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The Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey: 6 Immediate Threats Victims Will Face and How to Prepare August 29, 2017

After close to fifty inches of rain dumped on the greater Houston area, these coastal towns and cities face a new set of problems – the aftermath. The damage caused by this hurricane is expected to cost in the tens of billions of dollars. While city and state officials believe the recovery will be quick, there is a lot of work ahead and more problems to face before it is all said and done. While some threats will be short-lived, there will be issues that will be long-standing, and the gravity of the situation is dangers don’t end once the storm has passed.

There are immediate threats that hurricane victims must be aware of and be prepared to encounter. Not mentioned is the economic ramifications this disaster will have on the fifth-largest economy in the United States. This could be another disaster in and of itself. But one thing is for sure, this disaster could be felt throughout the United States with the increase of gas prices or shortages. Only time will tell, but the following are the most immediate threats to be aware of.

5 Immediate Threats Hurricane Harvey Victims Will Face

1.Water contamination – This environmental threat is very typical following a hurricane, but because of the mass scale of the flood damage, it could be an even larger concern for those living in the greater Houston area. Typically, utility facilities that remove contaminants from drinking water are usually unusable if they’re inundated with floodwaters or the facilities that clean the water supply may not have the power needed to run their pumps or an ability to get fuel for their generators. (Source)

What it might be contaminated with ranges from unpleasant but relatively harmless gastrointestinal hazards, such as norovirus, to rarer, more serious bacteria — including Vibrio, a potentially deadly micro-organism naturally found along the Gulf Coast. Vibrio can make you sick both by ingesting it and also through wound infections that come in contact with flood water. Your best bet at this point is to ensure your water is properly filtered and stay out of the flood water.

2. Infectious Disease – Floodwaters may also contain a number of pathogens that can cause illness. According to an article at CBSNews, “Flood waters harbor bacteria, different viruses, and fungi, all of which can make people sick,” Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told CBS News.

One of the biggest concerns with flood water is the possibility of cholera, a highly contagious bacterial disease-causing severe diarrhea. Cholera can spread when water is contaminated with infected feces and then others ingest it, either by drinking the water or consuming food that has come in contact with the water. While cholera is far more common in third-world countries, Glatter says the possibility of it occurring in Texas “wouldn’t be impossible.” “These types of bacteria can live in mixtures of murky water,” he said. “It’s possible to have this type of infection, especially if the water supply becomes contaminated.” Other infectious diseases that can be passed through flood water include hepatitis A, typhoid fever, and Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that can cause muscle aches, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

As well, due to the excessive flooding in many homes, mold could also pose a serious health problem and can exacerbate asthma, allergies, or other respiratory diseases like COPD. Mold can appear in as little as 24 to 48 hours after flood waters recede. Experts suggest not to touch it. Wear rubber gloves, wear a mask when handling it and if you are in a dwelling where there is mold, you should leave.

3. Mosquitoes – Mosquitoes are notorious disease breeders. And it goes without saying that dealing with itchy bites won’t be the only concern for Texans. Mosquitoes are notorious for harboring diseases, of which the following have been known to show up in that state:

  • Dengue
  • West Nile
  • Zika
  • Chikungunya
  • St. Louis Encephalitis
  • La Crosse Encephalitis

As well as a few others that mainly affect animals:

  • Western Equine Encephalitis
  • Dog Heartworm

So it’s important for homeowners in this region to take certain measures to prevent the proliferation of mosquitoes. This requires keeping an eye out for things on your property that might contain even the smallest puddles of water. As well, experts are recommending that homeowners drain pools and if you see mosquitoes in larger areas of standing water to alert authorities.

Make sure you clear any trash or debris in your yards such as tires or cans and don’t leave any water out in flower pots or water bowls. It’s also a good idea to secure any leaky pipes you might have outside of your home, and clear out any leaves in your gutters. In some cases, you may need to fill or drain spots that tend to collect water on your property.  As an added defense, build traps that will cull the local mosquito population.

4. Mental Health – Depression, PTSD, and mood disorders are very common following a disaster and it is essential to assess yourself and your loved ones realistically and objectively and call a medical professional if you see signs. As well, children will be adversely affected by the traumatic events they have gone through. For the most part, children are not going to be able to process and adapt to the major changes as quickly as adults will. Experts say that in a situation where children are faced with too many changes in a given period, their sense of normalcy and security is disrupted, thus causing unwanted fear, anxiety and psychological distress. A child can also show signs of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Read more on helping children adjust to a major disaster.

5. Looting – While looting has been at a minimum at this point, nevertheless, it is still a threat. When people begin running out of their provisions and grocery stores unable to restock store shelves, more and more will go looking for them and this includes breaking into homes and businesses. A common saying in the preparedness world is “if you can’t defend it, you don’t own it.” There will be people looking at taking things and the best way you can prevent them from taking your provisions and belongings is to stay vigilant of what is happening in your neighborhoods and defend yourself if necessary. As well, do what you can to fortify your home from looters using these steps. One report stated that the volunteer organization Cajun Navy claims that looters fired on their boats as they attempted to rescue people. On a personal note, my sister, who is a victim of the hurricane, has said that looters had made their way into her neighborhood looking to pilfer through people’s homes that had been evacuated. It is a threat and one that people should prepare for, especially when the water begins to recede.

While the hurricane itself is one of epic proportions, the aftermath could be just as bad and just as destructive. Knowing what to expect will help an already battered community prepare for the next set of challenges they face.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published August 29th, 2017
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Have We Lost Our Humanity? Social Media Comments About Hurricane Harvey Victims Get Nasty August 28, 2017

 

As many of you know, I was born and raised in Houston, Texas and let me tell you, those roots run deep. Yes, it is hotter than the hubs of hell there and mosquitos are the size of pterodactyls, but the people are warm and friendly and have always done what they could to help someone in need. I’ve seen this on more than one occasion and all I can conclude is it’s just the Texas way. That’s how I was brought up and for me, that ingrained duty to help those in need has always stayed with me. But it wasn’t just in Texas where I saw this. When 9/11 happened, I watched in pride as countrymen dropped everything to help those affected by the attacks. I saw it when the Fukushima 50 stayed behind to ensure others were out of harm’s way. It wasn’t just a Texan thing, I came to realize it was a human thing.

But have times changed? Have we become so entranced by our own ideologies and cultural division that we are turning our backs on each other? Let me explain.

This weekend, we all watched as Hurricane Harvey hit the coast of Texas with a vengeance. The damage has been so severe and the flooding so widespread that this storm has now been dubbed the “flood of a lifetime.”

In The Prepper’s Blueprint, I wrote how Hurricanes are unpredictable in nature and truly one of the most difficult emergencies to prepare for simply because there are so many variables to account for. They can be mild or severe. They cause wind damage, flooding, tornadoes. You can be fully stocked with provisions and then your home is flooded in a matter of minutes because a creek has flooded and all of those provisions are ruined.

Currently, Hurricane Harvey has dumped massive amounts of rainfall in many towns inside and on the outskirts of Houston and affected about a quarter of the Texas population or 6.8 million people in 18 counties. To make matters worse, incessant tornado warnings are keeping Houstonians in a perpetual state of fear.

As well, everyone that I know living in this area prepared as best as they could with the limited warning they received. What I can tell you, is as prepared as many were, the storm this size was no match for their efforts and this can happen. The latest rainfall totals should give you some perspective.

You would think in times such as this, people would see the hell that others are living in and want to help in some shape or fashion. Rather than lending a hand, there are some who choose to sit from the comfort of their homes and make off-handed remarks. In multiple articles on the coverage of Hurricane Harvey, I found comments from readers such as “they deserve what they get because they didn’t evacuate,” or are making political comments in reference to the Hurricane.

Here are some comments from an article at the Washington Post:

And in another Washington Post article, comments said

In this Yahoo article

 This isn’t hitting close to home, it’s hitting home

In response to those who are making the above comments, please keep in mind that Texans pay taxes to help with assistance in national disasters so when these types of disasters happen, they have every right to request assistance. If national disaster assistance wouldn’t be available, what do you think would happen? Widespread disease, looting, and devastation would occur. Do you really want that for someone? Moreover, many of these comments have political overtones. It’s obvious that our country is very divided and there is a lot of bitterness. But political lines cannot be drawn in this type of emergency. By doing so we lose track of what’s important to mankind.

Despite these mean-spirited comments on social media, in true Texas fashion, the communities have bound together. For days I have watched my friends checking on each other through Facebook and social media and making sure everyone was safe, people are taking boats through flooded neighborhoods and risking their lives trying to rescue those in need and take them to safety, as well, people are offering up their homes and businesses for those who are displaced. They are offering food and water to anyone who needs it. It doesn’t matter what nationality, creed, color, political affiliation you have. If you need help, there are people who want to give it. Simply put, it’s because they care and want to best for their fellow-man.

Moreover, the emergency responders should be commended for their fast acting response. Many haven’t slept in days because of the overwhelming need for assistance. As well, because the city cannot keep up with the need for emergency assistance, good Samaritan are coming from near and far to help those in need.

Those of you who are sitting in the convenience of your homes away from any danger of Hurricane Harvey and are making off-handed remarks should instead consider being more proactive in helping another human being. I ask all of you, what has happened to humanity? Instead of doing what we can to help we sit and make comments about how they don’t deserve help? We are better than that.

To sum this up, folks, please be sensitive and mindful of what others are going through. Some people are losing everything they have from this storm. Let’s all have open and caring hearts and remember that during these times we need to bind together and help our countrymen, not turn our back on them.

 

Stay strong Texas!

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published August 28th, 2017
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A Green Beret’s Guide to Prepper Firearms June 14, 2017

ReadyNutrition Readers, the purpose of this article is to list the many reasons why it is important to own a firearm.  It is a choice that certainly is your right to exercise or not to exercise: to have a firearm in your home.  This piece is not to present a moral basis for ownership, but rather the practical reasons it is important to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights.  The moral questions are best answered in the privacy of your own home according to the way your family lives and worships.

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Your Right To Defend Yourself

That being said, the primary reason for ownership of a firearm is defense.  This used to be a requirement during the days of the American Revolution and upon the founding of the United States.  If you do your research, most of the State Constitutions for states that are “border states,” meaning upon the outer edges of the United States…these states had provisions that either required or requested the citizens residing in them to own a firearm.  Why?  Because the U.S. citizen is the cornerstone of the phrase “common defense” in the preamble of the Constitution.


The United States is a nation formed by citizen-soldiers who knew their first responsibility to the nation involved taking up arms on its behalf…for the good of all.  That hasn’t changed. 


The bottom line for the 2nd Amendment (equally as important) is that if our government ever “morphs” into a tyranny that attempts to subvert individual rights under the Constitution…the ability of citizens to bear arms is a recourse to that tyranny.

The average citizen has been conditioned for more than 100 years to place all faith in the government.  Soldiery nowadays is not generally viewed as an honorable profession, but rather as a “necessary evil” that you only do “when there are no other options available to you.”  We had a Secretary of State (John Kerry) that publicly expostulated that drivel.

Six Benefits Firearms Have for the Average Joe Prepper

Firearms ownership and knowledge of them have many benefits.  Let’s cover some of them, shall we?

  1. Hunting: In either a survival or non-survival scenario, you must put meat on the table. Hunting is the way to do it, and firearms make it easier. In recent articles I have recommended the Winchester ’94, an outstanding lever-action rifle in 30-30 caliber.
  2. Home Defense: This varies from state-to-state with gun ownership laws and what you can or cannot do, per the law, with the firearms. Some states (Montana being one of them) have the “castle” doctrine…where if a threat is perceived, the homeowner can take action.  Other states will practically sue you if you don’t offer the burglar/rapist a meal when he breaks in.  My personal rule is simple: it’s better to be judged by 7 than carried by 6.  A firearm can prevent Mr. Rapist from carrying out his plans. Some ladies carry around a Saturday Night Special to deter unwelcome advances or perhaps some of these firearm suggestions would do the trick.
  3. SHTF Collapse: Yes, either the EMP has struck or the economy has collapsed…or both. What then?  When the marauders are coming down the street, do you pick up a bullhorn and tell them to leave or you’ll call the police?  Do you think that “Brinks” sign on the front lawn will cause them to shiver and shudder and move away?  The answer to both questions is probably “No,” and I guarantee…that Mossberg 500-A 12 gauge pump will be the best. I’ve gone into a lot of detail on the subject in this article. As well, consider the .357, .45 ACP and these other post-collapse firearms.
  4. Barterable Skill Post SHTF: Yes, the ability to reload cartridges or repair firearms will be a barterable skill…and a skill you will need for yourself with a collapse. Consider diversifying your ammunition for this very reason.
  5. Legacy to your Family: Don’t those words sound great? What they mean is that with proper instruction on the use of, safety with, and care of your firearms, you’re giving your children an education in something that they can use the rest of their lives…it’s their birthright as American citizens to have the right to own and keep firearms.  Why not give them a head start and show them all the fundamentals?
  6. Sport: Yes, sport! You can develop your marksmanship skills on targets…paper targets and at different ranges and clubs.  You and/or the kids can all compete in matches.  Sometimes there are prizes in the form of money, equipment, etc., that can be won when competing.  There are no limits except the ones you set upon yourself.

Other Considerations

Preppers, I must stress how important it is to maintain your weapons, as well as to having as much support equipment for your firearm as possible.  A good cleaning kit with all the component parts for multiple calibers is essential. You can make your own cleaning kit with these items.  Another thing you need is a gunsmith’s tool kit.  They’re precisioned for the set-screws and special screws for mounts, scopes, and the firearm in general.  Along with other things, such as reloading kits and presses, optics, and other books and videos to make you a well-rounded marksman.

As well as basic maintenance, I must emphasize the important of practicing regularly with your firearms. It is one thing to be a fast shot, but it is more important to be an accurate one. Read more about tips to improve your marksmanship here.

To summarize, firearms have held their place above the mantelpiece and mounted on the wall in American homes since even before the days of the American Revolution.  Firearms are a part of your American citizenship heritage, and they can serve a multitude of needs and functions.  For further training, hook up with a veteran or a qualified NRA instructor, and get started on something that is your fundamental right under the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Keep that powder dry, and keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published June 14th, 2017
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