The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “HJL”. Flu season is upon us and the saline shortage gets worse!

Saline Shortage

Reader DMC sent in this article on the current saline shortage. This is actually nothing new, but shows the continuation of an existing problem. For the last several years, Saline has been in short supply and rationing has been the norm in the EMS services. With the loss of the Philippine factory that supplied a significant amount of saline, things have only gotten worse. Companies are trying to source from other places around the world, but supply just can’t keep up. With flu season upon us, this may get serious.

Hepatitis A Update

The Hepatitis A outbreak that started in San Diego has now spread to Utah. The outbreak started with the homeless in San Diego, but has reached a state where it is being spread to other people as well. The outbreak followed some infected homeless to Salt Lake City and now Two workers who have tested positive have potentially exposed thousands of people to the disease. So far 152 cases have been reported with no deaths. Thanks to P.S. for the link.


Wranglerstar posted a review of an odd but interesting knife. he created a Swedish butter knife out of wood as gifts and in the video commented on how he wished that he had such a knife in metal. One of his subscribers made it and sent it in to him. Now Mrs Latimer wants one.

Honey Bees

The double threat of pesticides and dwindling food sources are wiping bees out at a record pace. Reader H.L. offers this advice:

“Without bees, no stone fruit, and we would be eating just root vegetables, and a few other vegetables. Plant flowers, allow some of a large lawn to go back to being wild and cast some natural flower seeds, do not use any Round Up or pesticide/insecticide on lawn (especially if you have well water, it could get into your well). If you are not allergic, keep a few bee hives, or call your local bee keeper and offer him a place to set some of his hives. Bees behave themselves if one leaves them alone. If one lands on you (same goes for a wasp), just stay still. It will leave. I have done this off and on during my life. Only time I was stung was by a wasp that was angry because he was in a sweater sleeve that I put on, and he was getting squashed!”

Mexican Cities

In North America’s largest civil war, the failing Mexican government is locked in a battle with mass-murdering gangs and the Mexican people are caught in the middle. Reader H.L. sent in this article about how many cities are seceding to escape the corruption. This creates some odd dystopian situations where things resemble the wild, wild west. It also may be a pattern to look at if/when societal breakdown begins in the U.S. Personally, I also think it shows one of the greatest dangers/fears in today’s society – A runaway, corrupt federal government on one side and large ruthless gangs on the other.

The Dark Side

Reader T.Z. sent in this article about the dark side of Law Enforcement. Apparently, the DEA receives intelligence from the NSA’s surveillance programs (including data from those programs that Edward Snowden revealed where the NSA actually spies on it’s own citizens). The DEA then analyzes and disseminates this information to federal and local police nationwide. The data comes with a catch though. Since it is obtained illegally, they can’t use it to get warrants or reveal the intelligence community as their source. They have to find corroborating evidence to move on the intel.

Big Brother

Reader D.S. also sent in an article detailing much the same concept. Big brother is watching you today. This article details the “parallel construction” where the law enforcement agencies build a second set of data after the suspect has been brought to their attention by the original data. While evidence is hard to come by, there is some that suggests the practice is occurring regularly throughout the country. There is also concern over the right to a fair trial among other civil concerns using such methods since some of the evidence is never shared.

o o o

Please send your news tips to HJL. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who watch news that is important to them. Due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” news. We often “get the scoop” on news that is most likely ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!


    1. In all likelihood, your bees did not freeze to death, they likely starved to death either due to a not enough food resources stored inside the hive in contact with the honey bee cluster and/or disease that was VERY likely spread to the honey bees by Varroa Mites. Honey bee hives MUST be treated for Varroa Mites on an as need basis and monitored closely. IF you do NOT treat for Varroa mites, you WILL have an extremely high mortality rates over the winter.

      Insulating your bee hives is also another important measure that in past times was not required but now almost a necessity due to dwindling nectar resources available to honey bees. During the Winter , food resources inside the hives MUST be carefully monitored. If they are low, feed them sugar syrup if temps are above 45, sugar food patties or fondant if below. Ensure the food resources are well in contact with the honey bee cluster. Honey bees can withstand extremely bitter cold IF they have good food resources and a reasonably insulated or sheltered hive.

      Sorry you lost your bees, I lost 5 hives out of 60 myself. In the best of conditions even if you do all you can to prepare your bees for Winter, expect 10% to 30% losses. Be prepared to make splits and nucleus colonies to make up your losses in the Spring.

      If anyone would like to discuss beekeeping issues in more detail, you can reach me at:

  1. The articles about Big Brother and illegal intelligence sharing (parallel construction) is very important to read, and discuss. If you STILL think the government is there to protect and serve, you deserve what you get.
    This system is so corrupted I personally feel it’s beyond saving. Time will tell. Prepare accordingly.

  2. The government has always denied the source of some intel so as not to burn the source. I cannot imagine that a law enforcement agency would miss the chance to make an arrest or seize some assets just to keep their source safe. Especially since the source is the NSA and far away. Look for reports that mention the intel was from a “usually reliable source” or other often repeated phrases. We had to quit using that one because it became known that if that was the source the info/intel came from the ASA.

  3. I live in Iowa farm land. We don’t have any honey bees at all any more. Bee keepers can’t keep them alive. We still have “bumble bees” and funny looking small green bees that are pollinating.
    I believe the die off is due to GMO corn and the incredible amount of pesticide that is used in farming these days…the bees don’t stand a chance.

    1. As a former commercial bee keeper and State Pesticide Inspector, do look at neonicotinoid. While there is no hard data that I am aware of the decline of bees start shortly after the intofuction of this class of pesticides. Over shorten version of the story it is put on the corn seed and protects the plant to harvest time. Bees just love to store corn pollen and later use it during the winter time

  4. That we are running out of saline solution is not nearly so alarming as the fact that we have been relying on foreign sources. Quality control in the PI is not something to brag about.

    But beyond that, how ridiculous it sounds to be running out of salt water for IVs. It’s not like there is any sort of shortage on the material components. There has to be more to the story.

  5. My understanding is that Puerto Rico was actually the greatest provider of saline solution for the US and other countries. Unfortunately it looks like it will be several months to a year or more before they fully come back online.

  6. In reference to the “Dark Side”, link to the source document or original article not a derivative.
    There are several points that I would like to make. The use of “illegal” to describe operations is predicated upon the beliefs that the section 702 FISA court; warrantless searches of metadata and parallel construction of probable cause are in violation of US law. That protecting sources and methods is somehow nefarious, despite having gone on since shortly after Cain’s murder trial. Finally that DEA SODs ability to disseminate NSA collection efforts is a criminal conspiracy. The assertions of “illegality” in the article were quotes from defense attorneys and questions from judges, but generally not supported by final verdicts and judgements. I have seen the solid wall created by the Intelligence Oversight Act evolve over the years into a chain link fence. That is not always a bad thing.

  7. Reference to “Mexican Cities”; this describes the situation in Puerto Rico as well. I saw this first hand when I was there … and I am certain that we are seeing it here in the USA as well, not just as visible because the violence is separated by our geographic size. People ask me often “how long will it take Puerto Rico to recover”. I tell them when Christ returns; soon I hope.

  8. Why is saline solution not produced in the U.S.? When will we start producing products that are important to us here! If there is such a demand someone should start a plant and then skip importing it from other places.

  9. We lost a bunch of hives because our neighbor planted a bunch of corn next to us. Almost all corn is treated with neonicotinoids, which is a very bad chemical for every part of the environment. I am not an environmentalist. I roll my eyes at the environmentalist cr*p. But I saw this with my own eyes. It is bad for humans. It is bad for the water. It is residual for many, many years.

    What was said about how gentle bees are is true of some bees. Most beekeepers have Italian bees, which are very gentle, but not hardy. Our bees are Russian bees, which are the meanest little bees most folks have never heard of. They are very hardy and much more resistant to most pests, though not to neonictinoids. Russians produce three times the honey as Italians. If you work them, they will stay mad at you for three weeks. Their stingers are also longer. You have to wear 4 layers of thick clothing under your zip on hood/bee suit to avoid getting stung. They are wonderful security. If the apocalypse has come, and some beekeeper thinks they will come steal our honey/bees, they will be very surprised. I can just turn one over and go hide, and the hive will attack whoever is close.

  10. The neonicotinoids are bio-persistent insecticides that are proven to be detrimental to honeybees. Lots of arguments continue on the relevance of exposure levels but there is no doubt they are toxic to bees. A less publicized impact of the “neonics” is their toxicity to aquatic invertebrates which is orders greater than that of honeybees. Since these form the base of the aquatic food pyramid the outcome for this is potentially as grim as the plight of the honeybee.

  11. The farmers in the 1800s planted primarily root vegetables. They were calorie dense and relatively easy to store. Protected a good deal from the elements, too. A real survival food when really tough times come. Stock up on root vegetable seeds as the bee population declines.

    Because of JIT delivery for everything practically, hospitals have no surge capacity.
    If they’re having problems now with just a nasty seasonal flu season, imagine what will happen when something very very serious comes along.

    It’s not just saline. The regular nurse that picks up a friends meds says other things have been slowed down too and she had to return the next day because something was slow coming in.

    Kaiser here in California alerted their hospital and emergency room folks to go straight to Tamiflu and other antivirals to anybody who was in the least way immunocompromised to avoid deaths.

    I’m sorry our homeless have spread out to Utah.
    Having lived downtown for 25 years until recently I’ve seen the homeless population grow over the years. I have absolutely no idea how to solve it and being in the middle of it all around me I’ve really thought a lot about it.

    I do however remember the days in the 50s and even 60s where water fountains were a common site everywhere. Not now. There is one public restroom available to the homeless near the Civic Center which is closed most of the time.
    Private business doesn’t want the homeless in their facilities and that’s understandable.

    So, if you have something, homeless folks share also with those other homeless who will cover their 6 for safety while living on the streets. Water. Food. Drugs. News, to avoid the bad eggs on the street. Just like…preppers. Except for maybe the drug part.

  12. Funny; you would think that you’d hear about the CDC trying to find “patient zero” in the Hep A epidemic. I guess no one wants the truth to surface, that it probably came to San Diego via “sanctuary seekers.” That just wouldn’t fit the narrative…

  13. Regarding saline production in Puerto Rico, years ago the pharmaceutical industry took advantage of tax breaks for moving production to the island. Lots of meds are manufactured there.

  14. Depletion of saline solution reflects the 20/80 Rule. One patient after surgery or using a CBI (Continuous Bladder Irrigation) Kit to flush out toxics in the body can use up to a week or so of a hospital’s supply of saline solution in a day or two.
    (Just wild guessing, perhaps this also reflects an increase in certain surgical procedures, occurrences of diseases or immune deficiencies?)
    Unfortunately, during SHTF some hard decisions will be made.

    Stock up on salt blocks for general purpose usage in addition to vinegar and baking soda for hygiene sanitation
    And honey for wounds.

  15. Getcherbeesnow. Many opportunities right now to get Mason need ordered. Do your part for crop pollination now. Buy some now and keep them cool until spring time release.

  16. It is not actually the saline that is in short supply…it’s salt water. It is something in the bags that is the problem. Once again, onerous regulations are one of the main problems!

    1. Wat??? Lack of salt water? Bahahaha. I thought California was having issues with de-salination to produce fresh water? Obviously, you’re right– regulations are the problem.

    2. Several years ago I was in a meeting of admin types at my hospital, and the topic of the saline shortage came up. Since it seemed like a failure of market economics to provide a commodity in constant high demand, I proposed only partially tongue in cheek that we build a factory ourselves to make salty water and charge an extra 5 cents per bag, thereby both relieving the shortage and making ourselves a tidy profit. I was told that the regulatory process for bringing a new factory online for saline and other iv fluids was 4-5 years long, the shortage was only expected to last 2-3 years. I just sat there with my mouth agape and a stupid look on my face as the meeting went on, not thinking until later that, wait a minute…didn’t we build the atomic bomb and invade europe in less time than it takes a new factory to be built to make sterile salty water?!

  17. Also worth mentioning beyond the saline shortage is the general and ongoing drug shortages we have all the time. Every week we get a new list of the drugs that are in short supply or on national back order. Many are generics that have been around for many years, have only a couple companies making them, and low profit margins, so are a low priority. As a consequence we are always finding work arounds to deal with a lack of first line medications. Eventually the drugs come back in stock (usually) and then it is new ones we can’t get ahold of. Seems ludicrous that this should be a problem we are facing in medical system.

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