….On Hygiene and Personal safety
I wrote up the following as one of the protocols for our retreat. During our training days we simulate grid down situation, and all rules, security watches etc., apply. Everyone works.
WEAR GLOVES-for all work done. In grid down you will encounter many more minor injuries that now will become major medical problems if unattended. Protect your hands.
TREAT MINOR CUTS AND ABRASIONS IMMEDIATELY-You will be exposed to many disease causing organisms that you did not previously encounter. Anthrax is common in all farming environments as well as Tetanus and Salmonella in poultry populations. Clean, disinfect and bandage all wounds.
USE MINIMUM MEDICATIONS TO CURE THE PROBLEM- do not abuse anti-biotic and pain meds on minor medical problems. You may REALLY need them later. Use soap and water, alcohol, Neosporin antibiotic ointments, Hydrogen peroxide, Tea Tree Oil and Topical grade Colloidal Silver first. Be proactive.
WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN-All of the above medical ailments apply as well as “ass to mouth disease” from poor after bodily functions hygiene. You can contract E. coli, Hepatitis, pneumonia and influenza from this, resulting in diarrhea, massive dehydration and death. This is a serious, in the field, problem and can become endemic. Help yourself-help others, follow proper hygiene.
CLEAN YOUR LIVING SPACE-Institute a daily cleaning regimen. Sweep and mop daily to keep tracked dirt under control. Wipe often touched surfaces (doorknobs, window frames, toilets, counter tops) with alcohol or bleach.
STERILIZE ALL FOOD RELATED IMPLIMENTS-Clean all utensils, plates, pots & pans etc. after use. Clean with hot soapy water and rinse in boiling water. Many diseases can begin from contaminated food. Also clean all food preparation areas with alcohol or bleach immediately. Keep all food containers covered at all times. Properly reseal all food containers. Do not allow perishable food to remain out after use-containerize and refrigerate.
CAUTION!!!; DO NOT POUR BLEACH WATER INTO THE SEPTIC SYSTEM, IT WILL DESTROY ITS ABILITY TO FUNCTION.
WASH ALL GARDEN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES THOUGHLY-clean with soap and water,( scrub underground veggies with a nail brush) and air dry in bright sun to facilitate UV sterilization. Use or process all fresh food for storage as soon as possible.
THOUGHLY COOK ALL RAW MEAT AND FISH-slow cooking (covered pot) at 160 degrees for an extended time period is preferred. When cooking on open fires be certain that meat is cooked all the way through (160 degree internal temp.). Cook as soon as thawed or dressed. Pay particular attention to pork products to avoid trichinosis and listeria.
HYDRATE-drink water throughout the day. It is easy to lose fluids while engaged in strenuous and high stress situations and become a victim of dehydration even in cold climates. Extreme cases can lead to death. Drink your water on a regular basis.
CLOTHES AND BEDDING-regularly inspect bedding for pests. Air out in bright sun whenever possible. Treat with safe bug sprays if necessary. Keep your clothes as clean as possible and your footwear clean and dry. Beware of ticks, fleas, mites, spiders and bed bugs. Be vigilant some of these pest can become epidemic and extremely difficult to eradicate one they gain a foothold. Manual laundry facilities have been provided for.
MOSQUITOES-If working during dusk or dawn, use mosquito repellants. Wear long sleeve shirts, bloused pants legs, gloves, headgear and a net. If possible try to avoid being outside during this period as in some areas mosquitoes swarm and feed during this period. Untold numbers of diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes and in grid down this will most likely be more so. If your living space is invaded search out openings and repair. Burn citronella candles or punk mosquito coils. Remain under mosquito screening until the problem is resolved.
OTHER INSECTS- If you are known to have an anaphylactic reaction to wasp or bee stings, be sure and have epi-pens and proper meds for the condition.
PETS-Are to be exclusively indoor or outdoor. A dog that has free run of the property is not to be allowed access to living areas. An indoor cat must also remain indoors. The spread of flea, tick or mite infestation is too extreme. Inspect your pets often for pests and treat as required. Pets help us on many levels and their health is important too. Be sure to provide food, water, shelter and appropriate meds for them also. All pets’ shots are to be up to date. Try to keep pet’s interaction with wildlife to a minimum to avoid transfer of disease.
OPEN FLAMES-Under no circumstances are open flames to be used in living spaces. All cooking is to be performed out doors and fires properly monitored. Everyone should know the location of and proper use of fire extinguishers. Transfer all flammables in the open, well away from spark or flame with an extinguisher present.
SECURITY-Everyone is responsible for security. Keep your personal weapons and magazines clean, lubricated and properly functioning. If your weapon needs repair, see to it ASAP, seek help if required. Learn proper function and safety for all firearms available from a competent source. Keep knife blades and other cutting implements sharp. ALWAYS treat your weapon as loaded, (in a grid down situation, it most likely will be) and observe proper safety precautions.
Many of the above listed precautions are taken for granted during everyday life and we often let them slide. We unconsciously know that the hospital or other help is moments away and we take what are now considered reasonable chances. In grid down they won’t be, they will be dangerous and foolish!