How to be prepared for COVID-19 or any other SHTF event. Fighting with the “prepper” stigma

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Source: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/what-if-we-stopped-pretending

Preface about COVID-19

  1. The Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of SARS-CoV-2 is at least 2–3%[3] . This is 20–30 times higher than the CFR of the season flu, which is around .1%[4] .
  2. SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted without the infected showing any symtoms[5] . This makes it much more difficult to control.
  3. Roughly 20% of SARS-CoV-2 infections result in serious symptoms that require medical intervention[6] . This is more than 10 times the hospitalization rate of the seasonal flu[7].
  4. Symptoms from SARS-CoV-2 can persist over a month[8] compared to the seasonal flu where symptoms typically tend to clear after 5 days[9] .
  5. There is no vaccine for SARS-CoV-2[10] whereas people regularly get annual flu shots.
  6. There is no herd immunity for SARS-CoV-2 which means that it can theoretically infect the entire population. See, for example, a Korean psychiatric department where the virus infected 99/102 people.

Now, consider the multiplicative effect that all of these attributes have for the virus. Compared to the seasonal flu, SARS-CoV-2 (1) spreads faster; (2) kills far more; (3) is harder to control; (4) requires use of far more medical resources; (5) for far longer a period of time; (6) has no effective treatment; and (7) can infect entire populations.

These factors mean that SARS-CoV-2, if left unchecked, is far more likely to overwhelm a country’s medical infrastructure. Additionally, when medical infrastructure is overwhelmed, the CFR will skyrocket because we know that 20% of cases require medical intervention.

It doesn’t take a genius to piece it all together. This virus is potentially devastating if containment measures fail. Far worse than the seasonal flu.

Intro: hope for the best, prepare for the worst

  1. theprepared.com
  2. prepperuniverse.com
  3. Disasterrecoverymanager.com
  4. happypreppers.com
  5. backdoorsurvival.com
  6. survivalistprepper.net

With all the COVID-19 and Coronavirus emergency I would like to talk about prepping and prepping stigma. First of all, being prepared is not a sign of some paranoia or hidden politics. Sure, as with most, this stereotype is also rooted in some truth to some degree. When “preppers” first became popular in the main stream media, many of the first major bloggers and TV personalities (like Alex Jones) were from the alt-right side of the political spectrum. And, yes, some of them had pretty extreme views but their goal was primarily to scare you as much as possible to sell their own branded prepping stuff. Their whole shtick was to scare you to push their product.

Nevertheless, let’s talk about the average Joe. Maybe you’re generally worried about your health, the world politics, the shaky economy (Black swan event anyone?) or natural disasters. Or maybe you or your significant other went through an emergency and you’ve decided not to be vulnerable anymore.

Whatever your reasons, you are not alone. There are millions of people that are actively preparing for multiple reasons. The modern prepping movement was born in the United States in the 60 as a way to cope with the Cold War scare:

The increased inflation rate in the 1960s, the US monetary devaluation, the continued concern over a possible nuclear exchange between the US and the Soviet Union, and perceived increasing vulnerability of urban centers to supply shortages and other systems failures caused a number of primarily conservative and libertarian thinkers to promote individual preparations. Harry Browne began offering seminars on how to survive a monetary collapse in 1967, with Don Stephens (an architect) providing input on how to build and equip a remote survival retreat. Source

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Probably sitting tight in their bunkers…

But there are also prepper groups in Europe, Asia, South America and Australia. Remember, “Prepping” is not a dirty or taboo word. Prepping is not limited to the tin-foil-hat stereotypes producers love to put on TV. Most preppers are rational and they come from all walks of life. Some of the best preppers are homeless people, each day is a survival day for them. The rich are also prepping “Billionaire bunkers: How the 1% are preparing for the apocalypse” and Survival of the Richest so why shouldn’t you be prepared for the most common disasters?

Nathan Fillion, star of the TV shows Firefly and Castle, talked about being a prepper in a segment on Conan. He admits to preparing for the zombie apocalypse and says that he has learned to weld so that he can fortify an SUV if he needs to transport people from place to place safely in an emergency.

It isn’t a single celebrity, per se, but the entire Walton family–the ones who own Walmart–are well-known preppers. The family has a custom-built bunker in their hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas. The bunker was built shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, and is large enough to house the entire family. It has its own full-time security guard.

You may know Zooey Deschanel for the ditzy characters she plays on shows like New Girl, but in real life, she’s a big fan of being prepared. In a segment on Conan, she discusses being a generally prepared person and having an earthquake kit. She also mentions that she has a tent and always scopes out the exits in preparation when visiting new places. Source

Post Malone was featured as guest on the H3 podcast earlier this summer. During the conversation, the Texas singer-songwriter revealed that he wanted to build an apocalypse shelter. “I’m just buying a place out in the sticks,” he said. “I’m building it underground. It’s going to be fun until the world ends. But whenever the world ends, it’s going to be functional.” Source

Maybe you read my article about how the Future is grim. We live in an unpredictable world and with each year passing it gets worse and worse. Our best decades are behind us, the 80–90–00 are some of the best years for the USA, Asia or Europe. But currently, our planet is being destroyed bit by bit by corporations and the oil and gas industry, causing more frequent and severe natural disasters.

Just look at how the Coronavirus is being “contained”. Every single day there is a new outbreak somewhere in the world. Did you watch the tv show “Chernobyl”? Well, you can see why I distrust Chinese sick/deaths numbers. Not to mention that Puerto Ricans are still without power 10 months after Hurricane Maria .

Regardless of your political view, your age, gender or location, you probably know people who are prepping. And bear in mind that most prepper don’t broadcast it - because they are afraid to be shamed or because they are afraid for their supplies. So it is safe to assume that preppers are walking around you right now at this very minute, they are your boss, your work colleague, your distant cousin, the lady behind the counter or your friend from childhood.

Did you hear anyone ever tell you “I wish I wasn’t prepared”? Yeah, me neither.

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The main pillars of prepping going from the most urgent. (In this article I will cover the first 3 points)

  1. Personal finance and good health
  2. Two to four weeks bug-in preps
  3. Bug out bags to leave your home on a moment’s notice
  4. Be prepared on the go — Go-home bags
  5. Survival skills and test your gear
  6. Build a community
  7. Get your home or bug out location ready for an extended period (1 month+, growing food, teaching, long term prepping)

Unfortunately, too many preppers focus on a one or two big SHTF scenarios, like war or sudden total grid collapse. But you can’t predict what will happen, and I assume, you have a limited budget for prepping. So the goal is to match your prepping efforts to only the most probable.

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1. Solid foundation — Emergency fund and health

  • 57% have less than $1,000 in savings.
  • 25% have a significant life-disrupting financial hardship per year.
  • 46% can’t afford to handle an unexpected $400 emergency (like a sudden car repair) without using their credit card. 61% can’t afford a $1,000 expense. Yet 33% of households have a major unplanned expense per year.
  • 77% of Americans don’t have enough saved up to cover six months of expenses. 26% have $0 in emergency savings.
  • The average 35–65 year old American is $125,000 in debt.

All of the statistics around personal financial health are shockingly bad — particularly in the US. That’s why an emergency fund/pillow is so important, the bigger the better, but we should assume that a 3 to 6 months fund worth of expenses is what you should strive for. Of course, your savings should be diversified and not all on the same account in one bank. You don’t want to lose all your savings because the bank went under and you didn’t diversify.

Ideally your goal should be financial independence but it is a story for another time. To achieve this financial safety net, you should first pay off outstanding debts, next create a budget, don’t buy things you don’t really need, create a saving account and invest your money. If you wish to read more about it please consult this Source. They have plenty of great strategies and they explain everything in details.

Good health

Again, according to the specialists at theprepared your survival fitness goals should be :

  1. Improve general health by reducing the unfortunately all-too-common risky stuff: obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, stroke risk, and so on. These issues increase your risk of emergency and make it harder to survive non-medical emergencies.
  2. Improve stamina so that you can walk further, climb difficult terrain, keep your wits with less sleep, etc.
  3. Improve strength so that you can carry your gear, cut through wood, build a shelter, etc.
  4. Improve mobility so that you can bend, twist, scrunch, and balance your way through obstacles and uncomfortable conditions.

Preppers are trying to prepare for the worse so it is safe to assume that during a SHTF event you will be required to carry bags, build a shelter, repair something or run for a bit. All your gear is useless if you can’t walk 10 miles, can’t carry a heavier load or if you need specific medications that just ran out.

Things that you will probably need to face in case of a SHTF event:

  1. Comfortably survive on 1,500 calories per day with high physical activity or stress
  2. Carry a 30 pound backpack on foot for 10 hours
  3. Lift a 7 gallon water container (55 pounds) and walk 100 feet
  4. Drag or carry a 150 pound person for 100 feet
  5. Hike 5 miles in the woods, kill a deer, break it down, and carry it out
  6. Climb over a car or large obstacle
  7. Run/jog one mile over unpaved ground
  8. Swim across an average river
  9. Escape from or defend yourself against an opponent
  10. Spend the day gardening without destroying your joints or back

In short — to achieve this you should quit smoking, eat less, move more (the Calories-in and Calories-out technique), walk more, start a bodyweight training regime, sleep better.

2. Bug-in Preps

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Water

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What containers? Most everyone uses plastic. You need Food-grade, BPA-free, HDPE plastic to be safe for long-term storage. If a container meets these requirements, then it’s almost always stamped in the plastic. You can get away with non-food grade if you’re feeling lucky. Water bottles use a cheaper, thinner plastic that will leach over time, ruining your water. Good to have if you rotate regularly, but not for “set it and forget it”.

If you’re looking mid-range then 55-gallon drums are great (the blue one). Easy to find a home somewhere in your house and it has double what you need. But it’s not portable.

5 gallon jugs are great if you find them at a good price. The ones that are higher quality will cost more. Love that they’re portable so they’re easier to rotate and use for camping, hunting, emergencies, etc. 1 gallon jugs are also good for day to day use.

How to store it? First, make sure it’s clean water coming in. Assuming your container is properly cleaned and stored, you can just fill it with tap water and it will be safe for at least a year.

Clean your containers out. Fill it with warm water and a little dish soap. Close cap. Shake. Drain and rinse. Fill it with a quart (about 15 seconds of normal faucet flow) and a teaspoon of unscented household chlorine bleach. Close cap. Wait 30 seconds. Shake well. Wait 30 seconds again. Drain and rinse. Storage location should be kept around room temperature with no big temperature swings and no direct sunlight. Sun helps things to grow inside the water and helps the tank degrade faster. So, a basement is ideal. Inside a closet is next. Remember that plastic can absorb chemicals, so try not to store water containers on cement garage floors or other places where it will contact bad stuff. Do not store outside where there are temperature swings and sunlight unless you take the necessary precautions.

How to use it? You’ll need a way of getting the water out of your storage. Smaller containers can use gravity, but you may have to buy a siphon. Larger containers need a pump and something to pump them into. Hand pumps are great but the cheap ones are pone to failure. Have some cups and other containers handy to fill from your main reserve.

Emergency water. If you have warnings before an emergency then you should clean and fill your tub. Those will hold around 100 gallons. Bonus points if you have a Water Bob. You should also fill some containers in the house. Do you have a large pot, food-grade 5-gallon pails or other containers? Fill them just in case! Emergency water should be filtered and taken care of. I won’t talk about all the possible ways to treat water like filter screens, purification chemicals (chlorination), boiling it away and recapturing the steam (distillation), reverse osmosis, UV light, or boiling, because all this will be in a second article. What you should have is a reverse osmosis system at home or a couple of pump filters. Remember that many pumps use ceramic for their filters, a naturally porous material that traps particulates. Unlike membrane-based filters that use backflushing to clean out the trapped particles, ceramic filters are scrubbed down by hand with a brush or cloth. It’s easy to do and has some advantages, such as visibly seeing how much life the ceramic has left (instead of guessing on other types) and you don’t need a backflush syringe. The ceramic filters can’t block viruses!

I recommend the Katadyn Hiker Pro or the Survivor filter pro against water contaminated with viruses. You can also use Katadyn Micropur pills

Again, theprepared has a great comparison of all the water containers

Food

An average person needs roughly 1,500 calories per day and the happyprepper has a list of 37 foods to hoard. 1,500 calories x 4 ppl x 14 days = 84,000 calories

If you want to keep track of your pantry you can use this Stockpile-o-mat or print a paper list. The expiration dates on food is an estimate required by law for food manufacturers to put on the food. This date is the Best By for color, taste, and consistency guaranteed by the manufacturer. If stored well and in colder temps, there’s little to stop these foods from lasting up to 15 years or more. Buy cans that are not bulged and that are in perfect condition. You really don’t want to die due to botulism…

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Do NOT open that

Botulism is a rare illness that causes paralysis and eventual death through respiratory failure. This toxin thrives in an oxygen deprived environment, which presents a problem in particular to preppers ,because of possible improper home canning and food preservation methods, and possibly also poor storage practices. Source

Enemies of food storage:

Temperature: To maintain the optimal shelf life of your food storage, foods should be stored at 20°C(room temperature) or lower. Large temperature fluctuation and heat will destroy the foods nutritional value and reduce it’s shelf life.

Moisture: The reason foods like rice and beans last for decades is because of the lack of water in them. This is important as you are putting together your food storage pantry.

Oxygen: The reason canned foods last so long is the absence of air. Microorganisms need oxygen to thrive, leading to faster deterioration of your food storage.

Light: Foods that are exposed to light can also deteriorate quickly. This is called photodegradation, degrading its nutritional value, taste, and appearance.

Food that I recommend:

Proteins:

  1. Dehydrated powdered milk
  2. Dehydrated eggs
  3. Canned & dehydrated meats, poultry, fish.
  4. Meal ready to eat in jars or cans but not in tomato sauce! (bear in mind the expiration date)

Fats

  1. Oils
  2. Nuts
  3. Peanut Butter

Carbs:

  1. Whole wheat, potato and corn flour
  2. Cereals and Oats
  3. Rice (White! brown rice can go bad quicker)
  4. Pasta
  5. Crackers and cookies
  6. Beans
  7. Potato Flakes
  8. Honey

Misc:

  1. Drink mixes: Coffee, bouillon, tea
  2. Jams and jellies
  3. Canned Veggies (but not Tomato sauce! It can go rancid pretty fast) and Canned Fruits
  4. Salt, Sugar, Black pepper, Spices
  5. Condiments (Ketchup)
  6. Chocolate
  7. Vitamins
  8. Alcohol
  9. Baking soda
  10. Insta soup
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Fire and lights

List of 2500+ flashlights, headlamps, lanterns, multitools etc http://flashlights.parametrek.com/index.html

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Headlamps: The benefit of using a headlight is that you can use both your hands and still be able to see during the night! Magic! In all seriousness, the best bang for the buck are the Energizer headlamps . You can grab a couple of them for pretty cheap.

Flashlights: I recommend the Anker flashlights as they are quite cheap, durable and give out a strong light (300 lumens -900 lumens) The batteries 18650 are quite common and you can recharge them using an XTAR charger. What is also great is that the Anker flashlight also double as a charger. You can use a powerbank to recharge it.

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A couple box of candles: The IKEA tea lights go in small lanterns, also from IKEA.

Lanterns: Camping lantern with different redundant power sources. This one can be recharged using dynamo, solar power, batteries, microusb and AC.

Heating:

Shelter:

  • That your roof doesn’t leak
  • That you have blackout blinds or place to cover the windows. One of the OPSEC rules is to not stand out. To be the grey man in a crowd of people. Same applies to your house/flat. Don’t stand out with your lights on at night during a grid down event. You should observe light discipline.
  • Try to not cook very smelly dishes and if you need to cook them in the early hours or late hours of the day, when most people are likely to be sleeping. This will minimize the chances that someone will smell anything from your cooking.
  • If you have a wood burning stove and some foil or a Dutch oven, you could cook over your fire. But remember smoke travels, and if during the day someone sees smoke coming from a chimney, you will be announcing to your neighbors “Hey, I have the ability to make fire! My house is warm!” If you make a fire in the dark the smell of the smoke will carry, but it may be a little more challenging to determine which house it is coming from.
  • Change out all of the locks and make sure every door has a deadlock.
  • Change out the hinge nails (and reinforce the doors in general). Most doors are hung on short nails for the sole purpose of keeping the door there; if someone were to try to kick down your door or otherwise breach it, it would be a relatively easy task. Go for nails that go through the jamb into the framing studs.
  • Verify that all exterior locks work and use them!
  • Reinforce the locks. You can get door lock reinforcements off of Amazon for less than $15.
  • Add cheap magnetic window and door alarms. This way, you can know for certain if someone manages to open a door or window.
  • Add lighting outside. Amazon has some solar-powered motion detectors that throw a floodlight when triggered.
  • Remove any bushes or trees from around the house. This takes away any potential hiding places for intruders. (Edit: You can grow rose bushes and the like under windows to deter anyone from getting too close.)
  • If you have an external breaker, keep it locked up. You can get caught by surprise if someone flips a switch and you go outside to investigate.
  • Don’t forget about any upper stories! Keep those windows closed and locked and make sure no one has an easy way to get up to them.
  • Reinforce windows with bars (that can be opened in case of an emergency) or with a reinforcement kit. The kit won’t prevent your windows from being broken, but it will help hold its integrity and prevent shards of glass from flying everywhere.

Pandemic:

Mask.

  • Dust masks. Cheap masks used when people are doing construction, like cutting wood.
  • Surgical masks (aka procedure masks). They do not protect your lungs. Instead, they prevent any particulates from the wearer’s mouth and nose from spreading outward.
  • Respirators. usually mean the disposable N95 types or construction crew types that form a tight seal around your mouth and nose.
  • CBA/RCA gas masks. Rated for Riot Control Agents like pepper spray.
  • NBC gas masks. Rated for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical threats.
  • CBRN gas masks (aka riot masks). Basically an NBC mask plus extra protection against “terrorist” threats like dirty bombs.

Naming convention of respirators in the US: N — Not oil resistant, R — Oil resistant, P — Oil proof. 95, 99 and 100 — % of airborne particles filtered. So the best respirator would be — P100.

In Europe: P is used for the half- and full-mask respirators and FFP for disposable respirators. P1 - Filters at least 80% of airborne particles, P2- Filters at least 94% of airborne particles, P3- Filters at least 99% of airborne particles. So the best would be a P3/FFP3. For Full CBRN masks use the ABEK naming convention: A — Organic Vapors, B — Inorganic Vapors, E — Acidic vapors, K — Ammonia gases, P — Dust. So a A3B3E3K3-P3 is the strongest filter you can get.

How do they work? Masks are filtered with very fine screens, measured down to below 1 micron. For reference, an average human hair is 75 microns wide. The N95 mask is rated such because it screens out 95% of particles that are 0.3 micron in size. Gases are the trickier ones because they slip through even the most fine-grained screens. Which is why you can breathe air (a gas) through a particulate filter. So instead of trying to block the gas, an absorbent — typically activated charcoal, a very porous form of carbon — attracts and soaks up the chemicals as they pass through. NIOSH recognizes a total of 139 agents in their CBRN testing. If you really want to see all the different chemicals, gases, and vapors that are considered against respirators, see pages 15–122 of this 3M guide. Facial hair is a big deal. Any noticeable hair under the mask rim seal will create enough of a gap to be a problem.

One thing to remember is that surgical or dust masks — the kind you typically find in hospitals, pharmacies, and hardware stores — WILL NOT HELP in emergencies. According to the CDC, “Surgical masks are not designed to capture a large percentage of small particles and will not prevent the wearer from breathing in airborne particles such as contained in wildland smoke. Covering the mouth with a (damp or dry) bandana, handkerchief, or tissue also will not prevent the wearer from breathing in airborne particles.”

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What masks are the best? Theprepared has another great long list but for a pandemic you should get a N95-P100 respirator from 3M preferably a fullface one.

Goggles

Gloves

In The Journal of Hospital Infection The first section of the new paper focuses on how long Covid can survive on inanimate surfaces, such as tables and door handles. The authors show that, depending on the material and the conditions, human coronaviruses can remain infectious from 2 hours to 9 days. That’s why it is so important to wear gloves and not to touch your face. Simple nitrile gloves will do.

Duct tape

Tyvec suit

Antiseptics

Bio-hazard bags

Medical

General & misc:

  1. Z-fold gauze, 4.5″ x 4 yards (4x)
  2. Medical tape, silk (3x standard rolls)
  3. Rolled gauze (8x standard rolls)
  4. 4″ x 4″ gauze pads (30x)
  5. Cotton balls (100x)
  6. Cotton swabs (100x)
  7. Trauma shears
  8. Medical gloves (1 box)
  9. White petroleum jelly / Vaseline, 7.5 oz (2x)
  10. Isopropyl alcohol 70%, 16 oz (4x)
  11. General medical reference guide
  12. Medical tape, plastic (3x standard rolls)
  13. Safety pins (10x assorted sizes)
  14. Mylar emergency blankets (4x)
  15. Nasopharyngeal airway / “NPA”, 28 fr with lube

Diagnostics:

  1. Thermometer, ideally a digital forehead model plus an analog backup
  2. Writing materials: pen, permanent marker, waterproof paper
  3. Stethoscope
  4. Otoscope
  5. Blood pressure cuff
  6. Pen light
  7. Blood glucose monitor and strips
  8. Pulse oximeter

Medications:

  1. Any personal prescriptions or condition-specific needs
  2. ibuprofen
  3. aspirin
  4. antibiotics (Bactrim, Zithromax, Ampicillin, Cipro, Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, or Fish antibiotics)
  5. anti-diarrheal (immodium)
  6. anti-histamines
  7. activated charcoal
  8. potassium iodine
  9. Benadryl
  10. Hydrocortisone cream
  11. Honey
  12. Aloe gel
  13. Sudafed / Pseudoephedrine
  14. Mucinex / Guaifenesin
  15. Pedialyte / Electrolyte powders
  16. Afrin / Oxymetazolin
  17. Pepcid / Famotidine
  18. Dulcolax / Bisacodyl
  19. Aleve / Naproxen sodium
  20. Long-acting antihistamines / Zyrtec / Allegra / Claritin

Bone & joint:

  1. Coban roll (10x standard rolls)
  2. Cravat / triangular bandage, large 45″ x 45″ x 63″ (6x)
  3. ACE wrap / elastic bandage (4x)
  4. Undercast padding, standard 3″ x 4 yards (12x)
  5. SAM Splint / aluminium splint, 36″ (2x) Allegro
  6. Reusable cold pack, 4″ rounds (12x)
  7. Instant cold pack, 6″ x 9″ (12x)
  8. Vacuum splint kit with splints for lower and upper body

Cuts & soft tissue:

  1. Band-Aid variety pack
  2. 60cc syringe with 18ga tip
  3. Tweezers
  4. Butterfly wound closures, 0.5″ x 2.75″ (100x)
  5. Steri-Strips, 1/2″ x 4″ (32x)
  6. Scalpel blade and handle, either disposable or reusable (6x blades)
  7. Kelly forceps
  8. Tissue forceps
  9. Magnifying glass
  10. Toothbrush, separate from the dental kit brush
  11. Suture thread and needle, needle driver, and fine scissors
  12. Medical stapler and staple remover (2x)
  13. Tourniquet (2x) Allegro Cat 7
  14. Pressure bandage (4x) Allegro
  15. Celox-A hemostatic agent with applicator
  16. Chest seals (2 pairs) Allegro

Burns & blisters:

  1. Burn Jel
  2. Moleskin
  3. Straight needle and thread
  4. Leukotape

Dental kit:

  1. Disinfectant mouthwash
  2. Where There Is No Dentist reference guide
  3. Clove oil
  4. Dental explorer / sickle probe / №23 explorer / shepherd’s hook
  5. Michigan O probe
  6. Naber’s probe
  7. Paper clips
  8. Dental cement
  9. Extraction forceps

Feminine hygiene, menstruation, and pregnancy:

  1. Menstrual pads and/or tampons
  2. Monistat
  3. Birth control: condoms, pills, patches, and/or diaphragms
  4. Pregnancy test (4x)
  5. Plan B / emergency contraception (2x)
  6. Midol
  7. What To Expect When You’re Expecting or similar book for parents
  8. Midwife reference guide
  9. Prenatal vitamins
  10. Suction bulb

Things to avoid:

  • Decompression needles / “chest darts”: You don’t have the training or equipment to properly use these needles commonly found in military settings.
  • Sleeping pills: Most OTC sleeping meds are just antihistamines — literally the exact same pill as something like Benadryl, just with different packaging and pricing. Anything beyond that needs a prescription.
  • Smelling salts: Falling out of favor among pros because it delays doing a good assessment, and if a patient’s brain shut down, there’s probably a reason you don’t want to override.
  • Neosporin / triple antibiotic ointments / Neomycin / Bacitracin: Studies show these topical creams don’t actually add much value beyond using plain petroleum jelly.
  • Strong anti-constipation meds: The risk of dehydration and straining isn’t worth the value in most survival situations.
  • Cough lozenges: No clear evidence that they have any positive effect, and a recent study found that heavy use of cough drops (especially those with menthol) actually make things worse.
  • Plaster and cast-making: If you’re in a situation where you’d make your own cast, you’re also in a situation without X-rays, and there isn’t much value in making a cast for a busted bone you can’t see / fix.
  • Surgical tools, intubation kit, surgical airways (crich), etc.: We may do an article specifically on these advanced tools (let us know in the comments if you want it), but this gear is far too advanced and unlikely to ever be used by most people.

Hygiene

  • hand sanitizer,
  • soap,
  • Kitty litter or other organic material to use with the potty bucket
  • Off-grid toilet/Potty Bucket (5-gallon bucket with seat)
  • Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, Dental floss
  • Deodorant
  • Solar shower for hot showers without electricity
  • Garbage bags, rubber bands or twist ties
  • TOILET PAPER

Communication

  • 2 x Baofeng UV-5R ham radio
  • Walkie-Talkie Motorola T60 up to 8km. Allegro
  • Baofeng USB programming cable
  • CB mobile radio
  • CB handheld radio

Power and devices

Portable and cheap:

  • 2 used and working Samsung galaxy note 4. The phone is excellent for a prepper because it is the last widely available phone that is both powerful and easily repairable.
  • Cheap tablet Dell Venue 8 or nvidia shield or even lenovo tab4 10
  • Ebook reader Inkbook Classic 2

Data storage

  • Micro SD cards. Plenty of fast 64GB+ micro SD cards
  • A micro sd card holder like this
  • Plenty of USB flash drives

Cables and adapters

  • I recommend Anker or Aukey. Multiple for redundancy
  • Multiple little adapters. From lighting to USB-C, from Sd card to USB male, from Microusb to USB-C etc.
  • USB adapters for phones something like this
  • USB A female to microusb OTG here
  • Cheap wired headphones (at least 6–10)
  • Micro sd to sd adapters
  • A couple of wall quickchargers
  • Headphonejack splitter akin to this
  • microusb to HDMI. For showing stuff from phone to TV without wif. here

Power:

  • 2x-4x Aukey 30kmAh best bang for the buck amazon link
  • Couple of smaller powerbanks
  • 2x Solar charge. I recommend the Bigblue 28W here and Rockpals 100W here

Service parts For Note 4 (or a third working used phone)

Protection

Tools

  • Phone repair kit ifixit or similar.
  • GPS receiver GlobalSat
  • Cheap BT keyboard here

Batteries Review of best spare batteries:

  • AAA
  • AA
  • 9V
  • 18650
  • CR123A
  • 14500

and Charger Xtar or Opus BT-C3100. CAUTION! Don’t connect the charger straight to the portable solar chargers! First, charge the power banks and then use the power banks to charge the batteries!

Heavier and more expensive:

Generator:

A gasoline generator must ALWAYS be used outside. If you are planning on 5 days of power — you will need 2 -3 5gal containers of gasoline

Best bang for the buck: Honda EU2200i — about 45 pounds and the size of a piece of luggage, 2200 surge watts/1800 continuous, super quiet — can talk next to it, very efficient, consumes a gallon every 8–12 hours (depending on the load, will last for a long time and hold its value. Also uses an inverter, so it can accelerate with the load — meaning it can run slower when you aren’t asking for as much power — fuel efficiency — big generators will often run at a fixed speed regardless of the load and power demands.

Solar:

Lightweight thin and portable solar panel — Powerfilmsolar or you can choose a more durable but not very portable Renogy 200W panels. And then buy or build a solar generator. Kodiak or GoalZero have some nice solar generator with deep cycle batteries. But they are on the more expensive side. Link

You can also connect your solar to different DIY stuff — for more

Tools:

  • axe,
  • shovel,
  • work gloves,
  • wrench for your gas lines,
  • zip ties,
  • duct tape,
  • Locks and lockpicking
  • Crowbar
  • Knives (fixed blade like RAT-5 Ontario)
  • Saw
  • Multi-Tool
  • Paracord
  • Cash. In different currencies. At least 3K in each currency.

Self defense

  • Handheld Taser: check your local laws. Have to get in extremely close proximity to use it. Effective, non-lethal.
  • Flashlight (strobe): keep people at a distance. Discombobulate/blinds. Non-lethal, Non-invasive.
  • Rings: heavy metal rings protect your knuckles while punching, can penetrate skin, and add weight to the pump.
  • Gun — How to get a gun permit in Poland Braterstwo

Entertainment

  • board games, card games, dices
  • Books,
  • movies
  • TV shows
  • Podcasts — Clementine PC downloader
  • Ebooks
  • Youtube videos — Videoder desktop downloader
  • Websites — using HTTracker

To prepare your electronics for no access to the WWW:

  • Install this APK extractor on your daily driver and extract all apps that you would need for a postshtf or download apk from apkmirror
  • You will need a pdf reader,
  • an ebook reader,
  • offline maps, Google maps or Here
  • mx player
  • Word, excel type of editor
  • Emulators /r/EmulationOnAndroid

Documents

  • copy of deeds/titles,
  • insurance policies,
  • birth certificates,
  • Medical history
  • maps,
  • pictures of family members,

Data and knowledge:

3. Bug-out Bag BOB

  • The bag. A hiking backpack that doesn’t screen “military!” and is water-resistant. Something like this
  • Outdoor clothes. You might need to evacuate in varied weather conditions so your bug out bag should have clothes for rainy, cold, or hot weather. Outdoor clothes are your first line of defense against the elements, they are one of the most important pieces of gear you can have in an emergency.
  • Rain poncho
  • Hiking shoes and good socks!
  • Ultralight tent
  • Sleeping pad and sleeping bag
  • MRE for 3 days
  • A portable stove with camping cookware
  • Headlamp
  • Duct tape, saw, small axe,
  • Ferro rods, BIC lighters, storm matches
  • Compass
  • Toilet paper
  • Garbage bag
  • toiletries, Wet wipes,
  • earplugs
  • Sewing kit
  • First aid kit
  • Maps
  • Binoculars
  • Above electronics (FM radio, cellphone, Ham radio)
  • Flashlight
  • Water + filtration + 30 Water Treatment Tabs
  • Knife

Call me what you want, pessimist, realist, Stoic, but at least look at the facts

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