Saturday, August 6, 2016
Water purification tablets are a great back up form of water treatment. They are excellent Bug Out Bags and survival kits because they are light weight and inexpensive. Water purification tablets are also great to store in your vehicle or your bug out location to disinfect water on demand. If the water supply I am drawing from is extremely shady I combine both a filter and the tablets to ensure my safety. Also, be aware that water purification tablets have a shelf life. Check the expiration dates on your tablets and replace any that are expired.
Water purification can come in tablet or droplet form. The tablet form is better because it is a lighter weight that droplets and easy to use when in a stressful situation.
Two water born pathogens that commonly found in untreated water- Cryptosporidium and Giardia.
Cryptosporidium is a genus of apicomplexan protozoans that can cause gastrointestinal illness with diarrhea in humans. According to the CDC it is one of the most frequent causes of waterborne disease among humans in the United States. In a disaster situation where government maintained services are effected, it is highly likely that this protozoa parasite will find its way into our water supply.
Giardia attached to the wall of the small intestines. Giardia is also an infectious protozoa and it is a big deal in emergency preparedness because it can have such a dramatic effect on your health. The symptoms of Giardia, may begin to appear 2 days after infection, include violent diarrhea, excess gas, stomach or abdominal cramps, upset stomach, and nausea.
The typical infection within an individual can be slight, resolve without treatment in about 2–6 weeks, although sometimes longer and sometimes the infection is more severe requiring immediate medical attention.
There are three main types of water purification tablets on the market (Chlorine (NaDCC), Iodine and Chlorine Dioxide) . Not all are equal as each one has its strengths and weaknesses. Choose the purification tablet that works the best with your situation and location.
Chlorine Dioxide Tablets (Potable Aqua, Katadyn and Aquamira Brands). Even though the word “chlorine” is in the name, chlorine dioxide is neither iodine nor chlorine. It uses a highly active form of oxygen to purify water so it leaves absolutely zero taste. As a nice bonus the action of chlorine dioxide causes a lot of sediment to drop out of suspension (fall to the bottom) leaving the container of water more clear and further improving flavor. Chlorine dioxide tablets are a good choice for those allergic to iodine, with thyroid problems, or on lithium. Always follow product usage instructions.
Chlorine NaDCC Tablets (Potable Aqua, Oasis Plus, Aquatabsand Rothco’s Military “Chlor-Floc“ Brands). NaDCC, also known as sodium dichloroisocyanurate or sodium troclosene, is a form of chlorine used for disinfection. NaDCC tablets are different and improved over the older chlorine based (halazone) tablets. When added to water, NaDCC releases hydrochloric acid which reacts through oxidization with microorganisms and kills them. Many tablets advertise no chlorine after taste. Unopened NaDCC tablets have a shelf life of 3-5 years, if opened they should be discarded after 3 months. Always follow product usage instructions.
Iodine Tablets (Potable Aqua,Coleman, and Coghlans brands). Iodine Tablets use iodine to purify contaminated water. Most iodine purification tablets tend to leave a funny taste to the water and some discoloration, however vitamin C or ascorbic acid can be added after the treatment time to improve the taste and remove the color. This often comes in the form of two bottles with two separate tablets. Iodine water treatment has been proven to be somewhat effective against Giardia and not effective against Crytosporidium. Always follow product usage instructions.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Defending your home in a time of crisis is much different than defending it against common criminals. The conventional wisdom of home security is basically worthless in a survival situation, as people aren’t going to be acting like normal criminals. Anyone who tries attacking your home during a crisis situation is probably going to be more desperate than normal criminals are, causing them to be less circumspect and do things that normal criminals wouldn’t do.
There’s also a good chance that anyone attacking your home in the midst of a crisis will do so in a group. That increases the danger to you and your family considerably, even if they aren’t trained warriors. Just dealing with sheer numbers makes home defense much harder than dealing with one or two criminals. If ten people are shooting at you, even ineffectively, the chances of getting hit are much greater.
Legal Statement on Defense.
The law allows for the use of deadly force in self defense. The specific term that’s used in the legal world is that your life is in “imminent danger.” In other words, someone has to be facing you, pointing a weapon at you, be in range of that weapon and have made it clear that they intend to use the weapon.
All of that can happen at once and none of it requires any words. Generally speaking, unless it’s a friend joking around with a squirt gun, pointing any gun at you is considered imminent danger, unless they are out of range. So, a guy a football field away from you with a pistol isn’t really an imminent danger, but one who is 50 feet or less away is.
Some states add to your right to self defense, the rights to defend others, your home and your property. Before anything happens, you need to be sure of what the law is in your area. Even if there is a breakdown in society, you can be sure that when things are restored the hanky wringers will be looking to prosecute anyone who had to defend themselves; so, you want to be in the right.
Where’s the Fight?
In normal times, a criminal has to be in your home, or trying to get into your home, to be considered an imminent threat. However, I think that could be challenged in a situation where you have multiple attackers. Say there’s a breakdown in society where food is scarce and ten hunger-crazed people attack your home to get your food. In such a case, I’m pretty sure you’d be justified shooting as soon as you are sure that it is your house that they intend to attack.
You can’t really be sure of that until they cross your property line and are actually on your property. As long as they’re in the street, there’s an equally good chance that they will go to someone else’s house or just walk on by. Even standing there looking at your house isn’t a sure indication they are going to attack; they could be talking about your ugly paint job.
But once they cross your property line, with weapons in their hands, it’s reasonable to assume that they are attacking you. That’s when you shift from watching mode to fighting mode. In such a case, where you are outnumbered, it’s better to have the fight outside of your home, than inside. If they manage to breach your home and get inside, your chances of survival are drastically reduced. By fighting while they are outside and you are inside, you have the advantage of cover and concealment.
Building Your Layered Defense
A classic layered defense consists of three layers. Many old castles and forts were designed in this manner. The outer defense is to slow down the attackers and give you a first counterattack. The second layer of defense is the main defense used for holding off the enemy. Finally, there’s a third layer which is used as a last stand, if the perimeter is breached.
You can and should do the same thing with your home. That way, when that hungry gang shows up at your door, you’re ready to deal with them. Your three layers are:
Your property’s perimeter
Your home’s perimeter
Your safe room
Each of these is created differently and actually has a different purpose. We need to understand that purpose, in order to create those defenses correctly.
The property perimeter
Since you can’t definitely state that they are an imminent threat until they step onto your property, you can’t use your perimeter as it would normally be used in warfare. However, you still need that perimeter, as it can do a lot for you.
When we talk about perimeter defenses, we’re talking about everything from your property line to the walls of your home. You aren’t limited to just the line that is the outer perimeter of your property. Every foot of that space can be useful.
Some would want to build a ten foot tall cement wall around their property as their perimeter defense. While I can definitely sympathize with that desire, I can’t agree with it. Doing so would simply make your home obvious as someplace with something worth protecting. In other words, it would increase the chances of attack. Your perimeter defenses much be something less obvious.
The biggest thing your perimeter can do for you, without appearing obvious is to shape the battle to come. You can use it to steer the attackers to where you want them to be, so that they are under your guns. To do this, simply make it difficult to enter your property by any other means than the one which will direct them to your ambush. As most people will naturally take the easiest route, you make sure that you have one obvious easy route that they can take.
Don’t let them cross that line without providing you with some sort of warning though. You need some sort of perimeter alarm which lets you know that your perimeter has been breached. That way, you can react to the fact that you have intruders on the property.
Finally, fill the space between the perimeter and your home with traps. You don’t need anything big or fancy here, caltrops and broken glass will do just fine. The idea is to reduce their enthusiasm and get them to say in the killing zone that you’ve identified.
The home’s perimeter
Your home’s perimeter needs to be hardened. That means making it harder to break through the perimeter. A deadbolted door can be busted open with one swift kick, so you need more than that. Windows can be broken open with the butt of a rifle, so you need to do more there as well.
The obvious purpose of hardening your home is to make it so that the attackers can’t easily break in. That way, they’re stuck outside, between your perimeter and your home, right where you want them. This isn’t all that hard and you can do the whole thing yourself.
The safe room
I don’t agree with the common idea of a safe room for a crisis situation. Normal safe rooms are intended to be a place where you can hide when a criminal breaks into your home, while you’re waiting for the cavalry to arrive and rescue you. The problem is, in a crisis situation, there won’t be any cavalry coming to rescue you.
What I mean by a safe room is a room that everyone in the family can get to easily, where you can make your last stand before escaping. If you can, make it a room where they have to come down a long hallway to attack you. That way, you can shoot at them as they come down the hallway. If you can fortify the room against bullets, do so. But make sure that you have a good escape route to use, once you manage to beat off the attack. You don’t want to fight off a second attack from that place.
This is what they used to do in the old castles. The keep (main building) would be the “safe room” to make the last stand. There would always be a secret escape route to use, so that the lord and lady could escape while their knights fought a defensive action. The same idea will work for you, with the exception that you don’t want to sacrifice any knights to make your escape.
[Source: written by Dave Steen and posted on the International Forecaster. http://theinternationalforecaster.com/ Developing a Layered Defense, By Dave Steen]