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Monday, January 31, 2011

Do You Have Apartment Insurance?

Apartment buildings lining the south side of E...
This is a boring but necessary subject for apartment dwellers.

Homeowners are required by the bank to carry homeowner’s insurance, but apartment insurance is something that is completely optional for us renters.  I actually did not have apartment insurance at one time, thinking it was an unnecessary expense. Until I started thinking about what would happen to the family if we lost my belongings for some reason or other. I did not really want to think about it, but it was something we needed to do, especially now that I have a small amount of stored food and emergency supplies. If you feel you don’t need it, consider this:  how much do you think you would need to replace your stuff if something happened to your apartment?  Do you have enough money in your savings to replace everything you own?
I checked into rental insurance and found the cost to be reasonable. The premiums are around $30-$40 per month, and you can get a discount applied if you have your auto insurance policy with the same carrier. Coverage includes replacement coverage for belongings. If you do decide to obtain a renter’s policy, read everything in the policy and ask the agent questions about what is covered and what is not covered, and details about what happens if you had to file a claim.

Apartment insurance may not be one of the most exciting aspects of being prepared, but worth some consideration as part of a well rounded preparedness plan.
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Top 5 Antibiotics After TSHTF

Here is a good video on antibiotics after TSHTF – from ThePatriotNurse.
Take care all -

© 2011, All rights reserved.

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

January 2011: A Month in Review

I thought I'd try something new this year.
A bit of a review each month of how the blog is doing and so on......

Traffic has picked up to around 400 hits a day. Yaaaaay! :)
Thank you to those who have spread the word about the blog.
Please tell your friends, etc.
If you have a website that you think complements my blog, please feel free to contact me to trade links.

1 donation for the month. Oh, well. Times are tough all over.
If you do wish to donate, there is a Donate button on the left hand side of the page.
If you wish to send something via snail mail, please contact me for my address. Every little bit helps.

A big thank you to my loyal readership. Without you, there is no blog.


Survival Retreat Drinks

By Joseph Parish
When it is time for you to escape to your established retreat you never know exactly how long you will need to remain there. It could be perhaps as little as a month or in dire cases you might maybe be there for a year or more. In either case drinking nothing but water can quickly get old and become boring. 

My suggestion on this issue is that you plan on storing up a few other instant drink mixes as well. I have personally included sufficient supplies of coffee, various teas and a selection of powdered juices and drinks specifically tailored to family member’s tastes. 

In my pantry you will find a good selection of herbal teas some of which are designated for medicinal purposes while others are merely tasty to drink. I keep a small selection of canned as well as bottled juices on hand, several containers of powdered milk, hot cocoa mix for my wife and plenty of containers of Kool Aid. We have drinks which are commonly found in the grocery store such as Tang and even some that are more difficult to locate. 

My go kit contain individual drink mixes which you merely open and dump into a bottle of water. Nothing could be easier. In this way I merely have to provide cases of water in my BOV instead of a large collection of soda bottles or cans.

When I was explaining this process to a small group of preppers they posed a question in my direction. They wanted to know how I managed to store my teas for any long periods of time. They indicated that the boxes which the tea comes in were really very inadequate for long term storage. I too must admit that this observation was very accurate. In the past I have taken the tea bags or the loose tea out of the boxes and placed it into small half pint jars along with a single oxygen absorber. This method may not be the most efficient way to accomplish the task but in all aspects it appears to work just fine. 

In the case of the Kool-aid mixes or the tang I leave them in the original containers they were purchased in. as long as they are not opened they remain dry and useable for a long time. Once opened the drink mix should be used within a short time frame. The problem stems when moisture is allowed into the container. The product then gets lumpy and so hard that you may as well toss it in the trash.

In order to keep your coffee from going stale you should consider storing them as beans. Place them in a quart canning jar along with an oxygen absorber and they should last a good many years. Take and grind the beans as you need them.

In conclusion, water is a necessity of life but nothing in the rule book says that we can not flavor it to make it more appealing. Think carefully on your drink plans as you prepare your food storage at your retreat.

Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish

Raising Chickens

What do you need to raise chickens? – The Basics of raising chickens.
Before the days of Walmart, raising Chickens was a pretty normal thing to see. Even in the city people would keep chickens as a way to have fresh eggs and control bug problems.
With more people turning towards organic foods and backyard gardens, raising chickens is starting to increase in popularity again. From knowing where your food came from to making sure your family has fresh food during an emergency there are a number of reasons that people are deciding to raise chickens.
Free Range Chickens Roaming in a field

Benefits of raising your own chickens:

  1. Fresh Eggs – Up to 200 a year per Hen
  2. Fresh Organic food free of pesticides and chemicals.
  3. Chickens are a great way to keep bugs from infesting your garden
  4. They produce good nitrogen-rich manure that, when mixed with your compost is great for plants.
  5. Great for weed control.

How to get started:

While there are a couple breeds of chickens that produce eggs and meat, most chickens are bred either for their meat or for their eggs.
For the beginner we recommend either buying a couple of young female chickens that have just started to lay eggs or a few baby chicks that have already hatched. You could also buy fertilized eggs and keep them in an incubator until they hatch, but baby chicks are easier when you’re just starting out.

What to feed your chickens:

The taste of your chickens meat and eggs has a lot to do with proper feeding and watering.
Water – Each hen will drink approximately 2 cups of water per day. It’s very important to always have a fresh supply of water for your chickens.
Food – Chickens need 3 basic things:
Grains – Wheat, corn & oats.
Greens – Greens can be made up of grass, weeds and other fresh vegetables from your garden.
Protein – During the summer months most of the protein that your chickens need can come from bugs. If supplementation is needed you can use soybeans, fish meal, worms, milk and or meat.
Homemade Chicken Feed Recipe:
You can purchase chicken feed from just about any feed store, but making it yourself can save money and ensure that you know what your chickens are eating.
2 Parts corn meal
3 Parts soft white wheat
3 parts hard red winter wheat
1 Parts oat groats
2 Parts sunflower seeds
1 Parts split peas
1 Parts lentils
1 Parts sesame seeds
1 part quinoa
1/2 Parts flax seed
1/2 part kelp

Chicken Coop

Homemade Chicken CoopHand built chicken coopA chicken coop doesn’t have to be overly complicated or expensive. In fact a decent coop can be made with materials that you probably already have.
The basic Chicken coop is made up of some wood, a couple feet of chicken wire and either wood shavings or straw for easy cleanup.
Also, if you have the room we suggest enclosing a large area so your chickens can roam free and feed off the bugs and grass.

Resources for Raising Chickens

Chicken Coops:

Storing your BOB for quick retrieval

By Joseph Parish

After all of your hard work you have finally managed to create what you believe is the perfect Bug out Bag. It may have taken you mouths of hard work obtaining all your necessary products but you eventually did it. Now that you have the hard work completed you have to decide where would be the appropriate place to store this valuable piece of survival gear.

This might at first seem like a simple question and answer but upon serious thought it isn’t as clear as one would expect. Your task now is to determine the best location to store your bag until you need it for an emergency. This kit is another of your survival “Insurance Guarantees” which go along with the 24 hour kit and your automobile survival kit. 

The main concept behind your kit is to be able to retrieve it quickly in the event it is needed for a bug out. We keep ours in a dark cool, dry closet off our living room. This type of environment is critical to preserve the foods which we keep inside of it as well as the liquids that are saved there. Any type of secure location would serve just fine as long as you can immediately get to it so you can periodically recheck its contents for currency and completeness. Remember, these check should be completed on a regular basis so you don’t want it to be hidden in an out of the way location. You would not want to be stumbling over holiday decorations in your efforts to get to your bug out bag.

Another not so desirable location would be your basement. Often times when things are placed in basements they are overlooked and frequently forgotten. This kit is too vital for your family’s life to be forgotten. 

In the event that you store any weapons in your bug out bag make certain that they are totally secure. The last thing you would want is for your children or any others child to get to your weapons. You could employ one of the combo locks to properly secure the compartment of your BOB which contains your weapons. 

The main idea here is to clearly keep in mind is that your BOB should be handy and ready to “grab and go” at a moments notice. These BOB’s must be readily accessible for a quick grab when needed. 

Lastly, I would like to remind you that you should seriously consider a vehicle BOB as well. This BOB would be crammed with items that are normally much too heavy for you to carry such as bulky supplies and which you have deemed to be vital. I will frequently leave both my normal BOB and the vehicles BOB in my BOV, that way its ready whenever I need to escape the area. There you have it folks now it’s up to you. Do you store it in a living room closet or the trunk of your BOV? This is a decision that you must decide yourself. 

Copyright @2011 Joseph Parish

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thinking About Buying a Firearm for Protection? Here's 20 Questions to Ask First

Indoor Shooting Range at Sarasota, Florida, US...Image via Wikipedia
The recent shooting in Arizona made quite a few people suggest that congressmen, and others, should run out and buy a gun for protection. If you have been considering buying a firearm for personal defense, here’s 20 questions you should ask yourself first:
1. Is everyone in relative agreement about having a firearm in the house for protection? If one spouse wants a firearm and the other is adamantly opposed to it, these issues should be worked out before you make your purchase.
2. Are there any situations in the home which would preclude safely having a firearm? If there is domestic violence, mental illness, alcoholism, or someone who is suicidal living in the home, having a firearm in the mix is probably not a good idea.
3. Are there any convicted felons in the home? Legal issues regarding a felon in possession of a firearm, even if it is registered to another member of the household, should be addressed before purchasing the firearm.
4. Are you aware of the laws and local sentiment regarding having and using a firearm for protection in your locale? Laws vary widely and so does the sentiment of the prosecutor/DA should you actually end up killing someone on your property. Know these things ahead of time.
5. Do you have a safe location in which to store your firearm? Hidden behind the clothes on the top shelf of the closet is not a good answer. With firearms ownership comes the responsibility to keep it away from those who shouldn’t have access to it (your kids, your kid’s friends, guests in your home, burglars, etc).
6. Are you willing to take a “firearms for personal defense class”? Even if you went shooting every day as a kid or frequently used a firearm in the military, personal defense classes cover many topics that are specific to the kind of use you are thinking about.
7. Are you willing to make the investment of time and money to practice regularly? I’m talking about at least 50 rounds per week at the nearest firing range. This is a big commitment of time as well as money but it is imperative if you intend to use your firearm as a means of protection.
8. Are you aware of any registration/licensing you may need to do if you buy a firearm? Again, laws vary by jurisdiction and you may also want to carry your firearm concealed off of your property which could necessitate a concealed carry license.
9. Are you aware of how owning a firearm will impact how others react to you? This could include everything from other parents not letting their kids play at your house because they know you have a firearm to making you a target for burglary if your kids brag about the “arsenal” you keep in your home.
10. Are you willing to take someone’s life? Hopefully and most likely this will never happen but owning a firearm for personal defense means you are willing to use it to kill someone. There is no “I’ll just use my gun to scare someone or “wing” a burglar”. When it comes to the point that you are pulling out a weapon to defend yourself, the probable outcome is someone will end up dead and while the movies make using a weapon to defend yourself look glamorous, it is actually anything but.
11. Do you know what kind of firearm(s) you want to purchase? Each type of firearm/weapon caliber has a purpose in self defense from close quarters pistol combat to shotguns and rifles for particular purposes. It is a good idea to go to a firing range and try a variety of firearms as well as seek the advice of experts before you make your purchase.
12. Are you willing to take care of the nitty gritty details of firearms ownership? Including but not limited to keeping your firearm clean and in good working order, education yourself about the differences in the ammo that is available for your weapon, maybe taking a foray into reloading, etc?
13. Are you willing to continue your education in personal defense? A basic personal protection class is just that, pretty basic. You usually get an overview of firearms, an overview of local laws, a bunch of safety tips, and some range time. This in no way covers everything you need to know about using a firearm for defense which is why continued, advanced training is a necessity.
14. Would you consider participating in other types of gun owner activities? There is no better way to expand your knowledge of firearms and related firearm topics than going to gun shows, reading firearms magazines and websites, joining a shooting club, hanging around other shooters, making friends at the local gun shop, etc.
15. Have you considered a number of “worst case scenarios” and thought of ways to address them? There’s too many to list here but just look up “gun accidents” and you will find not accidents but lapses in safety, education, supervision, and skill. How would you address these in your household?
16. Do you know the limit of your firearms knowledge and skill? There’s no shame in being a newbie, that’s how everyone starts out, but it’s a wise person who realizes they can’t teach their own kids or spouse about shooting until they have improved their skills. It’s a wise gun owner who isn’t ashamed to admit they don’t know something instead of just guessing at an answer that could have catastrophic consequences.
17. Would you be a responsible gun owner? Some people just aren’t. The ones I am speaking of get drunk then haul out their firearms to show their friends, they have anger management issues that haven’t been addressed, they “brag” about their guns to anyone who will listen, they think they are safe shooters even as they sweep their friends while finding their target during practice. You get the idea.
18. Are you willing to publicly support firearm ownership? No longer are we secure in our right to own firearms. It takes everyone who is supportive of firearms rights to “support the cause” whether you join the NRA, volunteer to teach a hunter safety course, or discuss your views with your politicians and vote accordingly. If our rights aren’t protected and defended, pretty soon we won’t have these rights.
19. Will you completely disregard anything you have seen in the movies or on TV in regards to firearms use? The shooting you see on TV or on the movie screen is generally a stylized version of what people, who have often never even held a real firearm, think shooting should look like. It’s hardly realistic and copying some of the crap you see on TV could get you killed. Seek out knowledgeable firearms trainers as your life could depend on it.
20. Are you willing to review/enforce participation in all of the above points for everyone in the home? Even if you know and faithfully follow all of the advice above, if you aren’t the only one living in your house you need to ensure that everyone has considered and practiced the above points from attending classes and practicing to having safety uppermost in their minds when handling a firearm.

That’s a pretty comprehensive list of things to consider. A few decades ago these things weren’t even thought about as it was pretty much a given, at least where I lived, that every house had a shotgun behind the door, a pistol next to the bed, and a rifle hanging in the back window of their truck. These days, especially with fewer and fewer people growing up around firearms, a lot of thought needs to be put into the whole firearms for personal defense question followed, of course, by a lot of education, training, and many considerations for safety.
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Survival Awareness

Note: This was a very difficult post to write as I did not want to come off ridiculous or leading the reader to believe that I am paranoid or a nutcase. Oh well – did the best I could.

Ever since I was a teenager I always thought I was a little different than my friends. Of course – one thing that was different was my concern over the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. This is where my interest in survivalism came from. I was concerned about a nuclear war happening while my buddies were mostly occupied with playing Pac-Man or Asteroids.
One other thing that made me feel different than many of my friends was awareness. What is awareness? Simply –  it is the knowledge of what is going on around you.
Whether it’s riding the “T” in Boston or walking the streets in Charlotte NC – I make an effort to be aware of what is going on around me. I do not just watch and look at things in my environment – I listen as well.
What kinds of things?
  • Location of vehicles – moving or not in relation to my location.
  • Paying attention to people around me – specifically:
    • Where people are.
    • Are they in groups.
    • What are they looking at?
    • Where are they walking?
    • Are they just standing in one place?
    • Who are they talking to?
    • Who are they looking at?
    • Are they dressed appropriately for the weather?
    • There are lots more.
I try to have a heightened sense of awareness for  many of the same reasons why people carry concealed – they want to protect themselves and their family. If people were more aware of their surroundings there would be far fewer crimes such as rapes and carjackings.
How can you increase your awareness?
  1. Use your peripheral vision. Peripheral vision is what you see on the side of wherever you are looking. Many times things happen NOT directly in front of you. With just a little practice – you can use your peripheral vision to make observations and “see” more. Try this – look straight ahead and look at an object. Now – observe a pet or a child do something directly to the left and right of you. You may not see extreme details – however you may soon see more than you used to.
  2. Listen.Listening is one of the most undervalued methods of observation. How many time have you been walking down the street and heard a loud racing engine of a car and looked to see a speeding vehicle? This is what I am talking about – but on another scale. Whether it be footsteps in a parking garage or the sound of an argument one aisle over in he grocery store – be aware. Listening may allow you to be aware of that mugger waiting around the corner in the parking garage or keep you out of the grocery store aisle where an aurgument turns violent.
  3. Scan.Direct vision does not have to appear so direct. Walking through a park or a busy city  – you can look around and see a lot if you pay attention. You do not need to look directly at something to see it. You can look at something while turning to look at something else. An example: Your at the park with your children. It would be very natural for you to be looking around watching your children run and play. While watching your kids – observe the people around you. You may see something such as that man leaning up against a tree taking pictures, or that women with a baby carriage and no baby.
In no way am I talking about paranoia. It is really just being aware of what is going on around you so that you may be able to prevent something bad from happening- to you or to a loved one.
© 2011, All rights reserved.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thank you, dmelton!

Thank you for the first donation of the month/year.

Your support of the Daily Survival blog is very much appreciated. :)

*If anyone else is so inclined, the donate button (Paypal) is on the left hand side of the page.
All donations go first to my operating expenses (ISP, Domain, Web Hosting) & anything above that goes to my preps.


Some Downloads For You

Some things for you to download and read through. I know some of this is old hat for some folks, but there are always new folks waking up.

The jukebox is back up and running on the right. Just click on the little play button.

125 Jerky Recipes

Acorn Soup Recipe

25 Cent Backpack Stove

Baking Bread - The Beginners Guide

Bread Recipes

500 More Bread Recipes

Waxing Cans And Boxes For Storage

Quick Hard Cider Recipe

Survival Communications – The C.B. Radio

C.B Radios are once again gaining popularity among truck drivers, RVers and some survivalists. A properly tuned CB has a range of around 10-20 miles but is commonly illegally tweaked to transmit over hundreds of miles.
While my choice of radios always falls towards a mulit-band ham radio, I always have the C.B. frequencies programmed into my radio so I can scan the local area during an emergency.
New Cobra 29 WX NW ST 40-Channel Nightwatch CB Radio With SWR Calibration & 7 Weather ChannelsCitizens’ Band radio (better known as CB radio) is a short-distance radio communications that takes up 40 radio channels from 26.965 to 27.405 MHz.
CB Channel Frequency Frequency Use
Channel 1 26.965 MHz
Channel 2 26.975 MHz
Channel 3 26.985 MHz
Channel 4 27.005 MHz Used by many 4X4 clubs
Channel 5 27.015 MHz
Channel 6 27.025 MHz many operators using illegal high-power amplifiers
Channel 7 27.035 MHz
Channel 8 27.055 MHz
Channel 9 27.065 MHz Channel 9 is the universal C.B. emergency channel
Channel 10 27.075 MHz
Channel 11 27.085 MHz
Channel 12 27.105 MHz
Channel 13 27.115 MHz Often used in some areas for marine use & recreational vehicles.
Channel 14 27.125 MHz Frequency for many walkie-talkies
Channel 15 27.135 MHz
Channel 16 27.155 MHz Used by many 4X4 clubs
Channel 17 27.165 MHz Used by truckers on the east-west roads in California
Channel 18 27.175 MHz
Channel 19 27.185 MHz unofficial Trucker channel
Channel 20 27.205 MHz
Channel 21 27.215 MHz Used by truckers for North-South routes in some areas of the country
Channel 22 27.225 MHz
Channel 23 27.255 MHz
Channel 24 27.235 MHz
Channel 25 27.245 MHz
Channel 26 27.265 MHz
Channel 27 27.275 MHz
Channel 28 27.285 MHz
Channel 29 27.295 MHz
Channel 30 27.305 MHz 30 and up are often used for SSB operation
Channel 31 27.315 MHz
Channel 32 27.325 MHz
Channel 33 27.335 MHz
Channel 34 27.345 MHz
Channel 35 27.355 MHz
Channel 36 27.365 MHz
Channel 37 27.375 MHz
Channel 38 27.385 MHz unofficial SSB calling channel, LSB mode
Channel 39 27.395 MHz
Channel 40 27.405 MHz
CB Resources & Radios

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Herbs and Spices for TEOTWAWKI

A mixture of black peppercorns from the Malaba...
Chefbear58 has come through again with more great ideas for your TEOTWAWKI pantry.  This time he’s got some great advice on what spices to store and what they’re used for.  Read on…
-Jarhead Survivor
Hello again everyone in SHTFblog land! Today I am going to walk you through some herbs and spices you will probably want to bolster your foodstuffs with. After each Herb/Spice I list, I will offer a brief explanation of its usefulness. So let’s get started, the sooner some of these items are on your shelves, the sooner you can start counting on them!
***Just so we are clear, some of the items are not technically herbs/spices, however because of their multiple uses and the fact that they are edible, I include them in my herb/spice inventory***
Item       Flavoring Uses       Secondary Uses -
Rosemary – good for meats and fish, tames “gamey” taste of wild animals, soups/sauces used in cures/brines
Mint- Accentuate and amplify fruit flavors, some savory uses. Can soothe sore throats/headaches
Thyme- good flavoring for veg, meats and seafood, soups/sauces
Parsley- adds a fresh flavor to many dishes, accentuates other seasonings.  Romans- used for oral hygiene
Stevia- ~1000x sweeter than sugar(by weight), takes limited space, can be used in teas and some other cooking
Sage- one of the best all around flavorings for meat, offers some preservation options.  Used in cures/brines
Juniper Berries- used for cures, especially for fish (i.e. nova-lox, grav-lox)
Peppercorns- GREAT flavoring for almost anything.  Used in cures/brines/rubs
Salt- Flavoring, preservation, wound cleaning/sterilizing.  The MOST important ingredient used in cures/brines
Nutmeg, WHOLE- flavoring savory/sweet, helps soothe cough/cold.  Mild topical anesthetic properties
Cloves, WHOLE- flavoring sweet/savory, helps w cough, sore throat, headache.  STRONG topical anesthetic
Chili Peppers, dried & Smoked- VERY flavorful, food preservation; Can be made into improvised “less than lethal” weapons, can be used as a topical muscle soother-CAREFULLY
Cocoa Powder, regular and DARK- mix with water and powdered/canned milk- Instant hot cocoa, can be added to many different recipes or everyday items like oatmeal/grits, possible improvement to morale
Bay Leaves, WHOLE- Flavoring for boiled/braised/stewed dishes.  Add a few leaves to flour to keep out bugs
Paprika, Smoked SWEET- Base in making many spice blends, flavors small game well, a little goes a long way!
Mustard, SEED- a little goes a long way, good for flavoring meats, soups, sauces (especially cheese sauce)must grind
Transglutaminase- THIS ONE IS COOL!! This chemical is used to “restructure” protein, if you only have the meat you could scrape off the bones of whatever game you managed to get, add a little touch of this, then you can form that “glob ‘o’ meat” into a “steak” with VERY similar taste/texture! Will also allow you to form 2 different pieces of meat into 1 (I have used this on a piece of Ahi tuna and a piece of Chilean Sea Bass, the result was like a mutant fish steak, they were completely bonded together like it had come off of 1 fish!)
Horseradish, POWDERED- AKA Wasabi powder, flavorful and can mask unpleasant flavors.  Use in rubs/cures
Alum- used in pickling and some other preservation methods ; Can be used to stop minor bleeding, fight infection
Garlic- DELICIOUS, helps with even the worst tasting items! Sulfites in the garlic can kill some pathogens in foods
Cardamom Seed, WHOLE- lemony pepper flavor, savory/sweet applications.  Can soothe coughs/colds
Cream of Tartar- used to “stabilize” whipped foods, like frostings ; Can be added to white vinegar to form a disinfectant/cleaning paste
“Grains of Paradise”- used by the Romans, before they found peppercorns.  Used in cure/brine/rub. Tastes like black pepper and citrus, slight floral flavor/smell
Vanilla Beans, WHOLE- They can be split and seeded, the seeds can be used in baking, the hull can be used to make vanilla extract by soaking in alcohol (bourbon/vodka), hulls can then be used to flavor sugar
Sugar, WHITE- good for baking and some savory cooking, sweeten beverages.  Used in cures/brines/rubs
Sugar, BROWN- adds moisture and extends shelf life of baked goods.  Used in cure/brine/rubs
Sugar, RAW- Best of both worlds between brown and white, easier for the body to process, pleasant texture
Powdered HONEY- NEVER crystallizes, good choice for LTS sweetener, difficult to rehydrate properly
Arrow-Root- Thickening agent, requires only water to use, allergies are RARE, cheap, lasts forever if kept dry
Corn Starch- Thickening agent, adds crispy texture to breads/cookies, SOME allergies have been reported
Glycerin- can be used in production of candy and baked goods; studies show it allows people to “super-hydrate”
Prague powder- AKA Pink Curing Salt- GREATLY increases the shelf life of meats cured with it, meats can be cured in a simple brine, cheap- I can buy enough to cure 100lbs of meat and it costs about $2-$2.50… ESSENTIAL if refrigeration is unavailable/unreliable!
So that is a simple list of some Herbs/Spices you may wish to stock in your pantry and why. Now it’s your turn! Do you have any of these items in your preps? Have you considered any of these items that you may not currently have? Is there anything important that you think I missed? Do you have anything to add to this BASIC list? Are there any items you know of that may replace or work better than an item or two on this list?
Hope everyone found this informative, please if you have any questions, simply ask them in the comments below and I will answer them to the best of my abilities! Thanks Guys!
No related posts.
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Guest Post: Budget Emergency Survival Kit, by Christopher Young

Australian "duct tape".(This post is inspired by Kurt Hoffman
who wrote a very fine web site. The text
below was copied off the web page, and then
very severely edited by Chris Young,  on
Jan 25, 2011. It is good to look at the
web site, the pictures are helpful.)

What is the Budget Emergency Survival Kit?

First, it made of items you purchased at stores
in your area. Items which have good value for
the price. Which are  simple and easy to buy,
and easy to use.

Second, inexpensive enough that you can  make
kits for each of your vehicles. And for each of
your family members - even the ones that dont
really care about survival stuff.

Lastly, items easy to use by the average person
who has little training in outdoor survival.

I started out with a $20 target price. Of course,
the items here are suggestions. You can add to the
list, or buy higher quality items. Suppose you have
a good knife. You don't have to go buy a 97 center
and leave your good knife in the drawer. See what
you have at home, before you go run and buy every
thing on the list. You can make one trip to your
local retail store, end very quickly have a kit
ready to go.

Lets look at the kit.

1.Knife - 3.5" stainless steel, plastic handle $.97
    Anglers Edge Bait Knife
2.Matches - 128 strike on box type $.49 Blue Diamond
3.Tarp - plastic 6 x 8 $3.98 Ozark Trails
4.Flashlight - sealed battery, disposable $2.24
    Garrity Life Lite
5.Knife Sharpener - Ceramic rod type $1.17 Rapala
6.Compass $2.96 Ozark Trails
9.Fish Hooks (Snelled) - with line $.46 Renegade
10.Twine - nylon, 260, 15 lb. $1.89 Wellington
11.Canteen - 24 oz. plastic bottle $1.00
12.Food - dried, enough for 2 meal $.20 Ramen Noodles
13.Aspirin - 100 tablets $.99 Walgreens Generic
14.Band-Aids - 60 adhesive band-aids $.99 Band Aid
15.Soap- anti-bacterial bar $.59 Generic
16.Tent pegs, 10" steel $1.96 Ozark Trails
17.Lighter - Disposable or Butane $.97 Bic/Robinson
18."Tea" lights $.10ea. misc.

TOTAL $21.00

** I included the bottled water here at $1.00, but
that can be free if you use an empty plastic coke

The Knife:

Originally designed and sold as a bait knife at
Walmart, this knife is a good, very inexpensive
blade for $.97. It is very durable and stainless
steel. The handle is of good size, giving you a
good grip. You can enhance the grip by wrapping
either nylon cord or duct tape around the handle
till it fits your individual hand. The blade is
a usable length at 3.5" for most chores. Your
knife is one of your most important pieces of
equipment, do not abuse it.

Knife Sharpener:
This is one of the most overlooked items. If your
dull,  it is useless. Even the best of blades will
dull with usage. Sharpening a knife to some people
is a gift, to others it is a skill, that can be
eventually learned.

First Aid Kit:

First thing to do for any wound is get it CLEAN.
That means wash it out with simple anti-bacterial
soap and water. The next thing is to KEEP it clean
by using clean bandage materials. You may need a
LOT of bandages.  This kit includes 60 band-aids,
which cost about $1.00 and a bar of soap, costing
around $.60.

Most pain relievers last 4 to 6 hours. Then after
it wears off, what do you do? Get a real bottle,
it costs about $1.00 and averages 100 tablets.


Being exposed to the weather is what kills most
people. Hot or cold, will kill you. Pack a poncho
and all weather foil blankets.  I include a 6 x 8
foot Plastic Tarp with 4 - 10" steel tent pegs.
You can easily make a long lasting shelter with it.
With a little practice, you can design a large,
Lean-To, a basic pup tent or a tubular tent. The
tubular is the best of the bunch because it is low
and less likely to take wind damage and gives you
a plastic floor to lie on instead of the ground.
The smaller size helps keep heat in.

The steel tent pegs, that I have included, are heavy
compared with plastic or aluminum. You will have to
drive them with a rock. Plastic pegs will shatter
and aluminum pegs will bend. The 10" steel pegs also
can be used to break up hardened ground to help you
dig and can be used to make very good falling traps.
In an extreme emergency, the steel pegs can be used
as a weapon. I think this offsets the weight issue.
You can decide for yourself.

The plastic, aluminum and steel pegs all run about
$2.00 at any of the above stores and the tarp costs
about $4.00.

Why the tarp instead of sheet of plastic? The tarp
has corner rings for tying. The tarp makes a good
sun shade. The tarp is durable.

Emergency ponchos are needed in case it rains or
snows while you need to be moving.

Foil blankets are also useful. When they are tightly
packed, they tend to break into ribbons. Its a good
idea to unfold the foil blanket, and refold it to
fit in a sandwich bag.

Duct Tape:
Duct tape can be used to fix your tarp, poncho,
canteen, flashlight, gloves, boots, hat, jacket,
bags, boxes, etc. You can use it to "tie" things
together. It works to improve your outer garments
against the wind. It is water resistant. And on
and on and on. A small roll will run you about
$2.00 up to about $4.00 for a large roll. Get it.
Pack it. Youll be glad its around.

Compass/Whistle/Thermometer tool:

This is a really good item for its cost of $2.97.
The survival wisdom, IF there will be a rescue,
is STAY PUT. So you dont need a compass, but I
like to keep the options open. It is the basic
directional finding equipment. This compass
is reasonably accurate if you need it.

The whistle is a signaling device. A whistle is
louder than shouting, and takes less energy to use.
A whistle can be heard at great distances. Which is
good, if someone is paying attention and knows what
to do.

This handy little device also includes thermometer
and a magnifying glass. I like to know the temp
outside. The magnifying glass is good for finding
splinters in your finger, but its too small to
start a fire with.


Fire starting is essential. Fire can be used for
light, cooking, protection and proves a general
mental state of calmness, which is so important
to any survivalist. Buy good quality matches.
The waterproof and life boat matches are good.

Fire lighting involves A) the spark and B) the
tinder. c) Kindling, D) fire wood. The spark is
easiest with a lighter or match. It takes 3-5
matches or more to get a fire going. Sound crazy?
Try it. Then try it in high wind. Then try it
in wet grass. Youll see. Plenty of matches.

Include a couple diposable lighter in this kit.
Often, it is just easiest to use the lighter.
The long neck Aim N Flame are excellent. Most
have a "lock" on the button. This will help you
keep from accidentally releasing all the butane.

Tinder is next. Many survivalists try various types
of tinder. Some like wax and cardboard, others like
trioxane, or pretroleum jelly, or hand sanitizer.
Fire starting is important, so try several ideas and
use what works for you.

I also suggest that you add a couple of "tea lights"
to use as tinder. They are easier sometimes to
light. Put the entire tea light under your tinder
or kindling,  they are cheap enough to use and
forget. This will on your matches. Light a candle,
let the candle light the kindling.

Keeping your matches dry is important. You can use
a pill vial or 35mm film can. Many pharmacy pill
vial are long enough to house the Strike Anywhere
matches. Put in a black striker, with the scratchy
side towards the wall of the pill vial.

The Garrity "Life Lite" and has a sealed battery
which lasts for 8 hours of continued usage and 2
years in storage (per their packaging). It is
cheap and effective for the price of $3.00, which
as noted, includes batteries. Here is a good place
to upgrade. Buy a strap on head lamp, so you can
work and have both hands free.


For a canteen, plastic soda bottles, empty and
washed out, work well. Upgrade to a one or two
liter bottle. With a piece of nylon cord tied
around the top of the bottle, you can loop around
your belt for carrying. If you can find one of the
little carry pouches made for hikers, that are
made to carry a bottle on your belt, they work
even better than the cord.

Fish Hooks:

For the most part, survival situations dont allow
enough time for fishing. Your time would be better
used for signalling, or hiking out. I dont consider
fishing a use of time in a short term survival


Waterproofing your gear is simple with zip lock
bags or using the duct tape. I like the 1 gallon
freezer bags. Its easy. Add several to your kit
to keep
things dry.

What to pack your kit in?

Simplest is just to use the plastic grocery bags
that you got from the store. They have a trashy
look, and every other thing in the car is in
shopping bags. Other containers might include
coffee can with lid. These tend to roll around.
Have you tried to carry a round coffee can down
the trail? Not good !

The best is some sort of backpack or over the
shoulder bag. Such as a diaper bag. A plastic
tool box can work. Any of these can be better

One of the other containers I like is a used
cat litter bucket. The newer ones have nice
lids as well. Carry handle, and large enough
for your kit and maybe clothing and shoes. This
container doesnt scream STEAL ME. It can also
be used for field carry and water collection
and water holding.


Safety pins; simple but effective ways to fix
buttons and zippers.

Needle and thread; repair things.

Small mirror from Dollar store. Signaling device.

plastic cups, dinnerware and bowls; containers
to collect water, drink from, or keep things dry.
Kids cups from a restaurant have little lids
that work as a funnel to pour water into your

Clothing; T-shirt, hat, gloves, socks, anything
just to have extra if you need them. Especially
sturdy shoes.

There you have it, the Budget Emergency Survival
Kit. It is simple, easy, and it works. With the
price of this kit, you can afford to put one  in
all your vehicles. Then when you get jammed you
will be covered, no matter what vehicle or where
you are.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

7 Reasons Food Shortages Will Become a Global Crisis

Activist Post

Food inflation is here and it's here to stay. We can see it getting worse every time we buy groceries. Basic food commodities like wheat, corn, soybeans, and rice have been skyrocketing since July, 2010 to record highs. These sustained price increases are only expected to continue as food production shortfalls really begin to take their toll this year and beyond.

This summer Russia banned exports of wheat to ensure their nation's supply, which sparked complaints of protectionism. The U.S. agriculture community is already talking about rationing corn over ethanol mandates versus supply concerns. We've seen nothing yet in terms of food protectionism.

Global food shortages have forced emergency meetings at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization where they claim "urgent action" is needed. They point to extreme weather as the main contributing factor to the growing food shortages. However, commodity speculation has also been targeted as one of the culprits.

It seems that the crisis would also present the perfect opportunity and the justification for the large GMO food companies to force their products into skeptical markets like in Europe and Japan, as recently leaked cables suggest. One thing is for sure; food shortages will likely continue to get worse and eventually become a full-scale global food crisis.

Here are seven reasons why food shortages are here to stay on a worldwide scale:

1. Extreme Weather: Extreme weather has been a major problem for global food; from summer droughts and heat waves that devastated Russia’s wheat crop to the ongoing catastrophes from 'biblical flooding' in Australia and Pakistan. And it doesn’t end there. An extreme winter cold snap and snow has struck the whole of Europe and the United States. Staple crops are failing in all of these regions making an already fragile harvest in 2010 even more critical into 2011. Based on the recent past, extreme weather conditions are only likely to continue and perhaps worsen in the coming years.

2. Bee Colony Collapse: The Guardian reported this week on the USDA's study on bee colony decline in the United States: "The abundance of four common species of bumblebee in the US has dropped by 96% in just the past few decades." It is generally understood that bees pollinate around 90% of the world's commercial crops. Obviously, if these numbers are remotely close to accurate, then our natural food supply is in serious trouble. Luckily for us, the GMO giants have seeds that don't require open pollination to bear fruit.

3. Collapsing Dollar: Commodity speculation has resulted in massive food inflation that is already creating crisis levels in poor regions in the world. Food commodity prices have soared to record highs mainly because they trade in the ever-weakening dollar. Traders will point to the circumstances described in this article to justify their gambles, but also that food represents a tangible investment in an era of worthless paper. Because the debt problems in the United States are only getting worse, and nations such as China and Russia are dropping the dollar as their trade vehicle, the dollar will continue to weaken, further driving all commodity prices higher.

4. Regulatory Crackdown: Even before the FDA was given broad new powers to regulate food in the recent Food Safety Modernization Act, small farms were being raided and regulated out of business. Now, the new food bill essentially puts food safety under the direction of the Department of Homeland Security where the food cartel uses the government to further consolidate their control over the industry. Militant police action is taken against farmers suspected of falling short on quality regulations. It is the power to intimidate innocent small farmers out of the business.

5. Rising oil prices: In 2008, record oil prices that topped $147 per barrel drove food prices to new highs. Rice tripled in 6 months during the surge of oil prices, along with other food commodities. The price of oil affects food on multiple levels; from plowing fields, fertilizers and pesticides, to harvesting and hauling. Flash forward to 2011: many experts are predicting that oil may reach upwards of $150-$200 per barrel in the months ahead. As oil closed out 2010 at its 2-year highs of $95/bbl, it is likely on pace to continue climbing. Again, a weakening dollar will also play its part in driving oil prices, and consequently, food prices to crisis levels.

6. Increased Soil Pollution: Geo-engineering has been taking place on a grand scale in the United States for decades now. Previously known in conspiracy circles as 'chemtrailing,' the government has now admitted to these experiments claiming they are plan "B" to combat global warming. The patents involved in this spraying are heavy in aluminum. This mass aluminum contamination is killing plants and trees and making the soil sterile to most crops. In an astonishing coincidence, GMO companies have patented aluminum-resistant seeds to save the day.

7. GMO Giants: Because of growing awareness of the health affects of GM foods, several countries have rejected planting them. Therefore, they would seem to need a food crisis to be seen as the savior in countries currently opposed to their products. A leaked WikiLeaks cable confirms that this is indeed the strategy for GMO giants, where trade secretaries reportedly “noted that commodity price hikes might spur greater liberalization on biotech imports.” Since GMO giants already control much of the food supply, it seems they can also easily manipulate prices to achieve complete global control of food.

The equation is actually quite simple: food is a relatively inelastic commodity in terms of demand. In other words, people need to eat no matter how bad the economy gets. Thus, demand can be basically measured by the size of the population. Therefore, as demand remains steady while the 7 supply pressures outlined above continue to worsen, food prices will have only one place to go -- up, up, and up.

As international agencies scramble to find "solutions," their energy may be just as well spent on questioning if this famine scenario is being purposely manipulated for profits. Regardless, the average person would be very wise to stock up on food staples as an investment, and frankly to survive the worsening food crisis.

Join the APN Forum at
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Are You Ready For Massive Food Inflation?

groceryreciept 200x266 Are You Ready For Massive Food Inflation?As you may have noticed, food prices are going up all over the place. Your grocery budget just doesn’t go as far as it once did.
Not only are prices going up in a noticeable fashion, but you may have also noticed packaging shenanigans that the food companies are pulling to hide the inflation that’s occurring.
In a nutshell, they’re changing the packaging to contain less product with the same size package, often for even higher prices.  The price per unit for so many things is going through the roof and most people out there have no clue this is happening.
The problem is just going to get worse.  Commodity prices are going up.   Bigtime.  We’re talking a doubling in some food commodities in the last year.  And oil prices are going up with no end in sight.
All of this impacts the price you pay for food.  Oil most of all.
So what are you going to do about it?

Plant A Garden

squarefootgardening 200x151 Are You Ready For Massive Food Inflation?One of the easiest things you can do is plant a garden and raise some of your own food that way.  Everyone can do this, even if it’s just a few terra cotta pots in a window.  The more you can grow, the better off you will be money wise as well as health wise.
Starting a garden is pretty straight forward.  If you’ve never gardened before, I recommend Square Foot Gardening as a good starting point.  It’s simple, easy to understand, and above all systemic.  This is very important, because having a system to follow is key to your success.
Once you’ve got a garden going, keep expanding it slowly.  Don’t go whole hog the first year, but learn and grow more as you go.  Your first few years will be a big learning experience for you, I guarantee!
But it’s definitely worth the work!  If you’ve never had fresh vegetables that came from a garden, you have no idea what you’re missing.

Raise Small Livestock

P8010195 500x375 200x150 Are You Ready For Massive Food Inflation?By small livestock I mean primarily chickens and rabbits.  They are quick to produce, and are generally pretty hard to screw up too badly.
Now, you’ll definitely want to check your locality to make sure that you can have rabbits or chickens in your back yard, because sometimes you just can’t.  We can’t have chickens, for example, which annoys me to no end.
I recommend at least having a few chickens if you can, eggs are expensive commercially and if you have your own chickens, you’ll never have to buy an egg again!  Check out this post on raising chickens for more details.

Join A CSA Program

csafood 200x150 Are You Ready For Massive Food Inflation?CSA is short for Community Supported Agriculture.  It’s sorta like a buying club for farm products.  You’re helping to pay for the expenses of raising the crops on the participating farm.  One upside is that you get great food, but a corresponding downside is that you end up sharing the risk with the farmer.
After you join, you do not pay for a specific amount of product but rather support the budget of the whole farm and receive weekly what is seasonally ripe.
This approach eliminates the marketing risks, costs for the producer and an enormous amount of time and labor, and allows producers to focus on quality care of the soils, crops, animals and co-workers as well as on serving the customers.
If you’re interested in participating in a CSA, you can look for a local program on the Local Harvest website.

Purchase Local Products Farm Direct

grassfedbeef 200x150 Are You Ready For Massive Food Inflation?Most areas have a farmers market that you can buy food from.  Be careful that you’re buying farm direct though.  Several ‘farmers market’ stands around here are actually selling full on commercial food, not the good stuff you get from smaller organic operations.
Another good thing to consider is buying meats from local farms.  You can usually buy portions of cows, hogs, and other common meats for a flat fee per pound.  The downside of this is your average price per pound is probably higher than you would normally spend, but the quality is better and you get a bunch of fancy cuts for way below what you’d normally get.
I highly recommend buying your meats this way instead of from the store if you can.  It’s much better for you.  Trust me on this!

Hunting And Fishing

fishing 200x131 Are You Ready For Massive Food Inflation?If you’re into such things, you could go hunting and fishing to fill up the freezer.  It’s a ton of fun, and you are building and practicing a skill that will be invaluable during any sort of survival situation.
Most areas have seasons to consider for both hunting and fishing, but that’s where the freezer comes into play.  Be sure to enjoy the bounty of your catch fresh as well!
I’m not going to go into too much detail on this, but if you’d like to learn more, let me know and I’ll see what I can do about putting together some more information for you.

Wrapping Up

These are just a few ideas on how to prepare yourself for the continuing increase in food prices.  I’d love to hear what you’re doing for your own family.  Leave a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Treating for Cold Exposure and Frostbite

I found this info at:

The following material may assist you in treating a victim for
exposure to the cold and also how to deal with frostbite. This
information is derived from "Advanced First Aid & Emergency Care,"
2nd edition, by the American Red Cross. To obtain a copy of this
book and to take instruction in first aid, please contact the local
office of the American Red Cross. They are listed in the white
pages of your telephone book.

The extent of injury caused by exposure to abnormally low
temperature generally depends on such factors as wind velocity,
type and duration of exposure, temperature and humidity.

Freezing is accelerated by wind, humidity or a combination of
the two. Injury caused by cold, dry air will be less than that
caused by cold, moist air or exposure to cold air while wearing wet
clothing. Fatigue, smoking, drinking of alcoholic beverages,
emotional stress and the presence of wounds or fractures intensity
the harmful effects of cold.


The general manifestations of prolonged exposure to extreme
cold include shivering, numbness, low body temperature, drowsiness
and marked muscular weakness. As time passes there is mental
confusion and impairment of judgment. The victim staggers, his
eyesight fails, he falls and he may become unconscious. Shock is
evident and the victim's heart may develop fibrillation. Death, if
it occurs, is usually due to heart failure.

Frostbite results when crystals form, either superficially or
deeply in the fluids and the underlying soft tissues of the skin.
The effects are more severe if the injured area is thawed and then
refrozen. Frostbite is the most common injury caused by exposure to
the cold elements. Usually, the frozen area is small. the nose,
cheeks, ears, fingers and toes are the most commonly affected.

Just before frostbite occurs, the affected skin may be slight-
ly flushed. The skin changes to white or grayish yellow as the
frostbite develops. Pain is sometimes felt early but subsides
later. Often there is NO pain; the part being frostbitten simply
feels intensely cold and numb. The victim commonly is not aware of
frostbite until someone tells him or until he observes his pale,
glossy skin. The extent of local injury cannot be determined
accurately on initial examination, even after rewarming. The extent
of tissue damage usually corresponds to that in burns. In superfi-
cial frostbite, there will be an area that looks white or grayish
and the surface skin will feel hard but the underlying tissue will
be soft. With deeper involvement, large blisters appear on the
surface, as well as in underlying tissue, and the affected area is
hard, cold and insensitive. Destruction of the entire thickness of
the skin will necessitate skin grafting and will constitute a
medical emergency, because gangrene may result from loss of blood
supply to the injured part.


The objectives of first aid are to protect the frozen area
from further injury, to warm the affected part rapidly and to
maintain respiration. Formerly, it was recommended that victims of
frostbite be treated by slow warming -- rubbing with snow and
gradually increasing the temperature. But recent studies have shown
conclusively that much better results are obtained if the affected
part is WARMED RAPIDLY in running or circulating water, unless the
part has been thawed and refrozen, in which case it should be
warmed at room temperature (from 70 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit). Do
NOT use excessive heat, as from a stove, hot water bottles, elec-
tric blankets or other devices.


1. Cover the frozen part.

2. Provide extra clothing and blankets.

3. Bring the victim indoors as soon as possible.

4. Give him a warm drink (not alcoholic!).

5. Rewarm the frozen part QUICKLY by immersing it in water that
is warm but not hot. Test the water by pouring some over the
inner surface of your forearm or place a thermometer in the
water and carefully add warm water to keep the temperature
between 102 degrees and 105 degrees Fahrenheit. If warm water
is not available or practical to use, wrap the affected part
in a sheet and warm blankets.

6. Handle the area of the frostbite GENTLY and DO NOT MASSAGE IT.
Severe swelling will develop rapidly after thawing. Discon-
tinue warming as soon as the part becomes flushed (turning
red). Once the part is rewarmed, have the victim exercise it.

7. Cleanse the affected area with water and either soap or a mild
detergent (NOT laundry or dishwasher detergent, though; they
can be caustic and cause a chemical burn). Rinse it thorough-
ly. Carefully blot dry with sterile or clean towels. Do NOT
break the blisters.

8. If the victim's fingers or toes are involved, place dry,
sterile gauze between them to keep them separated.

9. Do NOT apply other dressings unless the victim is to be
transported to medical aid.

10. Elevate frostbitten parts and protect them from contact with

11. Do NOT allow the victim to walk after the affected part thaws,
if his feet are involved.

12. Do not apply additional heat and do not allow the victim to
sit near a radiator, stove or fire. The numbed part may be
severely burned and the victim might never realize it is
happening to him.

13. If a person with frozen feet is alone and MUST walk to get
medical assistance, he should NOT attempt thawing in advance.

14. If travel after receiving first aid is necessary, cover the
affected parts with a sterile or clean cloth.

15. Obtain medical assistance as soon as possible. If the distance
to be covered is great, apply temporary dressings to the hands
if they have been affected by frostbite.

16. Keep injured parts elevated during transportation.

17. If medical help or trained ambulance personnel will not reach
the scene for an hour or more AND if the victim is CONSCIOUS
and NOT VOMITING, give him a weak solution of salt and baking
soda at home or while enroute (1 level teaspoon of salt and
1/2 level teaspoon of baking soda in each quart of water,
neither hot nor cold). Do not give alcoholic beverages. Allow
the victim to sip S-L-O-W-L-Y. Give an adult about 4 ounces (a
half glass) over a period of 15 minutes; give a child from 1
to 12 years old about 2 ounces; give an infant (under 1 year
old) about 1 ounce every 15 minutes. Discontinue giving fluids
if vomiting occurs. Fluid may be given by mouth ONLY if
medical help will not be available for an hour or more and is
not otherwise contraindicated.


1. Give the victim artificial respiration, if necessary.

2. Bring the victim into a warm room as quickly as possible.

3. Remove wet or frozen clothing and anything that constricts the
victim's arms, legs or fingers and might interfere with
circulation as the frozen part is thawed and swelling begins.

4. Rewarm the victim rapidly by wrapping him in a warm blanket or
by placing him in a tub of water that is warmed to 102 to 105
degrees Fahrenheit. If a thermometer is not available, make
sure the water is not hot to YOUR hand and forearm.

5. If the victim is conscious, give him hot liquids (but not
alcohol) by mouth.

6. Dry the victim thoroughly if water was used to rewarm him.

7. Carry out the appropriate procedures as described under frost-