Entries for February, 2009

Pertussis whooping cough

Before we begin, The author of this article (Kevin) is NOT a medical professional. This article should NOT be considered as medical advice, because its not. If you want more information about Pertussis, please visit a medical professional or contact your local health department.

Pertussis (also known as the whooping cough) is a highly contagious disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. The term “whooping cough” comes from the sound that the person makes when they are coughing.

Transmission is through breathing in infected cough droplets. Incubation period is around 2 days. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, and runny nose.

In areas where the population has received the DTaP vaccine, rates of infection are around 1 in 100,000.

The coughing spells may be so bad that babies can not to eat, drink, or breathe. At night the cough is often worse and cough medicines usually do not help.

The person may appear to be well betwwwn coughing spells. Some babies may only have apnea (failure to breathe) and can die from this.

Pertussis can be treated with modern antibiotics. However, patients with severe cases may have to be hospitalized.

Sources:

Texas Department of State Health Services
Wikipedia

Evacuation plans

Every family unit should have some kind of evacuation plan in place. These plans should include, but are not limited to:
Road Maps – detailed maps of your area, including all the way to the destination.  Know where the construction zones are and ways to avoid those areas.

Supplies for the trip – this includes food, water, bedding, reading material, cell phone charger, cell phone, cash money, and any other special needs items.

Communications – if there is more then one car or truck in the unit, a way to communicate with the driver of that other vehicle without the need of a cell phone. An example of this is a 9 – 20 mile range hand held radio.

A place to go – most people that evacuate have no idea where they are going. Have a destination and make sure there is a place to stay once the unit reaches the destination.

Knowing when to leave – Some people wait too long, or wait too late. Its important to understand how serious the situation is and take action when needed.

Disaster preparedness plans

What are you and your family doing to prepare for a disaster? Plans should include, food, water, shelter, evacuation routes, and any special needs.

Where would you go?

If you and your family had to evacuate, where would yall go? Part of the answer also depends on the situation, needs of the family members and type of disaster.

Shelter in place or leave? There are many factors should help determine where there is a real need to evacuate, or whether the family unit can shelter in place.

Lets take the example of a hurricane. In September of 2008 Hurricane Ike made landfall in the Galveston, Texas area. The storm surge 100 miles to the east drove 10 feet of water 20 miles inland. The only cities there were protected from the surge were the ones that had a barrier built around them. One of the things that saved Groves, Texas from flooding was the barrier around Port Arthur. Bridge City on the other hand received several feet of water. Out of the hundreds of houses in Bridge city, only around a dozen did not receive some kind of damage from flood waters.

Even though Hurricane Ike made landfall 100 miles to the west of the Beaumont, Bridge City, Port Arthur and Orange area, if a family lived just above sea level there was a real need to evacuate.

Sometimes an evacuation means just moving to higher ground, sometimes it means leaving to area and traveling over 100 miles. But anytime a family unit leaves their house, there is the question of where are they going to go?

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Canon PowerShot D10

One of the problems with running a website that uses a lot of pictures and videos, is copyright infringement.  To ensure that I do not violate any copyrights, I take all of my own pictures and film all of my own videos.  To do this, a good quality camera is needed.

The first camera I used was a Sony cybershot WS-5.  The WS-5 is a good quality 5 megapixel camera that offers outstanding service.  I have been able to take that Sony camera on all types of hiking, camping and hunting trips, and for over 2 years it gave out standing service.  There were a couple of camping trips when that WS-5 spent the night on the ground next to my sleeping bag, in the freezing temps.  Only to get up the next morning, wipe the dew off and started taking pictures.  After around 2 years of service the selector knob on top of the camera developed a short.  So the first WS-5 my wife and I owned was retired and replaced with a Canon SD750.

The Canon powershot SD750 is a good digital camera, but its not great.  While on my hiking, camping and hunting trips all of my flashlights and my GPS use AA batteries.  Having a camera that uses AA is nice.  But the SD750 uses a lithium battery.  The 320X240 video mode is limited to 30 or 60 seconds – I can not remember exactly how long its limited to, but its short.  I do not understand why 640X40 video mode is unlimited, but 320X240 is limited. To me that seems like a design flaw.   The flash is reset ever time the camera is turned off and back on.  So if the flash is off, when the camera is power cycled, the flash is turned back on.  The Canon SD750 has been my primary camera up until a few months ago when it was replaced with an Olympus FE-310.

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Contaminated drinking water

In a wilderness survival situation, its important to know what kind of diseases and parasites you could be exposed to. The lake in the video is called Steinhagen Reservoir, also known as Dam B, which is located in a rural part of East Texas. The location of the lake is important, because there are people living in the area that have home septic systems. During periods of heavy rain fall, sometimes these sewage systems can become flooded, and raw sewage is washed into the local streams and lakes.

Because of the possible risk of contamination with sewage, there could be a wide range of diseases and parasites in the water.

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Almost time to plant potatoes

As spring gets closer, there is one crop that you people with a green thumb can go ahead and plant – and that is the potato.

Potatoes are easy to grow, are a good source of nutrition and can be stored for a long period of time.  If you want to plant some potatoes, go on over the gardening forum and check out what other people are saying.

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Potatoes

Time to plant your fruit trees

As spring nears, its time to get your fruit trees in the ground.  The time is growing short, so if you have been thinking of planting that peach, apple, fig or plum tree, now is the time to get it in the ground.

Are you going to plant a spring garden?

In these uncertain times, growing your own food makes good financial sense. There was a news report today that around 7% of the US population is now out of work. With money having to go to pay the house bill, electric bill, insurance and other expenses, having a home garden could free up some money to go to other expenses.

At a few minutes to drop by the gardening section of the survival forum and read what other people have to say about this topic.