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#276031 - 08/01/15 02:31 PM A Total Collapse
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2460
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
As per the rules of the forum, we are not to discus the how nor the why of a monetary, governmental or some other total collapse.

There's a lot of discussions on what to do in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. A lot of that can be applied here. In this scenario, power and water will not be restored and trucks are not coming in with food.

I have or am rebuilding a two-month supply. I am able to have a three-month supply of some things. We live on a small lot so gardening will not yield much.

I like what Kathryn Schulz wrote in her article "How to Stay Safe When the Big One Comes."

My own theory about earthquake preparedness is that the perfect is the enemy of the good: don’t choose to stock nothing because you can’t stock everything. Got money and space to spare? Great: fill a shelf with water and nonperishable foods. Throw in duct tape and a tool kit. Throw in a hand-cranked radio, a water purifier, iodine. Don’t have much money or space? Make a small kit with whatever you can fit and afford. Everything you have, you’ll use; everything you can do for yourself frees up emergency resources for those in even greater need.

I agree. Do everything you can with the money and space you have. What if there are no emergency resources?

What can be done beyond natural disaster preparedness?

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
“Trust me, this is not gonna end well!” — Pleakley, Lilo & Stitch

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#276033 - 08/01/15 03:03 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1917
Loc: Washington, DC

Whatever the catalyst, survival for any period of time comes down to the same things: shelter, water, food. And depending on your situation: meds and medical skills.

You'll either shelter-in-place or evacuate somewhere (transportation).

Something you can do for no or low-cost these days is to acquire knowledge. So I'd put that on the to-do list, especially in regard to first-aid. Other useful knowledge would include food preservation (canning, dehydration).

In regard to transportation, I'd have a bicycle for backup. Power outage means no functioning gas station (unless they have a generator). Great little-used bikes can be found cheap at garage sales. Or Craigslist.

I'd also have a bicycle trailer to haul cargo. Used child trailers can be found cheap or their are cargo trailers (less common) or you could build your own.

How's your supply of water? Seems few people have near enough water for drinking, let alone sanitation. A rain barrel, or two, could give you a supply for flushing toilets, etc. They are not as expensive as I had expected.

Once you have a few months of supplies (very difficult in regard to water storage) then I recommend focusing on normal life and preparing for things like old age (retirement savings).

And, of course, continue daily wise preparedness habits -- such as keeping car gas tanks above half-full.



.

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#276039 - 08/01/15 08:42 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Dagny]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2460
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
I don't understand how the knowledge of canning could be helpful. I can't can food if I don't have food to can.

That knowledge is not helpful for now either. Let me explain. The space used to store canning supplies can be better utilized to store food.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
“Trust me, this is not gonna end well!” — Pleakley, Lilo & Stitch

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#276041 - 08/01/15 10:32 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 1004
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
Quote:
The space used to store canning supplies can be better utilized to store food.


Don't store canning supplies. Go to the local farmer's market and use the canning supplies to store emergency food. Can what you will eat and let use keep the rotation current. You may not be able to can food as cheaply as store bought cans but the quality can be much better. I have never found a store bought sweet pickle that is better than our recipe.

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#276042 - 08/01/15 10:58 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: UTAlumnus]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2460
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
Originally Posted By: UTAlumnus
Don't store canning supplies.

Where am to put them when not in use?

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
“Trust me, this is not gonna end well!” — Pleakley, Lilo & Stitch

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#276043 - 08/02/15 01:28 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
LesSnyder Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1638
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
a good place to start is the Wendy DeWitt Video... she is the pro from Dover for LDS food storage... the video is long, but well worth it, and changed the way I put away some long term staples in addition to the rotated short term supplies... if you vacuum pack in glass canning jars, you have the jars if high value meat protein is available at a later date... you do, in fact need a bit of basic equipment pressure canning equipment... for smoked meat or biltong not so much... LDS maintains that you can store 1 year of long term storage under your bed...I'm single, so the smaller quart jars are my best answer...YMMV





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOLuIApyNPc


Edited by LesSnyder (08/02/15 01:29 AM)

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#276044 - 08/02/15 02:17 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 1004
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
If you are not getting the stuff to can from the garden, can in smaller batches. A batch was about 12 jars or less depending on the size of the pressure cooker and jar size. We were canning vegetables, pickles, and kraut as the particular raw material got ripe in the garden. This meant that we were doing multiple batches of each item. We had a set of shelves in the basement. IIRC they were floor to ceiling, 48" wide, & 12-18" deep. I don't remember where we kept the empties but you could put them back on the shelf with the full jars. Occasionally move them so the empties are together. When you have a batch worth, can some more of whatever you are lowest on. This way, you only have a batch or so of jars and the pressure cooker to store. If you don't use the pressure cooker for other things, you could also keep the empty jars in the cooker.

ADDED PS

We currently are only doing an occasional batch of pickles sized to match the recipe and get the cucumbers from the farmer's market. We are keeping empties on the shelf above the full jars. If we start keeping a garden again, we will probably just run multiple batches and put the empties where we can on the same set of shelves.


Edited by UTAlumnus (08/02/15 02:26 AM)

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#276045 - 08/02/15 02:44 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2460
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
Let me see if I have this right. The equipments takes up space and it is more expensive than canned items at Sam's Club. Let me add that if I drop a can, it normally does not burst. If I drop a jar, it breaks. This is not a good position to be in during a disaster situation.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
“Trust me, this is not gonna end well!” — Pleakley, Lilo & Stitch

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#276046 - 08/02/15 03:34 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
Jeanette

some simple positive thoughts.

1. Do NOT give up on growing stuff. If you try to live on canned goods for 3 months, you will find yourself wanting to KILL for any fresh vegetable. Get a few pots. Grow a few tomatoes, and some simple vegetables with green leaves. You can cut up the fresh leaves and throw them in a can of heated chili. It's a lifesaver. Trust me.

2. Vitamin pills, and especially Vitamin C.

3. suntan lotion - you could be outside a lot

4. lots of crackers and tuna fish. Simple meal, but super fast. and sometimes fast is good.

5. think about some containers of lemon juice. we're back to that "fresh vege" thing. I find that people really crave Vitamin C (lemons, tomatoes, strawberries) after they have been on canned goods for a couple of weeks. Even one teaspoon of lemon juice every day - will taste like Heaven.

Good luck!!
Pete


Edited by Pete (08/02/15 03:35 AM)

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#276047 - 08/02/15 05:05 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Pete]
Herman30 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 371
Loc: Finland
Originally Posted By: Pete
suntan lotion - you could be outside a lot

In that case I would prefer protectiv clothing instead.
Like people living in Sahara, don´t think they use suntan lotions. Instead they have loose fitting clothing to protect them from the sun.

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#276058 - 08/03/15 01:08 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
JeffMc Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 129
Loc: Northwest Florida
I think that a lot of people who want to be reasonably well prepared for disaster, but aren't into it as either a sort of major hobby or as part of an overall lifestyle, question how much preparation makes sense to them, in terms of time, effort, expense and opportunity costs. Everybody will have to find their own answers.

To me, the standard 3-days food and water recommendation should be a rock bottom minimum goal for everyone. A two-week supply would be much better, especially if supplemented with useful skills and items beyond the bare basics. I would consider a well-rounded three month or more supply enough to make a typical family well-prepared. Beyond that, you might possibly be heading into survivalist hobby or lifestyle territory, where the sky's the limit.

But there's another consideration. A careful study of modern history reveals, I think, that the stories of the survivors of all sorts of calamities and disasters are, for the most part, the stories of refugees. Essentially, the best way to survive is often simply to either not be where the Really Bad Thing happens, or to GTFO as soon as possible thereafter.

That may mean leaving pretty much everything behind. So, your carefully planned and located bugout shelter or basement full of expensive long term foods and supplies may become an anchor around your neck if it causes you to stay when you should have fled. As Robert Burns told us, "the best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley."

If that's so, it suggests to me that perhaps material survival supplies ought to be limited to whatever you may be able to take with you, at least for part of your journey, or else that you would have and use anyway in your normal everyday life.

It implies several other things, as well. The importance of having good situational awareness, for one. The value of possessing portable skills and preferably portable assets, for another.


Edited by JeffMc (08/04/15 02:59 AM)

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#276062 - 08/03/15 07:44 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: JeffMc]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
Jeff, that was a truly excellent post, very much down to Earth.

I guess we all have our preconceived notions about the possibility of a TEOTWAWKI situation and what one could do to survive that sort of thing. Reinforcing your home and hoarding lots of water, food and supplies sounds like a good strategy. But historically speaking, large-scale natural or man-made disasters tend to overwhelm entire societies, let alone invididuals.

There are definite merits in keeping some gear and supplies ready just in case. But at the end of the day, what good will a basement full of canned food do if the world as you know it really falls apart?

IMHO the only universal resources that will work anywhere, anytime are your skills (self-explanatory), physical shape (hard to accomplish anything if your body lets you down) and social network (long-term survival has always been a group thing).

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#276064 - 08/03/15 11:16 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: JeffMc]
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 856
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: JeffMc
...

But there's another consideration. A careful study of modern history reveals, I think, that the stories of the survivors of all sorts of calamities and disasters are, for the most part, the stories of refugees. Essentially, the best way to survive is often simply to either not be where the Really Bad Thing happens, or to GTFU as soon as possible thereafter.

That may mean leaving pretty much everything behind. So, your carefully planned and located bugout shelter or basement full of expensive long term foods and supplies may become an anchor around your neck if it causes you to stay when you should have fled. As Robert Burns told us, "the best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley."

If that's so, it suggests to me that perhaps material survival supplies ought to be limited to whatever you may be able to take with you, at least for part of your journey, or else that you would have and use anyway in your normal everyday life.

It implies several other things, as well. The importance of having good situational awareness, for one. The value of possessing portable skills and preferably portable assets, for another.


For a total collapse (economic, war, tolitarian or ineffectual central goverment, etc) I think that the survival stories you don't hear about are the most relevant ones. The ones who had the situational awareness to accurately assess the situation, and the assets to get out ahead of time. And when I say get out of the way, I'm referring to fleeing the country or region.

For interesting read, check out the US Foreign Service Office emergency plans for employees and their families. They have to occasionally evacuate the entire staff, and their families, in short order. They, IMHO, have nice checklist for what to take and do for when things go bad.
http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c1991.htm


Portable skills, particularly if they are high value skills in your destination, are good for sustaining a living. Note the number of H-1B visas issued for technology professionals.

But, as Jeff mentioned, portable assets are also valuable. Being able to transfer assets out of harms way is is the difference between penniless refugee and established immigrant. IMHO, the days of sewing gold coins into your coat are largely gone. With all currency being fiat currency, foreign currency bank accounts in stable countries have become today's international "portable assets".


Edited by Mark_R (08/03/15 11:29 PM)
_________________________
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane

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#276066 - 08/04/15 02:58 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Tom_L]
JeffMc Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 129
Loc: Northwest Florida
Originally Posted By: Tom_L
...

IMHO the only universal resources that will work anywhere, anytime are your skills (self-explanatory), physical shape (hard to accomplish anything if your body lets you down) and social network (long-term survival has always been a group thing).


You bring up a very good point. A social network is an incredibly value resource. I have worked all sorts of disasters all over the country and overseas, and I have observed two key facts.

First, the true first responders aren't the professionals or trained and organized volunteers; they are your neighbors, friends and family. Second, those who are part of an existing cooperative social network, whether it's organized around a school, church or civic group, an extended family, good neighbors who know and help one another, or just a circle of friends in and outside of the impacted area, generally seem to fare best in the immediate aftermath of disaster. They tend to be the ones who first have someone looking for, checking up on, and helping them out very early on, and that can make a big difference.

At minimum, having a reliable person serving as a point of contact outside the affected area is a very useful resource for accounting for victims, organizing assistance, and facilitating problem-solving. If your POC has your Power of Attorney and copies of your vital documents like insurance and financial papers, so much the better.

I also completely agree with you that in a long-term situation, survival will be greatly enhanced for those in a strong, mutually cooperative social network or group.


Edited by JeffMc (08/04/15 03:04 AM)

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#276068 - 08/04/15 04:10 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Tom_L]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 1004
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
Quote:
There are definite merits in keeping some gear and supplies ready just in case. But at the end of the day, what good will a basement full of canned food do if the world as you know it really falls apart?


It can keep you fed until you can get a garden planted and provide the containers to store the produce for the winter.

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#276070 - 08/04/15 12:31 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
...based on the assumption that your shelter survives intact and no outside factor at all interferes with your noble attempt at sustainable long-term farming.

Unfortunately, that is rarely (if ever) the case. The problem with natural and man-made disasters on a really large scale is that they tend to turn the entire society upside down. Your home, belongings, food stockpiles, the entire infrastructure might be gone in the blink of an eye.

Not just your home, the entire region might no longer be a safe place to live any more. Maybe only for a limited period of time (think Katrina or the recent Nepal eartquake) or maybe for years on end (Chernobyl, civil war in Syria). You might be dealing with rapidly spreading epidemics, rampaging violence, loss of your beloved ones and all your belongings.

Fortunately, humans are an adaptable species and most of the time we manage to fix things somehow as long as we stick together. In any sort of disaster outside help is always extremely important - in terms of supplies, rescue personnel and rebuilding resources. Without that sort of assistance, your chances of long term survival drop toward zero regardless of your skills and stockpiles at hand.

In case of a total long-term collapse however, your best bet is getting the heck out of there. In a warzone like Syria these days you either take sides and fight or let go of everything and escape while you still can. Anything else is likely to get you killed quickly, including any attempt to sit out the bad times by keeping to yourself on your well stocked homestead.

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#276079 - 08/04/15 09:36 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Tom_L]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 1004
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
I agree. It all depends on the situation. If it's over a small region, you're right it may be better to be elsewhere. If it's national or worldwide, you may not be able to do any better elsewhere depending on the cause.

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#276085 - 08/05/15 01:51 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 870
Loc: wellington, fl
Originally Posted By: Jeanette_Isabelle
I don't understand how the knowledge of canning could be helpful. I can't can food if I don't have food to can.

That knowledge is not helpful for now either. Let me explain. The space used to store canning supplies can be better utilized to store food.

Jeanette Isabelle


The consistent pattern of my survival planning behavior Is that I prepare for threats that allow me to do things I like to do anyway. I like knives, so I prepare for disaster by acquiring or making knives.I like guns, so I acquire guns. I notice that lots of folks on the forum are pretty sure that disaster can be averted by skills in knot-tying, vegetable gardening, food storage, and identifying edible insects: they show remarkably little interest in guns or knives. To each his ever lovin', blue-eyed own.

Fearless Leader has devised truly ingenious collections of survival supplies for airplanes. These address the problems of a small aircraft forced down on land or sea in a comprehensive, redundant and creative fashion. And none of these kits could have saved Steve Fossett or JFK junior. Disasters are by their nature unpredictable. I chose to prepare for statistically unlikely disasters because it gives me a (laughably spurious) sense of control over the terrifying uncertainty of daily life. I store food, and I don't have to think about the 17.5 million families in this country who are food insecure right now, absent disaster.
And I get to play with stuff that I like.

So, prepare for disaster exactly as you wish to do so. At some level, all predictions of the future utility of disaster planning are arbitrary, and, as history shows in hurricanes and earthquakes, in Louisiana, New York, and Haiti, probably misguided.
_________________________
Dance like you have never been hurt, work like no one is watching,love like you don't need the money.

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#276086 - 08/05/15 02:45 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
chaosmagnet Online   content
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3427
Loc: USA
I find myself, respectfully, not entirely in agreement with nursemike. While my knowledge and planning are necessarily imperfect, I try to have a reasonably good grip on the most likely disasters where I live (Large Amounts of snow, damaging weather, loss of utilities) and I've prepared reasonably for same. I've tried to assemble a fairly eclectic variety of knowledge, skills and equipment for bringing my family through the most likely scenarios. For myself, a positive mental attitude comes from having built these things up and the experience of some potentially disastrous situations.

Could I do more? Sure. I'd love to lose some weight, train for and complete a Goruck Challenge, get WEMT certified, and just plain go hiking more often. But for all that I spend more time shooting than I strictly need to, my plans aren't entirely arbitrary.

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#276090 - 08/05/15 01:42 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2460
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
Realistically all I can prepare for is a three-month disruption. Without my medications, I'll end up here:



It sounds like the best plan is to get out of Dodge but where do we go?

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
“Trust me, this is not gonna end well!” — Pleakley, Lilo & Stitch

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#276092 - 08/05/15 02:41 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: UTAlumnus]
JeffMc Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 129
Loc: Northwest Florida
Originally Posted By: UTAlumnus
I agree. It all depends on the situation. If it's over a small region, you're right it may be better to be elsewhere. If it's national or worldwide, you may not be able to do any better elsewhere depending on the cause.


Your point is well taken. Immigration may well make things worse, or just be an exchange one set of survival challenges for another. I suppose the other main option is toughing it out and trying to be one of those who help to rebuild and restore, which ties into Tom L's insightful comment about long-term survival being a community thing.

As to emigration, I note that many Jews and others who wisely fled antebellum Nazi Germany for other European nations soon found themselves victims of the Nazis nonetheless, as Germany overran those countries in WWII. Interestingly, some ex-Confederates after the Civil War and ex-Nazis after WWII were able to persevere in what might be termed survival enclaves in South America, and surviving European Jewish emigres helped found the modern state Of Israel. Today, some Central American nations host large emigre communities of ex-pat Americans and others. It pays to choose your destination early, but carefully.

In a global catastrophe, I suppose those already dedicated to pursuing a maximally self-sufficient and off-grid lifestyle may find themselves in a final battle for survival with those who were able to use extreme wealth and/or power to insulate themselves from the consequences of total collapse until near the end. shocked The world of science fiction often explores these possibilities and provides many interesting takes on both the causes of, and the means of survival in, a global catastrophe.

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#276093 - 08/05/15 02:57 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: nursemike]
JeffMc Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 129
Loc: Northwest Florida
Originally Posted By: nursemike

The consistent pattern of my survival planning behavior Is that I prepare for threats that allow me to do things I like to do anyway.
...
And I get to play with stuff that I like.

So, prepare for disaster exactly as you wish to do so. ...


I agree. Some people, who I respectfully term "survival hobbyists," just intrinsically enjoy all the planning, activities, and skill building and practice that are related to survival preparation, and a subset of those go on to find that working for maximal self-sufficiency and off-grid living is an intrinsically rewarding lifestyle.

Moreover, many of the rewards come without having to face some sort of actual disaster. Many preps are just as useful and convenient for resolving the petty annoyances and minor to moderate problems that occur in everyday life. Many also enhance enjoyable hobbies and family activities like camping, backpacking, shooting sports and gardening. Some also help with entirely personal disasters, as well. For example, having six month's or a year's food supply on hand would really help stretch the family budget in the event of an unexpected job loss. Being ready for "the Big One" means being ready for most of the little ones, too.


Edited by JeffMc (08/05/15 03:09 PM)

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#276094 - 08/05/15 03:05 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
JeffMc Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 129
Loc: Northwest Florida
Originally Posted By: Jeanette_Isabelle
Realistically all I can prepare for is a three-month disruption. Without my medications, ...


If you keep a three month supply of your essential Rx medications on hand, you are way ahead of most people, in my experience. One of the more difficult problems in disaster response is often supplying people with needed Rx meds when there are no open pharmacies. Many insurance plans offer mail-order pharmacy services. Usually, they refill a three month supply at a time, as opposed to one month at a time for retail pharmacies, and often are less expensive, as well.

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#276096 - 08/05/15 03:32 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: JeffMc]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2460
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
Originally Posted By: JeffMc
If you keep a three month supply of your essential Rx medications on hand, you are way ahead of most people, in my experience. One of the more difficult problems in disaster response is often supplying people with needed Rx meds when there are no open pharmacies.

That just means I'll live three months longer.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
“Trust me, this is not gonna end well!” — Pleakley, Lilo & Stitch

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#276098 - 08/05/15 03:59 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
JeffMc Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 129
Loc: Northwest Florida
In most "ordinary" disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes, local pharmacies begin to re-open within days, and tend to receive priority assistance in doing so because of their importance to their communities. Within a few weeks, there are usually a large fraction of the normal number operating in or on the periphery of the affected area. So a three month supply is usually going to prove more than sufficient.

Of course, in the event of a large meteor strike, alien invasion, thermonuclear war, or the like, it may take slightly longer for your local pharmacy to get fully back to normal.

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#276099 - 08/05/15 04:12 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: chaosmagnet]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 870
Loc: wellington, fl
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
I find myself, respectfully, not entirely in agreement with nursemike. While my knowledge and planning are necessarily imperfect, I try to have a reasonably good grip on the most likely disasters where I live (Large Amounts of snow, damaging weather, loss of utilities) and I've prepared reasonably for same. I've tried to assemble a fairly eclectic variety of knowledge, skills and equipment for bringing my family through the most likely scenarios. For myself, a positive mental attitude comes from having built these things up and the experience of some potentially disastrous situations.

Could I do more? Sure. I'd love to lose some weight, train for and complete a Goruck Challenge, get WEMT certified, and just plain go hiking more often. But for all that I spend more time shooting than I strictly need to, my plans aren't entirely arbitrary.


Well said, sir.

I concur that I am generally not arbitrary in choosing which disasters are likely. I disagree in the sense that choosing to prepare for disasters is an arbitrary decision, if I consider statistics regarding mortality . I am far more likely to die a respiratory, oncological or cardiovascular death than a trauma death. The most dangerous places I visit may be the kitchen and bathroom. My treasured collection of edc and psk items will serve me poorly in these cases: better I should install floor level telephones in these rooms. I am going to the gym, losing weight, and minding my diet for the first time in 6 decades, but I still prefer looking at gun magazines more than looking at safe bathroom design magazines. Which ain't entirely rational.

Perhaps it is best not to take this survival stuff too seriously. The death rate has not changed: it is still one per person. There are no data to suggest that survivalists live longer than other folks. Perhaps the key to survival is to be part of a non-fragile community, implying that time spent at church is more valuable than time spent at the shooting range, or that donating supplies to the food banks might be more valuable than storing supplies in my redoubt.
_________________________
Dance like you have never been hurt, work like no one is watching,love like you don't need the money.

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#276102 - 08/05/15 04:45 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: nursemike]
JeffMc Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 129
Loc: Northwest Florida
Excellent points, Nursemike!

Expanding on your theme, we are better served tending to the real basics of survival before investing much time, money and energy in what we typically think of as survival preps.

A gym membership that you actually use would certainly qualify as a "real" survival "basic." Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and first aid kits also make the cut. I've seen a lot of over-worn tires on cars involved in injury accidents, and many dangerous house fires caused by homes and appliances that weren't up to code and in good repair.

It would also be wise to invest in adequate life, disability, and homeowner's or renter's insurance before investing in traditional survival supplies beyond the minimums. Many people have no disability insurance at all, and many carry the minimum legal or grossly inadequate liability policy limits on their homeowner's and especially auto insurance. These omissions can inflict real hardship on you and your family, and cover harms far more likely to occur than a major disaster.

They are totally boring, sometimes expensive, and nowhere near as enjoyable as, let's say a really cool new firearm, but you're also far more likely to be really glad you had them someday.

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#276103 - 08/05/15 05:06 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: JeffMc]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
Originally Posted By: nursemike
Perhaps it is best not to take this survival stuff too seriously. The death rate has not changed: it is still one per person. There are no data to suggest that survivalists live longer than other folks. Perhaps the key to survival is to be part of a non-fragile community, implying that time spent at church is more valuable than time spent at the shooting range, or that donating supplies to the food banks might be more valuable than storing supplies in my redoubt.


and

Originally Posted By: JeffMc
A gym membership that you actually use would certainly qualify as a "real" survival "basic." Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and first aid kits also make the cut. I've seen a lot of over-worn tires on cars involved in injury accidents, and many dangerous house fires caused by homes and appliances that weren't up to code and in good repair.

It would also be wise to invest in adequate life, disability, and homeowner's or renter's insurance before investing in traditional survival supplies beyond the minimums. Many people have no disability insurance at all, and many carry the minimum legal or grossly inadequate liability policy limits on their homeowner's and especially auto insurance. These omissions can inflict real hardship on you and your family, and cover harms far more likely to occur than a major disaster.


Well said, couldn't agree more.

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#276106 - 08/05/15 10:05 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2460
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
Let me address other comments made. I have a hobby that will come in handy in a disaster. I buy off-the-shelf first aid kits (medium size or larger) and customize them.

When I lived in Dallas, I had to have stuff on my person whenever I left the house for the possibility of overnighting it somewhere was real. Nothing happens here so I got out of preparedness mode.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
“Trust me, this is not gonna end well!” — Pleakley, Lilo & Stitch

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#276109 - 08/07/15 03:26 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
I thought that your thread was a good concept.

as far as "fleeing town goes" ... ONLY if you are VERY certain that you can get a jump on the crowd. The worst place to be - is stuck on some freeway in half-a-million cars that are not moving. If you decide to FLEE, get out super early, know your escape route, and keep running a long way.

One really essential item in this discussion - what to do about essential meds. I have one necessary medicine myself. I have gone thru major hassles trying to get my doctor and the pharmacy to give me an extra supply. the "system" is just not geared towards giving people extra supplies of meds. I finally convinced them to give me a 3-month subscription. and this is for a med that is pretty harmless, totally non-addictive, and necessary.

I dunno WHAT people are going to do in a real crisis. I am somewhat happy by the thought that the "folks in charge" realize that this is a big deal. it is !! but it beats me how they will get meds to millions of people.

Pete

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#276111 - 08/07/15 04:16 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Pete]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 1004
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
A large part of it is how much the particular drug costs. The drug that I take for blood pressure is very cheap. No problem getting the insurance to go for a three month supply. One of the ones I take for allergies is much higher. MD didn't have a bit of problem writing it for three months. Insurance would only dispense for 30 day supply unless I wanted to go through their procedures between them & the doctor's office.

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#276117 - 08/07/15 07:00 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 856
Loc: Southern California
I've got a mix of costs for important drugs. The cost ranges (no insurance) from $9.00 up to $1000+ per month. Some of them, I can consume at a reduced rate for a short period of time to build up a buffer supply. Others I cannot.

Given the unholy charley foxtrot that was my last refill request (I went through my 2 week emergency supply and was titrating off to avoid going cold turkey), a couple months extra supply is not a PAW measure, but basic insurance.
_________________________
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane

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#276119 - 08/07/15 08:32 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
RNewcomb Offline
Member

Registered: 04/19/12
Posts: 170
Loc: Iowa
There was a discussion here at work the other day about what a diabetic would do in a total collapse situation.

Insulin apparently has a 90 day shelf life, and apparently making your own is pretty much impossible.

Anybody here ever put any idea's into this? How would a Type I diabetic survive this type of scenario?

As a group of Engineers, we basically came up with... They won't.

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#276120 - 08/07/15 11:54 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: RNewcomb]
JeffMc Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 129
Loc: Northwest Florida
From a pharmacy viewpoint, insulin lasts quite a bit longer than 90 days from production, if kept reasonably cool. But the clock begins running once it's in use by the consumer, or unrefrigerated. Then it's about a month, IIRC. There are handy evaporative pouches (Frio brand, for one) to keep insulin cool while traveling, away from refrigeration, or in case of power outage. Nonetheless, in the case of a total collapse, lots of diabetics and others dependent on one thing or another would inevitably die, if none of the other potential causes of death in such an event didn't kill them first.

I have to also wonder how all the schizophrenics, severe depressives, others with various medical conditions, and drug addicts, who require medication not to maintain their lives, but to sustain their ability to function effectively, might fare in a total collapse. Darwin can be a harsh master.

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#276123 - 08/08/15 01:28 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: JeffMc]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1413
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Originally Posted By: JeffMc

I have to also wonder how all the schizophrenics, severe depressives, others with various medical conditions, and drug addicts, who require medication not to maintain their lives, but to sustain their ability to function effectively, might fare in a total collapse. Darwin can be a harsh master.


Obviously you are not completely familiar with Darwin but instead attempt to bend his theories to support your views which only serves to derail this interesting topic and thread.

You may want to read this thead.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#276124 - 08/08/15 02:14 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2460
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
Your insurance may vary; I'm able to get a refill three days prior to last month's refill date. I have been doing this for years and have managed to build up a supply. Something may happen and I have to raid my stash. In those times I was glad to have a reserve to raid.

Jeanette Isabelle


Edited by Jeanette_Isabelle (08/08/15 02:15 AM)
_________________________
“Trust me, this is not gonna end well!” — Pleakley, Lilo & Stitch

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#276125 - 08/08/15 02:52 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Bingley Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1442
I think in the total collapse scenario, you must account for the possibility that you will have to move in order to survive. Some people seem to assume total collapse means the disappearance of government and public services, with an occasional mob here and there. There could be invading troops, and your neighborhood could be a battleground. Or there could be some sort of long-term natural disaster. You can't just stay and homestead like it was 19th century America on the frontier. Look at Syria -- how are you going to farm a patch of land and be "self-reliant" when ISIS might come and cut off your head?

You have to prepare for the possibility that you have move, possibly across borders. In that case,

-- Learn some foreign languages. If you can't communicate, you stand at a great disadvantage!

-- Travel and scout out potential countries to run to. Get to know their culture, law, and system. Make some friends there.

-- Keep your travel documents in shape.

-- However, be ready to sneak into another country without the proper documents or visas if that's the only path of survival. I'm not sure how to get expertise in human smuggling.

-- Money. Be ready for the collapse of your country's currency system. Don't count on the banking system to come through. You may not be able to access your millions in the numbered Swiss banking account if you are forced to Ogalaland.

What else?

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#276128 - 08/08/15 03:49 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
I think we should all MOVE TO GREECE and put these plans into action. I WANNA see how they work out!

There have been some great ideas here. But you know how "reality bites". The unfolding social crisis in Greece is a perfect way to see the real thing.

Pete

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#276130 - 08/08/15 07:46 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: JeffMc]
Phaedrus Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2761
Loc: Big Sky Country
Originally Posted By: JeffMc
Nonetheless, in the case of a total collapse, lots of diabetics and others dependent on one thing or another would inevitably die, if none of the other potential causes of death in such an event didn't kill them first.



One of the best diabetes clinics in the entire world has basically "cured" even very advanced cases with just diet. The cure? You eat virtually no carbohydrates. This isn't some quack either but a respected doctor and scientist. Do you know the amount of carbs needed per day? Zero. The human body can manufacture everything it needs to run out of fats and proteins (obviously salt, vitamins and minerals are required as well).

In some kind of protracted crises where insulin isn't available diet is going to be the only option. But since most diabetes is cased by eating the SAD not having that "diet" may save your life anyways.
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

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#276131 - 08/08/15 11:36 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: RNewcomb]
adam2 Online   content
Addict

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 450
Loc: Somerset UK
Originally Posted By: RNewcomb
There was a discussion here at work the other day about what a diabetic would do in a total collapse situation.
Insulin apparently has a 90 day shelf life, and apparently making your own is pretty much impossible.
Anybody here ever put any idea's into this? How would a Type I diabetic survive this type of scenario?
As a group of Engineers, we basically came up with... They won't.


As others have posted, insulin keeps for a lot longer than 90 days if fresh to start with and kept cold.
Insulin must be kept cold but never frozen.

Here is an idea for prolonged storage of insulin, that will reliably keep it cool for a long time without any risk of freezing.
Obtain a very large, well insulated, top opening container. A dead chest freezer sounds good.
Buy an ice maker as used in bars for the bulk production of ice cubes.
Fill the dead freezer about half full of ice cubes.
Place the insulin in an insulated picnic cooler atop the ice, add more ice around the picnic cooler until the freezer is nearly full.
Whilst times are normal, top up the ice regularly.

When disaster occurs and the power goes off, it will take a long time for all that ice to melt. The insulin will be maintained at very close to freezing point but never actually frozen.

Better still would a home made insulated box with walls consisting of at least a foot of closed cell rigid foam, and a tight fitting lid.
Bigger is better, since heat gain is proportional to the surface area, whilst the amount of heat needed to melt the contained ice is in proportion to the volume of the ice.

A drain to remove melt water is needed, preferably fitted with a "U" trap to prevent loss of cold air.

It should be possible to make more ice from time to time by limited running of a generator, or by powering the icemaker from a large RE system. In winter of course naturally occurring ice can be harvested in many places.

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#276136 - 08/08/15 05:36 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Treeseeker Offline
Member

Registered: 03/29/12
Posts: 181
Loc: California
ICE

Instead of using loose ice cubes, fill used plastic bottles with water (not quite full), leave the cap loose and put in the freezer until frozen. Then tighten the cap and you can now store sideways if you wish. Then after the ice melts you have a bottle of pure water.

I know they say you shouldn't use old plastic bottles that have contained anything with sugar in them since some sugars seep into the plastic and later promote bacterial growth. However these bottles are going to be frozen so little bacteria is going to grow.

I store a number of these in my freezers since they slow down the warming of the freezer after a power outage. They are also handy when you need an ice chest for the day.

MEDS

For your meds supply as Jeanette mentioned some insurance companies will refill early even though they say 30 days. When you think about it, they have to since you can't wait until you take your last dose, to apply for a refill (for critical drugs). Sometimes refills, take a week or more, if the refills are out and they need to contact the Dr for a new prescription.

I have had several insurance companies that will allow refills 7 days in advance of the 30 days.

So, if you are systematic, you can easily build up a 60 day supply or even more. I set an calendar alarm after each refill for 23 days ahead, so I can get the next refill.

Granted it is a pain, but it can work.

Even if you can get 90 day supplies, your quantity is constantly dwindling until just before refill time you have only a week's supply.


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#276137 - 08/08/15 07:05 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Phaedrus]
chaosmagnet Online   content
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3427
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Phaedrus
One of the best diabetes clinics in the entire world has basically "cured" even very advanced cases with just diet.


Was that true for Type One diabetes or only for Type Two?

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#276139 - 08/08/15 07:53 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Treeseeker]
adam2 Online   content
Addict

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 450
Loc: Somerset UK
Originally Posted By: Treeseeker
ICE

Instead of using loose ice cubes, fill used plastic bottles with water (not quite full), leave the cap loose and put in the freezer until frozen. Then tighten the cap and you can now store sideways if you wish. Then after the ice melts you have a bottle of pure water.

I know they say you shouldn't use old plastic bottles that have contained anything with sugar in them since some sugars seep into the plastic and later promote bacterial growth. However these bottles are going to be frozen so little bacteria is going to grow.

I store a number of these in my freezers since they slow down the warming of the freezer after a power outage. They are also handy when you need an ice chest for the day.




This is an excellent way of delaying the defrosting of a freezer during a power outage, and the water should be drinkable if consumed promptly after defrosting.

However in the specific case of preserving insulin or other perishable medications, then I can not recommend it. Any reasonable number of such frozen bottles of water would soon be depleted, and each time the bottles are handled or transferred from the freezer to wherever the insulin is kept this involves opening of doors and admission of heat.
Initially the bottles will be at well below freezing point and could freeze the insulin and spoil it.
My suggestion of large volumes of loose ice cubes can NEVER go below freezing, and will remain very close to freezing until almost all the ice has melted.

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#276142 - 08/08/15 11:25 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: adam2]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 1004
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
Quote:
large volumes of loose ice cubes can NEVER go below freezing,


Ice taken from the freezer has to be the same temperature as the inside of the freezer. When you remove it from the freezer, it will not start to melt until the interior of the cube gets up to 32 degrees.

I would advise testing any setup with an out of date bottle of insulin or an empty bottle refilled with water and a thermometer. Another way to test it would be to get one of these weather stations with a remote thermometer that keeps track of the high & low temperature and put the sensor in a plastic bag.

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#276144 - 08/09/15 03:51 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Teslinhiker]
JeffMc Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 129
Loc: Northwest Florida
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker
Originally Posted By: JeffMc

I have to also wonder how all the schizophrenics, severe depressives, others with various medical conditions, and drug addicts, who require medication not to maintain their lives, but to sustain their ability to function effectively, might fare in a total collapse. Darwin can be a harsh master.


Obviously you are not completely familiar with Darwin but instead attempt to bend his theories to support your views which only serves to derail this interesting topic and thread.

You may want to read this thead.


I regret that you seem to have taken offense at my comments. I am at least passingly familiar with the main concepts of evolutionary biology, including Darwin's and later developments in that field.

However, in this case I was not making a formal biological science reference to Darwin, nor was I attempting to "bend his theories" to support my "views." Rather, I was merely referencing the popular culture's Darwin "meme" to the effect that not everyone survives. I thought that would have been apparent from the context, but perhaps it wasn't.

As for my "views," I am not sure what you think they may be, since what I wrote was a question, not a statement. Nor am I sure how a question pertaining to people with varying degrees or types of pharmacological dependence might fare in a total collapse is somehow off-topic or serves to "derail" this thread. But if it is or does, that was not my intent, and I apologize.

Lastly, I did read the thread you suggested, and particularly your comments therein. I believe my posts since returning to this forum have had an acceptable S/N ratio, are based on real-world experiences and training and not "fluff" or internet hearsay, and have been moderate and respectful in tone. But, ultimately, that's for others to judge.

Thank you for your comments.

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#276146 - 08/09/15 05:01 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: JeffMc]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1413
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Originally Posted By: JeffMc

I regret that you seem to have taken offense at my comments. I am at least passingly familiar with the main concepts of evolutionary biology, including Darwin's and later developments in that field.


Hey Jeff, no offense at your comments.

Way back in the early 1990's, my longtime GF at the time, wrote her Masters thesis on Darwin's theories and how the modern world has challenged, debunked many of those theories and also how many of them have stood the test of time despite better technological studies. As her thesis was researched and written before the dawn of the internet, we spent untold hours in libraries and sitting through many late hours at home, researching and reading through too many old and newer books in regards to Darwin's theories for her thesis paper. So needless to say, I have a far more better understanding (but obviously not at the Masters level) of Darwin. So when I read comments that allude to the cliche or memes of "Darwin award", "Darwin candidate" etc, I get a bit riled as most people have no idea what Darwin's theories were but use them way out of context.

Sorry that I jumped the gun and to conclusions. Hopefully this interesting thread continues!

PS. Darwin was a very sick man for many years of his life. Despite not having the benefit of modern medicine as we do, he still lived to the age of 73. Makes you wonder if we depend too much on modern medicine and the effect of not having easy access to it in a long term disaster situation would show any measurable higher death rate statistics.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#276147 - 08/09/15 05:29 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Teslinhiker]
JeffMc Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 129
Loc: Northwest Florida
No sweat. You are, of course, correct. Darwinian evolution does not address the survival odds of individuals within our species, despite the "Darwin Awards" and all that.

I can relate to your experience. It can eventually get pretty annoying when you see people constantly and cavalierly misusing or ignorantly mangling something you have acquired some expertise in. Wasn't Darwin himself also rather taken aback by some of the uses and debate surrounding his seminal work? I can't remember, but I think I recall something about that.

My own related personal pet peeve is with those who attempt to over-generalize the theories of evolutionary biology outside their proper realm of biology and impose them upon the social sciences, i.e., as so-called "social darwinism."

As to our dependence on modern medicine, my thought is that many more may suffer some impact on their quality of life than will actually die from its absence after a total collapse.

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#276150 - 08/09/15 08:54 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: UTAlumnus]
adam2 Online   content
Addict

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 450
Loc: Somerset UK
Originally Posted By: UTAlumnus
Quote:
large volumes of loose ice cubes can NEVER go below freezing,


Ice taken from the freezer has to be the same temperature as the inside of the freezer. When you remove it from the freezer, it will not start to melt until the interior of the cube gets up to 32 degrees.

I would advise testing any setup with an out of date bottle of insulin or an empty bottle refilled with water and a thermometer. Another way to test it would be to get one of these weather stations with a remote thermometer that keeps track of the high & low temperature and put the sensor in a plastic bag.


In the case of ice taken from a freezer you are correct. That is why I suggested that bottles of water that have been frozen are not ideal for keeping insulin.

However my original post specifically refers to ice from an ice cube making machine. This is not the same as a freezer.

Ice from an ice machine is at very close to freezing point and starts melting virtually as soon as it is made. If this ice be placed in a large insulated container as I suggested, then it will melt very slowly. Depending on the size of the container, the degree of insulation, and the ambient temperature, some of the ice should last weeks, maybe even months.

Ice made and used as I describe will maintain a well insulated container a very close to freezing point until most of the ice has melted. It can never go detectably below freezing point.

To melt a kilo of ice at freezing point into a kilo of water at freezing point takes about 90 watt hours.
To melt a 1000 kilos of ice therefore takes about 90KWH.
An extremely well insulated container, at freezing point within and located in a cool basement, might have a heat gain of 1KWH a day, so it would take about 90 days for all the ice to melt.
The making of 1000 kilos of ice initially is non trivial, hence the need for an ice maker. Whilst times are normal, about 11 kilos of ice will need replacing each day to keep the container full.
All this entails considerable cost and trouble, but might be worth it for someone whose life depends on insulin or other perishable medicine.
Another option would be an ultra high efficiency DC refrigerator and a PV system to power it. If human life depends on refrigeration it should be duplicated.

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#276153 - 08/09/15 07:06 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: adam2]
JeffMc Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 129
Loc: Northwest Florida
You guys appear to know a lot about this, so I have some questions for you.

I've looked into high-end ice chests, such as the Yeti brand, for car camping, etc. But their prices ranges up to several hundred dollars for something I would only use on infrequent longer campouts, and I already have several mass market brand coolers that are usually adequate for my needs.

Beyond the usual things like keeping them full, limiting opening frequency, and using block or dry ice, what might practically be done to extend their range?

I plan on getting some Reflectix insulation (basically bubblewrap faced with foil on both sides) for a different project. Would it be worthwhile making a cooler over-jacket out of that? Or is most of the loss incurred by air leakage and opening? If so, would it make more sense to add a gasket and maybe some means of clamping the lid down tighter?

Any ideas appreciated. Thanks for sharing your expertise!

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#276154 - 08/09/15 07:12 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: RNewcomb]
JeffMc Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 129
Loc: Northwest Florida
All these ideas may really help insulin-dependent diabetics and others who require refrigerated medications plan for dealing with an emergency, so thanks!

Here's what the FDA says about insulin storage in a disaster:

"After a disaster, patients in the affected area may not have access to refrigeration. According to the product labels from all three U.S. insulin manufacturers, it is recommended that insulin be stored in a refrigerator at approximately 36°F to 46°F. Unopened and stored in this manner, these products maintain potency until the expiration date on the package.

Insulin products contained in vials or cartridges supplied by the manufacturers (opened or unopened) may be left unrefrigerated at a temperature between 59°F and 86°F for up to 28 days and continue to work. However, an insulin product that has been altered for the purpose of dilution or by removal from the manufacturer’s original vial should be discarded within two weeks.

Note: Insulin loses some effectiveness when exposed to extreme temperatures. The longer the exposure to extreme temperatures, the less effective the insulin becomes. This can result in loss of blood glucose control over time. Under emergency conditions, you might still need to use insulin that has been stored above 86°F.

You should try to keep insulin as cool as possible. If you are using ice, avoid freezing the insulin. Do not use insulin that has been frozen. Keep insulin away from direct heat and out of direct sunlight.

When properly stored insulin becomes available again, the insulin vials that have been exposed to these extreme conditions should be discarded and replaced as soon as possible."
http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/EmergencyPreparedness/ucm085213.htm

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#276166 - 08/10/15 08:23 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: JeffMc]
adam2 Online   content
Addict

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 450
Loc: Somerset UK
Originally Posted By: JeffMc
You guys appear to know a lot about this, so I have some questions for you.

I've looked into high-end ice chests, such as the Yeti brand, for car camping, etc. But their prices ranges up to several hundred dollars for something I would only use on infrequent longer campouts, and I already have several mass market brand coolers that are usually adequate for my needs.

Beyond the usual things like keeping them full, limiting opening frequency, and using block or dry ice, what might practically be done to extend their range?

I plan on getting some Reflectix insulation (basically bubblewrap faced with foil on both sides) for a different project. Would it be worthwhile making a cooler over-jacket out of that? Or is most of the loss incurred by air leakage and opening? If so, would it make more sense to add a gasket and maybe some means of clamping the lid down tighter?

Any ideas appreciated. Thanks for sharing your expertise!


Practical experiment beats theory.
The effectiveness of an insulated container may be determined by a simple experiment.
Place a known amount of cubed ice from an ice maker into the insulated container and observe how it takes for the ice to melt.
If uncertain as to the effectiveness of adding an insulating jacket, then measure the time taken to melt say 5 kilos of ice with and without the insulating jacket.
I doubt that fixing the lid more tightly would help much because they are reasonably air tight anyway, but again if in doubt try the experiment.
The effectiveness of different brands or types of cooler may be compared in a similar way. Remember that bigger coolers are better, provided that they are full. If comparing coolers of different capacities I would use a weight of ice in proportion to the internal volume of the cooler.
The exact placement of the ice is not that important, but it must be consistent from one test to the next. As the intention is keep most or all of the inside of the cooler cold, the ice should be placed near the top.

Ideally conduct such tests indoors in a heated/conditioned room in order that the air temperature remains similar from one test to the next.

The time taken for the ice to melt may not accurately reflect conditions of use during an actual emergency, but IT IS a level playing field for comparison purposes.

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#276170 - 08/10/15 08:22 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
RNewcomb Offline
Member

Registered: 04/19/12
Posts: 170
Loc: Iowa
Thanks to everyone for their responses!

I hope someday they develop a cure for Diabetes. I am fortunate enough to not have developed it personally, but one of my co-workers daughters developed it over the summer (Type I), and that's what spurred the whole conversation here at the office.

I've passed your idea's on to him, and he was very grateful! It at least gives him some options to at least buy his daughter some time in a prolonged emergency.

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#276173 - 08/11/15 12:40 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: JeffMc]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1413
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Originally Posted By: JeffMc
You guys appear to know a lot about this, so I have some questions for you.

I've looked into high-end ice chests, such as the Yeti brand, for car camping, etc. But their prices ranges up to several hundred dollars for something I would only use on infrequent longer campouts, and I already have several mass market brand coolers that are usually adequate for my needs.


Beyond the usual things like keeping them full, limiting opening frequency, and using block or dry ice, what might practically be done to extend their range?
I plan on getting some Reflectix insulation (basically bubblewrap faced with foil on both sides) for a different project. Would it be worthwhile making a cooler over-jacket out of that? Or is most of the loss incurred by air leakage and opening? If so, would it make more sense to add a gasket and maybe some means of clamping the lid down tighter?

Any ideas appreciated. Thanks for sharing your expertise!


Don't waste your money on a Yeti or other high end cooler, excepting an ARB 12 volt cooler which is beyond this subject here.

Our main cooler is a Coleman Xtreme 70 quart which can be had for around $50.00 to $60.00. Using frozen blocks of ice or water bottles is far superior to using ice cubes as the density of the blocks or frozen bottles, far exceeds ice cubes.

When packing the cooler, it is first lined with a spare Grabber all weather blanket.


Next an old towel is placed into the bottom of the cooler then bottles of frozen water are added.


Next cover the bottles with the 2nd fold of the towel. It is here that any food or beverages are added. Note that the images are deceiving, there is sill a lot of room in the cooler


After you have added the food etc (keep oft used food at the top so you do not have to dig through to the bottom and open up the carefully packed cooler all the time.)
Add as many more more frozen bottles on top as much as possible then cover with another towel then fold the blanket over that. After doing using this method a few dozen times, one gets quite efficient at packing the cooler and adding more frozen bottles then first imagined.


By using this method, we have been able to keep food for 9 days in temps ranging from 80F to close to 100F while camping. Of course, the top water bottles will be thawed by the end but the bottom bottles should still have ice left in them and by which time, most of your food will be used up anyway.

The real secret with any cooler is to use frozen blocks of ice, or in this case, frozen water bottles. Also minimize lid opening and keep the cooler out of the direct sun and out of hot ambient temperatures. During the day, keep the cooler in shaded areas as much as possible and it also does not hurt to drape a sleeping bag or bed blanket over the cooler as well as it will also serve as insulation from the heat.

Also room permitting, use a separate cooler for daily drinking bottles of water, juice, pop, energy drinks etc as this separate cooler will also minimize lid opening on the cooler containing food.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#276174 - 08/11/15 01:08 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: RNewcomb]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1413
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Originally Posted By: RNewcomb
Thanks to everyone for their responses!

I hope someday they develop a cure for Diabetes. I am fortunate enough to not have developed it personally, but one of my co-workers daughters developed it over the summer (Type I), and that's what spurred the whole conversation here at the office.

I've passed your idea's on to him, and he was very grateful! It at least gives him some options to at least buy his daughter some time in a prolonged emergency.


For prolonged emergencies where power may be out for days or months and a persons life is dependent on keeping any medicine cold, I would invest in about 300 to 400 watt solar panels, at least 2 x 6 volt golf cart batteries connected in series (to get 12 volts), a 1000 watt inverter and a small apartment style fridge - more commonly known as a bar or dorm fridge.

The solar panels will provide enough amps per day - even on cloudy or shorter fall and winter days to keep the batteries charged enough and allow the fridge to run without any problem.

This basic setup could be put together for less then $1200.00 (not including taxes.) However the best thing about solar is, the more batteries and panels you add, the more power you have to run lights etc. Also, extra solar panels can be added singularity as money allows as they do not need to be purchased in a kit form.

Windy Nation 300 watt solar panel kit $500.00

3.2 cubic foot fridge $160.00

Xantrex 1000 watt inverter $235.00

Trojan T-105 Golf Cart Battery (x2 required) $250.00

Another alternative is an ARB 12 volt cooler. By using this, the above inverter and fridge would not be needed.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#276175 - 08/11/15 01:34 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: adam2]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 1004
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
I see. For some reason, I was thinking residential freezer type that stores ice inside the freezer instead of bar/restaurant type.

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#276177 - 08/11/15 06:27 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: chaosmagnet]
Phaedrus Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2761
Loc: Big Sky Country
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
Originally Posted By: Phaedrus
One of the best diabetes clinics in the entire world has basically "cured" even very advanced cases with just diet.


Was that true for Type One diabetes or only for Type Two?


I need to go back and review it to see, honestly I don't remember. I want to say it doesn't really matter which type because the treatment is the same but I need to check it over again.
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

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#276186 - 08/12/15 03:03 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
TESLINHIKER - great system. Simple. I like it. I might have a real need for that soon. thanks for the idea!!

Pete

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#276196 - 08/13/15 02:02 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
LCranston Offline
2
Member

Registered: 08/31/09
Posts: 199
Loc: Nebraska
If one had a regular deep chest freezer with bottles of ice in it, several of these methods could be combined.

During regular times, the ice in the bottles could be kept cold the easy way, plug it in to the wall.

Once an issue happens, and you determine that it will be extended, you already have all that existing ice. Using the icemaker idea, either powered by solar/battery/generator, whatever could maintain the temp of a chest freezer indefinitely.

I do agree with Telsinhiker's numbers, a small dorm fridge could be kept running via the solar. Having used several dorm fridges, I have concerns about their temperature stability. They are very small, and every time you open the door, 1/2 the cold falls out.

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#276197 - 08/13/15 02:40 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
L Cranston ... another EXCELLENT suggestion!
I will also give that one some serious thought. Next year I might be moving to an area which is more remote. Hence electricity supplies are not completely reliable. The idea of keeping the plastic water bottles (with ice) inside a normal freezer is a very effective idea!! thanks.

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#276216 - 08/15/15 06:52 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Teslinhiker]
JeffMc Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 129
Loc: Northwest Florida
Thanks for the well thought out suggestions, Teslinhiker. I have some rectangular Nalgene bottles that I use for frozen water bottles. I think I'll try your idea for inside insulation, using leftover Reflectix since I don't have a spare Space blanket and the two seem to share some similar properties.

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#276252 - 08/18/15 03:35 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: JeffMc]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 870
Loc: wellington, fl
There are fiberglass insulation kits for water heaters to decrease energy use for reheating the contents. The same approach can be applied to fridges, freezers and ice chests by layering insulation on the outside. have done so with foil backed rigid foam from the lumberyard, old foam sleeping pads, and such. All effective to some degree. Less effective in general than paying close attention to the lid-frame weather seal material.
_________________________
Dance like you have never been hurt, work like no one is watching,love like you don't need the money.

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#276254 - 08/18/15 05:44 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
For the insulin cooling you don't have to go with a huge food fridge. There are plenty of dedicated portable electric coolers available on the market. Including battery operated and 12V ones, suitable for solar power (no need for a whopping 300W of power, something like 20W should do just fine for them); e.g.: http://sell.lulusoso.com/selling-leads/2...s-supplies.html

Regarding the ice bottles method - I understand the versatility of having clean water at the end of the melting phase, however the special gel cooling packs are noticeably more efficient in my experience (keeps it cool longer, occupies less space).

By the way, if using ice bottles - boil the tap water first, let it cool down, fill your bottles and let them stay for an hour or two open before freezing them. That way you will get rid of air and other gases in the tap water, as well as settle any solids in it. That will make you a crystal clear ice, which melts longer.

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#276256 - 08/18/15 07:10 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Tjin Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1777
Nobody mentioned those cooler which are able to run of different power sources, you know the ones which are able to run on:
- 220 / 110V
- 12 V
- Gas (propane/butane)

Simple, not to expensive, lots of options and propane cylinders are simple to store and use.

(Do NOT use gas mode in enclosed area's)
_________________________


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#276258 - 08/18/15 08:21 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
LCranston Offline
2
Member

Registered: 08/31/09
Posts: 199
Loc: Nebraska
It is a balancing act-- money vs. quality/options/space.

A quality dometic or norcold fridge will run you 750.00 minimum for a dorm size unit.
BUT, will run on anything, and can keep food/milk/medical supplies too.

The little medical unit will cost you 100-200, and only needs a small solar panel
BUT will only hold a little bit.

The chest freezer will hold your medical supplies plus a side of beef for 250.00
BUT, will take more solar.

The deciding point for me; I already HAVE the freezer. If I plug it in to generator/inverter, I can keep it a fridge like temperatures running it a few hours a day.
IF I had an ice machine (I dont) i could make ice to fill it.

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#276268 - 08/19/15 02:30 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: LCranston]
LesSnyder Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1638
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
as Mr Cranston pointed out, don't overlook the possibility of changing the thermostat on a small chest freezer to the working range of a refrigerator... the upright chest freezer will typically have better insulation, and not allow cold air to as easily spill when the door is opened...an EU2000 with a propane/natural gas conversion could possibly be modified to work with a wood gasification generator to work with a variety of fuel options...

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#276272 - 08/19/15 08:16 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Tjin]
adam2 Online   content
Addict

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 450
Loc: Somerset UK
Originally Posted By: Tjin
Nobody mentioned those cooler which are able to run of different power sources, you know the ones which are able to run on:
- 220 / 110V
- 12 V
- Gas (propane/butane)

Simple, not to expensive, lots of options and propane cylinders are simple to store and use.

(Do NOT use gas mode in enclosed area's)


I can not recommend these appliances for regular use whilst times are normal or in an emergency.
They use a great deal of energy. typically 150 watts continual in electric mode or a significant gas consumption.
They are basically absorption cycle gas fridges with the option of an electric heating element instead of the gas flame.

For keeping insulin or other perishables cold for a long time without utility service I see only two realistic options.
Either a very large and very well insulated container filled with ice that will take months to melt.

Or a high efficiency DC refrigerator and a battery bank charged by PV modules, that will work indefinitely until something breaks. If life depends on it then the equipment should be duplicated.

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