As a nurse who believes in making preparations for long-term survival, it has come to my attention that there are a few simple preventive healthcare measures that everyone should consider. However, obtaining important preventive healthcare and taking general measures related to maintaining general health is often overlooked or delayed. The focused attention to the more obvious important prepping activities often wins out. Having enough food, water, or a safe, sheltered environment are examples
My favorite approach to staying healthy is a more naturopathic way. I must admit that I am not a strong advocate of most vaccines in general. This is due to a variety of chemicals that are added into vaccines. This has recorded side effects in some vaccines after administration. However, there is one particular vaccination that I do believe is important to obtain in emergency preparation. This is the tetanus vaccination.
Keep in mind that in an emergency situation, daily routines will most likely be interrupted. Many may find themselves in a fight or flight mode where they are engaging in unplanned, challenging physical activities. As a result, people taken by surprise in an emergency situation can become more susceptible to accidents. One preventive healthcare measure to obtain prior to a survival emergency situation is to keep up-to-date on the tetanus vaccination.
Tetanus (Lockjaw) is a serious disease that enters the body through cuts, scratches, and wounds. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disease of tetanus kills 1 out of 10 people, even with the best medical care (Td, CDC Vaccine Information Statement, Published 2/24/15). Obtain a tetanus vaccination at least once every 10 years. I have been a nurse for several years now and the most severe side effect that I have seen after receiving the current tetanus vaccination is injection site discomfort, redness, and occasional swelling at the injection site for a minimal amount of time. In my opinion, if one does not have specific allergies to this particular vaccine, the benefits of receiving the tetanus vaccination far outweigh any concerns for side effects, especially for people who are at high risk for injuries, cuts, burns, or puncture wounds.
In an emergency scenario, our diets may change. Suddenly we find ourselves eating more nuts, dried fruits, and other dehydrated, harder to chew food products, such a beef jerky. In a situation like this, if dental hygiene has been ignored with subsequent consequences, such as oral abscesses, bacterial infections, and cavities, the ability to properly consume a more challenging, rigorous diet may further compromise the teeth and impede the ability to ingest proper amounts of nutrition in a time when it is desperately needed. Bacterial infections starting with compromised teeth can lead to diseased gums and very serious blood infections throughout the body, creating a medical emergency situation that may be difficult to resolve in the survival mode.
Preventative Dental Care
To prevent untimely dental emergencies, it is important to keep up with dental care on a routine basis now. You are then as prepared as possible for a time when dental care may not be available for an unspecified time frame. Keep in mind that maintaining good dental health is an ongoing process. Engaging in preventive dental healthcare activities, such as flossing the teeth, receiving periodic dental cleanings, and getting exams from your dentist is less expensive than waiting until serious problems arise or bacterial diseases have reached root of the teeth where it compromises the gums.
In addition to obtaining routine dental care, it is also imperative to consume adequate amounts of vitamin C. The disease of scurvy is caused by a lack of vitamin C. This leads to bleeding gums and gum disease with eventual loss of teeth. It is important to make sure that proper consumption of vitamin C is an ongoing process. When an emergency situation actually arises, the gums and teeth are then in the best possible condition. In a survival emergency, the availability of fresh citrus fruit may not be readily available for a long time. Vitamin C supplements should also be at the top of list for nutritional prepping purposes to provide the diet with enough of this nutrient to keep the gums and teeth in the best possible condition. Information on the proper intake of daily vitamin C supplements is available at nutritional health food stores.
Keeping available drug prescriptions filled and on hand is often discussed by those who prep for emergency survival. However, the ability to keep adequate supplies of medically prescribed drugs on hand now for long-term use later is difficult. One reason is that physicians usually don’t provide refills on drug prescriptions to last any longer than three to six months. So the need to plan for the future with necessary prescription drug alternatives in a survival scenario may require some creativity.
Every first aid kit should contain a generous supply of an easily available drug called aspirin (acetylsalicylic). You can purchase Aspirin in abundance now without a prescription. Store it for survival purposes as needed later. Aspirin in the dose of 81mg would be in high demand in a survival mode situation for its pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to this, it is well documented that many physicians also prescribe this inexpensive, over-the-counter drug. It is used as a blood thinning agent in the primary prevention of heart attacks and strokes. Seniors and those who are high risk for these types of health related issues benefit the most. When purchasing aspirin, it is important to buy the enteric-coated version of aspirin to protect the lining of the intestinal tract from ulcer formations.
Herb and Folk Medicine
Since many traditional drugs and treatments used in physical trauma situations would not be available after a life altering survival emergency, over time the use of herbs, folk medicine, and alternative means of keeping healthy will also become popular. As a result, preparing for an uncertain future dealing with unforeseen healthcare situations is tough. It is advisable to learn now about the herbs and plants that are available in your area. Learn about their associated healing properties for proper use.
For healthcare emergency preparation, it is vitally important to buy a first aid book and read it now. Better yet, enroll in a first-aid class before a crisis situation arises. You must have a basic knowledge of first aid treatments and procedures. Sitting down to initially read your book when a healthcare crisis occurs in the future will waste valuable time. You are wasting valuable time reading instructions rather than assisting the victim in an emergency. Waiting to read presents a less effective outcome.
Glasses and Eyegass Repair Kit
I have heard it said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. In an emergency situation proper vision is the first gateway to survival. People who prep often discuss the need to have an extra pair of reading and distant vision glasses on hand. However, I do not hear much discussion about keeping an eyeglass repair kit available in one’s emergency pack with a variety of miniature screws and tools for repairing eyeglass hinges. If you are on a tight budget and cannot afford to buy back-up pairs of eye glasses it is essential to buy a small magnifying glass with a high resolution. Keep it in your prepping kit for those tiny but necessary repair jobs.
Saline Eye Wash
In addition too, it is highly advisable to keep a sufficient amount of saline eye wash on hand for those unforeseen accidents or incidences where the eyes are exposed to dirt, dust, or particles that enter the eyes with the potential to cause eye infections in future emergency situations. Without immediate and proper cleansing of the eyes under circumstances like this, the foreign body can lead to a problem where antibiotics are necessary. In a future emergency, the specific antibiotics needed for treatment may not be available.
Foot care is one area of prepping that is not addressed enough. In an emergency situation that could include the necessity of having to flee one’s location on foot, the condition of the feet can determine the success of this endeavor. A foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments, and well over 200,000 sweat glands. The feet are in charge of transportation from one physical location to another. They have the very important task of supporting the entire body. Calluses, bunions, athlete’s foot, corns, painful ingrown toenails, and a number of other foot related health conditions can impede the evacuation to safety.
If you currently have foot problems of any kind, please see your local podiatrist. Maintain the best possible general foot health at all times so that you are prepared for future survival. Ankle injuries are not uncommon when you are on the run. Included in prepping, it is important to remember to keep a good pair of hiking boots or sporting foot wear handy that provide adequate ankle support. Don’t forget to include in your first aid kit ace bandages in varying sizes for supporting compromised ankles, which are the gateways to the feet!
Beyond having sufficient food, water, and shelter, these simple preventive healthcare measures for preparation are of great benefit for increasing the odds of survival in many emergency situations.
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been another entry for Round 70 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate that is good for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chrome-lined barrel and a hard case to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel, which can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
- Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a $125 Montie gear Gift certificate.,
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value), and
Round 70 ends on May 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.