Thursday, October 5, 2017

Mass Casualty Incidents and Triage

By: Sebastian Berry

Friends of Family Survival Farm: It is with a heavy heart and after much pondering that I make this posting. I make a pretty good effort to make my posts timely and relevant. Like posting about fireworks and burns around the 4th of July. I feel this one will be more difficult due to the tender nature of recent events in Las Vegas.

On October 1, 2017 a man opened fire on unsuspecting concert goers in an adjacent location across the road from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. He killed at least 58 and injured almost another 500. Fox News Timeline of Events. I have neither the inclination to mention the shooters name or to delve into a second amendment argument. This act was senseless and seemingly unprovoked and the loss of life saddens me deeply.

DISCLAIMER: Instructions and information here is not a substitute for professional medical care and treatment. If you are having an emergency call 911 or your local emergency number for assistance.

I do not claim credit to any of the images used unless specifically indicated. All rights and credits remain with the original owners

Let me be very clear from the start, people die. This is an unfortunate fact of life. All of us have or will lose people that we love, care for, or are close to. Sometimes, bad things happen to very good people. Many times there is just simply nothing we can do about it.


Good people died in Las Vegas last Sunday. Other good people did all they could to save them. It is not a very difficult Google search to find the stories of heroism that took place. People covering people to shield them from fire. We've all heard the story of the man that commandeered a truck to take people to the hospital. And then there's this...


Mass Casualty Incidents or MCI, overwhelm medical systems and emergency responders. I work at a hospital under a company called HCA. The company CEO, Milton Johnson, sent an email to all employees about the shooting. Here's a little glimpse.
"...As the horrific details of the Route 91 shooting in Las Vegas became evident, we also learned of the incredible impact it had on our colleagues at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center and its sister hospitals, Southern Hills Hospital and Mountain View Hospital.  Even though our hospitals regularly plan for mass casualties, no one could have anticipated the magnitude of this tragic event. 
As the closest trauma center to the concert site, Sunrise immediately started receiving patients that arrived by all modes of transportation.  Ultimately, they would care for approximately two hundred victims.  For the entirety of the event, one hundred twenty patients with gunshot wounds received care.  All 30 operating rooms were immediately activated and operated throughout the night and following day.  In all, more than 80 operations were performed..."
People and equipment from those sister hospitals was transferred to help effect the care of the injured. It is no small feat to go from normal operations to bursting at the seams and still handling more.

Dr. James Sebesta is a retired Army Colonel and surgeon who was in attendance at the concert.


 He recalls in a newspaper interview with The Seattle Times:
...He recalls one man, assisted by his son, who had a bullet wound in his back. He helped to carry the man off the field but doesn’t know if he survived.
Another woman he came upon was grievously wounded, and he knew she could not be saved. So he moved on.
“We went from person to person trying to get the people who were still alive out of there, and then went back after that and got some of the people who had expired, “ Sebesta recalled.
Eventually, he reunited with his wife, Janelle, at their hotel after 3 a.m. Monday. He could not sleep as his wife’s phone kept “blowing up” with messages from family and friends.
“I’ve been in the Army a long time. I’ve been to war four or five times … I’ve been in a lot of bad places during my career and seen lots of mass cal (casualty) things. But in the Army, we were ready for ’em. And the other thing is, there was a reason for it — I mean, it was war,”...
Herein lies the hard part of MCI and triage. We must determine quickly those who our help can help the most. We must make a decision on the fly if people stand a reasonable chance of being saved. In one of my previous articles on first aid (you can read it here) I wrote:
"There are two questions a person must ask themselves before rendering aid...
    1. Do I have the skills to render proper aid?
    2. Do I have the equipment to render proper aid?
If either question is answered no, then you must seriously reconsider rendering aid."
In MCI's this traditional thinking goes out the window. In MCI's if you have hands and are able to function you can be put to work. Like Colonel Sebesta recalled in being able to get people out of the danger area and to treatment. YOU might be the one to have to move people or to put your fingers into the bleeding hole in order to stop the bleeding. In another article I wrote about tourniquets (here), that might be the only thing that keeps a person from bleeding to death and you might be the only person available to apply one.

Triage, typically, functions with the following labels for groups.

  • GREEN: Uninjured or very lightly injured (think band-aids and bruises)
    • These are the people that can be put to work.
  • YELLOW: Walking wounded or folks to be considered for URGENT care.
    • These people typically are able to follow simple one step commands and need assistance in moving.
  • RED: These are your gunshot wounds, stab wounds, or long bone fractures like the legs or upper arms. URGENT SURGICAL.
    • These injuries require immediate and possibly life saving interventions.
  • BLACK: Also known as EXPECTANT or dead or actively dying.
    • These are people who are not breathing or responsive on initial encounter, the airway is opened and if they do not breathe spontaneously are to be considered dead and no further aid rendered.
    • Extensive burns, especially those that involve the respiratory tract.
    • Obvious wounds not compatible with life, like open skull fractures with visible gray matter.
In the world that we live in now. Anyone might be called on to perform triage. Like I have told my friends and family- Head on a swivel. As our government has told us- If you see something, say something. It only takes a moment for our world to change.

We must be prepared. Do you have specific plans for MCI? Talk to us in the comments. Please don't forget to check out our giveaway section here.



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Foods Specifically Designed for Prepping and Survival Situations

Getting Started

There are a lot of guides to be found online about how to prep food for survival and emergency situations. There are also guides to tell you which canned foods will last the longest and what will work best for a bug out bag or prepper's pantry. These are all very handy and should certainly be consulted if you are considering either one.

However, there are also several companies who specialize in foods that are meant to really go the distance. Some companies prepare and package food that will have as much as a twenty-five year shelf life. Certain foods are packaged so that they can easily be carried while others are meant to be used if you are "bugging in" instead of "bugging out".

Let's take an in-depth look at some of these food companies and what they offer. Follow the links provided to check out each company for yourself.

Meals Ready to Eat

Meals Ready to Eat, also known as MRE's, are one of the first foods that come to mind when thinking of survival situations. They were originally created by the United States military for our service people and they were made to provide the perfect nutrient-rich meals, while also being very easy and light to carry.

One of the best things about MRE's is the ability to eat them in a variety of ways. First, you can eat them cold, right from the package. While this isn't very pleasing to the taste, in most cases, it will certainly provide you with the needed nutrients to keep you going if need be. They can also be heated through using a camp stove, an MRE heater, or some other quick method.

When purchasing an MRE, you can choose to buy the complete meal, certain entrees, snacks, desserts, and even drinks. You can also purchase the MRE heaters separately, as well as buying complete cases for a bigger stockpile.

Following, are a few places where MRE's can be purchased. Of course, there are many more, but this should at least give you a place to get started.
The Wise Company has long been known as a trusted supplier of freeze dried and dehydrated foods that can easily be stored for long periods of time. Most of their foods can be prepared simply by adding water, so they are compact and easy to prepare. Campers have been using their products for years already, and many preppers are more than familiar with Wise.

These foods also come with a satisfactory twenty-five year shelf life, are premium quality and offer an affordable option to prepping per serving or per person. Make sure to read the packages carefully though, to make sure the serving size offered will be sufficient. Some have mentioned that a serving size isn't really that large, but we think it might be a personal taste choice. Either way, it never hurts to stay on top of things like this.

You can purchase food kits for 72-hours and one week, as well as increments of 1, 3, 6 and 12 month periods. You might be surprised at the variety of foods and entrees available from Wise, so make sure you check them out. While you're there, it might interest you to take a peek at their other supplies. They include:
  • Survival Kits
  • Water Storage
  • Water Filters
  • Fuel Sources
  • Stoves
  • Non-Hybrid Seeds
  • First Aid and Medical Kits
You can even request a free sample, here.


Mountain House

Mountain House is a company, much like The Wise Company, that provides meals for a variety of situations. Their endeavor into this business started by creating meals for the United States Military back in the Vietnam era. 

Some of the categories you will find when you visit their website are:
  • Breakfasts
  • Entrees
  • Meats
  • Sides
  • Desserts
  • Military Rations
  • Single Serving
  • Emergency Prep
If your order comes to more than $99, your shipping will be free if your product is defective in some way, they even offer returns. Their shelf life of thirty years comes with a taste guarantee as well, though you might note a change in the texture of the food after that amount of time.

Food kits that contain enough food for 2 to 14 days of supplies can be purchased quickly and easily and there's even a handy food supply calculator you can use if you need help figuring out how much to buy. With meal kits, pouches, buckets and cans, you're sure to be able to put together a kit that is as unique as you are.


Augason Farms

Augason Farms began over forty years ago with one single product, a milk alternative called Morning Moo. Now they serve emergency food rations and supplies that cover the entire food pyramid and have a shelf life of twenty-five years. Augason Farms offers packages for 72 hours all the way up to a year and offer some great food options, including:
  • Diary products including milk and butter
  • Bread mixes
  • Fruits and veggies
  • Oats, flour, meal, sugar, etc.
  • Pasta
  • Meat
  • Options that include vegetarian, gluten free and organic
Furthermore, you can order complete entrees as well as variety packs, suiting your needs perfectly. You can also order some handy supplies too. They offer a stainless steel water filtration system, a variety of grain grinders, emergency water storage kits and more. Orders of more than $200 get free shipping.


A Good Start

These are just a few of the options you have for emergency food supplies. While it is certainly not extensive, I hope that it has given you a good place to start. You can always shop around at various dealers, your local emergency preparedness stores or use online digital savings like Honey

Remember, in the event of a disaster or emergency, the grocery store is most likely to be the first place looters will hit. Especially those who have never considered prepping for such a thing. Even those who are only scavenging for life-saving food and water will be in the middle of all of this and will be putting themselves in great danger.

Don't be one of those who risk life and limb simply to eat. With a simple mouse-click, you can have just what you need to ride out the first few days, weeks, or even a year. Please plan ahead!





Monday, October 2, 2017

The Importance Of Water Storage



By Forest Puha

As of this writing, I’m watching the residents of Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria and search around their areas for fresh water to drink. Federal aid workers and rescue squads of all types are gradually coming into the island, but with electrical power lines broken and roadways cluttered with debris, help is slow in coming. This article will cover some points about storing water that I think can be useful in your home.

Analyze how many people you have in your immediate family. You should have at least one gallon of water per person, more in hot weather or depending on personal needs. FEMA emergency guidelines say to have enough for three days at minimum, for both drinking and basic sanitation. I have a couple of clear five-gallon plastic jugs that supplies my family with the minimum amount of water. These jugs are available in your local grocery or retail store for relatively cheap, and to refill them in-store can be done for a couple of dollars.



These are common and found everywhere. Get ones with screw on caps.



It’s also a good idea to buy a pallet of commercially bottled water and store it in a cool and dark place.






These pallets are good for both storing in your car and at home, but not as reusable as a larger jug.



If you have your own containers to store water in, make sure you completely wash them out with regular dish washing soap, hot water, and a teaspoon of unscented chlorine bleach. Seal and shake them up before emptying and rinsing out. This will help kill any bacteria growing inside the bottles and caps and keep you from getting sick.



When you run out of stored water, there are also a number of ways you can purify water around you. Make sure any water you intend to drink comes from a reasonably clean source. Sealed water heaters are your best bet for potable water with minimal treatment. Once that’s done, you can treat your water in the following ways:

Boiling: usually the safest and most common method of making drinking water. In a large stove pot or tea kettle (even better if it’s copper for additional antibacterial properties) cover the pot or kettle with a lid and bring the water to a boil for at least a minute. Let it cool to the touch before drinking or storing, as excess heat will burn skin and melt plastic.





A watched pot never creates Cryptosporidiosis.





Chlorinating: only unscented household liquid bleach with a minimum of 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite will kill organisms inside the water and make it safe to drink. The rule of thumb is to add 16 drops, or about 1/8 of a teaspoon of bleach, per gallon of water. Shake well and let it work for half an hour. The water will smell slightly of bleach, and that’s perfectly normal. If it doesn’t, repeat the dosage and let it stand for another 30 minutes. If you still don’t smell the bleach, it’s beyond the ability of bleach to sterilize it. And remember: ONLY unscented household liquid bleach will work for drinking. Don’t use scented bleach, sprays or any other substance that may harm you when ingested.



Chlorine tablets also work well too. Use as directed.



Distillation: this process involves collecting the water vapor that condenses from boiling. The condensed vapor is usually rid of bacteria through the process. A quick way to distill is to angle a metal or glass baking sheet above the spout of a tea kettle, so that the rising steam will collect and drip down the inside of the baking sheet into a bowl or cup below as the kettle whistles. There are many ways to distill water with a boiling method, and all are useable in a situation with no electricity.




 From the National Self Reliance Association. How to build a small water still. Salt water can be substituted with the cleanest water you can find for distilling.



In an emergency, water is life and the key to survival. Make sure you have enough on hand to last you for as long as the emergency lasts, and you’ll be able to think straight and tackle any other problems that come your way.