Posts tagged: War

Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford

Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford

We’re all aware of what a gas mask is; at least we have some idea about them. Gas masks (aka. respirators) are heavily used in society. The Police force has them, the Special Forces have them, the firefighters have them, spray painters have them etc. The basic use of a gas mask is to serve as filter for the air you’re breathing in and to stop possible irritants and noxious substances from getting into your respiratory system and affecting you general state your health.

The best gas masks (or respirators) are based on the same principle: the air is pulled into the canister that has a filtering system (on 3 layers: aerosol filter, charcoal filter and dust filter) and then is released towards the interior of the mask; the filtered air is safe to breathe.

The air is sucked into the canister as the wearer breathes. There are also battery operated gas masks, equipped with a fan, that will syphon air inside, but become useless when the batteries die out. There are also some that work just like a scuba breathing system: they don’t have a filtering canister, but a pressurized air canister, that is completely sealed.

A gas mask is a real asset for any serious prepper. It’s an absolute must-have in case of a chemical or biological attack. Works just as well in a combat zone, as it’ll filter out heavy smoke and even dust clouds. There two main types of masks: half masks and full mask. I half mask will cover your mouth and nose only; they’re used in spray painting and are recommended only if you know what contaminant you’re dealing with. In case of an extremely dangerous contaminant or if you simply don’t know what you’re facing, a full gas mask is the way to go. Not only will it cover your respiratory system, but I’ll also protect your eyes and face from dangerous agents, like Anthrax etc.

Israeli Civilian Gas Mask

This gas mask was issued by the Israeli government, is NATO approved and it’s perfect if you consider the quality / price ratio (it costs about $80). Because of the relatively low price and good features, it’s regarded to be as the standard gas mask for civilian protection. It’s best used in an evacuation scenario from a contaminated area. The mask itself is made out of a soft but durable rubber that covers the whole face (full mask); it offers great protection not only for the respiratory system, but also for the entire face. It has extremely efficient filters (NBC filters) that will keep you safe from almost everything, from nuclear and biological agents (like Anthrax) to chemical agents. This particular gas mask comes in both adult and child versions.

M61 Finnish Gas Mask

The MA61 model was developed in Finland and it’s meant to be used as a heavy-duty gas mask. It’s a side-mounted mask, which means the filter is screwed into the side of the mask, rather than in the font. The rubber it’s made from is extremely durable, but rather soft flexible at the same time. Its flexibility means that the mask will incase the face of the wearer perfectly, making it airtight, so that noxious fumes or chemical agents won’t find their way inside. It uses a twin goggle system rather than a single visor. The exhalation system has a plastic valve with an integrated speech diaphragm, for better communication.

ADVANTAGE 1000 CBA-RCA Gas Mask

The 1000 CBA-RCA mask is 100% American and it was developed based on a US Military design that was used by the USAF during the Operation Desert Storm. It has a Hycar face piece which is about 40% lighter than most full gas masks and also a customizable fit. There’s also a standard nose cup to eliminate visor fogging and a mechanical speaking diaphragm. The visor is a one piece that’s extremely tough and offers great field of vision. The canister can be mounted on both the left and the right side and it’s effective against all sorts of biological and chemical agents, like Mustard, Lewisite, GA, GB, GD etc. The head harness is adjustable and stable. There’s also an ID tag attached and it includes a CBA-RCA canister. The whole package comes at about $300.

There are plenty of models that are available on the market, it’s only a matter of personal choice. The price of a certain gas mask does not necessarily reflect its quality, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money for a good product that will filter well and fit great. But you’ll need to educate yourself in the matter a bit so you won’t throw your money out the window. Luckily there’s many manufacturer’s and sellers and price ranges vary from one to the other. So keep hunting for bargains, you’ll most likely find them.

By My Family Survival Plan

How to Survive the War

How To Survive The War

A general view shows damaged buildings and debris in Deir al-Zor, June 13, 2013.Picture taken June 13, 2013. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi (SYRIA – Tags: CONFLICT) – RTX10N7S

One might never know exactly the day when war comes to your homeland, leaving you no choice but to grab a few things and run – if you are lucky. It happens unexpectedly: events are moving so fast, have such an immediate and strong negative impact on your life, even though you are far from the epicenter. War dramatically overturns usual way of life, since you never expect anything as terrible as it is in real, never guess the extent of an imminent disaster. Since then every first day of your life is war, with all deaths, terrors, looting, famine, soldiers, casualties, and increasing physical fear.

Caught unawares, civilians have to leave their homes in search of either hospitable land to wait through, or remain home, hiding in a less hospitable bomb-shelter. Most of people choose to abandon their homes and seek refuge in the remaining peaceful parts of the state or move to neighboring countries. The decision is tough, but obvious: protecting your own nest is a right impulse, but it must not overlap the selfpreservation instinct. Due to applications of guided missiles, the destructive capacities of conventional weapons have increased drastically. Thus, the value of human life has decreased tragically.

There are several advices from those survived in the war zone to give you a clear insight of how to behave in wartime:

  1. Search for and remember the location of all bombs-shelters in your area, make sure they are accessible and have enough room for every family member. Owing to underground bomb shelter arrangement, an intense humidity allows to keep canned food (lots of water, beef, pork, vegetables, and fruit), tea, pasta, flour, oil, salt and sugar without refrigerator for the relatively long time. Prepare flashlights, matches, and candles; plaids, blankets, and a cushion; saucepan and pot to cook on fire and boil water; personal hygienic items and first aid kit.
  2. Watch your relatives closely, do not lose sight of them during the day; especially kids should be taken over the control 24 hours a day. If you did not have a chance to flee your home, do everything possible and impossible to provide both physical and psychological protection to your family. Do not allow them to see people suffering and hear cries for help. It is important to keep composure and encourage people around you to hope for the best, because this is the only right direction for psychological adjustment.
  3. Keep your phone charged all the time, try not to waste battery power and save for an emergency. Do not let the battery drain, recharge frequently, as far as possible. Due to the hostilities, the system voltage may continuously appear and disappear. Fill with tap water all available reservoirs: jars, saucepans, basins, buckets, etc. Water is probably the most important substance during the wartime, of permanent shortage.
  4. Make sure you have enough provisions for all family members for a specified period, during which you do not have to think of what to feed the children. Make purchases on the wholesale markets, which is cheaper than retail acquisitions. Count every penny, because you obviously have no job and the future prospects are difficult. In addition, any conflict area suffers from economic blockade, with all the negative consequences for your already very limited budget. Get ready for the total deficit of the food, fuel, and other daily necessities.
  5. Change your habits, become unpretentious, economical, and enduring. Learn to leave off many usual things, such as Internet, rich and fancy food, gadgets, fashion, regular socializing, and all the signs of usual daily routine, which you thought was boring. Learn to accept the war as a significant part of your current being, since your life will never be the way it used to before the war.
  6. Remember: there are many indigent people around, who urgently need your sympathy and protection. Share everything you do not urgently need, like some groceries and canned fish/meat, good conditioned clothes and shoes for kids and adults, good old toys and books. You can live without a heap of rags permanently squeezing your wardrobe and feel better helping out.
  7. Learn the specifics of communication with armed individuals, who aim and get used to kill the same human beings. They are running the show, not you, regardless the rank and influence you had in civil life. Keep up with their requests and follow their advice, because they naturally have at disposal a broader image of the existing circumstances in the warzone. Even if you do not support them and your heart and mind resist, never demonstrate it, never stir up a discussion and never let it involve yourself. If it is impossible to support soldiers, at least do not jeopardize your family and keep neutral.
  8. Do not trust television/radio broadcasts, because there is no objective reality in the war. If the very notion of objectivity no longer exists, it means that all stories are equally true. To distinguish more evident and obvious story from fake, you should apply your own personal experience. Remember: modern war is not only conventional confrontation, but also confrontation in politics and information field.
  9. Prepare your car for a long journey through outside the warzone: inflate all tyres, check the oil level, empty the trunk, put the tool kit in, tyre inflator, a can for gas, check a spare tire, and fill up the tank. Do the vehicle inspection to prevent unexpected breakdown on the way to peaceful life.
  10. Remember: your paramount goal is to save your family, their lives, and your own. Do not risk for no reason, never hurry and follow the designated itinerary: there could be minefields along the roadside, unexploded missiles, and hidden grenades.

War changes human personality definitively and irrevocably, for your surroundings luckily avoided war, you will not be the same any longer. Independently of the age, your outlook has radically altered. To survive the war would be the most challenging task you had accomplished, but not the last. You would have to subdue the memories, or even erase them all connected with the war to continue your new old boring life in harmony with yourself and surroundings.

The Horrors Of War – Now And Then

the horrors of war
photo source:alexmasi.photoshelter.com

Today we are witnesses of what “horrors of war” truly means. Besides the bloodbath that accompanies every battle, besides the loss of human lives and the destruction of entire cities… there are effects that no reconstruction can mend. Effects that linger for decades and destroy, little by little, millions of innocent lives, from the moment they were born to their very last breath.

And US is not the only one using chemicals to destroy entire nations. Communists did the same during the Cold War, when they poisoned an entire region in the Southeast Asia with a substance they released from the sky.

People call it “The Yellow Rain” and this is where the mystery of the story lies. You see, soviets didn’t want to be accused of using chem weapons, so they released them in the air exactly when bees stopped hibernating and created this special effect of “Yellow Rain”. Practically, when they dropped processed pollen all over the ground when they started flying after a long period of hibernation.

So the commies got away with this one, as no one could prove they were the ones poisoning the population, and not the “killer pollen”. But people who have lived to tell the story say otherwise. Every time there was a “Yellow Rain”, people would see planes in the sky, overflying the region.

Right afterwards, people would get severely ill or simply die. It was pretty clear the mysterious deaths were linked to the appearance of those planes. However, no one could ever prove it.

The same mysterious “Yellow Rain” fell in Tokyo, too, in March 2011. Curious to know what the authorities said it was? Pollen.


History repeating. Simple as that. Now it’s been decades since the effects of lead, mercury and uranium have been well known for their monstrous effects. However, none of the culprits of this horror will not admit their blame… and will not stop the use of these chemical weapons.

More to that, they claim it’s actually for the benefit of the victims. As uprootedpalestinians.blogspot.ro very well puts it, “the USA’s illegal invasion of Iraq will continue to kill Iraqis for decades to come yet they still argue that the invasion was for the benefit of Iraqis”.

But what comes around goes around and lately the US has been the target of collective hate all throughout the Arab world and even in Europe. We’re talking about countries that repeatedly threatened to use chemical and biological weapons. Countries that are just waiting for a sign to start poisoning our air, our water and our lands. People that dream of the day when they destroy the whole American nation, to get back on our irresponsible leaders.
That makes me wonder… do our leaders really understand the danger they’re exposing the whole country to? Do they care about the future of our children and grandchildren, the ones that will experience the real horrors of the war firsthand? Do they fully comprehend they could break down an entire nation just by taking one wrong decision?

If they don’t… then what can we, citizens, do about it? How can we make a difference and save our children from becoming the Children of War. Because that’s a thought I, personally, cannot live with. I hope neither can you.

Nukes and Fallout: How to Survive When Others Won’t

Nukes and Fallout - How to Survive When Others Won’t

Are You Ready Series: Nuclear Disaster Preparedness

Since the dawn of nuclear weapons, we have always been weary of a trigger happy world leader hastily pushing a nuke detonator. However, according to history the two worst nuclear events that have occurred were accidental. Chernobyl, being the first event, had a fire and explosion that released large quantities of radioactive contamination into the atmosphere, and spread over much of Western USSR and Europe. The second largest nuclear event is the infamous Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that occurred in 2011.

Each day we are exposed to nuclear radiation, some naturally and some through un-natural means. Those of us who live close to nuclear power plants are exposed more than others.

Are You At-Risk?

Those that live near nuclear power plants should be especially concerned with nuclear disaster preparedness; especially individuals who live in areas where natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes) could damage the nuclear facilities. The map below shows all of the nuclear power plants in the U.S.  Many states are areas where natural disasters could quite possibly take out or damage a power plant. Are you ready for this?

We Are Affected Globally by Radiation

No matter where radiation leaks or disasters occur, they will affect us globally one way or another and we should be ready for them. Due to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, our food supplies, water sources, and even our health have become affected from the radiation dispersed. Radiation tests conducted since the nuclear disaster in Japan have detected radioactive iodine and cesium in milk, beef and vegetables produced in California (Source). This video is a great source that explains how radiation gets into our food supply.

According to “Health Ranger” Mike Adams, even growing your own organic produce is no longer enough to guarantee food safety. “Only those who grow food in greenhouses will be largely protected from the fallout.”

How to Limit Our Exposure to Radiation 

  1. One of the easiest ways to minimize the effects of radiation is knowing where our food comes from and limiting our exposure to radioactive foods and water sources. Keep in mind that foods, especially seafood from the West coast will be the most effected by radiation.
  2. Having an  electroscope that gauges how much radiation you are receiving daily can be a useful tool. A Kearny Fallout Meter can give daily readings of radiation levels in your area.[ad code=1 align=center]
  3. Thoroughly wash your produce. Despite arguments to the contrary, you can wash radioactive particles off of produce. Clearly if the plant has taken in the radiation through the roots, it is irrevocably tainted. Fallout, however, can be dealt with. Washing your food in baking soda or peeling the skin off is a way to avoid ingesting radiation. Calcium bentonite clay is another natural substance that actually absorbs radiation. Interestingly, calcium bentonite clay has a uniquely strong negative ionic charge. When activated with water it works like a strong magnet, absorbing anything with a positive ionic charge (i.e., toxins, pesticides, radiation). The clay captures these substances and removes them as it is eliminated or washed off.” To wash produce with Bentonite Clay: Mix 1 part Calcium Bentonite Clay to 8 parts of purified water in a large non-metallic bowl. Toss your produce in this clay water, making certain the produce is completely covered, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Rinse well with more purified water.
  4. Also, by adopting an anti-radiation diet can provide natural alternatives to assist the body in ridding itself from exposure. Foods such as kelp, rosemary, spirulina, miso soup and niacin all assist the body in fighting radiation damage.  Other foods that may help in combating radiation sickness are foods that naturally detoxify the body. Foods that are high in potassium such as apples, oranges, pineapples and pomegranates are foods that are also good cancer fighters. Mushrooms are also a food source to add to your anti-radiation diet. Any mushrooms brown or black in color, and especially reishi mushrooms. Foods that are high in antioxidants will also assist your body in ridding itself of radioactive particles. Foods such as green and black teas (make sure that your tea is not from Japan), garlic, cumin, nettles, dandelions, ginseng, lentils, collards and mustard greens are also suggested.
  5. Any food or water stored in sealed containers that have any fallout dust is safe to consume as long as the fallout dust is brushed or rinsed off the outside of the container. Take caution not to allow the fallout dust to get inside the container.
  6. If you are concerned about your water sources, use filtered water in everything, including brushing your teeth and sponge bathing. Purchase a reverse osmosis water filter with extra filtration cartridges. Remember, it is important to replace your filters after multiple uses. Drinking apple cider vinegar can also assist in flushing toxins and  radiation from the body. Baking soda and water is another option as it also flushes radiation and cleans the stomach lining. You can also put baking soda in dish soap, body soap, laundry detergent as the radiation will bind to the baking soda thus  neutralizes it.
  7. Did you know that the Spiderwort plant is Nature’s gieger counter? This plant naturally has very dark purple flowers and when they are exposed to radiation or near an area where radiation is high, the flowers turn pink. Planting these in your yard will be a great way to know if you are taking in excess radiation.
  8. Knowing in advance how much radiation you are  exposed to radiation through natural and un-natural means can help you calculate your annual radiation dose. To find this out, click on the Annual Radiation Calculator.

What if You Are Exposed to Radioactive Particles?

Radioactive ionic particles attach themselves to dust floating in the air. Therefore, it can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. If you are told to evacuate or bug in due to a nuclear disaster, keep the following points in mind:

  1. If you are driving, keep the car windows and vents closed, and use recirculating air.
  2. Due to the fear of panic and gridlock that will ensue from mass evacuations, most governments will delay mandatory evacuations until the last minute. This will only cause mass confusion and chaos at gas stations, grocery stores and on the streets. The best way to prevent this, is to stay ahead of the crowd and prepare ahead of time.
  3. If told to stay indoors, turn off the air conditioner and other air intakes and go to a basement. Seal basement windows and entrances to prevent fallout from getting inside. If you go outside, you will need to remove your outer clothing before coming inside the shelter.
  4. Likewise, creating a sealed area near the entrance of the shelter will prevent fallout dust from entering. Seal the entryway with blankets, bubble wrap or plastic sheeting to prevent the dust from coming in. Have water and baby shampoo near the entrance to wash and thoroughly rinse any exposed skin and hair. Exposure to fallout radiation does not make you radioactive, but you need to assure that you don’t bring any inside. Some experts suggest having a rain poncho to take on and off when you go outside.
  5. To go a step further, covering the windows wood, then sandbags followed by masonry bricks will create a multi-layered protection against you and radioactive particles.
  6. If you find yourself outdoors when a nuclear blast occurs, duck and cover for 2 minutes. You will first see a blinding light followed by tornado force winds and dangerous. When all danger is gone, seek shelter immediately. Remove your clothing at the door and place in a sealed plastic bag. You can remove 80% of the particles by removing your clothing. Showering immediately following exposure is another way to remove the remaining particles.
  7. If you have signs of radiation on skin soak in a tub of equal parts baking soda, apple cider vinegar and epsom salt. Skin brushing can be very beneficial, because the skin is a primary avenue for detoxification – scrub along with the lungs, kidneys, liver, and colon. An unused vegetable brush would be very helpful with this process.
  8. Getting caught out in the rain can also cause you to have more exposure to radioactive particles. If you do have to go out in the rain, completely cover yourself. Experts are suggesting that if your clothes get wet to take them off and seal them in a plastic bag, immediately shower and change clothing. (The detox bath solution and skin brushing would be good here. If radioactive materials get on your skin, burns and blistering can occur.Note: If you are exposed to radioactive particles, you will also need to get your urine tested for traces of cessium at your local medical center.
  9. When fallout is first anticipated, but has not yet arrived, anyone not already sheltered should begin using their N95 particulate respirator masks and hooded rain ponchos. Everyone should begin taking Potassium Iodide (KI) or Potassium Iodate (KIO3) tablets for thyroid protection against cancer causing radioactive iodine, a major product of nuclear weapons explosions. If no tablets are available, you can topically (on the skin) apply an iodine solution, such as a tincture of iodine or Betadine, for a similar protective effect. (WARNING: Iodine solutions are NEVER to be ingested or swallowed.) Absorption through the skin is not as reliable a dosing method as using the tablets, but tests show that it will still be very effective for most. Do not use if allergic to iodine. If at all possible, inquire of your doctor NOW if there is any reason why anybody in your household should not use KI or KIO3 tablets, or iodine solutions on their skin, in a future nuclear emergency, just to be sure.
    • For adults, paint 8 ml of a 2 percent tincture of Iodine on the abdomen or forearm each day, ideally at least 2 hours prior to possible exposure.
    • For children 3 to 18, but under 150 pounds, only half that amount painted on daily, or 4 ml. For children under 3 but older than a month, half again, or 2 ml.
    • For newborns to 1 month old, half it again, or just 1 ml. (One measuring teaspoon is about 5 ml, if you don’t have a medicine dropper graduated in ml.) If your iodine is stronger than 2%, reduce the dosage accordingly.[ad code=2 align=center]
  10. When you know that the time to take protective action is approaching, turn off all the utilities into the house, check that everything is sealed up and locked down, and head for the shelter. You should also have near your shelter fire extinguishers and additional tools, building supplies, sheet plastic, staple guns, etc. for sealing any holes from damage. Your basement should already be very well sealed against fallout drifting inside. Now, you’ll need to seal around the last door you use to enter with duct tape all around the edges, especially if it’s a direct to the outside door.
  11. Do not use the telephone unless absolutely necessary. Staying on the phone will congest phone lines making it impossible for others in your area to make or receive calls.

Symptoms of Radiation Sickness Include:

  • Bleeding from the nose, mouth, gums, and rectum
  • Bloody stool
  • Bruising
  • Confusion
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Hair loss
  • Inflammation of exposed areas (redness, tenderness, swelling, bleeding)
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Open sores on the skin
  • Skin burns (redness, blistering)
  • Sloughing of skin
  • Ulcers in the esophagus, stomach or intestines
  • Vomiting blood
  • Weakness

Preparing for an Imminent Nuke Attack

If you are told to evacuate or bug in place due to nuclear attack or nuclear leak disaster, keep in mind that this type of disaster is survivable.  Even though it is difficult preparing for this sort of disaster, you can put some preparations in place. Many of the preparedness items are similar to the ones needed for other disasters.

You will of course need:

  • Two week supply of food and water
  • Medical supplies
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Emergency lighting sources
  • Heat sources
  • Emergency communications (at least a hand-crank or short-wave radio)
Refer to the 52-Weeks to Preparedness List for emergency list suggestions.

However, you will need additional supplies pertinent to a nuclear disaster. Some of these items include:

  • Geiger counter
  • Kearny fallout meter
  • Potassium Iodate (KI03) tablets for all family or group members
  • Apple cider vinegar flushes radiation out of the body
  • Baking soda
  • Ingestible bentonite clay
  • Nuke suit
  • Duct tape
  • N95 particulate respirator masks
  • Hooded rain ponchos for all family or group members
  • Home air filter
  • Soap, sponges and/or bristled brush (vegetable scrubbing brush)
  • Gas masks with extra filters
  • Filtered ventilation system, powered with manually-powered back up
  • A nuclear shelter that has an entrance designed to reduce fallout exposure.

The thought of nuclear disasters is not something we like to think about. However, in order to be ready for these types of disasters means you have to believe that the possibility of a threat is there. It is possible to survive a nuclear disaster and fallout, but you must be prepared. Having all of your items prepared and in place before the disaster will keep your family or group safe and ready to bunker in more quickly.

This article has been contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition. Subscribe to Tess’ Get Prepped Weekly Newsletter for more emergency preparedness tips, homesteading ideas, and insights. As a subscriber to her free newsletter you’ll receive the latest updates from her 52 Weeks to Preparedness Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Planning Series. It’s well worth your time, and oh, did we mention it’s totally free?

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