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  1. Very good article. You covered everything. I’m in agreement with all. The sad part is that those people that don’t prepare will lay in ambush in the mountains and be a real problem. They will be very ruthless, thinking they have to feed their family or die trying. We know how that story ends. Sad. Pray it doesn’t happen.

  2. Thank you for this article! So informative! I would be interested in knowing more about other possibilities other than meds for blood pressure that could be used. Herbs?…not sure.

    1. Replying to Debbie: I’m far from expert in herbal or alternative medicines, but there is one I’ve tried with considerable success. I’ve been taking hawthorn — 250mg hawthorn extract, available from Swanson, 2x/day — and have been able to cut my prescription BP med in half. And it’s comparatively cheap. Results will depend on your own condition, of course, and experimenting with something like this should be done very carefully, preferably with advice and monitoring by your physician.

      And, as SHTF preparation, it’s cheap enough to stock up on for extended periods. It may not be a cure-all, but is far better than nothing when pharmacies are unavailable.

    2. Hi Debbie

      I used to have so much calcium in my arteries that I could hear my carotid artery. Not fun.

      Life Extension carried an article about Vitamin K, which removes calcium from the arteries, and puts it back into the bones. K is a multi in itself, and Life Extension carries a K with all subtypes.

      I tried it. My carotid arteries are now silent. When I finally went back to a cardiologist, he found no deposits in my arteries at all.

      No osteoporosis any more either.

  3. Good article. I also am getting older. (78) I still have my bug out bag in my car but bugging out is probably not an option for me at this stage. If I am caught away from home when the SHTF maybe I can make it home. I will certainly give it my best try. I still read this blog every day.

  4. To Debbie,
    If your high blood pressure is from calcium deposits in your arteries and their resultant loss of elasticity, then EDTA (calcium disodium ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid), a chelating agent designed to remove certain trace minerals might help. It is non toxic and removes the crud in the circulatory system that helps heart surgeons make a living. It is safe enough to be used on babies and available without prescription from swanson.com 800-437-4148.

  5. It’s nice to see a realistic approach to the possibility of SHTF- starting to prep tomorrow is too late, and showing up at my door with nothing to contribute will get you nothing more than a hot meal, a night’s rest, and a handshake on the way back out the door. My family and close tribe have primacy in my plans. I will be doing a similar thing as you Pat- I plan on providing med care for barter and will do my Christian duty to heal others so they can rejoin the fight; it won’t be for free though. I am just a few miles away from you, so perhaps our paths may indeed cross, God-willing it will be for coffee and not for sutures!
    Semper Fi

  6. You forgot the most important item in the BOB bag; A SMALL KING JAMES BIBLE (Gideon gives out a small bright orange KJV New Testament with the Psalms and Proverbs). If you ALWAYS remember the Lord, He will ALWAYS remember YOU and help YOU now, and forever!

  7. If you have the Word in your heart and your head, where it should be, a printed Bible is not a necessity. That said, it sure makes good reading material and doesn’t weigh a lot. One can read that Book every day for life and never come away without learning something.

    1. “can anyone tell me how to purchase a year’s worth of bp meds?”

      if they’re not “controlled substances” you can just up and buy them. you’ll have to pay full price, but most of them seem to be fairly reasonable.

      1. Buying art Wal-Mart (which I generally avoid) DOES make sense for common prescription meds. They often have deep discounts available, to encourage customers to visit their stores often. Many blood pressure medicines like Lisinopril are on that list. That could save you as much as 75%, which is important if you are paying cash, rather than begging your insurance company for the funds.

  8. Dear Ken,

    Regarding large-scale prescription drug purchases, in most states there is no limitation on how much your doctor can prescribe, IF the medication is not a controlled substance (opioid pain meds, Valium-like anxiety meds, etc. – ask any pharmacist). Blood pressure meds don’t fall into this “controlled substance” category, so usually, the problem with buying more than 1 month supply is related to, 1) your doc wanting to follow up more often than annually, 2) the cost of purchase (this includes insurance plans that won’t pay for more than 30 – 90 day’s supply), and 3) some big drug store chains have internal policies against multiple month Rx fills.

    So…here are a few suggestions to mitigate these possible roadblocks:
    1) If you have a good relationship with your doctor, just be honest. Tell him/her that you would feel more secure with some backup – promise to still come see him/her as they think best
    serves your condition. Most docs I know wouldn’t have a problem with your request.
    2) There are MANY blood pressure meds that are available generically and cost very little money, even without insurance involvement. Check out the Walmart $4 prescription list to get an idea of which products are available. After more than 30 years of hospital pharmacy practice, I really believe that 90% of patients could be controlled on generic blood pressure meds if an interested, competent practitioner worked with them. Big Pharma puts lots of pressure on docs to prescribe the very expensive, name-brand only meds, but many other options exist – it just requires working up the right combination and dose. So…talk with your doc about getting onto affordable generically-available meds, and don’t worry about insurance limitations. A year’s supply of many 2-3 med regimens can be bought for less than $ 100 cash.
    3) Develop a relationship with a good independent pharmacist. Even if your insurance requires you to use a big chain or mail order, try to give some business to your local independent. They are MUCH more likely to help you out with things like this, and aren’t bound by volumes of customer no-service policies!

    For example, if your BP can be controlled on metoprolol tartrate 25mg twice daily and hydrochlorothiazine 25 mg once daily (common brandnames: Lopressor and Hydrodiuril), a year’s supply can be had at Walmart (and most independent pharmacies) for $80 cash. If you can be controlled on lisinopril 20mg and hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg daily – a combination product exists (common brandname: Prinzide or Zestoretic) and a year’s supply is only $40 cash!

    Of course, some BP is very hard to control (especially in chronic kidney disease), and requires multiple agents – still, it is rare that a super-expensive name-brand product MUST be used.

    And finally, as a medical practitioner I must say: Weight control, exercise, and a low-fat, low-sodium diet can make many blood pressure meds unnecessary, which is the best of all worlds!

    Hope this helps!

    1. Ken, I certainly concur with all th doc above stated. I’ll add that if you are close to our southern border with Mexico you should check out the pharmacies there. Many medications that require a prescription here are available over the counter in Mexico. As far as going through customs it isn’t like you are trying to smuggle opiates if they find a large bottle of beta-blockers in your possession.

      An on line search might be helpful before taking a trip. As far as counterfeit medications go there is always a risk anywhere in the world. However a lot of the medications we purchase in pharmacies in the states are sourced from inspected pharmaceutical manufacturers in Mexico. Just like most other places, labor is much cheaper.

    2. Yes since starting intermittent fasting and a low carb diet I’m down 30 lbs in 4 months. No surprise my BP (and blood sugar) is much better as well.

  9. Have a look at the book by My Mr. Cascio’s late friend Chris Janowsky I have not read it but it is on my to buy list.
    Survival: A Manual That Could Save Your Life (Survival Skills)1 Mar 1989
    by Chris Janowsky and Gretchen Granowsky

  10. I would like to add something about what the writer said about handing out cases of top ramen to starving people who are in serious need. I had a discussion with a Christian man who posed this same scenario. No Christian wants to send away a family, including possibly children, without helping. We agreed that preppers should have a supply of inexpensive canned dog food. It will sustain life, will last forever, and will encourage the people in need will not come back. Instead they will look elsewhere for more palatable food – like ramen. Dog food will sustain human life. The thing one must say, however, is something like, “This is what we have. You’re welcome to share.”

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