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Archive for April, 2016

Trauma: The Importance of the Golden Hour

Trauma:  The Importance of the Golden Hour

Back in the 1970s, a doctor coined the phrase the golden hour as a way to refer to the importance of getting a patient to definitive care as quickly as possible.  In fact, our entire modern healthcare system is designed to get trauma patients to a suitable facility from anywhere in the country within this time-frame.  However, this is a tall order, even under the best of circumstances.  Consequently, any type of disaster or mass-casualty situation can easily overwhelm this well-oiled machine.

This reality places a burden on first responders as well as individuals who only know basic first aid techniques.  There will most definitely be a time when the SHTF, and it will be up to ordinary people to render aid and stabilize patients in order to give them a fighting chance at survival.  While people in this situation will not be able to get patients to definitive care in this time frame, the intervention they provide can make all of the difference in the world.

Learn Basic First Aid

Everyone who is serious about survival preparedness needs to know basic first aid.  This involves things like CPR, rescue breathing, stopping bleeding, immobilizing injuries and preventing shock.  It involves knowing when to induce vomiting after someone ingests a toxic substance or when to give them food to slow the digestive process.  Identifying major health conditions and providing basic treatment such as managing diabetic episodes, injecting epinephrine after an allergic reaction to a bee sting or suturing wounds in the field are also critical skills to possess.

The more you can do now to become familiar with appropriate steps to stabilize a patient, as well as being comfortable doing so can literally save lives in the future.   

Prepare for Anything

We’ve discussed various emergency first aid techniques numerous times in the past along with ideas regarding what to put in survival first aid kits.  However, there are other important things to be mindful of that will help you, and your patient, to get the most appropriate care in a timely manner.

You should consider any challenges that you may face out in the field, and become familiar with how to address them.  There’s no way that any one of us can be prepared for everything, but we can be in a position where we can use our knowledge, experience and skills to improvise.  Consider how you would rescue someone in your party who has fallen into a ravine and is unconscious.  How would you deal with a combative patient who has a serious head injury?  How will you rescue someone in distress on the water?

Not only do we need to know how to treat and stabilize patients, but we also need to know how we’re going to extract and evacuate them to an appropriate medical facility.  Unfortunately, there are no blanket answers that address these real concerns.  Even the best trained medics out there will tell you that their skill-set and equipment only takes them so far.  A lot of rescues occur as the result of good teamwork and ingenuity.  Consequently, it’s up to all of us to be prepared to do the same when the situation arises.

The golden hour is intended to devise systems and procedures that will get trauma patients to an appropriate facility as quickly as possible.  Getting them stabilized and extracted are two key components to this process.  There is a good chance that you may be responsible for dealing with these components in a survival situation, even if medical care is a long way off.

Your intervention can mean the difference between life and death.  The importance of learning basic first aid and rescue techniques ranks just as high as learning how to build a fire or shelter.  Don’t forget to include this in your survival planning, because there’s a really good chance that you will need to put it into practice when you least expect it.


Self-Sufficiency in a Cashless Society

Self-Sufficiency in a Cashless Society

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The world is rapidly moving towards a cashless society in which digital banking will be the norm as opposed to the exception.  Some of the brightest and most influential economic minds in the global financial sector have been pushing for less paper money and more digital currency.  Their reasoning?  Printing and moving money is expensive, it’s easy to counterfeit and it is easy to steal.  Consequently, there is little incentive other than to move forward in this new direction, and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a reality.

Government-Sponsored Digital Money

The United States, which has more money in global circulation than any other nation, has also been feverishly moving towards digital currency for decades.  We’re now on the cusp of a paradigm shift in which cash is no longer used as a standard form of payment as debit cards are replacing paper checks and traditional transactions.  People get their Social Security payments via direct deposit now.  Welfare recipients in many states are obligated to open up bank accounts and have their funds distributed electronically as well.  Employers are starting to charge employees who still wish to receive paper checks as opposed to direct deposits.

The one, single benefit that is not being discussed in the media or by our politicians is how moving to a digital currency essentially eliminates privacy.  This benefit is solely for the government that hungers to find new ways to monitor, track and record almost all of our activities.  This places those who wish to be anonymous in a very precarious position, and preppers need to think about the ramifications.

We Will Have no Choice

It’s virtually impossible to get anything done unless you have a debit or credit card.  Payments by mail are incurring surcharges, and many in the financial industry think this option will be eliminated in the next decade.  Purchasing items online is the new normal as brick and mortar stores simply can not compete.  The large chain stores that will remain open will continue to favor electronic payments as opposed to cash.  The healthcare industry is shying away from cash payments, and it’s nearly impossible to purchase a home, land or a vehicle without going digital as well.  Those who do pay cash are automatically viewed as suspect and attract an awful lot of unwanted attention.

The truth of the matter is that we’re on a course that is unavoidable, and the world will soon be plugged into a global financial system that does not allow for any type of anonymity whatsoever.   Despite the touted benefits of such a system, its incorporation is a recipe for disaster on so many different levels.  Poor cyber-security leaves us and our money wide-open to theft and hacking.  Our ability to buy things can be blocked by banks or from the government whenever they feel like it.  Our ability to get paid will be contingent on being plugged into the grid, and all of our purchases and most of our movements can be recorded.

Two Different Worlds

The majority of the world’s population will soon be plugged into a system that will promise a lot of benefits and deny the risks.  Those of us who elect to opt out will face discrimination, become marginalized and ultimately get targeted for wanting to remain anonymous, self-reliant and completely independent.  Things will get progressively worse as we try to fend for ourselves outside of an interconnected system that governs every aspect of our lives.  We don’t even need to wait for a SHTF scenario to happen, because this will be the end of life and freedom as we know it.

Imagine trying to buy ammunition without recourse when all of our purchases are recorded.  Consider how the government can know about our preparedness efforts simply by tracking our spending habits.  Think about what you will do when you can’t even see a doctor without getting injected into the system.  This stuff is happening right now, and the small window of anonymity is beginning to close.

Aside from being in a position where the government can watch everything we do, we are also getting hooked into a system that is just waiting to implode on itself.  As we are forced to connect with the global financial system, we are also more vulnerable to events that normally would have no impact on our lives.  We will also be vulnerable to digital terrorism and natural disasters that can cause mass disruptions on a global scale.

SHTF Digital-Style

We need to focus our efforts on preparing for this digital takeover so that we can remain as self-sufficient as possible when the final nail goes into the coffin of freedom and anonymity.  There will come a day when we will need to live in the shadows, under the radar, and join an underground society that is continually being hunted.  Then, when the SHTF through economic collapse, famine, civil unrest and the introduction of a true police state, we will need friends, access to resources and the capability to avoid the calamities that the rest of the world is facing.

It’s time to start thinking outside of the traditional survival box and really assess the trajectory that our society is heading.  Keep in mind that the move towards a cashless society is just one bad step that will lead to a whole new array of nightmarish scenarios that even we are ill-equipped to deal with.  How do we prepare for this eventuality so we can remain self-sufficient if we opt out?  This is the question that we need to seriously consider and talk about, because all of us are going to have to face this sooner rather than later.