Tag Archives: Hantavirus

Food Poisoning, Sick Homes And Hantavirus

19 Sep

Falls are the leading cause of home deaths. Poisoning is the second leading cause of home deaths, right ahead of fires and drowning. Many people take the safety of their food for granted. We go to the grocery store and buy our nummies. We cook them and eat. All is good.

In a disaster, without adequate hygiene and food preparation and storage, many could suffer from food poisoning. Many preppers preserve, can, or process their own foods. Given this, it behooves us to understand a bit about food poisoning. We should have some idea of how to recognize if a person might have food poisoning. We should know how to treat it. Most importantly, we should learn about how to prevent it.

The National Institute of Health has some good basic information about food poisoning.

Preventing Food Poisoning

Culinaryarts.about.com has a nice write up about the symptoms of food poisoning.

The FDA has a 265 page pdf called “The Bad Bug Book” or ” Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins Handbook”  I guess one title is aimed at lay people like us.

This pdf is a pretty intense resource: “Each chapter in this book is about a pathogen – a bacterium, virus, or parasite – or a natural toxin that can contaminate food and cause illness” I’d read the little blue boxes.

Here’s a post from another prepper about food poisoning.

For preppers processing their own foods, the Internet has a wealth of resources.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation has many publications.

If you prefer a paper book, you could get “So Easy To Preserve

Another good resource:
Safe Home Canning of Fruits, Vegetables and Meats (University of Minnesota)

To protect small children from ingesting something they shouldn’t, we should have chemicals locked up or out of reach. Choking is another significant cause of household deaths. New parents should learn about choking and how small objects must be kept away from babies.

Ingesting poison is only one path to poisoning. Inhalation of poison is another. Preppers should know about carbon monoxide poisoning. In today’s modern homes, which don’t have as much air exchange as older homes, things inside your home could make you sick. This is a huge field of environmental health called Sick House Syndrome or Sick Building Syndrome.

Here are two pdfs about sick buildings:

Whenever you bring building materials into your home, ask yourself: Are these good materials to have inside the home? Will they out gas chemicals? Who can forget the smelly Chinese drywall scandal?

If you learn just a little bit about food poisoning, keep hazardous chemicals out of the reach of small children, and know just a bit about home air issues, you and your family should be safe from most poisonings—A midget Ninja with a poison dart might still get you.

Here’s a nice article about Hantavirus from Scientific American

More about the mysteries of Hantavirus

The Apartment Prepper has a wonderful write up about Hantavirus.

Hantavirus is extremely rare, but it’s one of the few specific threats I mention in the book because many nations have biological weapons departments trying to make this pass from human to human. If a modified version of it ever gets out, it could be problematic, kind of like the movie Contagion starring Matt Damon, which I just saw a few days ago.

Some preppers prep for swine flu or bird flu, but I bet if there is a future plague, it will be Hantavirus based. It’s reasonable that during dry conditions and drought this virus could be particularly bad, because more deadly mouse poop becomes dried up and airborne.

People filming the hit TV show Hoarders found Hantavirus in Texas. The dust inside is particularly deadly, because outside UV light from the sun effectively kills the virus.

tslrf.blogspot.com has a good article about prepper fitness and bodyweight exercises.

If you enjoy bodyweight exercises and are looking for a challenge, visit beastskills.com which has some great articles about progressively building up to do some pretty intense exercises, like the one-handed pushup.

Best In Class Prepper Products Versus “Good Enough” (& A Maple Syrup Heist)

4 Sep

In my book, I go over many products. Some I say I wouldn’t spend the money on. That’s not to demean the products. If I didn’t think they had value, I wouldn’t have mentioned them at all. These products are high end and not everybody has the money to get them.

I read an article about the surge in the interest in prepping. A few people are paying big bucks to have their homes fortified and made more prepper-esque. The article said some people pay experts to plant gardens. What the…?

Paying somebody to plant a garden to become more self-sufficient makes no sense to me. The whole idea is to learn to garden. That’s where self-sufficiency comes from. Not paying somebody else to do it. Paying somebody to teach you something makes sense.

New preppers need to learn what is “good enough” or within their budget. You might want a Benelli shotgun, but maybe can only afford a Remington 870 Express pump. Your ideal bug out vehicle might be a Hummer or Ford F-150. But, you can only afford a used KIA or a mountain bike.

Tools are a good example. Professional mechanics prefer Snap On tools, MAC, Matco, SK, and a few other brands. Most of us need to settle for Craftsman or equivalent.

The wife won’t understand our spending $30,000 on tools so we can save a few bucks by fixing our car’s water pump. At a certain point, the gig is up—we just like buying tools. It’s important to learn where you can cheap out and where you can’t.

Ask any experienced mechanic and they’ll tell you to purchase good line wrenches. These are known as flare nut wrenches. In cars, there are many rigid lines connected with flare nuts. Flare fittings provide a tight leak-proof connection.

The problem with a lose flare nut wrench or one that expands is that you can strip the nut. Because a flare is on the end of the line, you can’t just slide on another flare nut and be on your merry way. Oh, no.

You need to replace the entire line. Perhaps you can cut a bit of line off, put a new flare nut on and bend the line a bit. Either way, you need to re-flare a line. You might get lucky and be able to buy prefabricated lines.

Some line connections are difficult to reach and a useful tool is the crowfoot flare nut wrench. When I wrote my book, I went to sears.com and looked for the model numbers of their crowfoot line wrench sets (metric and SAE). These use to represent great value. I saw the reviews said they were now made in China. The price hadn’t dropped. I went over to Northern Tool and found an inexpensive set with good reviews. I figured it was the same set. I ordered one and it looked nice enough.

Today, I used one of these low-end crowfoot wrenches for about the fourth time. I turned it and it rode over the nut jamming tightly in place. I twisted it off, praying I didn’t snap the line. It worked OK. The line even sealed. Yippee!

A professional mechanic wouldn’t put up with this on a daily basis. He’d order a high-quality set. (Snap On, 210FRHMA is the 10-19mm crowfoot set; 207SFRH is the SAE set). But if you can’t afford that, it’s better to have a cheap set than no set at all when you need it.

Most preppers need to budget. We can’t get everything we want. Some of us need to budget more than others. Deciding where to spend the bucks is a personal decision. Learning where to spend the money is a skill.

Charlie P., author, The Prepper Next Door: A Practical Guide For Disaster And Emergency Planning

What I learned From Charlie In The Prepper Next Door (on tracemypreps.com)

Heist at Canada’s Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve. Strategic maple syrup reserves?

Yankee Prepper on Youtube showing off his new maple syrup:

Making Maple Syrup (Part 1):

Making Maple Syrup (Part 2):

Ohio State University Fact Sheet about maple syrup

How To Tap Maple Trees and Make Maple Syrup (4 page pdf from University of Maine Extension.)

In the book, I briefly mentioned Hantavirus and why control of mice populations is imperative in a disaster. Hantavirus has a lethality of between 30 and 50%. Fortunately, it’s extremely rare. There was a recent “outbreak” at Yosemite park.

Here is a wonderfully written article “How Nervous Should I Be About Hantavirus?” on motherjones.com.

National Institute of Health on Hantavirus

CDC on Hantavirus
Really nice pdf about Hantavirus from the CDC.

This is a Youtube link to “Frontier House” (from PBS). Several families go back to pioneer conditions to see what life was like. I linked to youtube, because it’s a five part series.

Here’s a nice blog post about visiting historic Fort Snelling.  I stumbled upon this looking for the recipe to Fort Snelling’s Rock Candy. Did the soldiers really make rock candy? Or is it just a tourist thing?

Here’s a link to making rock candy.

I’ve always liked rifles that easily break into two parts. Ruger is now offering their best-selling 10/22 in a takedown format. I didn’t see a wooden stock version of it, drat. Ruger should bring back the 44 magnum Deerslayer in a takedown format, with a wooden stock.

217,000 residents in Jefferson and Orleans parishes went without power for four days after hurricane Isaac. Some residents didn’t have water.

Residents in Mississippi were also affected.