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Where Should You Go when the SHTF?

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after the SHTF

With the threats of doomsday scenario looming large, it’s high time we began looking for the best and the safest places to move out to. We cannot deny the multiple threats to human survival amid the current disastrous COVID-19 pandemic allegedly unleashed by China, whether accidentally or deliberately doesn’t make any difference really.

In recent months, the world once again stands on the brink of nuclear holocaust reminding us of the cold war era with clear nuclear flashpoints in the South China Sea, Taiwan, Kashmir, Japan, and North Korea. The threat of Islamic terrorism is as real today as on 9/11. The frequent natural disasters in the forms of floods, avalanche, tornadoes, forest fires, and other climate change impacts have made the world more vulnerable than ever before. While global threats impact everyone, America is perhaps more vulnerable than the other parts of the world.

The average middle-class American is perhaps the worst affected among all. Real hard-working Americans can see they have been the worst victims whether it’s a global economic meltdown, or 9/11, or COVID-19. They can see what’s coming and they must prepare.

Let Us Face Facts Loud and Clear

The U.S is the epicenter of the global COVID-19, whether by accident or design doesn’t really matter. The pandemic has raised security concerns and has triggered a realignment of the global powers making Americans more vulnerable and at greater risk from diverse threats including biological and nuclear wars.

In this disaster-prone world with uncertainty looming large each day and each moment, the average middle class American must prepare with backup plans, survival skills, and foresight into the future to come. For many years, we have witnessed climatic weather events and natural disasters increasingly more threatening. The threats from the Middle East have compounded with the emergence of new threats from China. It is no longer safe to adopt an ostrich-like approach with our heads buried in the sand.

It’s no longer safe to think only about career and retirement or about college or wherever we may want to go for our next vacation. It’s time to think of a survival plan and be prepared with a plan to move out before the doomsday predictions materialize.

A Bug Out – Pros and Cons

Bugging out successfully is not an option everyone has for the simple reason that not everyone is cut out for this strategy. Just think of it! How many among us are made for wilderness survival? How many of us can adjust to the hardship of a remote and distant town?

However, bugging out can be an option if you are prepared with the survival instinct to endure the hardship. You may have to consider several factors when choosing a bug out location.

The first thing for you to consider is your accessibility to the location. You must be able to arrive at your bug out location. The next on your list should be the resources there. Your bug-out place should be close to water. There should be enough food resources including cultivable soil and plenty of games.

You may have to consider the factor of vulnerability. How would you defend against a hostile tribe? Are people and the surrounding friendly and appealing? What about the weather? Is it hostile? Does the place experience droughts and flooding? How are you going to put up with diverse and extreme weather conditions? You will have to prepare a bug-out of the plan accordingly taking into account all conceivable scenarios.

Here are some of the best bug-out locations within the US when SHTF.

Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama

These are probably the safest as far south as you can get places. Florida is father still but you will most likely encounter transportation and population issues. The advantage with Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama is that you have plenty of convenient places to hide and yet remain protected with the availability of abundant water, luxuriant game, and forest. You may have to remain prepared for the hot summer though.

The Appalachians

In comparison to the Rockies, this mountain chain has the advantage of more temperate weather. Its only concern is a comparatively more dense population.

The place is bounteous in water, game, and cheap land. It is the place you will have fun with guns and hunting. The land is rich enough to grow a variety of foods.

The only downside is the highways getting clogged down in the event of a panic situation as there are several major cities along the highways but there are back roads you can use.

The Rocky Mountains

This could be your ideal bug out location with tons of hideout places if you are anywhere close to Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado states. The region is sparsely populated with relatively affordable land. Permits to build and construct are easy to obtain here. Guns and hunting are not discouraged and you will find game and water in plentiful. You are most likely safe here from nuclear and other threats. The only downside is the freezing temperature and snowfall.

International Relocation

Americans should also prepare for an advance plan to relocate internationally in the event of a mega-disaster that doesn’t materialize overnight but begins to build on gradually with clear signs of where the events would be leading up to. It means working with insured and licensed movers who can arrange your international relocation efficiently and fast. You will need to have your passports, knowledge of the place you are relocating to, and the things you can move through the ports. The backup plan you have should take into account the cost of living at the new place, your finances, and the goods and provisions you may have to build from scratch at the place of relocation because you will most likely move out just with the bare essentials.

Here are some of the places to consider in case you are planning an international relocation.

French Polynesia

Located in the Pacific Ocean, halfway between California and Australia, French Polynesia consists of a group of about 1700 islands that has the landmass of only about 1000 square miles, while its total area including water is about as big as the European Union.

The best thing about the place is its climate. The average temperature is pretty cool and comfortable at about 85 degrees F despite hot and humid summer months. The place is almost free of crime.

Tourists find the island of Tahiti especially attractive. The other attractive destinations in French Polynesia include Huahine, Moorea, and Bora Bora.

Under the French control since the 19th century, French Polynesia is definitely a place to consider for relocation given its hospitable people, culture, and climate over and above the assured safety from global disasters.

Malta

Malta is highly affordable with its low cost of living and superior employment opportunities. Malta ranks second on the list of personal happiness next to Costa Rica. Malta offers a large number of diverse leisure activities. People of Malta are happy to live in their country and more than half of them planned to spend the rest of their lives there.

Simmers in Malta can get hot and humid much like the southeast part of the US. Malta is relatively safer than many other parts of the world. Cleanliness is an issue in some parts of the country, the only deterrent perhaps.

Spain

Spain is the second most welcoming nation to foreigners next to Taiwan. We could have included Taiwan in our list if it was located somewhere far from Communist China. There are a number of reasons to relocate to Spain including its wonderful climate and miles and miles of sandy beaches. The nation maintains a low political profile which is a plus.

You can plan your relocation to Spain based on factors like education, safety, and employment opportunities. Basque country ranks the highest in education and also in safety, while Ceuta ranks the lowest in both of these. Skilled foreign workers are in demand in the skilled trade, language teaching, and engineering.

New Zealand

New Zealand is among the safest of places to live if you ignore the destructive earthquakes in Christchurch in recent years, but its only drawback is its remote location from anywhere in the world. If the flights are stopped you could get stranded.

New Zealand is known for its breathtaking scenery. However, the sparse population of the nation along with its limited public transportation and limited job opportunities may leave you wanting more.

Canada

Canada is a beautiful country with lots of benefits to citizens. It offers free education and universal health coverage but the tax rate can be high especially for those earning more than the average. The cost of living can be especially high in cities like Calgary, Quebec, and Toronto. The real estate prices have been spiraling upwards across Canada.

The winter in Canada is harsh and endless. You may consider relocating to the shoreline if you abhor cold winters. Places like Newfoundland and Vancouver will offer you the respite from the harsh winter. The depressed real estate scenario in Newfoundland could mean affordable housing but this part of Canada faces the scarcity of jobs.

No matter what you choose – bug in or bug out – there are endless choices. All you need is an advance plan that takes care of most of your concerns, if not all.

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How to Have Potable Water Anywhere

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Water is an essential source of life for everyone, and we cannot live without it, even if we try. Unfortunately, drinking water is pretty scarce nowadays, and finding new ways to produce and source drinking water is posing a challenge. Even while the ocean is said to be the biggest reservoir for water, that water is salted, and we cannot drink it. Freshwater bodies and underground water levels are fast depleting because of our careless use of water. So we need to find new ways to access drinking water anywhere, be it the desert, the ocean, or even a hotel.

In an emergency, apart from food, water is also essential and should be your top priority. Be sure that the water you find is safe to drink, otherwise, you may need to disinfect the water so it is potable. While it is true that the human body cannot survive without water for more than three days, you also do not want to fall ill and contract illnesses from drinking unclean water. Good news for you, there are many water sources that you can find like rivers, lakes, ponds, or small streams while you are backpacking, hiking, or are in an emergency scenario. There are multiple ways to make the water clean enough and safe enough for you to drink. 

  1. Finding water 

You have to find water before you start the disinfection process. Depending on where you are and what situation you are in, water can either be found with ease or with much difficulty. As mentioned above, there are freshwater resources like streams, ponds, rivers, and lakes from which you can fill your container or bottle. Rainwater can also be collected in case there are no water sources nearby. Snow can be melted for drinking and made to go through the filtration process. There are many ways to supply yourself with water. You just have to be creative enough to think like a survivalist. 

  1. The boiling method

Boiling water is often considered the best route to safe drinking water. This method kills all kinds of parasites, bacteria, and viruses that are in the water. Boiling water for a minimum of five minutes kills almost every bacteria but aim for boiling it for 10 – 15 minutes to be on the safe side. 

Boiling water can be a simple process if you have all the materials. It can be done over a campfire or on a gas stove in a metal or glass container. If no such container is available, heat small rocks over a fire and then place them in your makeshift container. 

  1. Survival straws

Survival straws have recently come into the market and they are already making waves. They are said to be the smallest, lightest water filtration tool that has been so efficient. These straws can be used as drinking straws and, since they are small and lightweight, are much preferred and recommended by hikers, travelers, and even survivalists who prepare for an emergency or survival scenarios. 

They filter out 99.99% of bacteria and they also have a built-in activated carbon filter element that, while filtering out bacteria and viruses, also removes strange flavors and smells from the water. 

  1. Water filters

Usage of portable water purification devices is another popular method people use to purify the water before drinking, especially if you know beforehand that you will not find a reliable source of drinking water where you are traveling. These water filters are made specifically to treat water while on hikes, expeditions, or in a survival situation. 

Many of these water filters, while handy and portable, do require pumping the water by hand which, in hindsight, can require a lot of exertion and energy loss. But these will give you much cleaner drinking water and hence, are preferred. 

  1. Using iodine

Iodine is used to treat water and is another method by which you can disinfect your water before drinking. To treat the water with iodine, first, purchase a bottle of iodine, and then use exactly eight drops per liter of water and wait half an hour before drinking the clean water. If the water you want to purify is dirtier, you might have to wait a little longer before drinking it, or you can also put more drops of iodine in it to make it safe. 

  1. Using chlorine

Using chlorine is a method to treat water before drinking. This process is much like the process of mixing iodine with water. First, procure unscented chlorine bleach from a store. The chlorine to water ratio should be, for every one liter of water, put two drops of the chlorine bleach. Then shake the bottle and wait for 30 minutes for the chlorine to act and purify it. And then drink it. If the water is cloudier and dirtier than usual, try putting more drops of chlorine in it. 

  1. Tablets

The chlorine and iodine liquid drops that were used in the above methods are also available in tablet form. These water purification tablets have become popular and the go-to for everyone because they are easy to carry, are widely available, and come with simple ready to use instructions. You just have to filter the water through a cloth, drop a tablet in 1- 2 liters of the unclean water, wait for approximately 30 minutes and there you go. Safe and clean drinking water. 

Because water is a necessity for all, we must exercise caution while drinking it and not drink water directly from a natural source because it will surely be contaminated. Hence, this is the reason why water purifiers, tablets, and items such as survival straws exist. They help in the process of decontaminating the water and making it safe for you to drink. 

These items are made for people and you must be aware of them and use them whenever you go out, like on a trek, hiking, or in extreme situations like in an emergency or scenarios where you have to survive in a jungle. 

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How to Grow Your Own Organic Garden Even in Small Spaces

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All of us at some time or another have wished to grow fruits and vegetables and eat those fresh homegrown foods as well. But if you live in an area or in a house where there is practically no space for you to have a small garden, don’t be sad. You can still grow an organic garden in your house by being smart and thinking creatively. If you do not have a balcony or are worried the plants won’t get enough space or sunlight to grow, there is no need to worry. Plants adjust according to space, and some plants require little to no sunlight. You just need to do a bit of homework and read this article to find suggestions on how to grow an organic garden in small spaces.

  1. Container gardens
Pot Garden

Your first choice is container gardens if you have a small space and if your space is outdoors, be it a balcony or a yard. Container gardens are good for fruits and vegetables, and they have the ability to grow any type of plant of many varieties. This garden can provide you with a healthy crop only if you have the right size container and can find adequate space. Container gardens are preferred by many because they are really efficient, consume less space, and will grow fruits and vegetables to their best ability. If the garden has good sun exposure and a water system, you can even grow small fruit trees or bushes and grow more variety of plants. 

  1. Vertical gardening

Vertical gardens are another good option since most plants tend to grow upwards or are creeper plants. You can take advantage of this by growing these types of plants in your vertical garden. Making space out of nothing is the key to productivity in an organic garden and only requires some creativity.  

How do you make a vertical garden? Cut strips of old stockings and tie your plants to them to give them an upwards structure and give them much-needed support. Plants, fruits, and vegetables such as tomatoes, peas, and beans will grow easily enough if the right support and nutrients are provided to them. 

  1. Community gardens
Alice Street Community Gardens: a nice little co-op garden

Don’t worry if you do not have a window, a balcony, or a yard or no space at all to grow an organic garden. Try to find a space in your community, gather all your neighbors together, and plant a community garden!

There might be a vacant garden that you can use for your project where you can start planting all the fruits and vegetables that your heart desires. Getting involved in community gardening can also help with learning and sharing tips, tricks, and resources while increasing your social skills as you talk and get to know other people as well. 

  1. Strategic choice of plants

Growing plants in your home and taking care of them is a monumental decision in itself. But an even bigger decision awaits: choosing the right kind of plants that will grow best in the right environment. Many plants require intensive care and water, sunlight for more than six hours, and shade too. Basically, they will cry for attention 24/7. And the space they require when they grow is also important to keep in mind. So you should think carefully and make educated decisions by researching and reading up on plants and gardening.

  1. Windowsill gardening 
https://stocksnap.io/photo/lantern-plants-RRHZANVQZM

Windowsill gardening is another great way to manage a small garden in an even lesser space. It is an easy option to go for. Growing plants and edibles on a windowsill are cute and are great at saving space at all. Herbs and lettuce are good options for planting in a windowsill garden. Potted plants are good for indoor gardening and do not need as much sunlight or water to be sustained. If there is enough sun you could even try to be ambitious and try growing fruits as well. 

  1. Plant a variety of only what you need 

Now that you have decided what you want to plant, it is now time to determine how much you want to plant. Group the plants by their water and food needs and plant them together to maximize the yield and production of your plants. Doing this will give you much variety of plants as well as extra space. Also, if you plan it, you can harvest different plants in different seasons and hence, get a variety that way. This will also reduce and ensure that no plant or your energy, time, and effort get wasted. 

If there are excess fruits and vegetables, you can always store them by using the preservation techniques of freezing, drying, canning, or pickling. You can then eat out-of-season fruits and vegetables when you crave them.

  1. Watering and feeding to ensure plant health in a small garden

Whenever planting the plants, be ready to devote an unreasonable amount of time and attention to them because they certainly need it and, even more so if it is a small space. Grouping them according to their feeding and watering needs, as mentioned above, should reduce the chance of over or under watering the plants. For example, certain plants, like tomatoes, do not need the same amount of water as lettuce does. Excess water can cause your tomatoes not to grow at all while lettuce needs more water and more feeding. So the requirements of the two will clash and one plant will go bad. To prevent that from happening, use the method discussed. 

So, whoever thought that growing an organic garden is pretty much impossible in small spaces thought wrong. This article tells you in detail about the various methods and ways you can start a garden in your home space. There are many other ways as well, but these are the easiest and the simplest and don’t require much work or preparation. 

Enjoy your fresh homegrown produce and save some for next year!

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What You Need to Know About Acid Burns

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Acid burns, also known as caustic burns, happen when the skin comes in contact with an acid, base or solvent. The chemicals can affect anywhere on the body and cause irreversible damage in many cases. 

When the acid comes in contact with the skin, it causes “coagulation necrosis, “ meaning cell death leads to the end of tissues. It is this which has the damaging effects often seen in acid burn survivors. Acid burns are capable of causing deformities of the skin for life. There are also psychological effects that a person goes through like, stress disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Acid burns are caused by materials that are readily available in many places, and hence it is vital to know all you can about acid burns, the symptoms and how you can treat them. 

  1. People at greater risk

https://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/chemical-burn-third-degree-hand-with-damaged-vector-18950277

Some people are at a higher risk than others of coming in contact with chemical materials, acidic ones. These people are infants, older people and people with disabilities. You might also be at an increased risk of burns if you work somewhere you are handling acids without proper guidance or equipment. Unfortunately, in the world we live in today, there’s no category for people who are genuinely at a greater risk of acid burns as it has become a popular crime to use acid as a terror weapon.

  1. Symptoms

The symptoms might change from person to person, but their basis remains the same, so it is relatively straightforward to identify a chemical burn.

The symptoms include pain, redness, burning where the acid reaches contact with the skin and irritation. You may experience vision loss or blurry vision if the acid comes in touch with your eyes and breathing difficulties if you inhale the acidic fumes. 

  1. Chemical burns categorization

There are three categorizations in chemical burns; first degree, second-degree and lastly, third-degree burns. The least harmful is a first-degree burn, and the most damaging, as you can then figure, is a third-degree burn which can cause extreme damage to the body and skin. 

  1. Know your acids and bases

Acids usually have a pH level of less than 7, which is water, and they get dangerous as they move closer to pH level 1. Whereas bases have a pH level of more than 7, they get dangerous as they get closer to the level of 14. Acid attacks have become quite common, and the type of acids used in these attacks are hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid, and these are synonymous with physical damage. 

Products that have acidic properties in them include toilet cleaners, battery acid, bleach and other chemicals. Solid and liquid forms of acid can also cause harm depending on the strength of the acid and the amount of time it has been in contact with the skin. 

  1. Acid burns that can be rinsed with water and how to go about it

https://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/human-s-burned-hand-under-cool-running-water-vector-18950272

You can significantly reduce the impact acid has on your body by running the burned area under a lot of water. Running the affected area under water within 1 minute of the burn can significantly reduce the risk of greater damage and scarring. Ask someone to aid you, to put on gloves and wipe the affected area. Also, take off any jewellery or accessories that you might be wearing as they could have trapped acid in or around them.

  1. Acid burns that should not be rinsed with water. 

Carbolic acid and hydrofluoric acid are some of the acids that do not mix with water. Use alcohol to get the acid off the skin and then rinse it with water. Sulfuric acid burns can be flushed/rinsed with a soapy solution if the burns are not severe. Hydrofluoric acid needs to be mixed with a calcium solution. Acids burn that have gotten in the eye should be immediately flushed out with copious amounts of water.

Remember to go to your primary healthcare doctor and get a professional inspection of the burns if they continue to irritate you and still burn. Based on the severity, the doctor will prescribe antibiotic creams such as anti-itch medications, skin grafting (if the burn is severe), and in some cases, IV fluids as well. 

  1. Emergency help

While consulting your primary healthcare doctor is always a good idea, you may not reach there in time, or the doctor may not be available. There are a lot of what-ifs and uncertainty around the situation. In times like these, do not hesitate to contact and call emergency services. 

It is their job to work under tight schedules and help you under any circumstance – I guess that’s why we called them ‘emergency’ services. When you call emergency services, give them the following information so that they are entirely aware of your problem before they get to you. This will save them time from working out how to help you when they get to you.

If you happen to know the name of the chemical you have been attacked with, give it to them immediately. This will help emergency services identify the dangers you’re in, and the process of removing the chemical will be more comfortable. 

Chemical and acid burns can be excruciating when experienced, but they can be treated with basic first aid and follow-up care with your doctor on the brighter side. Even that can be reduced if you act promptly when you come in contact with any acid or dangerous chemical product. 

Be careful when handling any type of chemical product and do not inhale it or touch your face before washing your hands properly. Wear protective gear while handling any kind of chemical.

Often, reading the warning label and being advised and made aware of the harmful effects and given proper instructions before using can prevent serious medical emergencies to a great extent.

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