5 Herbs Every Homesteader Needs In Their First-Aid Kit – Our Grandparents Lifelong Plant Journal

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I have a long history with conventional medicine and allergies. More than a handful of times, I ended up in the hospital due to a reaction from the treatment for an illness. Should the cure be worse than the illness? Well, my mother didn’t think so. She turned to nature for my herbal first aid — and I’ve been using herbs ever since.

One of the best parts about herbal medicine is that it is generally free and can be found right outside your door!

Herbs and weeds have been used as medicine since the beginning of mankind. As a matter of fact, herbs are still the building blocks for many conventional medicines.

According to the University of Minnesota, “It is likely that humans have used plants as medicine for as long as we have existed. Archeological excavations dated as early as 60,000 years ago have found remains of medicinal plant.”

Let’s examine five specific herbs.

Are you ready to turn back the clocks to the 1800’s for up to three years? Our grandfathers and great-grandfathers were the last generation to practice the basic things that we call survival skills now…
WATCH THIS VIDEO and you will find many interesting things!

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Minor Burns and Scrapes: Aloe

Aloe is the only plant that I seem to have a green thumb for. Incidentally, it is the first herb I ever recall using as a child.

Often seen in many homes as a decorative plant, aloe Vera is effective in treating minor burns, sunburns and scrapes.

Aloe Vera is an evergreen succulent that grows wild in tropical climates around the world. In colder climates, aloe Vera can be grown indoors as potted plants.

Aloe contains active compounds that help reduce inflammation and pain. These active compounds help stimulate skin growth and repair, in addition to acting as a moisturizing agent. Medical studies have shown that burns treated with aloe heal quicker than burns treated with silver sulfadiazine.

Bleeding and Cuts: Yarrow

According to mythology, the Greek hero Achilles used yarrow to stop the bleeding in his soldiers’ wounds.

Recently after a construction accident, my husband had a wound on his foot that nearly reached the bone. Unable to get to the doctors, I applied a yarrow compress to get the bleeding under control until he could receive medical attention. We have successfully used yarrow several times through the years to treat wounds and to stop bleeding.

Yarrow is a common weed that often can be found growing on the sides of the road. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) tends to grow best in sunny and warm climates. However, I’ve had success growing it in my shaded garden, as well.

Through numerous devices – clotting, unclotting, neurovascular control, flavonoids, etc. – yarrow regulates the flow of blood to and from the surface, in and out of the capillaries and venules, thickening and thinning. Through this, it cures all manner of wounds, bruises, hemorrhaging and clotting.

Stings/Bites: Plantain

I bet you’ve walked by this herb thousands of times without even realizing it, but plantain is the perfect treatment for bites and stings. Plantain has astringent properties that help reduce swelling and draw out the toxins from the bite.

When our daughter was just a couple of years old, she was playing with some wind-chimes. Little did I know that hornets had made a nest in them. She ran screaming to me with tears running down her cheeks from the pain. We instantly rushed outside to where I knew plantain was growing, mashed it up, and applied it to the stings. Within just a couple of minutes, the swelling was gone — and so were her tears.

Sickness: Usnea

I often laugh when I think of this herb, because for years I was told it was a sign of disease in a tree. Little did I know that usnea wasn’t a disease, but a cure!

Usnea is a pale grayish-green lichen that grows like leafless mini-shrubs or tassels anchored on bark or twigs. It grows all over the world and can usually be found on sick or dying trees.

Usnea is known to help staph infections, heal wounds, respiratory issues, allergy symptoms, sore throat, fungal infections, urinary infections and sinus infections. Usnea is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal, making it the perfect herb to treat sickness.

Headache: Willow Bark

Back in the 1980s, I watched a movie where they treated a headache with eating tree bark. That was my first introduction to the medicinal properties found in willow bark. 

From the University of Maryland Medical Center:

“The bark of white willow contains salicin, which is a chemical similar to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). In combination, with the herb’s powerful anti-inflammatory plant compounds (called flavonoids), salicin is thought to be responsible for the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects of the herb. In fact, in the 1800s, salicin was used to develop aspirin. White willow appears to bring pain relief more slowly than aspirin, but its effects may last longer.”

If we take the time to study, learn and observe nature, we will realize that it offers us everything that we need to live. From food to medicine, the answer is often right outside our door

If you’re interested in learning more old remedies, you should read The Lost Book Of Remedies.

The physical book has 300 pages, with 3 colored pictures for every plant and for every medicine.

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It was written by Claude Davis, whose grandfather was one of the greatest healers in America. Claude took his grandfather’s lifelong plant journal, which he used to treat thousands of people, and adapted it into this book.

Learn More…

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Google is Afraid of Losing Control of Its DeepMind AI

In 2010, the British artificial intelligence research firm DeepMind Technologies began developing AI networks capable of defeating humans at games such as chess, Pong, and Space Invaders. In 2014, DeepMind’s research was successful enough to catch the attention of Google parent company Alphabet, which purchased the AI laboratory for $500 million dollars. Shortly after the purchase, Google formed a mysterious artificial intelligence ethics board to oversee DeepMind’s research – a board which has yet to disclose the scope of its mission or the names of its members. A few years later, DeepMind expanded its ethics board and gave it an official title: DeepMind Ethics and Society. While the company has stated that the board’s aims are to explore the ethical and societal questions raised by the existence of its incredibly powerful AI, the board is still mostly shrouded in secrecy.

This month, though, The Economist published a report outlining the events surrounding the creation of the DeepMind Ethics and Society Board. It turns out that before Google agreed to purchase the AI laboratory, they first dictated that both sides draw up an agreement stating that Google will immediately take control of DeepMind’s AI if or when it ever achieves artificial general intelligence, or AGI – the holy grail of AI research. AGI is broadly defined as any artificial intelligence network which can successfully complete any intellectual task a human can, although given the massive amounts of processing power AI networks can harness, these systems will likely be more human than human.

Of course, as Sam Shead at Forbes points out, DeepMind might not take too kindly to any ethics board which attempts to control it and could even go rogue as so many science fiction stories have predicted. It’s not that far out of the realm of possibility; so far, DeepMind has already proven itself capable of defeating the best human players at some of the most sophisticated games in the world such as Go and even the strategy video game StarCraft 2. Last year, DeepMind even surprised its creators by successfully creating neural pathways that resemble human neural networks entirely on its own. How much longer until DeepMind achieves true general intelligence?

Some of the world’s foremost scientists and entrepreneurs have urged caution in AI research, warning that we may soon find ourselves under the boot of an immortal AI dictator. Will Google’s Ethics and Society Board be able to control DeepMind before it takes over the globe? Are all of these fears of AI baselessly grounded in science fiction and neo-Luddism, or are we indeed actively creating our future overlords?

The scariest part to me is the fact that no matter how many of the world’s greatest minds urge against the creation of AI, money-hungry corporations keep marching ceaselessly towards the machine takeover we all know is coming, all in the name of creating value for the shareholders. Who really wants the machines to make important decisions for us? Who’s reallypulling the strings at Google?

The rise of the Antichrist and modern technology. All they need is the right conditions: a totalitarian world dictatorship to put it into effect

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The Anti-Christ world leader will be the author of confusion, the master counterfeiter, and through his many images he will deceive the nations. The Antichrist will come on the world stage peaceably, with flatteries, via powerful persuasion and propaganda. By this means he is able to creep into houses and lead captive the masses.

Through his many images and idols he shows himself clever, for acceptance of his 666 mark of the Beast (Revelation 13:16-18) will be the fashion–the logical, the reasonable, the convenient, the safest, the securest, the vital, the norm, that which is accepted in the eyes of man, both small and great.

It’s getting darker and colder all the time, and many people in the world can feel it. They may not understand it, and they don’t always want to admit it, but it’s happening. The sun is setting, the darkness is falling, and the world is looking for hope, for some ray of light. The nations question “Why this and why that? Why all the pain and strife in the world? Why the slaughter of the innocents? Why troubles and sorrows?” These questions are being raised in people’s hearts and minds, and those whose foundations have been built on the sand, or others who had no foundations to begin with, have no answers.

Never in all of history until now has the technology existed for a world dictatorship to rule the world. All they need is the right conditions: a totalitarian world dictatorship to put it into effect. The Antichrist government will use the computer to rule the world in the form of an image to the antichrist. The image of the Beast!

REVELATION 13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast (Antichrist); saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast (Antichrist), which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

REVELATION 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

REVELATION 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

REVELATION 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

REVELATION 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. 666

The technology for the Antichrist’s One World monetary system and “Mark of the Beast” is already developed and ready to be put into effect. Just think, all the peoples of the Earth united, on the same wavelength, the same channel.

All around, every single day, there are signs of the coming End, signs of the Antichrist, signs of the coming One World Order. Man’s knowledge has also increased in these last two years, as it has in other recent years, but it now heads in more dangerous directions than in the past, including attempts to clone human beings, fuse man and beast in the embryo, or genetically modify man. As men seek to unravel the secrets of life, they also seek to combine it with machine. They seek new and improved robots to serve man, giving them artificial intelligence and mobility such as they’ve not had before. They seek to make man himself more of a machine, implanting chips, sensors, and electrodes to enhance man’s powers and intelligence.

These chips and implants come with many benign purposes: They increase security for children and protect them from abduction; they monitor criminals; they check the health of their subjects and release medicine into the body; they make identification quick and easy; they prevent fraud; they monitor and increase productivity; they make life more convenient in many ways. In the last two years we’ve seen a great increase in the knowledge that has made such things possible and public acceptance of the devices themselves.

Despite the promises of technology, modern comforts and conveniences, and affluence unknown in the past, poverty persists. War threatens. Disease stalks and kills many. The world thinks they’ve entered the great new age of technology, and the 21st century is going to thrust them into the greatest glories of their “techno-age.” The technology known as biometrics, for example, the process of collecting, processing and storing details of a person’s physical characteristics, has excited the interest of governments and companies because, unlike other forms of ID (cards, papers, etc.), it knows the target human as well as a mother knows her children. The most popular forms of biometric identification are retina scans, hand geometry, thumb scans, fingerprints, voice recognition, and digitized photographs.

This is the sort of power that will be needed to run the Antichrist’s computers and government. here’s nothing intrinsically wrong with the technology and being able to do things faster and better. But these will be useful mechanisms of the Antichrist’s New World Order. Technology has broken down borders and nations are becoming less important, which will make the creation of his one-world government relatively simpler. It’s happening so gradually that global government will just be a logical next step.

The world will accept him, only to find that the heaven on earth he’s promised them has become hell on earth, with hell hereafter for those who take his 666 Mark of the Beast. They’re trying to control living beings with technology, with chips that they’ve finally managed to incorporate in their brains. And they’ll go on developing that technology until it reaches its apex in the Mark of the Beast, with which evil men would seek to control and monitor men even more.

Are you ready for these great and final events of the end? You can get ready now by receiving Jesus into your heart. Simply pray this little prayer and He will come in: “Dear Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God and that You died for me. Please forgive me for all my sins. I ask You, Jesus, to please come into my heart and give me Your free Gift of Eternal Life.

Psychiatrists say Trump mentally ill

—After investigating psychiatry for two decades, I’m confident that, if we could go back and rewrite history, deleting all psychiatrists on the planet, so they’d never exist—deleting their diagnoses and their drugs—this would have resulted in a massive upsurge in mental health, moving forward— 

The Daily Mail: “A group of leading psychiatrists told a conference that Donald Trump has clear hallmarks of mental illness that compromise his role as president. Twenty-five researchers made a drastic break away from ethical standards by meeting at Yale University on Thursday to discuss evidence questioning the commander-in-chief’s mental health.”

Psychiatrist Allen Frances, who has played a central role in defining mental disorders, disagrees. He wrote in the NY Times: “Most amateur diagnosticians have mislabeled [Mr. Trump as having] narcissistic personality disorder. He may be a world-class narcissist, but this doesn’t make him mentally ill.”

Dr. Frances makes an interesting point. He distinguishes between behavior and earning a badge for having a particular mental disorder.

For example, a person can be sad, but that alone doesn’t make him a candidate for the label, “clinical depression.” A person can take aggressive actions against authority, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he is suffering from Oppositional Defiance Disorder.

Consider the accusation that Trump has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). What does that mean? What is the official definition of NPD? Here is an excerpt from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the official bible of the American Psychiatric Association. Go ahead, plow through it, it’ll only take a minute:

“The definition of NPD states that it comprises of a persistent manner of grandiosity, a continuous desire for admiration, along with a lack of empathy. It starts by early adulthood and occurs in a range of situations, as signified by the existence of any 5 of the next 9 standards (American Psychiatric Association, 2013):

• A grandiose logic of self-importance
• A fixation with fantasies of infinite success, control, brilliance, beauty, or idyllic love
• A credence that he or she is extraordinary and exceptional and can only be understood by, or should connect with, other extraordinary or important people or institutions
• A desire for unwarranted admiration
• A sense of entitlement
• Interpersonally oppressive behavior
• No form of empathy
• Resentment of others or a conviction that others are resentful of him or her
• A display of egotistical and conceited behaviors or attitudes”

“…No actual physical characteristics are seen with NPD, but patients may have concurrent substance abuse, which may be seen in the clinical examination.”

Got it? Now, think about this: NOWHERE IN THE DEFINITION IS THERE ANY DEFINING DIAGNOSTIC TEST.

No blood test, urine test, saliva test, brain scan, genetic assay. Nothing.

What you’ve just read is a collection of behaviors. This collection was assembled by a committee of psychiatrists, who decided that, taken together, they added up to a mental disorder.

There is no defining diagnostic test for NPD.

We’re talking about psychiatrists sitting in a room and arbitrarily deciding that a cluster of behaviors adds up to an official mental disorder.

These psychiatrists are playing word games. They’re inventing so-called mental disorders.

Underneath this story about Trump and the shrinks, there is a far more important truth. Psychiatrists are world-class purveyors of fake news. They always have been. Because you see…

None of the roughly 300 officially certified and labeled mental disorders has a defining diagnostic test. None.

If you have the tenacity, read through the whole psychiatric DSM bible and you will see for yourself.

Or read this brief exchange. In a PBS Frontline episode, “Does ADHD Exist?” Dr. Russell Barkley, an eminent professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, spelled out the fraud clearly.

Here it is.

PBS FRONTLINE INTERVIEWER: Skeptics say that there’s no biological marker—that it [ADHD] is the one condition out there where there is no blood test, and that no one knows what causes it.

BARKLEY: That’s tremendously naïve, and it shows a great deal of illiteracy about science and about the mental health professions. A disorder doesn’t have to have a blood test to be valid. If that were the case, all mental disorders would be invalid…There is no lab test for any mental disorder right now in our science. That doesn’t make them invalid.

Oh, indeed, that does make them invalid. Utterly and completely. All 300 mental disorders. Because there are no defining tests of any kind to back up the diagnosis.

Psychiatrists can sway and tap dance all they like and they won’t escape the noose around their necks. We are looking at a science that isn’t a science.

That’s called fraud. Rank fraud.

Imagine this. You walk into a doctor’s office, you talk with him for a few minutes, and then he says: “You have cancer. You need to start chemo at once.”

After you recover, you say, “You didn’t give me a test.”

And he says, “Well, we don’t need a test. We know what the symptoms are because we convened a high-level meeting of oncologists last year, and we listed the answers to the questions I just asked you. You gave those telltale answers. So we start chemo tomorrow. We may also need to surgically remove an organ or two before we’re done.”

That’s psychiatry. That’s the way it works.

Those boys have quite a con going. And now, from a few hundred miles away, they’ve diagnosed a sitting president.

Well, why wouldn’t they? They’ve been shucking and jiving all the way to the bank for the entirety of their professional lives.

Do you like Trump? Do you hate him? Do you think he’s nuts? Sane? Whatever you believe, it has nothing to do with the official pronouncements of psychiatry.

14 Critical Lessons From The Great Depression – When Every American Was Worried About Where Their Next Meal

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During the Great Depression in the 1930s, nearly every American was worried about where their next meal was coming from – and for how much longer they would have a roof over their heads. A whole lot has changed in our country since, but those very realistic fears are still keeping preppers up at night.

Now, most preppers know they can open up a long-term food storage pouch and make a meal with just a little hot water and have enough survival camping gear to sleep six of more loved ones, but the underlying premise behind the worries which surfaced in great abundance during the Great Depression are what modern preppers are busy planning to shield themselves from both tomorrow and beyond.

Top 14 Critical Survival Lessons From The Great Depression:

1. Frugality

There are many important lessons we can learn from the folks who survived the Great Depression, but none is more important to apply to our daily lives than frugality. Creating a budget, living within it, now accruing debt, eating food you cook at home and not dining out except for special occasions, are but a few prime examples of living the type of frugal lifestyle that will leave money in your pocket when both it, food, and a paycheck, become scarce.

2. Sewing

Make your clothing last as long as possible by learning how to mend worn garments and repurpose them to give them new life in some other useful manner. You can also save/make extra money by having yard sales to make money on clothing that is in good shape but cannot be passed down, are great ways to avoid waste and always ensuring you and your family have warm coats, work clothes, socks without holes, to wear. The feed sack dresses made by poor farming families embarrassed some of the wearers, but are now considered works of art created expertly Great Depression survivors.

3. Foraging

It was not uncommon for families who lived through the Great Depression to have to forage for their own food and to craft new recipes from what they found, food that was still available in stores that had not shut down, and would fit their shrinking finances.

4. Garden

During the Great Depression, almost everyone had a garden, no matter how wealthy they had been before or where they lived. Every inch of grass around a city housing unit or yard space was dedicated to the growing of food to help prevent starvation, and to use the little bit of money they had to stave off living outdoors – which tens of thousands of former middle class Americans, were forced to do seemingly overnight.

5. Work

Take any type of work that you can get, nothing legal is beneath you – and likely a couple old fashioned illegal jobs, like moonshining, won’t be beneath you when the SHTF either. If your family needs money, do not dip into your savings of go deeper into debt, take a job mopping floors or parking cars if that is all there is available or can fit into your schedule – if taking it as a part-time gig. At the mercy of panicked creditors is not where you want to be if a financial collapse or other long-term disaster happens.

6. Hunting and Fishing

Folks put food into their bellies and garnered the protein they need to keep on working by hunting and fishing extensively – some for the very first time. If you live in a city or the suburbs and cannot hunt on your own land carpool out to public hunting areas in rural counties and harvest meat or fish to preserve and stockpile to save money and in case of emergency – which could be anything from job loss, to regional flooding, to an apocalyptic event.

7. Grocery List

Take a long hard look at your grocery list and eliminate costly items you can either do without or make yourself – even if that means learning how to cook when all you can do now is burn water. Been there, done that. Prepared and processed foods are both the least healthy and some of the most expensive items in the supermarket.

8. Swapping

During the Great Depression folks learned to swap items they were growing or raising with others who were cultivating something else they needed. Bartering nearly became king again during this dark ere. Eggs were traded for haircuts for a scarce job interview, tomatoes swapped for milk, etc. Start taking an inventory of what other members of your community are growing, raising, or services they are providing that you might need during a SHTF event and vice versa.

9. Food Waste

Only enough food was cooked for one meal because either there was not enough to go around of there was no way to preserve it. We should follow these same food conservation lessons today. The level of food waste in the United States is higher than in any other country on the planet.

Do not put leftovers in your fridge and let them go to waste. Make only enough for one meal at a time or better yet, make enough for two meal and freeze half of it. You can also make meals ahead (or meals in a jar) with only the dry items, and stockpile them for busy evenings and emergencies.

10. Avoid Self-Indulgence

For one entire week, track every penny you spend or use – i.e. cellphone package, cable, etc. If you actually tally up how much those morning cups of coffee cost, work lunches, running errands frequently instead of on a designated day to save fuel, impulse buys at a checkout counter, you may very well find that if you took your lunch to work, made your own coffee, and drove wisely, you could save a minimum o $100 per week.

11. Do The Work Yourself

Calling a plumber, electrician, lawn mowing service or other type of laborer can bust your budget quickly. Your skillset (and local laws about certification for skilled labor on home repairs is your live in the city or suburbs) will dictate how often you can do your own home and auto repairs. Work on honing and enhancing your skills so you can be your own handyman and mechanic – or trade services with others who can accomplish the task for you.

12. Air Conditioning

You can live without air conditioning, you really can. If your home has a basement, make it a summer living space to allow the family to stay cool without driving up your electric bill During the Great Depression women soaked sheets in water and hung them in doorways so the blowing air from open windows helped cool down their homes.

13. Commodities

During a crisis of any type, but particularly a financial one, commodities will go sky high before they disappear from store shelves. Learn to use cheaper substitutes, especially ones you can raise yourself, for common recipe ingredients.

To replace sugar in recipes, grow your own stevia plant or sugar beets. You can also use honey, corn syrup, and molasses as a sugar substitute. Evaporated milk or milk you dehydrated yourself, can be used as a substitute for store bought fresh milk. Live somewhere you can at least raise a Nigerian Dwarf dairy goat and you will have a reliable supply of milk – and by extension, cheese and butter.

14. Preserve More Food

Do not limit your food preservation efforts to simply what you can can or dehydrate from your own garden. Look for sales, double or triple coupon deals on foods you can dehydrate or have an extensive shelf life. It is not difficult to dehydrate eggs or dairy products, that are staples of our diet.

Very few people actually understand what real wealth is or anything about economics

We have often heard the predictions that the currency system will be reset at some point when the bankers can no longer keep the current ponzi scheme going. The current scheme involves the ability of the bankers to convince the population that pieces of paper rolling off a machine or digits created on a computer screen are real wealth. The education system has been successful in that regard.

Very few people actually understand what real wealth is or anything about economics. They have been led to believe that these things are too complicated for them to understand and it should be left to the experts. These same experts get richer as everyone else gets poorer. That is the way they have rigged the system.

Resetting the system and taking these con artists out of the loop can be as easy as refusing to accept paper or electronic money and only accepting gold and silver for payments. This sounds crazy on the surface but it is not impossible to do and it must be done before they can transition completely into electronic payment systems. Once they transition into electronic payments they will be able to control everything you do and buy.

If they do not want you to own guns or ammo they can simply ban all of these types of transactions. If they do not want you to buy gold or silver they can ban those transactions. If they do not want you to stockpile food they can limit how much you buy from week to week. With no way to buy outside of the electronic system, you will be totally under their control even more than you are now.

The simple way to bypass the control mechanisms meant to control you is to have a medium of exchange that is universal so it cannot be controlled by any one person or group. Many people see the block chain system as a good way to go because it is secure but there is something you need to keep in mind. This system requires the use of electronic systems to process and transmit these digital units. Those who control the electronic systems control the flow of digits. You may have a wallet full of coins but if you cannot connect to the person you want to trade with, how much are they really worth?

A system that cannot be controlled by anyone has been around for millennia. That system is gold and silver. The free market constantly adjusts the value of these metals when they are used as money. They are time tested and proven methods of exchange and stores of wealth.

A population that wishes to rid itself of the corrupt money makers has only to begin using gold and silver as the primary means of exchange. To be useful these metals must be present in sufficient quantities to act as an exchange mechanism in society. This means that individuals must exchange some of their fiat currency for these metals while they still can. With as little as two ounces of gold and twenty ounces of silver per household, the population of an area would have the quantities necessary to transition to a pure monetary system. At current prices three thousand dollars per household would set the population free of bankers and rigged monetary systems.

While this much gold and silver may not sound like very much you need to remember that since 1913 the dollar has been devalued by over 97%. The value of this much gold and silver one hundred years ago was quite substantial for a household to have. With the elimination of inflated currency the prices of goods can return to their real value in terms of gold and silver.

The only thing standing in the way of a new monetary system based on gold and silver is the population itself. The lack of understanding by the average person will ultimately doom society to the poverty and loss of freedom defined by fiat currencies. Until this changes, society will continue to suffer at the hands of those who control the production and flow of currency.

How To Survive The Nuclear Apocalypse – Security Considerations: Direct Attack, Accident And Hacking

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Preparing for a Nuclear Plant Accident

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC, is the U.S. agency responsible for protecting public health and safety related to nuclear energy. They oversee a great many elements related to operation and administration of nuclear plants and have furnished guidelines and policy for response and safety in the event a release of nuclear material does occur.

Almost 3 million Americans live within 10 miles of an operational nuke plant, and many more could potentially be affected in a major accident. If you live anywhere near a plant, this section goes doubly important for you. Before we do anything else, take the time to study that map above, and determine where the closest plant is to you and your relative position to it. You need to know how many, how far and what the prevailing winds and jet stream are like between you and the plant. Being typically downwind of a plant is bad, bad news in the unlikely event a meltdown occurs.

Any good crisis response plan will include a pre-, during and post-event phase, and that is exactly what we will do here.

Should an accidental release of nuclear material occur, you can expect sirens and full-tilt emergency alert systems to activate. Local television and radio stations will broadcast instructions on exactly what you should do.

At any rate, follow all instructions from the emergency alert system, but your priority is to increase the distance between you and any radioactive material as quickly as you can. This might mean evacuating if you have a quick egress route or it might mean sheltering in place in your home. Whichever solution you choose, you must take steps to prevent airflow into your shelter or vehicle that could carry radioactive material with it.

This is accomplished by closing all doors, windows, vents, chimney flues and other apertures. Shut down all heaters, air conditioners venting fans, intakes and similar appliances. If you have time, seal cracks and crevices with your plastic sheeting and tape.

Remember, we want as much material, and as dense as we can get, between ourselves and the radiation as possible. If you can go underground, do so. If not, head to the innermost part of the structure.

No matter what happens, stay out of the affected zone! Radiation loses strength fairly quickly, but a fresh release of hot radioactivity can cook you fairly quickly, or at the very least give you severe radiation poisoning.

If you suspect you have been exposed, it is vital you decontaminate as quickly as possible: strip all clothing, wrap it carefully in your heavy plastic to prevent secondary release of material, and keep it as far away from you as possible. Next wash your body and hair thoroughly with soap or shampoo (no conditioner! – that will bind radioactive material to you) and change into fresh clothing.

Post-event

Tune in to the EAS for updates and instructions on evacuation and seeking aid. If you have been exposed to radioactivity, or begin to feel unusual symptoms like nausea, aches or burning, seek medical attention as quickly as you can. Radiation is an insidious and persistent killer, and timely aid may reduce or at least blunt the worst of its affects.

Assume anything outdoors or in an unsealed building was contaminated. This goes for objects, food, water supplies, anything. Radioactive fallout that comes to rest on an otherwise sealed container can dangerously irradiate the contents, creating a secondary hazard that can sicken or kill.

If you have evacuated, only return home when authorities tell you it is safe. There will be an enormous amount of investigation, monitoring, checking and sampling going on in the wake of an accident, and it will take time to collate the data and make a determination about the safety and habitability of the surrounding area and environment.

Your Nuclear Meltdown Survival Kit

Your nuclear fallout survival kit will be instantly recognizable to any prepper. Turns out most life support functions in any major disaster remain more or less constant. The following list is published as the minimum guideline by FEMA in cooperation with the NRC.

  • Water – one gallon per person, per day. Minimum 3 day supply. Covers drinking and sanitation.
  • Food – three day supply of non-perishable, shelf stable food. Aim for 2000 k/cal day for an adult.
    • Don’t forget your can opener.
  • Disposable Eating Utensils – this is definitely one time you do not want to be worried about washing dishes. Eat and toss it.
  • Emergency Radio –Crank or battery powered. Make sure it receives NOAA and all EAS alerts.
  • First-Aid Kit – For minor boo-boos and basic trauma care.
  • Flashlights
    • Include extra batteries
  • Whistle – For signaling.
  • Plastic Sheeting – Heavy mil, for sealing and airlocking shelter location as well as containing contaminated clothing, etc.
  • Duct Tape – For attaching and sealing sheeting, and miscellaneous other tasks.
  • Sanitation Kit
    • Baby Wipes, garbage bags and plastic ties
    • 5 Gallon Bucket for containing waste. Fill it with sawdust or kitty litter to help control odor. Make sure you have an o-ring sealing lid.
  • Wrench or Vise Grips –For turning off utilities.
  • Maps
  • Gas mask (NBC or CERN approved)
  • Cell Phones – Include chargers, backup batteries or alkaline-powered power cells to maintain charge.
  • Prescription Meds and Glasses/Contacts –You will be up a creek if you lose your only set or run out of meds when trapped somewhere.
  • Feminine Products
  • Baby and Pet Needs – Food, formula, diapers, leashes, etc.
  • Cash – Assume all cards will be frozen or not accepted. Cash money always speaks.
  • Sleeping Bags and Blankets
  • Complete Change of Clothes for all Family/Group members – you must assume someone will be exposed and contaminated. Make sure they are environmentally appropriate.
  • Bleach and eye dropper – Useful for general disinfection and disinfecting water.
  • Fire Extinguisher – In the event a fire breaks out while under a radioactive emergency, assume there will be no fire dept. coming.
  • Matches and lighters –for fire starting.

Considering how rapidly a nuclear accident can escalate, it pays to keep a kit of the above at home and in the office, and perhaps one in your car also. You may not be able to make it home or even evacuate in time should the alert go out. If you have to pick a random building to shelter in, your kit may mean the difference between a safe and reasonably comfortable stay and death.

Security Considerations: Direct Attack, Hacking, etc.

For some years, the talk around national security concerns has revolved significantly around America’s aging infrastructure and our all-around vulnerability to hacking across many civil and government domains. Our power grid in particular is a tenuously fragile thing, and experts will be quick to regale you with horror stories about how easy it would be for professional, even amateur terrorists to plunge significant portions of our country into darkness and chaos.

As of March this year the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team confirmed that Russian hackers penetrated government entities and private companies in the energy, nuclear and aviation sectors, another proof positive that cyber attacks will be a weapon aimed at our heart should hostilities erupt.

The obvious concern when it comes to nuclear plants is that a remote hacking operation could access critical infrastructure or operational controls in the plant, allowing terrorists to cause a meltdown without ever setting foot in the facility.

Mercifully, that is the realm of fiction. Yes, anything that is connected to a network, or the internet at large is vulnerable to hacking, but that does not apply to nuclear plants: they have purposefully been designed as and remain analog-operated facilities. This means that there is nothing to hack, nothing to remotely take control of. They are islands unto themselves, informationally.

That does not obviate the risk of a direct attack by motivated groups taking over a plant physically, then using general mayhem or special expertise to trigger a meltdown. All nuclear facilities are guarded, but the quality of the security teams varies wildly, and there is considerable controversy over how prepared they will be against the special threat posed by a hardcore terrorist cell.

Practically speaking, a physical attack on a site that is not squashed utterly at the outset should be treated as an imminent release of nuclear material for your purposes.

Bugging Out

A common thread when discussing a nuclear plant accident is the topic of bugging out, and the folks that claim they will simply jackrabbit the hell out of town at the first puff of glowing green vapor. It’s a fair idea, but one that must be braced by reality.

First, you very simply may not be able to bug out, at least not at the outset of the event. It may occur too quickly, and you may be caught flat-footed or unable to make your way past thronging masses of other people going to the same place as you are: away. This means you must have a viable plan to shelter in place, even if it is just a backup. Getting caught in a car or in the open is a bad thing.

Second, where will you go? If you plan to hit a piece of property or dwelling far, far away from the plant, you had better know what the situation is with prevailing winds and the prognosis on expected fallout lest you settle into a nice warm shower of ionizing radiation. Fallout from a nuke plant is usually the nuclear fuel itself, melted and mixed with boiling steam exhaust into a vaporous cloud of deadly radiation which readily travels with the wind.

Lastly, you simply may not need to bug out. The plant may be far enough away and the wind favors your position, in which case you can stay put as long as you stay on your toes. You might actually put yourself at greater risk by joining a mass exodus of panicked, fleeing people. Use your head and your reason; be smart.