Letter From "A. Microbiologist" Re: Asian Avian Flu

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Cipro is an antibiotic, as such it is only useful for bacterial infections. If you developed pneumonia during the course of the flu infection Cipro might be an okay choice. From what I have read most people that die from avian flu are dying from respiratory failure far before they would get pneumonia. Recommending Tamiflu is a better choice but resistant strains to this are emerging, and this is the most common stockpiled drug so more resistance is likely to occur. Relenza is an even better option, but it is much more expensive. I would recommend that all your readers, (and you) read or re-read the pamphlet on influenza you liked to the other day I thought it was very good primer on influenza and its treatment. - A. Microbiologist


Letter Re: Ballistic Protection of Building Materials (SAs: Retreat Security, Retreat Architecture, Ballistic Protection, Ballistic Upgrades, Harder Homes and Gardens)

Jim. I have read every article in your blog since day one. I think a good topic that many readers would appreciate you discussing one day is a comparison of which caliber bullets will penetrate the various materials of which the walls of our homes/retreats may be constructed. For instance, in Florida where I live, the walls of most new construction homes are constructed of one of two types. One is vinyl siding over plywood over wood frame. The other is cement cinder blocks. What do we need to be aware of as far as bullet penetration of the walls from the outside? Also, I assume sand bags placed along the walls would help in a survival situation. If so, which caliber bullets will penetrate sand bags? Thank you so much and God bless you for the great work you are doing. - Joe.

JWR Replies: The U.S. Army has done very extensive tests on terminal ballistics. The following is the latest update to my standard "Harder Homes and Gardens" spiel that I've included in my consulting letters and speeches for many years: Cinder blocks only provide good ballistic penetration if they are filled with concrete. For serious ballistic protection, I recommend any of the following: traditional reinforced masonry buildings, concrete filled foam blocks--also called Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs), Earthships (tire houses), "Earthbag" houses, Underground houses with masonry entrances, or monolithic dome homes. A log house with at least 12" diameter logs and concrete chinking also works well, but they are far more vulnerable to fire than masonry. Any of these techniques of course should be supplemented with the steel door and window shutter upgrades described in detail in my novel Patriots. A standard metal roof works fine if your only concern is fire. However, if a house is situated in a canyon or if it is adjacent to much taller buildings where you might be vulnerable to shooters firing downward, then you must plan on either a ballistically reinforced roof (which is heavy and expensive) or build a monolithic dome spec'ed to at least 8" thick shotcrete in the apex, tapering to at least 9" thick in the lower portions of the dome and/or the stem wall (vertical riser wall.) Here is some useful data on ballistic protection from some U.S. Military manuals:






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This page contains a single entry by Jim Rawles published on October 9, 2005 10:10 PM.

Letter Re: Retreat Potential for The Eastern States--Pennsylvania was the previous entry in this blog.

Recommended Region: The Show Low Region (Navajo County, Northeast Arizona) is the next entry in this blog.

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