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Monday, January 24, 2011

Ten Essential OTC Medications to Stockpile by Cynthia J. Koelker, MD

When we speak of a changing world that, initially at least, will break down so bad we won't enjoy the consumer habits we have today, we often think of storing food and batteries and the like. But what about basic over the counter medicines? People who strategize the first year of a total breakdown often speak of the first and second waves of death. The first wave would be due to the fighting and looting, the second would be those who need medicine to live. This column I read over at instructs us to start looking at long term over the counter medicines that everybody should have a supply of when our consumer system fails.
The Column was written by a Physician who has written some books on Armageddon Medicine so it is with particular interest that I read the info. I'll blast a quick summary, but please JUMP TO the original post for the full story......

  1. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) - Among the OTC anti-inflammatory medications, ibuprofen is probably the most versatile.
  2. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) - Acetaminophen is the only OTC pain-reliever that is not an anti-inflammatory drug.
  3. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) - An inexpensive antihistamine, diphenhydramine is primarily used for drainage due to respiratory infections and nasal allergies...
  4. Loperamide (Imodium) - The most effective OTC medication for diarrhea is loperamide, which is available both as tablet form and liquid for children.
  5. Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) - Pseudoephedrine is effective at relieving congestion of both the upper and lower respiratory tract due to most common causes including infection, allergy, chemical irritation, and mild asthma or bronchitis.
  6. Meclizine (Bonine, Dramamine) - This antiemetic drug is available both over the counter and by prescription. It relieves nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, and vertigo-like dizziness.
  7. Ranitidine (Zantac) - Although several medications are available OTC for the treatment of heartburn, ulcers, and other acid-reducing conditions
  8. Hydrocortisone cream - The 1% version of hydrocortisone is the strongest steroid cream available over the counter.
  9. Bacitracin ointment - This ointment is best used to prevent skin infections when the integrity of the skin has been breached, as by an abrasion, laceration, insect bite, or sting.
  10. Clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin) - The same antifungal medication, clotrimazole, is contained in both Lotrimin and Gyne-Lotrimin.
Other Links for TEOTWAWKI Medicine:

Armageddon Medicine
Unlikely Sources of Anti-Biotics
TEOTWAWKI Medicine & Minor surgery
Diabetes & TEOTWAWKI
Doctor's Thoughts on Antibiotics, Expiration Dates, and TEOTWAWKI

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Friday, January 14, 2011


This months Backpacker Magazine has a nice quiz on Frostbite to test your knowledge. I'll sum it up here.

  1. Frostbite has two stages: Freeze and Thaw. Thaw is the most dangerous because the thawing releases inflammatory substances that cause blood clots, reduce blood flow and further harm the tissue.
  2. Your toes fingers, ears and Nose are the most susceptible to frost bite because as the the body chills it constricts blood flow to the extremities in order to preserve major organs.
  3. Your body is predisposed to frost bite if you are : Dehydrated, Fatigued, and Hungry. Your body needs calories, water and energy to preserve it's temperature. That's why people who are lost and without shelter suffer most.
  4. Tissue that was frostbitten once is more susceptible in the future.
  5. The medical term for frostbites black dry tissue is Mummification and the area may be saved. It takes 6 weeks plus to determine which tissues are dead. Hence the trem "Frostbite in January, amputate in July"
Those are a few answers to a really good quiz. You can take it in the magazines current issue.

I was trained regarding Frostbite while in the Army and what they showed and taught us has haunted/stuck with me since. Trust me you don't want to see the final results of frostbite.

Before going outside in extremely cold temperature:
  • Apply skin moisturizer to the face, hands, and any other body part that may be exposed to the cold.
  • Dress warmly, wear dry clothing, and stay out of the wind. Wear a face mask for extra protection. Wear heavy mittens instead of gloves in freezing cold weather. When the fingers are together in a mitten, their collective body heat keeps the hand warm. Dress in many loose layers, the base layer being an absorbent one like tech-wik.
  • Children playing outside should be watched carefully to make sure that they do not lose or remove mittens or head-coverings.
  • Be extremely careful when pumping gas into your car if the temperature is below freezing. Gasoline on exposed skin evaporates very quickly, lowers the temperature of the skin, and makes it more susceptible to frostbite.
  • When you exercise in below-freezing temperatures, wear layers of clothing. The more layers you wear, the better insulated you are. The innermost garment must be nonabsorbent and loosely woven.
  • Go inside, if possible, when you feel too cold. Remember that fatigue, lack of oxygen in high elevations, and consumption of alcohol may cause you to disregard discomfort and cold.
  • Avoid smoking or drinking before venturing out into extreme cold. Tobacco decreases circulation by constricting blood vessels, and alcohol interferes with the body's ability to regulate temperature.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Water Storage - Continued

Back in March of 2009 I had a post here about Water Storage. Basically I ran the math on how much you need depending on your situation and number of people to keep alive. And essentially it's like this:
    • This is a highly personal decision, but I urge you to store at least three days worth of water for each family member--including pets. A minimum of 1 liter per person per day (for drinking purposes only) is the bare minimum for survival. For our family of 4 people and our dogs, we have stored in excess of 60 liters.
But what about "storage" and how is that best accomplished? Well research says three things.
  1. Water has no expiration date, it's water
  2. Keeping it commercially available plastic bottles most likely wont harm you. So yeah, keep buying those gallon jugs at the store and storing them in a cool dry place out of sunlight to get the max time out of them.
  3. Stored water may eventually develop a disagreeable appearance, taste, or odor.

Inspect your water supply at least every six months (I inspect ours every 4-5 months) to see whether the containers have leaks or if any of the above problems have occurred. And to increase the shelf life of water stored in translucent containers, group the containers together in dark plastic bags to keep out the light. Polyethylene plastics (water, milk, and bleach bottles) can be permeated by hydrocarbon vapors. Store your water supply away from gasoline, kerosene, pesticides, or similar substances.

A good policy I came across is to store water in two different home locations, in case you are unable to access one stash. A suggestion would be half is stored in the basement, while the other half is stored in a freezer. These frozen jugs of water help to improve the efficiency of your half empty freezer, and in the event of a power outage will help to protect the food from thawing. After a disaster, the jugs can be used in a freezer to provide you with an icebox.

A post I came across on the expiration of water was kind of funny but poignant:
Your bottled water wont go bad. Want proof? Put some bottled water in your shelter and wait for the next apocalypse. When your choices of water consumption is a decision between feces infused rot-water from the puddle with the chemical sheen on it or the expired bottled water in your bomb-shelter you'll understand that bottled water doesn't go bad.
Some additional links for Water Storage tips:

American Preppers Forum Water Thread

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Rotating your Food Storage

Why rotate my food storage? Because it is wise and you want to provide the most nutrition and taste for your family. In order to do that, all stored food should be rotated as frequently as possible. Rotation of long-term storage prevents throwing away unused, expired goods, which saves you money.

Rotation also allows you and your family to get accustomed to eating stored and dehydrated food, essential in effectively dealing with emergency situations. Lastly, eating your long-term storage is healthy. Most food storage items are lower in fat and higher in nutrients than most convenience foods.

How do I remember to use my food storage?

Many families keep food storage in the basement or in the back of their food pantries. These are ideal places to keep food storage because they are usually dry, cool, and dark, which increases the life span of food. These out-of-the-way places, however, don't usually prompt us to use food storage on a regular basis. To help overcome this problem, try the following solutions that have been volunteered by food storage professionals:
Keep small amounts of your food storage in the kitchen.

Stock your kitchen shelves with small containers filled with egg mix, powdered milk, etc. This will serve as a subtle reminder that you have these items without taking up your whole kitchen. Stock your shelves with canned items, too. The more you see these items the more often you will use them.
Make a one-week menu consisting only of items in your food storage and then live on it.

This exercise will really put your food storage to the test! You will probably notice that your food storage isn't as rounded out as you'd like it to be. Perhaps you don't have enough items for breakfast, or your food supply lacks essentials like proteins or vegetables. After completing this exercise, you will have a better idea of what you need to purchase to make your year's supply complete. And your family will be better prepared to eat meals made from stored food, especially in disaster situations. You'll also find yourself looking for and creating recipes using your food storage items.

If you don't know where to start in creating a menu that uses food storage products, Marlene's Magic with Food Storage, Magic Mixes, Country Beans and Cookin' with Home Storage are very helpful books. They contain some great recipes and meal ideas.
Mix food storage items with everyday foods.

One of the best ways to form rotation habits is by incorporating food storage supplies into your favorite recipes. Some habits formed by the pros are:

  • Use cheese powder to make homemade macaroni and cheese.
  • Grind wheat to make pancakes.
  • Substitute powdered milk and eggs when your fresh supply runs out.
  • Make homemade cold cereal with oats, honey, dehydrated fruits, etc.
  • Include dehydrated fruit in lunches.

How do you make your stored food last longer?

  • Store all your foods in a cool (40-60 degrees F), dry, dark place.
  • Physically rotate all foods, dating and placing all new purchases towards the back.
  • Store off the ground, away from the condensation near the floor.
  • Don't ever let your food storage be exposed to freezing temperatures.

By learning to rotate, you take advantage of the best nutritional value and flavor of your food storage. Plus, you can save money by not wasting food. Enjoy peace of mind by knowing you can provide for your family's nutritional needs. Be wise in preparing so that an emergency won't turn into a crisis.

Sources: Marlene's Magic with Food Storage by Marlene Petersen and The Sense of Survival by J. Allan South Rotating Your Food Storage
American Preppers Network Food & Water Forums

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Gasoline, Diesel Storage, and Restoration

On the way into work this morning I was thinking about my ability to have a large quantity of Gasoline stored on the property, for you know, whatever. So the first thing I thought about was how long it would last and was it easy to deal with preservation. So I went in search of some info and found a nice bit of info over at, and since I use the website frequently and have found it reliable and trustworthy, I thought I would share the info here. I've snipped some bits out in the name of brevity, whole web page HERE

Gasoline, Diesel Storage, and Restoration

There are many situations where fuel storage and restoration need to be considered, like when equipment is put into storage more than a couple weeks, such as RV's, motorcycles, boats, classic cars, etc.

Some of the most current documents we have found on fuel storage dates back to the 80's and fuels have had many major changes due to environmental concerns over the past 2 decades.

The fuels we buy are made for seasons and regions, therefore gas and diesel fuels are blended for the ambient temperatures of the area where they are purchased. For example, the winter time fuel needs are quite different in Tampa, Florida than Minot, North Dakota. If you store fuel purchased in the summer you may experience wintertime operation problems. In the case of diesel the fuel may cloud or gel. In
the case of gasoline, the gas may not vaporize well and cause starting problems. If you are storing fuel in a boat, RV, generator, tractor, auto, etc., it is best to leave the fuel tank full and use a commercial grade fuel stabilizer prior to equipment storage.

Fuel Treatments.

Today over 30% of gasoline sold is oxygenated and gasoline does not store as well as non-oxygenated gasoline. If you have a choice, pick gas without MTBE or ETBE additives.

There is no advantage to using gasoline with octane higher than what the manufacturer calls for; in fact, high octane gas can be a disadvantage in many newer design engines and engines operating with a governed speed such as a generator. You should use what your operator's manual instructs you to use. Obviously this does not apply the same way in older cars, where today's formulated fuels are often lacking. For those, we recomend Octane Supreme

Kerosene is what is added to diesel fuel for sub zero wintertime use; at the truck stop they call it #1 diesel fuel. I suggest that Kerosene be treated as diesel fuel using PRI-D Fuel Treatment when storing and preventing algae growth. Here are some tips for storing diesel fuels and gasoline in barrels, tanks, and other types of containers. Keep fuel in a cool area and avoid wide temperature swings. Keep storage
containers free of water and harmful metals. If you are storing in plastic type containers be sure these containers can handle fuel. Be sure the tanks are clean.

To keep fuel free of water, above ground tanks should have no contact with the ground. Underground tanks should be set in soil and rock for improved water drainage. Wide temperature swings can be avoided by placing tanks in the shade or painting them with reflective paint. Metals such as copper and galvanized/zinc
should not be used in fuel storage. If you use plastic, fiberglass, or other epoxy composition tanks, be sure they will stand up under the long-term hydrocarbon contact. When a large fuel tank is exposed to wide temperature swings, it should have a 2-way check valve to relieve pressure and vacuum. Most fuels produce
microorganisms when water begins to collect in tanks. Commonly called algae, this stuff can be a real problem. The fuel contamination plugs filters and causes fuel system corrosion. Biocides have been developed to kill and prevent algae, bacteria, and fungus in fuels. When using fuels that have been in long term storage, don't
pump from the very bottom of the tank, and filter the fuel.

There are a lot of variables that effect fuel storage. In general the use of a commercial grade fuel stabilizer on an annual basis will extend the useful life of fuel for an extra year. This annual procedure can be repeated between 5 and 10 times, thus giving fuel between 5 and 10 years of storage life.

Now comes the self-serving part. sells commercial grade fuel treatments and additives. Power Research Incorporated (PRI) treatments preserve and restore fuel freshness. PRI-G for gasoline, and PRI-D for diesel, kerosene and home heating oil extends fuel storage life for all fuels. PRI recommends that for
long-long storage, all fuels be re-treated annually at the normal dosage rate to ensure maximum freshness and performance. While laboratory tests show that PRI chemistry can preserve fuel freshness with just one treatment for 5 to 10 years, the length of fuel preservation is affected by the original condition of the fuel and the storage conditions. For maximum protection, follow the suggested re-treatment regimen.

PRI Fuel Treatments are capable of restoring and rejuvenating old fuels. PRI must be blended (shaken, stirred, or re-circulated) and left several minutes to several hours to restore fuel quality. In most cases the fuel will recover to engine manufacturers' fuel specification.

I want you to be aware that all manufacturers recommend the use of fuel stabilizers to protect fuel quality. Yes, I mean Ford, GM, Cat, Detroit, Cummins, Mercury Marine, Briggs & Stratton, etc. Folks run out and buy highly advertised Sta-Bil or other over priced fuel products that may or may not work.

Original post author credits to

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