetic waves are absorbed by the metal case and not transmitted to the interior because of the installed insulation.
We have a surplus metal cabinet with tight fitting doors. We store a set of two-way radios, with batteries, a few solar battery chargers, a world band radio, a solar radio, radiation monitor and the like in our Faraday box. If I had a motor scooter, or old car, I would also store an extra condenser for the motor in my Faraday box. We also have outfitted a 15 gallon galvanized feed can as a Faraday box. You can get one at the local hardware store for around $20.00. Follow the same procedure, wrapping and insulating each piece of electronics you store. Be ready.
Thanks to Jeff at LPC Survival for contributing this article.
I have noticed a trend over the last few years when it comes to food storage, A lot of companies are claiming anything in order to get your business. I wanted to expose these things as food storage lies, whether intentional or not. At the very least, they are misleading claims, but having received many calls and emails from food storage companies, I had to share this list of what I see as food storage lies or misleading statements when it comes to purchasing long term food storage.
Lie #1: “Our dehydrated pouched Food Storage meals last 25 years.”
The most prolific of all the lies, this one doesn’t reveal the fact that the food must be stored at 55 degrees or less at all times. The chances of you storing it at 55 degrees is extremely rare. They don’t even put this on their web sites, and won’t even tell you on the phone. Once you get the bucket, you will see the fine print. Some may not even have this fact on the bucket when you get it. Also, one Food Storage company who claims a 25 year shelf life has even admitted to me that they use the claim just to be “competitive.” Integrity should be the first thing a company stands by. I have seen reputable companies offer Freeze dried food in pouches and only claim 10-12 year shelf life. That is what I look for.
Lie #2: “Our Food Storage is Non-GMO.”
If any company says that, I would specifically ask them for what certifications they have. Then have them email you the certifications. Don’t let them say I will get back to you, demand to see them before placing your order. If they have a USDA Organic Certification or another reputable GMO testing certification, then they have something to back up the claim. Buyer Beware on this Claim, be sure to see the evidence.
Lie #3: “Our Food Storage is Gluten Free.”
This is mostly done over the phone, but I have seen it on some of their web sites. This claim goes a long with the Non-GMO claim, ask for certifications and make sure they are from organizations that you find reputable. Ask for certifications before thinking about purchasing any of their food storage. I also recommend calling the certification companies, and talking with them about the process. Your health could be at stake, I recommend being extremely cautious of any food storage company that claims Gluten Free. Making Gluten Free food can be pricy, so if the prices are low or comparable to their regular meals, I would look elsewhere.
Lie #4: “Our Pouches are nitrogen flushed and have an oxygen absorber in them, which helps them last 25 years.”
While the first part of this claim is true, the 2nd part is not. They can also say they double or triple nitrogen flush the pouches, its all marketing. Also, check Lie #1 for their claim of 25 years.
(If you are unfamiliar with nitrogen flushing, here is a basic description of what it is:
Nitrogen flushing is a type of preservation method used with packaged foods such as coffee beans, nuts, rice cakes, snack crackers and chips. When you go to the grocery store to buy a bag of chips, you’ll probably notice the bag is puffed and filled with ‘air.’ But it’s not exactly like the air we breathe because the package doesn’t contain oxygen. When processed food is exposed to oxygen, it deteriorates – oils go rancid, discoloration occurs and the food spoils. Oxygen can be removed from the packaging by removing all of the air with a vacuum, which will increase the shelf life of the food packed inside.)
Lie #5: “We have Celebrity and Radio personalities that endorse our products”
These are paid endorsements and some of them are very costly endorsements. I wonder if these people have even tried the meals which they endorse, as they seem to mimic each other when the ads run. Don’t fall for the marketing, if there is a high profile endorsement, I personally won’t buy it.
Lastly, there are reputable food storage companies and organizations to buy food storage from. The ones I personally purchase are either 100% freeze dried, USDA Organic, or minimally processed. I avoid dehydrated Meals because I have seen that they are highly processed.
Be sure to check the list above before falling for what I call: “Food Storage Lies”. -Jeff
LPC Survival have helped thousands of people get better prepared. Visit them at LPC Survival Reproduced with Permission
As Shared by Francesca Dodge Taylor
Family Emergency Preparedness
Every year my family has a theme for family home evening. Our theme for 2013 was preparedness. Teaching our children the importance of being prepared, each week we would have an activity, like map reading, remembering directions with land marks, and packing go bags for a quick get away. Our four children range in age from newborn to 12 years old. We included the older three in our projects. For Christmas day, we planned a treasure hunt, which included their daily chores along with some fun.
To mark the clues along the way of the hunt, we cut out picture pieces of scrap wrapping paper and taped them at each location. the clues were drawn and listed by number on the treasure map that we created. The map had to be given a look of authenticity, of course, again adding to the fun of it (also making it harder to read) I tore pieces of the paper off and wrinkled it up to give the aged look.
Making Preparedness Fun
After breakfast, the kids had their choice of opening presents inside or going outside for the “Treasure Hunt.” Even though the morning was cold, they opted for the treasure hunt first. In their footed pajamas, they raced to get their boots on! Then ran to the front door to get their first clue, as they had to use the door to get outside to start the hunt! The second clue was a metal egg basket sitting in front of a bush where our hen likes to lay her eggs, the kids had to collect them. Next, they headed to the back yard chicken coup and let out the chickens and our duck. The fourth clue headed them through a course set up with cones. They all had to keep together and help one another follow directions and weave through the course.
We have a rock climbing wall attached to a tunnel. The next clue was to climb the rock wall together. Don’t you love the teamwork idea? Once at the top of the wall, they had to crawl through a tunnel (sometimes you may need to be brave making an escape.) The tunnel ends in the playhouse, where they found the last clue, a “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree. They were so excited, to my surprise, not even noticing the cold outside.
Inside the playhouse, behind the little tree were three brand new, loaded Go bags, customized for each child with survival items they can use. Our son (the twelve year old) got para cord, a tree saw and a head lamp. The girls got fishing poles, astronaut blankets and age appropriate activity books among other things they will need to spend nights away from home. Funny thing, of all the gifts they received for Christmas, they spent the most time playing in their Go bags. (Photos provided by Francesca Dodge Taylor)
The beginning of a new year is often referred to as a new canvas. How will you paint this year? It can also be seen as a time for personal re-evaluation, of goal setting, of creating new habits or rituals.
As you begin this new year, look at your situation. What changes do you want to make? Are you sure? You will need to really want to make these changes – change requires passion. Write them down. Look at your list.
Let’s take the first thing there. Most likely it will require several steps to accomplish. Now write down three steps needed to get you from ”here to there.” Repeat this process with each item on your list. Soon you will see that you have created an action plan for each change you want to make.
Is emergency preparedness on your list? Refer to the September and October issues of “Every Needful Thing” to get the basic needs list. Evaluate where your family is in relation to each of these needs. Make a list of three things that you can improve. Now write three action steps for each. Does this look like a “TO DO LIST?” What on this list can you achieve today?
Accountability is fundamental in life. If you approach each day knowing that you will some day account for your life’s opportunities, you can stay focused. “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.” 1 Remember, it’s the journey, not the destination, you can do it, one day at a time. Any progress makes us greater than we were before. Incorporate accountability into your DNA – evolve to be better.
Pick what you can manage to do today. You have 365 days of pure potential in this new year. Create a revolution. Manage it day by day. Write down what you accomplish. Send me a note on how you’re doing along with any questions you may have. We love to hear from you.
Billie Nicholson 2014
1 Thomas S. Monson, Worldwide Leadership Training Broadcast, June 2004
Seasonal influenza is a contagious respiratory infection caused by different flu viruses. The major symptoms are fever, headache, fatigue and body aches. New Year’s eve saw 67 people in the Portland, OR area alone, hospitalized suffering from a flu strain similar to the 2009 pandemic. Striking middle-aged people, this strain causes an almost comatose sleeping state for hours. It has been identified as a re-assortment of the Avian, Swine and Human strains. With lots of holiday travel and people contained is close quarters, germs can travel far. 1 Since the flu can sneak up on you, your flu emergency kit should include:
- Thermometer – a high fever is one of the first clues that you have the flu. Get a digital one and wash it before and after using. Watch out for a fever that goes away and then comes back. this could mean it has turned into a bacterial infection. Seek medical attention for children who have a fever over 1040F or for adults who have difficulty breathing, persistent vomiting, sudden dizziness or confusion.
- Keep your ibuprofen or acetaminophen up to date. These will relieve fever and muscle aches in adults and children over six months. Don’t use aspirin or aspirin containing medicine in children who have cold or flu symptoms. This can lead to Reye’s syndrome. For babies under six months, the CDC recommends only acetaminophen. Follow all label directions closely.
- Decongestant - Use this to treat nasal blockage. For children under age four consult your doctor before giving decongestants. Saline nasal sprays can be used in adults and children to loosen mucus. Decongestant sprays shrink nasal passages. Only use them for a few days and never in children.
- Cough Suppressant - Include this to take at night. Avoid taking this during the day, it is better to expel any phlegm. Be careful when mixing over the counter medications. Some may have the same ingredients, resulting in an overdose. Pediatric cough and cold formulas are not recommended for children under 2.
- Tissues and Hand Sanitizer - Stock up on these. Put every used tissue into the trash as soon as you are finished using it. Runny noses, sneezing and coughing are the main way that flu droplets spread germs. Always cover your coughs and sneezes with tissues and teach kids to do the same. If a tissue isn’t handy cough into your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often with soap and water between tissue uses. Use hand sanitizer gel, if you can’t wash often. A good alcohol based sanitizer should contain 60% alcohol. Keep your hands away from your face. Germs have ready entry through your nose, mouth and eyes.
- Liquids - Stock up on water and other clear liquids. They help restore fluids lost from a fever and help keep mucus secretions flowing. Bottled water may taste better than tap water and may limit the use of glasses and cups. Don’t share it. You can add salt to water (1/2 tsp per 8 ounces) to make a gargle. Sports drinks contain electrolytes that will help avoid dehydration. Include herbal teas and soups. Hot liquids can be soothing. A bowl of broth based soup is easier on an upset stomach and the steam can help loosen mucus. If you’re sick, you probably will not feel like cooking.
- Lozenges - Throat lozenges can soothe a cough or sore throat, but they are not a cure. Many of their ingredients, like honey, herbs, or eucalyptus, have been used for years. Zinc can also help. Studies have shown if taken within 24 hours of symptom onset, it helps reduce the duration and severity in normally healthy individuals. Don’t take more than 50 mg per day.
- DVD’s - Include some comedy DVD’s in your emergency kit. Laughter can be the best medicine.
Influenza vaccines can help stimulate your immune system before you get the flu. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends all children, six months and older get a flu vaccine every year.
Billie Nicholson 2014
Did you know that most deaths due to winter storms are indirectly related to the storm? People die of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold. They also die in traffic accidents on icy roads.
You may be familiar with the terms frostbite and hypothermia, but it’s important to be familiar with the warning signs of each.
Frostbite is damaging to body tissue caused by that tissue being frozen. Frostbite causes loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately. If you must wait for help, slowly rewarm affected areas. However, if the person is also showing signs of hypothermia, warm the body core before the extremities.
The warning signs include:
• Uncontrollable shivering
• Memory loss
• Slurred speech
• Apparent exhaustion
If you notice any of the warning signs, start by taking the person’s temperature. If it’s below 95 F (35 C), immediately seek medical care. If medical care is not available, begin warming the person slowly. Warm the body core first. If needed, use your own body heat to help.
Get the person into dry clothing, wrap them in a warm blanket, covering the head and neck. Do not give the person any hot beverage or food; warm broth is best. Do not warm extremities first, as it can drive cold blood toward the heart and lead to heart failure.
TIPS TO STAYING WARM
Wear a hat or wool stocking cap, because more than 50% of the body’s heat is lost through the head or neck area.
Keep your feet dry by wearing a thin pair of polypropylene socks underneath heavy wool socks. The wool socks will wick moisture away from your feet.
Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold. Also, mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves.
THE C.O.L.D. RULE
When dealing with winter survival, the C.O.L.D. acronym can help you stay safe and warm.
• Keep your body and clothes Clean
• Avoid Overheating
• Dress in loose Layers of clothing that will trap body heat
• Keep clothes Dry
November, 2011 Every Needful Thing Jason M. Carlton
Red Cross can help families “Get Trained”
One quarter of Americans say they’ve been in a situation where someone needed CPR. If you were one of them, would you know what to do?
Studies have shown that being trained in hands-only CPR can make the lifesaving difference when someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest.
Join the millions of people we train each year by taking a 30-minute Citizen CPR class at your local Red Cross chapter. The course teaches how the hands-only technique can save a life.
Download the Hands-only CPR Ready Reference sheet depicting the steps of this technique in English and Spanish.
The Red Cross also offers courses that certify people in first aid, full CPR and using Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).
What is hands-only CPR?
Hands-only CPR is a potentially lifesaving technique involving no mouth to mouth contact. It is best used in emergencies where someone has seen another person suddenly collapse.
The hands-only technique increases the likelihood of surviving cardiac emergencies that occur outside medical settings.
How is full CPR different from hands-only CPR?
Full CPR combines rescue breaths with chest compressions and is the best option in some emergencies, including those involving infants and children, drowning victims, or people who
collapse due to breathing problems.
How else can I get involved?
The American Red Cross wants to educate 5 million people about hands-only CPR. Will you help us spread the word about this lifesaving technique?
Click below the graphic below to access additional information about American Red Cross classes in your area.
October, 2011 Every Needful Thing Jason M. Carlton
Understanding the dangers of Carbon Monoxide
Carbon Monoxide, known by the chemical formula “CO”, is a poisonous gas that kills approximately 534 people in the United States every year. Of that number, roughly 207 were killed by CO emitted from a consumer product like a stove or water heater. You can’t hear, taste, see or smell it. It’s nicknamed the Silent Killer because it sneaks up on its victims and can take lives without warning.
CO is a by-product of incomplete combustion, and its sources often include malfunctioning appliances that operate by burning fossil fuels. When these malfunctioning appliances aren’t adequately ventilated, the amount of CO in the air may rise to a level that may cause illness or death. Other CO sources include vehicle exhaust, blocked chimney flues, fuel-burning cooking appliances used for heating purposes, and charcoal grills used in the home, tent, camper, garage or other unventilated areas.
When victims inhale CO, the toxic gas enters the bloodstream and replaces the oxygen molecules found on the critical blood component, hemoglobin, depriving the heart and brain of the oxygen necessary to function.
The following symptoms of CO poisoning should be discussed with all members of the household:
• Mild Exposure: Flu-like symptoms, including headache, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.
• Medium Exposure: Severe throbbing headache, drowsiness, confusion, fast heart rate.
• Extreme Exposure: Unconsciousness, convulsions, cardiorespiratory failure, death.
Young children and household pets are typically the first affected. Carbon Monoxide alarms are intended to signal at CO levels below those that cause a loss of ability to react to the danger of CO exposure.
CO detectors are not a replacement for proper use and maintenance of fuel-burning appliances.
CO Safety Precautions
Install a CO detector in the hallway near every separate sleeping area of the home and make sure it cannot be covered up by furniture or draperies.
• NEVER burn charcoal inside a home, garage, vehicle, or tent.
• NEVER use portable fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home, garage, vehicle, or tent.
• NEVER leave a car running in an attached garage, even when the garage door is open.
• NEVER service fuel-burning appliances without proper knowledge, skills and tools.
• NEVER use gas appliances such as ranges, ovens or clothes dryers for heating your home.
• NEVER operate unvented fuel-burning appliances in any room with closed doors or windows, or in any room where people are sleeping.
• NEVER use gas-powered tools and engines indoors.
October, 2011 Every Needful Thing Jason M. Carlton
We’re three-fourths of the way through our series on preparing to execute an emergency preparedness drill in your neighborhood. We hope you are taking this information to your neighbors and encouraging them to be prepared, too.
The adjacent article talks about using radios in an emergency, but the best way to know how to use your radios is to do just that – Use it.
My neighborhood conducts a weekly radio check, which lasts only a couple of minutes, but serves as an opportunity for neighbors to practice using their radios, so in a disaster, they don’t have to try and learn.
Every Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on channel 8, subchannel 1, our communication specialists welcomes everyone to the call and invites them to check in by stating their name.
Once everyone has checked in (which is usually 3-7 people), we open it up for conversation about any topic on preparedness.
These scheduled radio checks keep radios charged and used, so in an emergency, my neighborhood understands how to use them, which gives me a lot of peace of mind. Jason M. Carlton
Did you play with walkie-talkies as a child? Did you ever think that one day you would be using them as a means of communicating in a disaster? Well, if phone lines and cell towers are damaged in an emergency, a set of Family Radio Service (FRS) devices can help your neighborhood mobilize and communicate faster than boys on bikes.
In order for this tool to work most effectively, members of your neighborhood would need to have, and know how to use, FRS radios. Here are two things to consider when selecting the one that’s right for you:
1. The longer the range on your radio, the better you will be able to communicate throughout your neighborhood. FRS radios are line-of-sight transmissions. So if you have a lot of houses and trees between you and the person on the other end, communication may be difficult. For example, a radio that boasts 32 miles, may only provide two-miles in a populated neighborhood.
2. Many radios come with non-removable, rechargeable packs. These can wear out over time. The recommendation is to go with a radio that can also have this rechargeable pack replaced with AA batteries, which may help strengthen the signal when needed.
3. FRS radios contain channels, as well as subchannels. Make sure your radio has subchannel capabilities; otherwise you may be able to hear your neighbors, but not have the ability to communicate back to them.
These radios offer multiple channels that can be used in an emergency, so if your neighborhood needs to communicate, you must coordinate a channel on which all communication will take place. For example, your neighborhood can plan to communicate on channel 8, subchannel 1, while the neighborhood adjacent to yours can take channel 9, subchannel 1.
Another best practice is to designate a communications specialist for your neighborhood who can direct all radio traffic. This person will keep things orderly when crisis strikes and help those seeking to identify families’ needs obtain the information vital to responding.
October, 2011 Every Needful Thing Jason M. Carlton