American Partisan: Water Purification in a Grid Down Situation

Lisa Vargas of I Need That to Prep has written a two part article at American Partisan on how to purify water in a grid down situation. Have safe water to drink is one of the most vital things you need to survive.

Water Purification In A Grid Down Situation – Part 1 (purification)

Water Purification In A Grid Down Situation – Part 2 (filtration)

An excerpt from the second article appears below:

WATER PURIFICATION IN A GRID DOWN SITUATION – PART 2

In this post, we will focus on ways to filter water as opposed to ways of purifying water.  As you learned in Water Purification in a Grid Down Situation – Part 1 the first article of this series, I posted; purifying water and filtering water are two different things.

If you are stuck in a situation where you don’t have clean water readily available, it is vital to know these various ways to either purify, or at least filter the water so you don’t get extremely sick, or worse.

Filtering water is similar to purifying water except that we are using physical barriers to get rid of dirt and grime in the water as well as bacteria and other microorganisms.

Remember, filtering water will not get rid of as many microorganisms as purifying water, so if you can, always boil the water after you have filtered it for extra protection.

In a survival situation, I’m always a big proponent of talking about the items that we can carry with us. High-quality water filters from a store will ensure that no harmful pathogens or microorganisms are getting into your drinking water.

But sometimes using store-bought, high-quality water filters might not be an option, unless you remembered to include a water filter in your bug out bag.

Meaning, if we are in a grid-down situation, you need to be able to utilize the things you have with you, or you need to be able to find items out in the open that you can use to pre-filter your water.

Filtering Water With A Cloth

Using various types of cloth to pre-filter water is going to be your best bet in any survival situation.   You can use socks, t-shirts, or anything that is cotton and tightly woven together.

You simply will pass the water through the cloth into another container in order to filter it.  This will remove many of the particulates and debris that you don’t want to drink.

One device that makes filtration super easy is the Millbank bag.  You can get one at Millbank Bags USA. They have a fantastic video below that shows step-by-step exactly how to use the Millbank bag to filter water.

It’s very simple and easy to use and is a perfect backup just in case something happens with your main water filtration method.

But just in case you don’t have a Millbank bag or something similar, I learned a great trick from an ex-military helicopter pilot that works wonders.  He showed me how to take a pair of old jeans, run one pan leg through the other, then use a zip tie to close off the bottom.

In this way, the old pair of jeans acts like a makeshift Millbank bag.  You can also use a primitive version of the Millbank bag which essentially is a cloth bag used to make nut milks.

You can add layers of sand and activated charcoal (if you have some in your bug out bag) in the sack to help filter the water.  You can learn more about making a homemade charcoal and sand filter here.

Once you’ve filtered your water, don’t forget to boil it if you can to make sure the water is 100% safe to drink…

Rainier Redoubt: WA Emergency Mgmt CEMNET Radio Network

Rainier Redoubt has a short article out describing the Comprehensive Emergency Management Network (CEMNET) operated by the Washington State Emergency Management Division. This provides useful information for your monitoring center in the case of disaster.

The Emergency Management Division (EMD) operates a statewide, very high frequency (VHF) low-band radio system, as the primary backup communication link between the state EOC and local EOC’s throughout the state. It also serves as a link to other agencies such as the state departments of Ecology and Health, the UW Seismology Lab, and Harborview Medical Center.

The following map [the map is on the second page of this linked pdf – LVA] depicts the location of the twelve mountaintop base stations that comprise the backbone of the network. The CEMNET base stations are controlled from the state EOC through the Washington State Patrol microwave system.

CEMNET operates primarily on three (3) frequencies, designated for accountability purposes as F1- 45.200 MHz, F2 – 45.360 MHz, and F3- 45.480 MHz. In radios set up primarily for CEMNET use, this will usually correspond to channels 1, 2, and 3.

The State Emergency Operations Officer (SEOO) located within the State EOC monitors the network on a 24-hour basis. For operational purposes, the state has been divided into five regions (see table below), with a channel designated for use within that region. The State Emergency Operations Officer (SEOO) will monitor the designated channel (frequency) for both routine and emergency traffic and respond accordingly. Should traffic build-up cause a problem within the network, the State EOC will act as Net Control.

CEMNET is tested weekly with local emergency management jurisdictions on the following schedule:

Western Washington stations: Tuesday, 0900 hours
Central Washington stations: Wednesday, 0900 hours
Eastern Washington stations: Thursday, 0900 hours

Local emergency management jurisdictions are authorized to use the designated CEMNET region channel for local operations.

Northwest Southwest Central Northeast Southeast
F1 (45,20 MHz) F2 (45.36 MHz) F3 (45.48 MHz) F1 (45.20 MHz) F2 (45.36 MHz)
Clallam Clark Adams Ferry Asotin
Island Cowlitz Benton Lincoln Columbia
Jefferson Grays Harbor Chelan Okanogan Garfield
King Lewis Douglas Pend Oreille Whitman
Kitsap Mason Grant Spokane
San Juan Pacific Franklin Stevens
Skagit Pierce Kittitas
Snohomish Skamania Klickitat
Whatcom Thurston Yakima
Bellevue Wahkiakum Walla Walla
Kent Tacoma
SW Snohomish Lacey
Seattle Shelton
Auburn Puyallup
Kirkland
Snoqualmie
Port Angeles
Redmond

Local jurisdictions should use the region channel assignment as identified in the preceding table for local “base station” to mobile / portable communications in support of local day-to-day and emergency needs. Each local jurisdiction is authorized at least five (5) mobiles per license.

Additionally, MAST helicopters from Fort Lewis and/or Army National Guard may communicate on Channel F1 on their FM systems.

Although the CEMNET frequencies are outside of the Amateur Radio band, it is still worth monitoring the net to listen to Washington State Emergence Management traffic.

Redoubt News: ID Rep. Scott Flips the Narrative on the Media

Here is Redoubt News on attempts by the media and democrats to smear Idaho Rep. Heather Scott and her responses.

There have been multiple media attacks on Washington Rep. Matt Shea over the biased, unofficial report the Democrat leaders in Olympia forced on the taxpayers. Over $100,000 later, they still have not come up with any proof of their outrageous allegations against this man.

As they continue their attempts to smear his good name throughout the Main Stream Media (MSM), they have extended their net to include anyone that was (inadvertently or not) mentioned in the Rampart Group’s Wikipedia-sourced report, specifically Republican elected officials.

Since the goal of the Marxists Media is to make conservatives look as damaging to the public as possible, is it any wonder that no one wants to talk to them? How about when the narrative gets flipped back on them as they get caught in their own sleazy web?

The latest is an attempt by leftist media to scandalize and disgrace the good name of an Idaho legislator, Representative Heather Scott. She saw through the narrative and brought her findings to the public, shining light where the Democrats fear to tread.

A left-wing radical columnist was named as contacting multiple people in his attempts to get someone to talk dirt on Rep. Scott. This author can attest to it as well, as he contacted me during this time asking me to speak about Representative Scott as pertaining to my interview with her here: Exclusive: Idaho Rep. Scott on Liberal Media Attacks

Scott tells you in the video of the Federal Government’s definitions of extremists. She references the DHS Domestic Extremism Lexicon...

Click here to read the entire article at Redoubt News.

WA State Wire: Solving the Snake River Dams Debate; It’s Harder Than You Think

Kurt Miller, executive director of Northwest RiverPartners which advocates in favor of hydropower, in this Op-Ed discusses why the Snake River dam issue is so difficult to resolve. The battle continues between those who want to remove the dams in a last ditch effort to save declining salmon and orca populations and those who argue that removing the dams will lead to regional power shortages, the loss of 37,000 acres of irrigated farmland, and the loss of barging for transportation of one million acres of wheat.

…Resolving salmon declines is a complicated and challenging task. Salmon cross many dynamic ecosystems, oceans and rivers are constantly in flux, and salmon are continuously forced to adapt and evolve.

For scientists, it’s impossible to control for all real-world variations, so we’re often left with assumption-laden models and anecdotes instead of evidence.

Consequently, hydroelectric supporters and dam breaching advocates both point to science to support their claims, but the picture is often incomplete.

We know the stakes are high, which makes compromise so difficult.

The dam advocate perspective:

Climate Crisis – Governor Jay Inslee described climate change as the “existential threat of our time.” It’s just as serious for salmon. NOAA Fisheries researcher Lisa Crozier has noted, “an almost synchronous decline” in worldwide salmon populations due to climate change. Given this context, removing carbon-free hydroelectric dams is a mistake.

Clean Energy Future – Hydroelectric dams provide roughly 80% of the region’s carbon-free electricity. They also help us safely add new intermittent renewables–like wind and solar–to the grid by filling in the gaps left by wind and sunshine. We need the lower Snake River dams to achieve our clean energy goals.

Regional BlackoutsWith thousands of megawatts of coal generation being shuttered, regional utility leaders have warned that the Northwest already faces a serious risk of blackouts. Without the dams, the threat would be amplified.

Energy EquityVulnerable communities rely on the lower Snake River dams for affordable, clean energy. Without these dams, many people who can least afford it will face rising power bills, increased pollution, the specter of blackouts, and the loss of an important economic base.

If the dams remain, others fear for Snake River salmon and Southern Resident orcas.

The dam-breaching advocate perspective:

Salmon Extinction – No one knows how long endangered salmon populations can survive before extinction. Given this lack of certainty, we have to act boldly now.

Orca Extinction – Native salmon populations struggle in the Salish Sea, where Southern Resident orcas mostly reside. If the Snake River salmon populations rebound, they could supplement the deficit in the Salish Sea and help the Southern Residents recover.

Nothing Else Has Worked – Northwest utility customers have invested billions in fish and wildlife programs to offset potential harm from dams. While in-river salmon survival has notably improved, too few adult salmon are returning from the ocean. Dam breaching is one of the only things we haven’t tried.

Cultural Significance – Tribal leaders fear the permanent loss of their cultural heritage and identities, should salmon not return in healthy numbers. Salmon are crucial to tribal health, economies, and religions, and the loss of salmon violates treaty rights…

Click here to read the entire article at Washington State Wire.

Doom and Bloom Webinar: Viral Health Threats Facing America, Jan. 30

Join us this Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 9 PM EDT

LIVE Webinar

Viral Health Threats Facing America

with
Dr. Joe Alton and Amy Alton, ARNP

Aka. Dr. Bones & Nurse Amy

Signup:
https://preppernet.com/bones/
An email will be sent out on Wednesday with the details

A must listen to podcast on the Coronaviruses!
Prepping Academy’s Podcast
Coronaviruses
https://www.buzzsprout.com/794960/2574682-coronaviruses-alert-alert-alert

Practical Self Reliance: Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Ashley of Practical Self Reliance has a nice, detailed article on making immune-boosting elderberry syrup at home. My family has made and used elderberry at home for a few years now. We’ve used elderberry syrup, elderberry rob, and elderflower syrup. If you don’t have elderberries at home, you can purchase commercial Sambucol – an over the counter elderberry syrup. Our young children like taking the syrups, but not the rob which has a more medicinal taste. Nonetheless I’ll include an elderberry rob recipe after the Practical Self Reliance excerpt.

Elderberry syrup is a common immune-boosting home remedy for colds and flus.  It can be expensive to purchase, but homemade elderberry syrup is easier than you think…

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Benefits of Elderberry Syrup

While elderberry has been a folk remedy for centuries, modern science is validating these age-old uses.  Studies have found that elderberry syrup can reduce the duration of flus, as well as boost the immune system in both the healthy and sick.

Elderberry Syrup Cold & Flu Treatments

A placebo-controlled study on flu patients found that with a tablespoon (15 ml) of elderberry syrup taken 4x per day,  “Symptoms were relieved on average 4 days earlier and use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo. Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza.”

Another influenza study cooked elderberry syrup into slow-release lozenges, but administered a similar dosage 4x a day.  The effects were dramatic…

“The extract-treated group showed significant improvement in most of the symptoms except 24 hours after the onset of the treatment, whereas the placebo group showed no improvement or an increase in severity of the symptoms at the same time point. By 48 hours, 9 patients (28%) in the extract-treated group were void of all symptoms, 19 patients (60%) showed relief from some symptoms… In contrast, complete recovery was not achieved by a single patient in the placebo group [during the 48 hour monitoring period].”

They concluded that elderberry extract is safe and highly effective in treating flu‐like symptoms.”

Elderberry Syrup For the Immune System

After several studies confirmed that elderberry syrup can shorten the duration of the flu, another study tried to determine the effects of elderberry syrup on a healthy immune system.  They found that a commercially available elderberry syrup (Sambucol) substantially increased immune activity, even in healthy people.

“We conclude from this study that, in addition to its antiviral properties, Sambucol Elderberry Extract and its formulations activate the healthy immune system by increasing inflammatory cytokine production. Sambucol might, therefore, be beneficial to the immune system activation and in the inflammatory process in healthy individuals or in patients with various diseases. Sambucol could also have an immunoprotective or immunostimulatory effect when administered to cancer or AIDS patients, in conjunction with chemotherapeutic or other treatments.”

Jar of homemade elderberry syrup with raw honey

Click here to read the entire article with recipe at Practical Self Reliance.

Click here to download a pdf of only Ashley’s Elderberry Syrup recipe.

Elderberry Rob

The following elderberry rob recipe comes from The Joys of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves by Linda Ziedrich.

In a saucepan combine equal volumes of elderberry juice and sugar or honey. Heat the contents over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to medium-high and boil the mixture to a thick syrup.

Pour the rob into sterilized bottles, and cap or cork them tightly. Store the bottles in a cool, dark, dry place, where the rob should keep for at least a year.

To use, mix a tablespoon or two in a cup of hot water and drink.

We water bath can our rob when we make it. If you use honey, the high heat of both boiling and canning probably does lose some of the health benefit of honey, in which case it is mostly just adding sweetness.

Doom and Bloom: Coronavirus

The Altons at Doom and Bloom medical have a short article up on what is a coronavirus and basic prophylaxis. The article was published on Jan. 22nd, so the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths have risen.

Masks Mandatory in Wuhan

Last week, we reported on a mysterious ailment first reported Dec. 8th, 2019, in Wuhan, China. Wuhan is the seventh most populous city in China with 11 million people. The previously unknown disease is now identified as a type of coronavirus. Medical officials are currently classifying it as a “class B” disease, which puts it in the same category as HIV/AIDS and Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The rapidity and spread of the disease is impressive: When I began writing this article earlier in the day, there were 440 cases and 9 deaths, up from 200 cases last week. Later in the day, 555 cases and 17 deaths have been verified and other provinces in China are beginning to report cases.

(Note: I first reported on Ebola in early 2014, when 86 cases were reported. The epidemic eventually reached a total of 28,000 cases and 11,000 deaths.)

Chinese authorities have taken the drastic measure of placing the entire city of Wuhan under quarantine, including the suspension of train and airline service, a step that suggests that many more cases are still unreported.

(1/23 update: Several U.S. airports are now conducting health screenings)

Although little is known at this point about the virus, it is certain that the disease is respiratory in nature and that human-to-human transmission (including medical personnel) is likely. For most respiratory infections, contagion is usually by airborne particles.

The first U.S. case has just been identified in a 30-year-old man from the state of Washington who recently arrived from China. Similar coronavirus victims have been found in Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and South Korea, almost all traced to an origin in Wuhan.

ABOUT CORONAVIRUSES

Fever may not be present in all patients including: young, elderly, immunosuppressed or taking fever-reducing medications; many only have respiratory symptoms

The Wuhan virus is from the same family of coronaviruses as SARS, which killed over 800 people worldwide in an outbreak toward the end of 2002. It is also similar to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), another epidemic disease. Although not officially named, the new virus is designated 2019-nCOV.

Coronaviruses are viruses made from RNA genetic material. One of the larger RNA viruses, coronavirus is so named from the Latin “corona” (crown or halo), from projections on the virus which give the appearance of a crown.

Coronaviruses are thought to be responsible for a large number of common colds in humans. Coronavirus colds seem to be associated with more major symptoms like fever or sore throat than colds caused by rhinoviruses, another common cause. 2019-nCOV seems to cause even worse respiratory symptoms than the typical coronavirus. Coronaviruses can also lead to pneumonia, either directly or through a secondary bacterial infection due to a weakened immune system.

ABILITY TO CONTAIN THE VIRUS

Coronavirus has crown-like projections

Chinese officials are probably wise to enact quarantine orders, as there is only one lab (called a Biosafety Level 4 lab or BSL-4) in their entire country with the capability of handling severe outbreaks. Luckily for them, it is located in Wuhan. The facility can care for victims of highly contagious diseases like SARS, Ebola, etc.

Personnel in a BSL-4 lab are subject to the strictest protocols: They must change their clothing on entering and shower upon exiting. Full-body hazmat suits must be worn while working in the lab and decontaminated afterwards. The facility is required to be a separate building or a wing properly isolated with separate air filtration systems.

The chances of spread of the new coronavirus is increased by the upcoming Chinese New Year, when it is thought that millions of Chinese citizens will be traveling throughout the world.

(1/22 Update: China has just issued a travel ban for the city of Wuhan; public transportation in the city is also suspended)

Having learned lessons from our experience with Ebola, the United States is better prepared to deal with highly contagious outbreaks of infection.

HISTORY OF RECENT VIRAL OUTBREAKS IN CHINA

masks

The presence of any biosafety 4 lab (BSL-4) inside China at all is due to the 2003 viral SARS outbreak. SARS reached epidemic proportions quickly, with 8000 cases leading to 750 deaths worldwide. Chinese authorities hope to have 7 such units built by 2025, but only the Wuhan lab is operational.

Although the use of face masks is common (and wise) in China, Wuhan has declared their use manadatory while in crowded locations. This requirement is causing a shortage of masks in the area, which could eventually lead to the same worldwide.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT CORONAVIRUS AND OTHER VIRUS OUTBREAKS

As of yet, no cure nor vaccine is available to combat coronavirus. Treatment at present focuses on treating symptoms and supporting a victim through the infection, while protecting the healthy from the disease.

Contagious illnesses like coronavirus, however, may morph into epidemics, or is widely distributed enough, pandemics. If you are preparedness-minded, you might consider a personal protection “pandemic kit” (or several) and plan out how you would care for a person with a contagious disease if the hospitals were full. Have you thought about what goes into putting together an effective epidemic sick room?

The CDC recommends:

  •  Washing your hands with soap and water frequently
  •  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with dirty hands
  • Avoid close contact with sick people

If you are sick, you can protect others by:

  • Staying home until fully recovered
  •  Avoiding close contact with others
  • Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • Keep objects and surfaces in your home or workspace clean and disinfected (bleach mixed 1:10 with water will do)

Alhough the CDC isn’t recommending this as of yet, having a supply of N95 face masks isn’t a bad idea.

By the way, while I was writing this, I received a notice sent to all physicians in the state of Florida, warning about….coronoavirus.

Doom and Bloom Medical: Coronavirus: The Next Pandemic?

Black Man with a Gun: 30 Year Gun Control Cycle

Kenn Blanchard of Black Man with a Gun has an article up saying that gun control seems to go on a thirty year cycle with some crazy, restrictive, nonsensical laws being passed for example in 1934, 1968, 1994, and now.

In 1991, I began a campaign to change the gun laws in America. It was accidental. Having grown up in the turbulent 60s, the groovy 70s and the excessive 80s, the thoughts on guns depended where you were geographically, and culturally. The Gun Control Act of 1968 had made firearms the scapegoat for the murder of the Kennedy’s, King, and El Shabazz. It was an easy sell. War is still hell. Criminals still kill people. Bad guys still exist.

Every thirty years since the first gun control act in the Virginia colonies preventing the Indigenous people, Chinese and African from owning firearms, the issue of gun control flares like sunspot. Politicians find the support to lie and instill fear of the inanimate object. Organizations grow based on that lie and people that don’t want to think believe.

Every thirty years, gun laws become more restrictive. Common sense is excused. The facts are ignored and popular opinion shifts away from reality.

What has happened in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the past few months is right on schedule.

The response is different though. In the past thirty years, we have connected via the internet. The news is still fed to us, but it can be chosen. Information can be shared without government approval. People are able to decide what they want to believe. The tactics to divide us are still the same and still work however.

Fearing a repeat of the deadly violence that engulfed Charlottesville more than two years ago, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a temporary emergency Wednesday banning all weapons, including guns, from Capitol Square ahead of a massive rally planned next week over gun rights.

The Governor of Virginia, mobilized law enforcement to imply that the decades old Lobby Day in Richmond was a threat to the Commonwealth. The passing of sanctuary cities in over 150 locales in the state added to the fervor. What is worse is that the same governor that may have donned black face in college, insinuates that the Virginia Citizens Defense League is like the white supremacist that plagued Charlottesville in 2017. Yes, he found some crazies to arrest prior to Lobby Day but the 3000+ people that successfully showed up, not only cleaned up after themselves but were law abiding.

He declared a state of an emergency and bans guns from Capitol Square. The media loved to show us the pictures of the armed brothers and sisters outside that area.

Gun control is and always has been racist.

The racism nobody will admit is against the white male gun owners of Virginia…

 

 

Click here to read the entire article at Black Man with a Gun.

Benton County GOP Meeting on Rampart Report, Jan. 24, Kennewick

From the Benton County Republican Party’s Central Committee:

Please come and show support for Washington State Representative Matt Shea
The following is an excerpt taken from a letter sent to the Benton County Republican PCO’s:

The Benton County Republican Party is holding a special Central Committee meeting to discuss a proposed course of action about the allegations made in the Rampart report, which is attached.  The release of this House Democrat initiated report has been timed to create a major distraction for the Republican party during its preparation to take back the State of Washington.  The meeting will outline the proposed BCRP response to this attack on our Party.

Meeting Particulars:

· The meeting will be a Special Central Committee Meeting that is open to the public.

· The meeting will begin promptly at 7:00 PM Friday, 24 January 2020. 

· The location is the Benton PUD in Kennewick where our regular Central Committee Meetings are held.

Click here to download a PDF file of the Rampart report.

Location:

Benton PUD

2721 W 10th Ave

Kennewick, WA 99336

Liberty Blitzkrieg: Scaling Politics

Michael Krieger at Liberty Blitzkrieg has a good article up about sovereignty and scope of governance. The scope of governance should decline as you add numbers of people governed rather than increase as it so often does. The individual should make the vast majority of decisions, the federal level almost none. Because your relationship to governance becomes less voluntary as it scales up, the higher the political unit the less authority it should have.

Today’s post will outline a framework through which I’ve come to view politics, as well as life in general. It will identify and examine various units of sovereignty as they exist in the contemporary U.S., since that’s the political system I’m most familiar with. Nevertheless, the overall framework should prove useful to people living all over the world.

Let’s start from the beginning. The most basic and meaningful unit of sovereignty is the individual, followed by the family, the municipality/county, the state (California, New York, Texas, etc) and finally the federal government (Washington D.C.). It’s my view that within a healthy society the scope of governance should decline as you add more and more individuals to the mix. It’s at the most basic unit of sovereignty (the individual), where authority over most of life’s decisions should reside. This runs the gamut from the really big decisions, such as what sort of work to do, who to marry, what religion (if any) to believe in; to the completely mundane, such as what to eat for breakfast.

As a person starts to add more members to their daily life in the form of a family (spouse and children), a wide range of complexities are added to the equation which call for a more expansive approach to individual agency. You suddenly find yourself sharing an intimate existence with people who are not you, and who’ll invariably have conflicting views on a wide variety of subjects, both significant and trivial. Compromise becomes necessary in the pursuit of a harmonious coexistence amongst spouses, as well as within the larger family unit, and you start to relinquish a certain degree of individual sovereignty.

It’s important to note that the creation of a family by consenting adults tends to be a voluntary choice by which individuals agree to put some of their more selfish proclivities to the side in order to create a cohesive, expansive unit. Since the decision to form a family is in most cases voluntary, the decision to relinquish some measure of individual sovereignty is likewise voluntary. While it’s not romantic to consider the transition from an individual-centric lifestyle to a family-focused one in the context of politics and governance, it can be quite helpful.

After the family, the next major unit of sovereignty is found at the municipal or county level. At this stage, a significantly larger number of humans have been added to the structure, ranging from thousands to millions depending on where you live. Unless you reside in the smallest of towns, this unit will consist of countless people you don’t personally know and never will. Nevertheless, a common geography will almost always lead to some level of coordination and decision-making for stuff that applies to and affects the larger unit.

What this means in practice should be determined by those living in the communities themselves. As anyone who’s travelled extensively around the U.S. knows, distinct cities and counties tend to have very different vibes and attitudes about all sorts of life issues, and in some cases counties bordering one another even within the same state demonstrate dramatic differences. It’s important to accept this as perfectly normal and healthy, just as two neighboring families can have distinct views on all sorts of issues and still get along just fine. Each family runs their affairs as they deem appropriate…

Click here to read the entire article at Liberty Blitzkrieg.

Organic Prepper: Pandemic Preparedness

Daisy at The Organic Prepper has an article up about the Wuhan Coronavirus and what you can do now to prepare. From what is currently known, this coronavirus has approximately a 2% mortality rate. That is considerably lower than some other viruses that have made the news over the years, but while it is low it is about the same as the Spanish Flu pandemic that killed millions around 1918. Should you be worrying? It’s too early to tell right now. We don’t know if containment will be achieved or how easily it may spread. But if not this one, at some point another pandemic will sweep the world causing mass casualties, so it is good to have some preparation for the event.

…In Wuhan, supermarket shelves were empty and local markets sold out of produce as residents hoarded supplies and isolated themselves at home. Petrol stations were overwhelmed as drivers stocked up on fuel, exacerbated by rumours that reserves had run out. Local residents said pharmacies had sold out of face masks.

“When I saw the news when I woke up, I felt like I was going to go crazy. This is a little too late now. The government’s measures are not enough,” said Xiao, 26, a primary schoolteacher in Wuhan, who asked not to give her full name.

Few pedestrians were out and families cancelled plans to get together for the new year holiday. Special police forces were seen patrolling railway stations. Residents and all government workers are now required to wear face masks while in public spaces. Most outbound flights from the city’s Tianhe airport were cancelled. (source)

Those who wish to be prepared should note the speed at which quarantines were put in place in China. Don’t delay placing orders for supplies, fueling up your vehicle, and adding last-minute preps to your stockpile. You may already have many of the supplies you need, so be sure to do an inventory before panic-buying.

However, if you discover you do need supplies, get them now. If you wait until a quarantine is announced, you’ve waited too long and you’ll be out there fighting for resources with everyone else in your area.

Whatever your plan is, don’t delay taking action. Otherwise, you might find yourself in the same situation as 20 million Chinese people who were suddenly quarantined.

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.

Practical Self Reliance: Pine Bark Bread

Ashley at Practical Self Reliance has written a good, long post on making bread from pine tree bark., at least in part. The ratio of wheat flour to pine bark flour is about 3.5 to 1. We live where pine trees are some of the few trees that will grow without irrigation, so I’m always on the lookout for ways that they can be used to supplement food in an emergency. Most people are aware that you can get pine nuts from appropriate species. Fewer may be aware that you can make pine needle tea which is high in vitamin C and A. Ashley documents the harvesting of the bark and bad effects on the trees themselves, grinds the bark into flour, and then makes some bad-tasting crackers and some good-tasting yeast bread.

Having the option to add pine tree bark would help in the less likely scenario where you are faced with a major TEOTWAWKI style disaster that occurs past the time that you can grow or store more wheat for the year, and you need to stretch your food reserves until foods can start growing again in the spring. Ashley also has a post How to Eat a Pine Tree for using other parts of the tree. You may just find that you like the flavor. My first taste for pine-flavored food came from drinking Retsina – an Aleppo Pine resin infused white wine – at Greek restaurants. Some can’t stand the flavor, but it goes well with some strong flavored dishes.

Bark breads are a staple of Nordic indigenous cuisine.  The Sami of northern Sweden harvested pine bark and mixed it with reindeer milk in their traditional breads.  Since the richest sami had the most reindeer, they’re also the ones that harvested the most pine bark.  It wasn’t out of desperation, but out of a quest for flavor.

In the case of birch bark, the historical evidence is clear that the papery outer bark was used to make food storage vessels, while the nutritious inner bark was ground into birch bark flour.  In the case of pine bark, the records are a bit less clear.  There are some sources that say only the inner bark was used, and others that claim only the outer bark was used.  Since I’ve been able to find recipes using both, I’ll share them all with you.

The outer bark of a tree is mostly there to protect the tree from the elements and doesn’t contain much in the way of calories.  Calories aren’t the only reason to eat something, and pine outer bark seems to have other benefits.  Pine outer bark may contain compounds that help keep food from spoiling or important nutrients that were scarce in a northern climate.

According to Nordic Food Lab,  though pine outer bark is not calorie rich, it does “contain condensed tannins called procyanidins that are being researched for potential health benefits. Aromatic hydrocarbons such as terpenes and phenols which give pine its distinctive warm, woody scent also deliver antimicrobial properties, perhaps useful for blending with other flours to preserve their shelf life.”

These days, nutritional supplements are made from pine bark, and you can buy bags of powdered pine bark online which claim that “Pine Bark is used worldwide for its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. When used regularly, pine bark may support healthier cardiovascular and circulatory function.”

The outer bark was harvested from a section of the tree to create a “window pane” of exposed cambium.  Over time, the bark slowly healed over the wound, and since the inner cambium was not harvested the tree continued to grow.  Such trees could be harvested multiple times over the course of their life.  There’s evidence of window panning on 700+-year-old pine trees in northern Sweden.

Obviously, if you’re going to harvest the bark of a tree, know that you are damaging the tree in a way that will impact it for hundreds of years.  This particular pine tree has a partially dead top, and it’s very near our wind turbine.  It’s going to be cut in the spring, so it’s a good candidate for bark harvest.

I started out using a draw knife, but it’s actually pretty difficult to use one just on the surface without really digging into the cambium.  Since I only needed a small amount of pine bark flour, I was able to just use my hand to flake off chunks of shaggy exterior bark from a large pine tree growing on our land.  No need to window pane a tree and cause it damage in any case.

Initially, I tried to grind the pine bark flour in a food processor, but it was in vain.  The exterior bark is quite hard, but not brittle enough to fly apart.  After several minutes the motor was heating up and had almost no pine bark flour to show for it.  The bark, even exterior bark, needs to be dried out thoroughly before grinding.

I put the bark chips in the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes.  The house smelled nice and toasty, like the warm scents of the high desert pine forests of my youth.  Once the bark was toasted it ground much more easily.  It would be possible to dry the bark out over a low fire in a similar way, which would make it much easier to grind by hand.  When the pine bark was dried, I put it back into the food processor for grinding…

 

MVT: AR Equipment Issues

Max Velocity Tactical has been compiling for some time lists of equipment/gear issues (and other observations) which commonly come up during their training classes for tactical rifle. Examples/excerpts below.

  • This is the second class that someone has over inserted a magazine during a drill. What happens is the magazine is shoved so far into the mag well during a combat reload that the bolt hits the back of the magazine when the bolt released is pushed. This time it was a Magpul Gen 2. Pay attention during reloads, there is no reason to put that much force into seating a mag.
  • Charging Handles- Get rid of the stock charging handles on your AR’s. Some of the ones that are being put on rifles are to easy to bind and the standard latch is to small. My recommendation is a BCM medium sized latch. It will make weapons manipulation easier.
  • Ammo- A student had an issue during the malfunction drills. The bullet was getting pushed back into the case allowing the powder to dump into the chamber. When that happens the rifle will not go into battery. You then have to clean the chamber to get rid of the powder, a toothbrush works best. The reason this is happening is due to the type of ammo, .223 Rem in this case. Most .223 doesn’t have a good crimp on the bullet when it is manufactured. 5.56 ammo will have a crimp that should prevent this from happening. I have not seen this with any 5.56 marked ammo, only with .223 Rem. I have some Federal .223 and it does the same thing. I know everyone is trying to save money when they buy ammo for class. The problem is that going cheap can bite you in the ass. Just like with going the cheapest route with a rifle, cheap ammo can cause issues. Spend a little more and buy 5.56 marked ammo.
  • Ambi-Safeties -We see this over and over. Students use the thumb to rotate the safety off and their trigger finger to rotate the safety on. This is an accident waiting to happen. When you get in a hurry your trigger finger can slip into the trigger guard and fire a round. That is not good. If you insist on having one on your rifle you have to ensure that your thumb rotates the safety on and off. My recommendation is to get rid of them.
  • Blue Loctite is your friend. BUIS, sight mounts, flashlight mounts etc. need to have blue loctite on them. This will keep them from working loose and falling off when you need it the most.
  • 80% lowers. I understand the attraction of these, especially for someone who is behind enemy lines. I have yet to see one at class that doesn’t have some sort of issue. The biggest problem I see is mag wells that aren’t to spec. A lot of times the jigs that come with them aren’t perfect either. Be aware of this.
  • Lube your rifles. Almost at the end of class one of the students rifles just quit running. Added lube and the rifle started running again. He said he didn’t put any lube on it that morning.
  • Not all charging handles are created equal. Especially doing malfunction drills. The standard CH that comes on AR’s are OK but are not the best. My recommendation is to get a BCM medium latch. It gives you more to grab when charging the rifle.
    Get a quick adjustable sling. One that you can change the length on the fly with your support hand. If you choose to attach it where the extension tube meets the lower, make sure that it cannot rotate up and get in the way of running the charging handle.

There is quite a list of equipment issues, so if you haven’t spent much time with your gear, or even if you have, it’s worth a read to see what you might be missing.

Doom and Bloom: Blunt Trauma, Part I

The Altons at Doom and Bloom Medical have an article up on Blunt Trauma. This first part is an overview of the trauma itself and a later post will discuss treatment.

Blunt trauma is damage caused to the body by a blunt object, such as a club or baseball bat. Blunt trauma can cause bruising, scrapes, fractures, or organ ruptures. It can, in some circumstances, break the skin although a projectile that enters the body and stays there or passes through is considered “penetrating trauma”.

How does blunt trauma cause injury? According to the excellent textbook “Trauma” by Mattox, Moore, and Feliciano: The strain on an area due to trauma is related to the amount of deformation caused, factored with the amount (length) of tissue involved.

Types of Strain in Blunt Trauma

Let’s put “Strain” in four categories: Tensile strain, Shear strain, Compressive strain, and Overpressure.

Tensile Strain: Tensile strain occurs as opposing forces are applied to the same point, something like pulling apart a wishbone at Thanksgiving or, perhaps, a tug of war.

Shear Strain: Shear strain also involves two forces applied to a structure, but not at the same point. Think of a circus strong man tearing apart a telephone book.

Compressive Strain: Compressive strain is directly related to the deformation of an area of impact, similar to what would happen if I struck you in the ribs with a baseball bat or the jack collapsed while you were working under your car.

Overpressure: Overpressure is not unlike compressive strain, but applied to a fluid or gas-filled organ, crushing and, perhaps, rupturing it. An example might be sitting down abruptly on a balloon…

Click here to read the entire article at Doom and Bloom.