I saw the link in the March 23rd "Odds & Sods" to 297 free online reference books at Armageddon Online and began to drool with excitement powered by anticipation and saved the link to my desktop. Two days later, while sitting at my desk finishing off a small tube of Albuteral in my nebulizer, I finally followed up on that wonderful impulse to get something good for me for free. I soon found that "free" was actually $5, a small fee supported quite well by an apologetic explanation of the onslaught of used bandwidth when offered for free. We all owe Matt Anderson big thanks for his efforts to help others.
I was still excited ( $5 was cheap ) and paying my way was smartest prepper thing I had in the past twenty years of getting ready.
So then I slowly read down the two-column list of categories and their content titles and I was excited all over again. I now have an "Armageddon Online" icon on my computer desktop. There are 29 different, and especially useful in these tense times, well chosen categories. I found a great many topics that I readily saw I needed more information on, or that I was a newbie guy on a particular topic. This was an enlightenment moment for me, I have doing family and community and church preparedness for twenty years. I have selected just a notable few items from the 297 for a brief overview in the hopes of putting you in the same awareness posture I had found myself, excited to be gaining better information for my family and friends.
In no particular order, I looked at:
1. ARC - Are you ready - EARTHQUAKES - doing a plan for your home and then practice drop, cover, and hold on, twice a year. And there are 25+ more points, mostly well thought out one-liners.
2. ARC- Are you ready - WILDFIRES - Create a 30-50 foot safe area around your home - 14 points of completion 7 points of home safety - 8 points of protecting your home - 13 POINTS OF CREATING YOUR FAMILY DISASTER PLAN ! PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE and then teach someone else to do and to teach!
3. BASE CAMP HYGIENE and HEALTH (YOUR HOME / RV / COUNTRY CABIN, etc.)
• Water supply • Latrines • Areas for washing up, washing clothes, ablutions • Drains • Kitchen (smoke, smell and fire risk) • Food storage • Rubbish disposal • Fuel dump and fire precautions • Areas for eating, working, sleeping and relaxing • Medical area tent/hut (on the edge of the camp for privacy and safety).
ALL OF THESE ARE VERY IMPORTANT AND WORTH THE $5 ALONE! In this topic I found the "don’ts" to be extremely important and nearly identical to the US Army training from the early Viet Nam era. Even as a base camp commo wienie who stayed in the CONUS, I learned a lot about everyday successful field craft, about and health and hygiene..
You may well never have a second chance to stay healthy. You will not need to learn how to dig a grave twice.
4. FACT SHEET -FEMA TORNADOES - when you see or hear your very own tornado, it really is too late to start planning a response / preparation plan. You will no longer be an observer, you are now the designated target / victim / named debrief topic of the afterwards report. Go to WWW.FEMA.GOV and download the necessary publications concerning your concerns. This may be both your life saver and the only thing from the government you actually asked for. This powerful but still simple two page free item from FEMA has great tidbits of life saving information: tornado facts, where and when, how to prepare, develop a communication plan, prepare your disaster supply kit, watches and warnings, danger signs, after the tornado, safety rules during. So how do I know this is important?
We lived in the so-called "TORNADO ALLEY - OHIO" for 45 years prior to moving to western range wildfire country. I have personally watched funnel clouds pass overhead twice in my life. Yes, it really does sound just like an onrushing freight train!
5. DUTCH OVENS - THIS IS A SUPERIOR SHORT ESSAY!! I am embarrassed to realize how little I know, about these wonders of outdoor culinary arts. And I will never again sneer at our resident ward Boy Scout leaders who make it look so easy. Eight pages packed with very well written useable directions, diagrams, and photographs with tags and pointers. The cleaning instructions are great and the buying information alone is worth much more than the $5 for the whole 29 7 documents.
6. PREPARING FOR DISASTER FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY AND OTHER SPECIAL NEEDS. This is an important topic that will effect nearly "everyone" in the very likely event of a serious disaster. The Red Cross booklet is 19 pages and is very well done. It is not preachy and is written in "common sense" daily language. It is an easy read and it is free.
DISCLAIMER. I am 100% disabled veteran with COPD and diabetes. Our family's disability experience is lengthy and personal. My darling wife ( 47 years ) and I are full guardians for her mentally disabled only brother. He has been our responsibility since 1968. He came home from the Korean War with a serious brain disability and has never recovered. After many years in hospitals and group homes, he has lived with us from 1992 until just recently when he needed to move to a very good local area rest home. We do know about emergencies and the disabled. Our disabled brothers and sisters are everywhere, usually living quiet lives doing as much as they can for themselves and often doing much for others. Just stand at the entrances to our major shopping areas for a few hours and count the folks having difficulties just moving from the car to the store. It will be enlightening. If your family, your group, has no members or relatives who are disabled, relax, we will find you in our hour of need. Here are just a few of the many web sites to obtain timely info on preparedness for our disabled and special needs brothers and sisters. Why should we care about these folks?
WE CARE BECAUSE WE ARE AMERICANS AND THIS IS OUR PRIVILEGE AND OUR RESPONSIBILITY.
WE ARE A FREE PEOPLE AND WE CARE FOR AND ABOUT THOSE WHO CAN'T HELP THEMSELVES.
These are a few web sites suggested in Matt Anderson's materials in the disabled preparedness area.
www.access-board.gov The Access Board
www.aoa.dhhs.gov DHHS Administration on Aging
www.ncd.gov National Council on Disability
www.nod.org/emergency National Organization on Disability
www.aapd.com American Association for People with Disabilities
www.afb.org American Foundation for the Blind
www.nad.org National Association of the Deaf
www.lacity.org/DOD Los Angeles City Department on Disability
www.easter-seals.org Easter Seals
For more in-depth information, get a copy of "Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities" (A5091) from the American Red Cross.
7. F.E.M.A. RR-28 / Reprinted July 1989
CONSTRUCTION OF A SIMPLIFIED WOOD GAS GENERATOR FOR FUELING INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES IN A PETROLEUM EMERGENCY.
GO TO THE WEB SITE HERE. Wood Gas Generator. DO WE REALLY NEED TO EXPLAIN HOW GOOD IT WILL BE IN AN AREA / TIME / SITUATION OF TORCH LIGHT, CANDLES, LANTERNS, AND FOOD COOKED OVER AN OPEN FLAME, JUST WHY IT WILL BE GREAT TO HAVE AN ELECTRIC LIGHt, PA SYSTEM, MICRO WAVE, SHORTWAVE RADIO, GPS, ELECTRIC MOPED, ALL OF WHICH STILL WORK. PLUS A SLOW MOVING OLD PICKUP TRUCK. HOW MUCH WOULD YOU VALUE AN ENGINE POWERED BY BURNING FREE WOOD THAT TURNS THE GENERATOR TO CREATE FREE ELECTRICITY 24/7???
Think about bartering fully charged 12 volt car batteries for a discharged battery plus a few pre-1965 dimes or a quarter!
Actually the report / plans are 90 pages long , I put the full report on a flash drive and went to a quick print and had it ( all of it - every word ) printed into a booklet ( 8.5 x 11 ), and i have a second set of pages for my backup.
i did this for $11, at my favorite copier place. The final page lists 5 company names and contact info so as to buy plans for other wood gas generators.
8. How to listen to World Radio or "Gee, I sure wish we knew what's gonna happen next" or these darn cheap CBs just never work when there is a hill or something is going wrong" or "Quick, run to town and git the doctor, granny was chopping wood and cut off her finger."
There are ham operators in just about every area, every town and neighborhood. Use your favorite search engine and close by zip codes to find your local " ARRL " American Radio Relay League". Use the phone to set up a meet with a member. Ask about the "no code" Technician license. its easy and inexpensive. Look the test up on the web. there are many free study web sites to help you. You will also want to learn as much as you can about matching antennas to bands and especially learn about not going nuts spending too much money. We put most of our limited funds into a very good world band receiver and dipole antenna system and a mid-quality small transceiver. they both need a 12 volt power system. For my tastes and my experience, design simplicity and low cost is best most of the time for nearly everyone.
9. A FOOT POWERED PEDAL OPERATED GRAIN MILL _31 pages - Peddle Operated Grain Mi#8D40E8
This is so darn simple I am surprised i didn't know about the design in the past. The only problem i see is talking some one out of their used bike that still has working parts . The web page denotes a reprint by permission and i do not have that permission. However a single copy can be made for personal non commercial use, or for education, without permission. This is a great item to know about in advance of actually needing it. Go for it.
10. The final commentary ... and you thought I was going do do all 297.....
FIRST AID MANAGEMENT OF MINOR INJURIES - 157 PAGES - and they are all very well done, an easy read. I'll start with the summary from the last page....
Minor accidents and injuries do occur on expeditions, but with knowledge and a reasonable medical kit most should be treatable in the field and should not impair the enjoyment of the expedition. The expedition medical officer has a responsibility to consider when an accident or injury requires more expert help and to arrange for the patients evacuation to a place of safety and competent care. So what do we learn from the summery?
A. We need a medical officer / an MD / a DO / an RN / an EMT /a herbalist / a nursing student, or heaven forbid, a skilled veterinarian doing his / her "good samaritan and not to be sued" team member / person of serious interest to the needy in our group / family.
B. We need a really good medical kit for the probable medical problems concerning injuries and accidents.
I just googled for the following: " EMT JUMP KIT CONTENTS LIST?" and Ii found this neat web site from Emory University. http://www.emory.edu/EEMS/JumpBag.html
The site has the lists needed, and pictures, for slow guys like me. We are now ( this week and next ) working on inventorying the past few years of medical stuff we have acquired and will use this list to determine what to keep and what to get. After we look at the budget again, and again!!
From the viewpoint of age 72, 4 years in the military, and recent CERT leadership training, there is a serious rule to be considered in every, no exceptions, every medical emergency situation.
You Must Take Care Of Yourself First Stop!! Look !! Think!!
Confirm your observations and plan with a partner if possible, or do it again if alone. Look ahead for secure footing. Look at the equipment you will take with you before you start. Know how you will return to safety before you move to the injured person. practice your tri-age in advance. Read the tri-age card in your wallet or purse.
Above all else, know your limits and know your tools.
Finally, before I start an important project, or activity, or begin a class, or attend a lecture, I pray for Heavenly help to learn and to understand, and especially that I might be thankful for these opportunities.