Carlos Giusti / AP
SHTF has hit but we are talking about football players. California. Washington. Oregon. Montana. Devastated by firestorms. Houston and Florida severely damaged by 2 separate hurricanes. And a territory of the US that has dropped off the news in favor Jerry Jones owner of the Cowboys “taking a knee” with his players.
Sorry for the derailment of my thought train. The poop has hit the fan in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The majority of the island has no power. A major dam is on the brink of collapse. Unlike Texas and Florida, where Hurricanes Harvey and Irma knocked out power grids this summer, workers from other utilities on the U.S. mainland can’t hop in trucks and drive to Puerto Rico. As of this news letter ( 9-26-17) The main airport in San Juan was not yet operating normally. That means help is stalled on the mainland. The ports for the island are damaged.
So what does that mean to us medical preppers. Unfortunately for the citizens of Puerto Rico we have a live classroom of what SHTF looks like. So lets talk about what we can do to prevent what is happening there from happing to US.
No power means no refrigeration, no running water in places. No sewage treatment plants. That means spoiled food and spoiled medicines. It means diarrhea, heat injuries the spread of disease from bad water and insect vectors.
Lets start with refrigeration. In a tropical country evaporative cooling does not work. 90+ degrees and 90% humidity plainly SUCKS Lets spend a few minutes on keeping food and medicine cool with no power
The Clay Pot (Zeer Pot) is basically a large clay pot filled with sand and another clay pot put into to Sand is poured around the inner pot to completely fill the edges. Water is poured on the sand and food is placed in inner part and covered with a clay lid. It works GREAT in the desert and in researching I found a page from India ( Hot and Humid jungle) that it worked okay enough to keep some foods cool enough to not spoil as fast. But it is NOT a true solution.
What is better is a page from American History. This clever gadget is still used to this day in you $100,000 RV’s Yup the Propane Refrigerator. Ok a propane fridge is expensive and hard to come by. But its basic operation is easy to make with the help of a good welder. What I am talking about is the Crossly Icy Ball. I’ve made one pre Y2K. Propane tanks a 10 lb fire extinguisher iron pipe and the help of a welder. We used it on Scout outings for years. No ICE on campouts! Just a 15 lb contraption. Sadly it had to be taken apart due to corrosion of the iron pipe from the ammonia but it worked for about 7 years. This site is a good resources on the Icy Ball and is very simiar to the one I built Build your own Icy Ball. And the plans for one are located here: Icy Ball Plans
Okay. We have food storage covered. Let talk about water. Contaminated drinking water is the leading cause of disease and death on this planet. From the natural containments that are found in water to the junk we dump into it. We need to have clean water, and during time of disaster it is VITAL.
Fortunately here in the 21st century we have DOZENS of methods that clean water. The Big Berky Filter system is one. There are hundreds of copies and DYI plans.
Here is one. DYI Berky style Water filter . The Sawyer water filter system. All of these are fantastic and I have 1 of each. The only draw back to them is on the homemade Berky you need to watch for mold growth. And on all of them you have to have access to replacement filters. And using a Berky at home the filters last a long time. Using one to filter a mud puddle they clog up in weeks even days.
Folks that have listened to The Medic Shack Radio Show have heard me that even over my Glock 21 and Remington 870 shotgun and my Gerber knife the #1 survival tool in my kit is my pressure cooker. Here are the steps. These were taken from Good Old Boat Magazine November /December 1999. (Yes I have piles of old magazines with such tips)
If your pressure cooker has a vent pipe on the lid, you can make an emergency distiller with the addition of a few items. While this process to create pure water is slow and uses quite a bit of energy, it could save your life in an emergency. Taking a pressure cooker with a vent pipe of 1/4-inch outside diameter as a reference, here is how to do it.
1.Fill the pressure cooker 2/3 full with seawater, pool water or any other water that may or may not be contaminated
2.Attach a 3-foot length of 1/4-inch inside diameter food grade vinyl plastic tubing to the valve stem on the cover of the cooker.
3.Using a hose clamp over the vinyl tubing, attach a 10 feet of 1/4″ copper or stainless tubing to the remaining loose end of the plastic hose.
4.Coil the copper tubing so it can fit into a container of cold water. The colder the coils the faster the condensation will occur.
5.A second piece of vinyl tubing attaches to the copper tubing end at the bottom of the bucket with a hose clamp as well. The other end of the metal tubing is then placed into a clean container to collect the fresh water.
6.As steam builds up inside the cooker, it begins to make its way through the tubing. When it reaches the copper coils, it condenses into pure water and flows into the water contain.
Also the distillation method can make double use of your fuel. You can use water as its heating to pre warm your Icy Ball. This makes your fuel do double duty. You can sterilize surgical instruments or anything that needs to be sterile. On my big Presto canner I’ve canned food while distilling water. ( It was tomato sauce since there was no pressure involved)
(BTW The same set up can be used with minor modification to distill alcohol SHTF)
Us desert rats know all about using the sun to make clean water. Dig a hole. Put succulent plants in the hole, OR unknown water Place container in center of hole. Place plastic sheet over the hole and put a rock on the sheet centered over the cup return in a couple of hours and you have a container of clean water.
This website does a good job on outlining larger scale solar distillation Ultimate Guide To Solar Water Distillers: Solar Water Distillation 101
This short news letter is designed to give you a fighting chance of surviving the after the storm. Last week I talked about first aid during the storm Today how to preserve your food and make clean water. Later this week I’ll get some lists out on Disaster First Aid kits.
Also a BIG announcement. Folks have known that I have had a long term working relationship with Cat Ellis The Herbal Prepper. We are announcing that we are working together on a new webinar series called “Wound Care for Austere Conditions” This is a combination of my Wound Care and Other classes and Cat’s OUTSTANDING herbal wound skills into a wound care series. Please stay tuned for sign up links and early bird discount codes.
Berkey SSCF-9 9-Inch Ceramic Replacement Filters, 2-Pack The start of making your own filter system
Presto 01370 8-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker A good pressure cooker to distill water
Sawyer Products SP160 One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System with Dual-Threaded Mini Filter The Sawyer Water Filter System
Travel Berkey with Two 7″ White Ceramic Filters The “Travel” Sized Berkey Water System
Big Berkey Water Filter System w/ 2 Black Purifier Filters (2 Gallons) Bundled w/ 1-set of Fluoride Filters (PF2) and 1-set of 4 Boroux 12 oz Stainless Steel Cups for drinking the best tasting water The Original. The Big Berkey Water system