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The Four Most Likely Ways You Can Die If The SHTF
SHTF Plan ^ | 6-30-2011 | Tess Pennington

Posted on 06/30/2011 6:41:48 AM PDT by blam

The Four Most Likely Ways You Can Die If The SHTF

Tess Pennington
June 30th, 2011
Ready Nutrition

The subject of survival in a long term disaster goes beyond having stockpiles of beans, bullets and band-aids. Those that do survive during a long term emergency will no doubt be tried and tested with a great many things. One of those trying scenarios is dealing with death.

Zombie attacks seem to be a prevalent theme for preppers to prepare for. In fact, the CDC has even posted a preparedness article on how to ward off zombie attacks. While I believe these zombies will likely take the form of substance abusers, mental patients, chronically ill or diseased, and desperate individuals whose basic needs have not been met, they will die out in the first few months of an onset of a major disaster, and there presence will rarely be an issue in a long term situation.

In reality, a majority of those that will die during a long-term disaster will be from illnesses brought on by acute respiratory infections due to cramped living conditions, poor water conditions (or lack of), or bacterial infections from wounds. If we survive a major disaster, America would become a third world country and the aftermath of such a scenario will be similar to those living in Africa, Ethiopia and India.

Illness Due to Poor Water Conditions

Typically, any diseases that are brought on by lack of sanitation and hygiene are controllable and preventable. In a disaster where water sources are compromised, people within a 50 mile radius could be adversely impacted by illness and disease if just one person incorrectly handles water or incorrectly disposes of waste. Contaminated water, poor sanitation and/or lack of hygeine leads to diseases such as Hepatitis A, viral gastroenteritis, cholera, Shigellosis, typhoid, Diphtheria and polio. If these diseases affect enough people, an epidemic will ensue.

Dehydration and diarrhea are also water-related matters to contend with. Those without adequate water conditions and/or are suffering from disease brought on by poor water conditions could quickly dehydrate. These types of illnesses typically affect at-risk populations such as children, the sick and the elderly. Young children in particular are at high risk for diarrhea and other food- and waterborne illnesses because of limited pre-existing immunity and behavioral factors such as frequent hand-to-mouth contact. The greatest risk to an infant with diarrhea and vomiting is dehydration. In addition, fever or increased ambient temperature increases fluid losses and speeds dehydration. Having knowledge beforehand on how to properly clean drinking water and food, and the symptomatology and treatment of these types of diseases can prevent further outbreaks from occurring.

Recommended preparedness items: water filtration systems, water purification tablets, chlorine granules, bleach, electrolyte or rehydration powders, anti-diarrea medicines.


Malnutrition from either improper water conditions or from lack of nutrients is also a large killer amongst those in impoverished communities. Medical experts say there is a symbiotic relationship between malnutrition and diarreah. Malnutrition increases the severity of diarrhea while diarrhea can cause malnutrition. Either way, prevention for both of these health issues is key.

Those that are malnourished are more suseptible to illness and disease. Individuals who are malnourished will also be vitamin deficient and their health is likely to regress further. Those who survive from malnutrition are permanently affected by this disease and may suffer from recurring sickness, faltering growth, poor brain development, increased tooth decay, reduced strength and work capacity, and increased chance of chronic diseases in adulthood. Adult women with this condition will give birth to underweight babies.

Recommended preparedness items: dietary supplements, vitamin powders, seeds for sprouting or seeds for fresh vegetables and fruits, survival bars, knowledge of alternative means to attain vitamins

Acute Respiratory Infections

Upper respiratory infections (URI) will also be a leading cause of death in a long term disaster. Upper respiratory infections include: colds, flu, sore throat, coughs and bronchitis can usually be cured with additional liquids, rest and nourishment. Allowing the illness to exacerbate will lead to secondary infections such as bacterial pneumonia. The germs from pneumonia are easily spread from an infected person to others by coughing or sneezing or through close contact. A major concern about respiratory infections is that there are many drug resistant strands of viruses, bacterias and diseases (including tuberculosis), that regular medicine will not cure. In a long term disaster situation, many could perish.

To properly prepare for this type of medical situation, learn about the more prevalent viruses and bacterias in your country and how to prevent them in order to provide a healthy living environment in a long term situation.

Not only are URI’s a concern but other air-borne diseases such as tuberculosis will likely fester during a long term scenario. In regular non-SHTF times, treatment for tuberculosis requires 6-12 months of medication. In a long term emergency, chances of surviving tuberculosis are slim. The best way to prevent tuberculosis is adequate nutrition, vitamin D and living in a properly ventilated shelter.

Survival groups that have multiple people living under one roof will only increase the likelihood of passing air-borne infections and diseases to one another. In addition, those in an at-risk group (elderly, immuno-deficient, infants) are more likely to catch illnesses. If a survival group is sharing a home, an infirmary or sick room should be prepared for those who have fallen ill. Isolating the person who is ill will limit exposure to the other members of the group. Adequate nutrition, water, rest, good sanitary practices and ventilation of the home is essential in curbing this.

Recommended preparedness items: decongestants, expectorants, upper respiratory medicines, antibiotics (for secondary and bacterial infections), knowledge on medicinal herbs, prepare a sick room at your survival homestead

Infections From Wounds

Open injuries have the potential for serious bacterial wound infections, including gas gangrene and tetanus, and these in turn may lead to long term disabilities, chronic wound or bone infection, and death. Anitibiotics will be few and far between and will be more precious than gold. Without proper medicines, antiseptic and knowledge on proper medical procedures, many will die of bacterial infections. Learning medical skills, gaining knowledge on natural medicines and alternative medical antiseptic (i.e., Dakin’s Solution) before a disaster occurs could help people survive from wound infections. Also, ensuring the area that you treat medical emergencies is clean and as sterile as possible may also prevent bacterial infections.

Recommended preparedness items: stock up on maxi pads for wound absorption, gauze, celox, antibiotics, suture needles and other basic first aid supplies

Additionally, consider developing the following skills: basic first aid class, sign up for EMT classes in your community, an off-grid medical care class such as those offered by onPoint Tactical. Also, consider investing in books such as When There is No Doctor and When There is No Dentist

Also look into making your own antiseptics utilizing alcohol distillation, such as the custom made units from LNL Protekt.

These illnesses (provided above) have impacted countries all over the world. These illness and conditions, coupled with unsanitary living conditions such as substandard sanitation, inadequate food and water supplies and poor hygiene, make disaster-affected people especially vulnerable to disease. These illnesses will affect us no matter what part of the world we live in, what socio-economic status we currently hold, and no matter how prepared we think we are.

Understanding what can happen and being prepared when it does is absolutely essential. The last thing we want to do when a serious condition arises is to panic. Preparing your supplies, developing your skills and educating the rest of your family and preparedness group on how to prevent, identify and counteract these serious conditions will provide a significant boost to your ability to survive if the worst happens.

Recommended Reading:

Patriot Nurse: 5 Diseases that Will Explode WTSHTF

Prevention and Management of Wound Infections

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Emergencies

KEYWORDS: bhoeconomy; health; nutrition; preparedness; preparenow; preppers; prepping; shtf; survivalping; tshtf; urbansurvival; wereallgonnadie
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To: Georgia Girl 2
There are some antibiotic’s you can get at Tractor Supply stores out in the rural areas. When I had the farm, my refrigerator looked like a vets. I use to buy lots of things directly from a vet catalog that is also used by farmers for their animals...Its the same stuff they give to people...also had my own sterile syringes from the catalog. Penicillin is what I used not tetracycline...but you have to figure out dosages by weight.....I could purchase enough meds for a flock of goats for what it cost to take one dog to the vet if he needed shots or was sick...
151 posted on 06/30/2011 11:31:00 PM PDT by goat granny
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To: MsLady
I think people in their panic would pic a leader who would promise them away out of the mess. Even if that leader was the devil himself.

And THAT is why society is in the shape it is in today, and also one of the reasons I have this tagline, which I've had for a long, long time. The cult of personality.

Reason number one why I hate cities.

152 posted on 06/30/2011 11:52:35 PM PDT by Darren McCarty (I am not lead by any politician. I am my own leader.)
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To: hattend

You might try this. Some companies will give you a greatly reduced rate on your meds if you get a 90 day supply by mail.

153 posted on 07/01/2011 7:50:08 AM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: Darren McCarty

Yep, it’s just so much easier to just listen to what someone says, especially if they are charismatic, instead of seeing what they have done and do. And what views they have. Some of the population reminds me of chickens with there heads cut off. Go this way, no go that way, no no wait over there.

154 posted on 07/01/2011 7:51:17 AM PDT by MsLady (Be the kind of woman that when you get up in the morning, the devil says, "Oh crap, she's UP !!")
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To: goat granny

Well thats a good idea for anybody wanting to stock up. We also use Oil of Oregano which can be purchased at any health food store and is a very strong anti-viral and anti-biotic as well as Colloidal Silver which we purchase online. Everytime we start to feel like something is coming on we start dosing with the Oil of Oregano and usually by the next day its totally gone. The only people who should not use Oil of Oregano are people with Lupus or other auto immune diseases. You can Google Oil of Oregano and read up on it.

155 posted on 07/01/2011 8:02:42 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Lurker

I do get my meds via mailorder.

Morphine on the other hand cannot be mailed and my wife can’t get more than a 30 day supply.

156 posted on 07/01/2011 8:23:20 AM PDT by hattend (Let's all meet Sarah at her last bus stop -- 1600 Pennsylvania Ave in Jan 2013)
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What do you know about fish erythromycin? I found it on the CalVet website.
My husband and I are both highly allergic to penicillin.
157 posted on 07/01/2011 9:02:29 AM PDT by RightField (one of the obstreperous citizens insisting on incorrect thinking - C. Krauthamer)
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To: little jeremiah; hattend
The right kind of seeds are available by searching around the internet, at at least a few years ago.

Late to the party, but I read once that the reason poppies are naturalized all over the South is that the Confederate government asked people to grow them for morphine for the hospitals. The laws about growing them are weird - you're allowed to grow them (and the seeds are in almost every catalog) as long as you don't know how to process them.

158 posted on 07/01/2011 10:59:43 AM PDT by nina0113
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To: Any Fate But Submission
The book One Second After ended with the military coming to the rescue a year later after 75% had died but in reality, there would be no military coming to the rescue unless they were Chinese or Muslims.

Fortunately, the author knew very little about country life (nobody knows how to CAN?) so his outcome was far worse than the reality would be.

159 posted on 07/01/2011 11:04:04 AM PDT by nina0113
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To: blam

How long has Tess Pennington been trying to write in English?

160 posted on 07/01/2011 11:07:01 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: MsLady
Also propane powered frig. They are both a bit on the pricey side though.

Raggedy old RVs that have working LP fridges are pretty cheap.

161 posted on 07/01/2011 11:17:08 AM PDT by nina0113
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To: nina0113

You’re not late! I need to do some research.

AFAIK and I could be wrong, regular garden poppies are different from medicinal poppies. If anyone knows, ping me.

162 posted on 07/01/2011 11:21:56 AM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: MrB
See their statement/warning/threat here:

That's not an official military website if that was your intent in posting. Furthermore, clicking on one of the links brought up a security warning.........

163 posted on 07/01/2011 11:29:07 AM PDT by Hot Tabasco
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To: little jeremiah
They all produce some amount of morphine which is why poppyseed bagels will blow your drug test. Papaver somniferum (I had to look up the spelling) has the most.
164 posted on 07/01/2011 12:25:22 PM PDT by nina0113
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To: nina0113

Thank you!

I had no idea that poppyseed bagels would effect a drug test. Interesting. Thanks for the official name.

165 posted on 07/01/2011 12:32:57 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: toast
1 diabetic and needs insulin to survive.

Isn't insulin only good as long as you can keep it refrigerated?

166 posted on 07/01/2011 1:19:09 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco
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To: Mad Dawgg

Hey Thx!

167 posted on 07/01/2011 3:38:02 PM PDT by SwankyC
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