The article "Ebola, TB, Swine Flu... Oh My! How to prepare for a pandemic" has been updated as of 11:15 am 9/16/2014.
The article "Enterovirus 68" has been updated as of 11:00 am 9/16/2014.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Preparing For Pandemics

This article, with a few modifications, was originally part of the Ebola/Pandemics page of this website. That page has become rather long with multiple news updates, so I decided to break out this section into a separate article. 

From the CDC:  Health Care Facility Preparedness Checklist for Ebola (opens .pdf )

From the CDC: Health Care Provider Preparedness Checklist for Ebola (opens .pdf)


I hope and pray that there will be no pandemic, no major outbreak of any kind, but it is prudent to prepare for the possibilities. I am not a medical expert (but will link to some videos and other resources by medical experts below). However, I do want to remind people of some common sense things they can do to prepare for possible pandemics.

1) The best defense against disease is to maintain overall good health. The healthier you are, the more you will be able to resist disease AND the better you will be able to overcome disease if you do get sick. Being healthy means eating right, not smoking, not abusing drugs and alcohol, practicing good hygiene, and getting plenty of sleep. (Lack of sleep seriously compromises your immune system. Sleep is much more important to good health than most people want to admit.)  I am also a big believer in vitamin C to boost your immune system. I don't want to get into the vaccination debate, but if you believe in vaccinations, now is the time to make sure you and your family's vaccinations are up-to-date. If you are anti-vaccination, doing all the other things to protect yourself becomes even more important.

2) Good hygiene is extremely important. Wash your hands and face often, especially after using the restroom, after handling money, after shaking hands with someone, after being in contact (even if you don't touch) with someone who is sick, after being in a large crowd, before and after visiting a hospital or nursing home, after touching public handrails or phones, before eating a meal or snack, before preparing food, and before going to bed. Health care workers need to be especially vigilant to wash their hands between interactions with patients and throughout the day. Good hygiene also means showering at least once a day, washing clothes, towels, washcloths between each use, washing bed linens weekly (more often if someone in the household is sick). Hand sanitizer is good in a pinch, but is a poor substitute for scrubbing your hands in warm, soapy water.

3) Good sanitation is extremely important. Keep your homes, especially the kitchen, dining room, and bath rooms extra clean. Take the trash out often - especially don't let food scraps, used diapers, kitty litter, doggie pee pads, and other organic waste pile up. Avoid using public restrooms if possible. Insist that the rest rooms at your workplace be well-cleaned daily (and more often if needed). Complain loudly if other public restrooms (stores, restaurants, etc.) are dirty or not well-supplied with soap and towels. Eating out? Pay attention to the cleanliness of the restaurant and its employees. Eat elsewhere if in doubt.

4) If epidemics start to break out, avoid going out in public. This may be hard to do depending on your circumstances, but do your best to minimize your exposure to the general public. This is one reason preppers stock up on food and other items - to minimize trips to the store to pick stuff up during a crisis. The very young, the elderly, already sick people, and anyone with a compromised immune system should be especially weary of going out in public during a pandemic. If you must go out in public, wash your hands and face often, and don't be afraid of wearing a surgical face mask. Remember the pictures from a few years ago of all the folks in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and elsewhere in Asia, wearing surgical masks in public during the SARS and Swine Flu outbreaks? It may have looked funny, but those people were very smart.

5) Consider not sending your kids to public school this fall. Instead consider home schooling or private schools. Schools are incubators of disease during the best of times. With the addition of tens of thousands of illegal alien kids entering school systems this Fall due to the border crisis, matters may only get worse. It is possible that the Enterovirus 68 outbreak is a result of the border crisis, and more outbreaks may be ahead. Those who follow me on Twitter (@TimGamble), already know I have a very low opinion of public schools - they have failed at their primary purpose of educating and have become little more than indoctrination camps. So, if you have been thinking of home schooling your kids, or at least sending them to a private or parochial school, please look at this as yet another reason to do so. Google "home schooling" for a list of resources.

Here is a list of other resources you will want to check out:

Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way - An excellent book by Dr. Bones & Nurse Amy

Illegal Immigrants Spread DISEASE: Why you should CARE about the Border - video by The Patriot Nurse, RN, BSN

Survival Medicine: Flu Prevention with Dr. Bones  - You Tube video by a medical doctor

Survival Sickroom with Dr. Bones - You Tube video by a medical doctor

Ebola Outbreak: Survival Medicine with Dr. Bones  - You Tube video by a medical doctor

Protection Against Airborne Diseases - You Tube video by an EMT

Questions and Answers on Ebola - Q & A page on the CDC website

Sequence for putting on & removing Personal Protective Gear - .pdf from the CDC

Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever - webpage of the CDC

WHO webpage on Ebola Virus Disease link to WHO webpage on Ebola

Ebola and Emerging Viral Diseases - discussion between two doctors.

Ebola Treatment Zmapp - You Tube video by a medical doctor.

How to Prepare for Ebola - video by The Patriot Nurse, RN, BSN

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pocket Dump - My EDC

I thought some folks might be interested in what I carry on me everyday, so that I can hopefully "be prepared" for whatever life throws at me.

First, let's start with what I wear: my clothes on a typical day are cargo pants, a plain short-sleeve shirt in summer or plain sweatshirt during winter, and a pair of hiking shoes. If needed, I will wear a plain hoodie or heavier coat. The ideas behind the way I dress are: 1) comfortable, ease-of-movement; 2) rugged; 3) practical, utilitarian; 3) not flashy or eye-catching; 4) not likely to attract attention by appearing as if I have money, or appearing as if a bum; and 5) fits in fairly well with what locals are likely to wear.

Now, for the pocket dump:

Click to enlarge

On my belt, I always wear my Leatherman Fuse Multi-Tool. Basically, if I'm wearing pants, I have it on me. I bought it years ago for about $40. I've thought about upgrading to the Leatherman Charge TTi, but the expense has stopped me so far.

On my left wrist, I wear a cheap ($10) watch I got at Walmart. I've had it for more than a year, and it keeps surprisingly good time. I have more expensive watches, which I might wear on very special occasions, but typically prefer the cheap watch that won't attract attention, and if it gets busted, who cares - its only $10. 

In my right front pocket, I carry my Maxpedition Urban Wallet, and several quarters. I front-carry my wallet because it is much more difficult for a pick-pocket to steal from a front pocket than a rear pocket. I often, but not always, carry my Cold Steel Voyager XL Vaquero folder for self-defense (click here to read my review of it). 

In my left front pocket, I carry my Swiss Army Knife, "Hiker" model.  I also carry my keys in this pocket. On my key chain, I have my keys, a Gorilla Drive flash drive (I encrypt my files on it with Rohos encryption software), a Gerber Shard mini pry bar (with screwdrivers and bottle opener), a very loud whistle (don't remember what brand), and an Energizer key chain flashlight. 

In my right cargo pocket, I carry my cell phone (not pictured), my personalized organizational system (some index cards held together with a binder clip), and a pen. 

In my left cargo pocket, I carry an Energizer LED pocket flashlight (58-lumens), and a Maxpedition micro pocket organizer (I'll cover the contents below). I love the flashlight because it gives off good light while still being the perfect size to carry everyday in my pocket. 

Click to enlarge.
The Maxpedition Micro Pocket Organizier

I use the pocket organizer primarily as a personal first aid kit, with a couple of other items , too. On the outside pocket, I carry a couple of individually wrapped Wet Ones, useful for cleaning hands before eating, but can also be used to clean other things. The first aid supplies include wound care items (alcohol wipes, iodine wipes, a couple of packets of triple antibiotic ointment, several sizes and styles of bandages, and a small pack of quick clout), tweezers (for removing bee stingers, ticks, splinters), insect sting relief, benedryl caplets, asprin, advil, aleve, and  a couple of packets of electrolytes to add to water.

Also in the kit is an emergency twenty-dollar bill, a small roll of duct tape, a couple of six inch strips of orange duct tape, a Eat-N-Tool by CRKT, a pair of fingernail clippers, a brass 3-inch safety pin, and a Leatherman Style CS Multi-tool (a great pair of folding scissors).

Yes. Everything pictured fits easily into the organizer, with a little room to spare.

Items Not Pictured  

My sunglasses are with me constantly. I also wear a Celtic Cross on a chain around my neck.

I am planning on making a number of changes to this set-up in the coming weeks, and will do another pocket dump after I've settled on my new EDC for a few weeks. I want to test out the new set-up first. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

James Wesley, Rawles

This is the fifth in a series of posts showcasing the preppers and survivalists that I really like and respect. These are the people who influence my own prepper thinking. I highly recommend these folks to anyone interested in preparing for a difficult future.

James Wesley, Rawles (yes, that is his preferred way of writing his name) is a former Intelligence Officer in the US Army, the founder of, and the author of a number of non-fiction and fiction books on the topic of survivlism and prepping. His books include the non-fiction work How To Survive The End Of The World As We Know It (packed with useful information for preppers), and the novel Patriots (a great read for fans of survivalist fiction).

How To Survive The End Of The World As We Know It is a well-written, easy-to-read, information-packed book of a little over 300 pages. Topics covered include the survival mindset and priorities, the survival retreat, food, water, fuel, power, gardens, livestock, communications, medical supplies, home security, and self-defense, among many others. I consider this book on of the essentials in my own survivalist/prepping library.

To give you a good idea of what James Wesley, Rawles is all about, please listen to this interview with him on the Prepper Recon Podcast (you should also subscribe to the excellent Prepper Recon Podcast - visit the website by clicking here).

Prepper Recon Podcast Interviews James Wesley, Rawles

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Knight's Code

Scouting founder, Robert Baden-Powell, based the Scout Motto and and Scout Law on The Knight's Code. The Knight's Code, as published in the Boy Scout Handbook:

The Knight's Code

"BE ALWAYS READY with your armor on, except when you are taking your rest at night.
Defend the poor, and help them that cannot defend themselves. 
Do nothing to hurt or offend anyone else.
Be prepared to fight in the defense of your country.
At whatever you are working, try to win honor and a name for honesty. 
Never break your promise.
Maintain the honor of your country with your life.
Rather die honest than live shamelessly.
                   Chivalry requireth that youth should be trained to perform the most laborious and humble offices with cheerfulness and grace, and to do good onto others. 

Why I don't talk specifics about guns...

Those who know me through this website, elsewhere on the Internet, or in person, know that I am very pro-gun and pro-second amendment.  I believe that gun-ownership is not just a right, but a duty. Self-defense, and the defense of those who cannot defend themselves, is a moral imperative. One should not be quick to fight - it is never the first option - but one should always stand ready, and willing, to fight when circumstances force the issue.

Despite this strongly held opinion, I don't publicly talk much about guns beyond statements of general support for the second amendment, and encouragement to include guns, and training, in your preps. I certainly don't talk specifics, give recommendations, or reveal details of what guns I may own, or how I may use them. That is an intentional decision on my part for a couple of reasons.

First, we have an unfortunate situation in America right now where gun laws vary greatly from state to state, and even from locality to locality within the same state. What I say might be true for where I live, but be unlawful where someone else lives. In our highly litigious society, I don't want to get sued because someone acted on something I said that happened to not be true for where they live.

Second, it is an aspect of operational security to keep such details under wraps. I don't want any nosy neighbors or local criminals stumbling onto my Twitter account or website, and finding out details of what I have, where I keep them, when/how I carry, etc. I also don't want to provide government officials any details beyond what is required under the law.

Luckily, there are some really good websites and You Tube channels that do go into details about guns. And I highly recommend folks talk to their local gun stores. They will be able to help you understand the legalities in your area, as well as direct you to nearby training courses. They will also be able to make recommendations based on your personal circumstances.

And, always, I suggest you join a gun rights group (there are several listed on the Liberty Links page), include guns in your prepping, and take a good self-defense firearms training course.

May God bless these United States of America.

Tim Gamble