Flooding

Flooding

Flooding can endanger life and property so it is vital that you know the risks and what can be done to prepare for the dangers that you can be presented with.

Useful contact number:
UK 24hr flood helpline 0345 988 1188

Useful websites:
Flood infomation service https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/
Environment agency http://apps.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood/31618.aspx



Action plan (step by step)

Step 1.
Are you at risk? Check your area by entering your location into the above websites or calling the number. Contact elderly or infirm neighbours and family to warn them of potential danger.

Step 2.
Make a written plan of how you’ll respond to a flood. Include: provisions for pets and livestock, securing important documents, a plan to move furniture and an evacuation plan.

Step 3.
Improve your property’s flood protection. Improve drainage, install flood walls and stock sandbags ready for flooding.  

Step 4.
Get suitable insurance cover. Protect your financial interests.

Step 5.
Get help during the flood. Contact floodline, the emergency services or council for information. act as a community, help your neighbours fill sandbags and move furniture once your interests are taken care of.

Step 6.
Get help after the flood. Seek medical help if needed and contact your council for skips or extra rubbish collections.




 

Do                                                                        Dont

• Raise furniture, electrical appliances on beds and tables • Don’t enter flood waters. If you need to enter, then wear suitable footwear
• Put sandbags in the toilet bowl and cover all drainholes to prevent sewage back flow. • Don’t walk through moving water. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you
• Use bleaching powder and lime to disinfect the surroundings • Don’t get near the electric poles and fallen

power-lines to avoid electrocution

• Drink boiled water or use chlorine tablets to purify water before drinking as advised by Health Department • Don’t leave the safe shelter until the local

officials declare normalcy

• After the flood recedes, watch out for broken electric poles, damaged bridges, broken glass, sharp objects and debris • Don’t let children remain on empty stomach
• Keep your mobile phones charged • Don’t allow children to play in or near flood

waters

• Listen to radio or watch television for the latest weather bulletin and flood warnings • Don’t use any damaged electric goods, get it checked by an electrician before using
• Keep strong ropes, a lantern, battery operated torches, extra batteries ready • Don’t use the toilet or tap water if the water lines or sewage pipes are damaged
• Keep the First Aid Kit Ready with extra medication • Don’t drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
• Stay in touch with local officials. Follow instructions when asked to evacuate • Don’t eat food which has been in flood waters
• If you are being evacuated: pack some clothing, essential medication, valuables, important documents in water proof bags to be taken to the safe shelter; and turn off power and gas connection before leaving the house
• Keep cattle/animals untied to ensure their safety
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Personal protective equipment during SHTF

Personal protective equipment or PPE is any equipment designed or adapted to protect you from danger or harm.

During normal day to day life we use PPE all the time, seat belts, oven gloves and sunglasses are all designed to protect you. What items can be valuable in a disaster situation?

WROL riot situation/roving gangs/violent confrontations

  • Motorcycle helmet-vision restricted but excellent protection against blunt force trauma. doesn’t attract attention like a military style helmet.
  • Gloves-slash proof would be ideal but any strong gloves will offer protection against glass, rubble etc.
  • Stab vests-essential protection against edged weapons and other improvised stabbing tools. some even offer blunt force trauma protection. Can be worn concealed for grey man appearance.
  • Ballistic vests-offers protection against firearms of varying calibers, may not protect against knifes unless rated for knife protection.
  • ballistic glasses/eye wear-look good while protecting the mark one human eyeball.
  • Shin pads-not just for the sports field, these can give you an edge on the streets!
  • Thick/padded jackets-keep yourself warm and safe from strikes from marauders.
  • Gas mask-a well fitting mask with filters suitable for riot control agents could prove invaluable, allowing you to escape the effected area to safety.
  • Boots-slip resistance and can double as a weapon.PPSS-Stab-Vest-Covert

 

Floding (home environment)

  • Wellies-keep those feet dry.
  • Life vest/buoyancy vest -in extreme cases this could save your life.
  • Rubber gloves-with sewers overflowing keeping your hands clean is vital!
  • Wading stick-check the path ahead whilst travelling in water.images

Biological attack/pandemic

  • Suitable face masks/eye protection-keep the bugs out of your body.
  • Disposable suits/aprons-keep your clothes clean whilst caring for the sick.
  • Disposable gloves-same as above.
  • Hand sanitiser-important in any disaster situation.

Rebuilding process

  • Hard hat-protection from falling materials.
  • work gloves-keep hands safe from nails and other building materials.
  • Heavy duty overalls- abrasion resistance and style.
  • Protective eye wear-you will want to see your completed handy work.
  • Steel toe capped work boots-keep feet safe from nails and help prevent slips and falls.
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Bartering during SHTF

Sometimes even the most prepared can be caught off guard and may be without the items needed during an emergency situation. Here is a rundown of useful items that may be worthwhile putting aside for possible bartering opportunities and a little history to back up why its a good idea.24BA417A00000578-2912175-image-a-21_1421351727319

First a little history

During World War II, the nations of occupied Europe had a healthy black market going on. This was basically a barter market, mostly in foodstuffs. The Germans were trying to take as much of the product/materials of the occupied counties from the citizens of those countries. They needed those goods to finance their war machine. Unfortunately, the people they were taking it from needed it as well.

People in the cities, would visit the country, “on holiday” to see “friends and relatives.” They would make the trip carrying a large suitcase, which rather than being filled with clothes would be filled with silver and jewelry. Once out in the country, they would trade those items to the farmers for hams, cheeses, sausages, butter and other preserved meats.

This ended up being very profitable for the farmers. When the war ended and life returned to some semblance of normal, they were able to sell that silver and jewelry, making a large profit on it. Many farmers who had been poor became well off, due to that black market bartering!

What to store for trade

Bartering requires having something that will be valued by others. The idea is that you trade something that they perceive as being valuable for something that you perceive as valuable. Ideally, the items being traded away will be items that their owner doesn’t feel are of value. That way, both parties walk out of the deal feeling like they made out well.

The key is to determine what sorts of goods will become valuable during an emergency. You have to realize, value in such a time is measured differently than it is in “normal” times. Whereas we see gold as being much more valuable than rice, if we were starving to death, the gold wouldn’t keep us alive; but the rice could.

Value is always based upon the law of supply and demand. Basically, the more scarce an item is and the more people want it, the more valuable it becomes. So, when food is in short supply, food becomes much more valuable than normal. Things that are common today will be difficult to come by. If those things are needed for life, they will quickly become very valuable and stay valuable until they become commonplace once again.

Vices

The most valuable items in a time of crisis aren’t actually the food and other things we need to survive. They are the things that people consume to cope with the situation; alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. Sales of these items always increase in times of financial recession, hardship and after a disaster.

Most people are used to using these substances on an ongoing basis. If you dig into why they are using them, a lot of it is to help them deal with stress. They are dissatisfied with various things in their lives and drink or smoke to deal with it. This may be the only place where Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs doesn’t apply, as many of these people will put their vices before the most basic necessities of life. This can play to your advantage, if you stockpile those items for use in bartering in a crisis.

  • Alcohol – This is probably the number one trade good in any crisis situation. People will consume alcohol in any form, just as long as it will help them to get drunk. It will be more efficient for you to stockpile hard liquor, rather than beer or wine, as the higher alcoholic content means that you can provide more product per volume.

It is best to stockpile alcohol in smaller containers, as that will give you the most profit in trading. When trading with someone, they will see a bottle as a bottle. In many cases, they’ll be willing to give almost as much for a pint bottle as they would for a fifth. The other option is to have large bottles, like gallons, with a way to decant the liquor and trade it.

  • Cigarettes – There are countless millions of people in the country who are addicted to smoking. Once again, it’s a means for them to deal with the stress of their lives. But those cigarettes may be hard to find during a financial collapse, as there may be problems with distribution.

For years, cigarettes have been the “money” of prisons, with the prisoners trading them for favors and other items. They can be readily traded individually or in packs, based upon what you are trading them for.

Instead of cigarettes, which don’t store well over long periods of time, you may want to consider stockpiling raw tobacco and papers. While not as elegant as factory rolled cigarettes, they will stay fresh longer. You could even buy a small cigarette roller, so that you could make your own “factory rolled” cigarettes.

  • Condoms – While people don’t think of it as such, sex is commonly used for dealing with stress as well. Considering that an orgasm is the best muscle relaxant there is, that makes sense. Something like a major disaster won’t keep people away from sex, although it might make them more cautious about pregnancy. That makes a great market for condoms.
  • Coffee – While it may not seem like it belongs in this category, there are more people who are addicted to their morning cup of coffee, than all the other addictions combined. Coffee will become extremely valuable, something that people will want to drink to comfort themselves and use for maintaining a feeling of normalcy in their lives.

|Feed them

After the items that feed their vices, the next most important thing to have on-hand for bartering is food to feed people’s bodies. During the financial collapses in Argentina, Cyprus and Greece in recent years, availability of food has been the biggest problem for the average person. Bartering co-ops formed in Argentina, specifically for the purpose of bartering food items.

The food you will want to stockpile for bartering are basic food that will keep well, when stored for a prolonged period of time. Many of these will be the same foodstuffs that you are stockpiling for your own family’s use.

  • Canned goods of all types; meats, vegetables and fruits
  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Peanut butter
  • Jams
  • Beef and turkey jerky
  • Cooking oil
  • Baking flour (unground flour stores better for long periods of time, but requires that you have a mill to grind it)
  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Powdered milk
  • Powdered eggs
  • Chocolate

As with the earlier mentioned items, you’ll either want to stockpile these in small packages or buy them in bulk and have a way of repackaging them into smaller containers. The smaller containers make it easier for you to negotiate favorably than larger ones would do. Having products in larger containers may put you in the position of being pressured into making a deal that is not as good, simply because the other party doesn’t have as much as you want for the larger container.

non food items

While food may be the hottest trade goods out there, people will need a large amount of other goods as well. Common, everyday items may not be being manufactured or may not be as readily available as they are today. Stockpiling these items could nicely compliment your food stockpile.

  • Batteries – especially AA and AAA, which are commonly used for a wide variety of things. Buy large packages and break them up to trade as individual units.
  • Toilet paper – this could become the coin of the realm during a collapse, especially if it becomes hard to find. People might give a lot for a roll.
  • Soap – while easy to make, few people know how to anymore. Soap is cheap and easy to trade.
  • Toothpaste & toothbrushes – these common items could become hard to find.
  • Matches and lighters – this will be especially important if electrical power becomes unreliable.
  • Fuel – any sort of fuel will become valuable, whether gasoline for the car or wood for the fire. The biggest problem with most sorts of fuel will be in storing it.
  • sanitary items– keep the women in your life happy.

In addition, just about anything you need to use to survive could become valuable. The problem is that you and I don’t really know how bad things will get during that time. In all likelihood basic services will still continue, although they may become a bit unreliable. In that case, the food will be much more valuable than the other items. But if power is out in large areas, then batteries, candles and fuel could be in very high demand.

One thing you want to make sure that you do is to stockpile a variety of goods. Each situation is slightly different and we have no way of knowing for sure what there will be the most demand for. By stockpiling a variety of goods, you are most likely to end up having some items that are in high demand.

Basic rules for bartering

It’s important to remember that at least some of the people who you will be bartering with are going to feel desperate. Since desperate people do desperate things, there is always a chance that they will decide to rob you, either killing you to get what you have or just trying to get away with stealing it. You have to be ready to defend yourself at all times.

You should have someone else with you whenever you are bartering with people, unless you know them well. Your assistant needs to be a distance away from you, but able to see everything that is going on. Their main purpose in being there is to help you defend yourself, if that becomes necessary. As such, they need to make sure that they are located in a place where they can offer support, without being in a position where someone can sneak up on them and render them harmless.

It would be best if you could conduct business away from your home, as well as away from wherever you are keeping your stockpile (if it’s not at home). Often, parks and squares become impromptu markets in these types of cases, giving you an ideal place to do business. Be careful returning home from the market, checking to make sure that nobody is following you to find out where you live.

Don’t make a big show of what you have available for trade. You’re going to be much better off displaying a small amount of “merchandise” and acting as if that’s all you have. If you have a lot, it might make you too attractive a target for thieves.

While you definitely have the advantage in the situation, be careful about pressing that advantage. The best barter deals are those where both parties feel as if they won. If you press your advantage too much, you may get more, but you may make an angry customer in the process. This could lead to future violence; at a minimum, it will make that person try to avoid doing business with you in the future.

summery

It will be up to you to determine the value of the items that you have available for trade. That will be constantly shifting, as supplies become available and then are bought up. It is likely that some standards of value will arise in your community. Use them as a guideline. Remember that the food and other supplies that you have will help keep your customers alive, which gives it a high value; but only as long as it is rare. The items they have for trade may be valuable in normal times, but are not so valuable during the crisis, due to their inability to help sustain life.

Use them as a guideline. Remember that the food and other supplies that you have will help keep your customers alive, which gives it a high value; but only as long as it is rare. The items they have for trade may be valuable in normal times, but are not so valuable during the crisis, due to their inability to help sustain life.

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Home lighting post SHTF

Keeping the house lit if the power goes out…be it long or short term having a power cut can play havoc on a family home! Everything from stubbed toes to broken bones can happen as a result of being without light.power-cut-in-Delhi-India-in-summer-season

Candles.
Candles would be an obvious choice to avoid these problems but with candles comes the danger of fire (if used without care) and with young children they can be totally impractical. However they are cheap and easy to store which makes them ideal for a prepper.

Torches and battery powered lanterns.
An ideal, safe form of instant light, as long as you have an ample supply of batteries! Perfect for traveling or for short term emergencys.

Glowsticks.
Instant light at the snap of a stick! However they can be expensive and only last a few hours. Great for signaling but not so great for long term illumination.

Garden solar lights.
An often overlooked form of lighting! Harness the power of the sun to make your garden pretty and if the shtf bring them inside at night to light up your home, in the morning simply put them back outside. Safe, renewable power, be the grey man with a pretty garden!garden-solar-lights-classic

With so many forms of lighting decide what’s best for you and prepare now so you aren’t left broken and bruised.

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Emergency Uses for Paracord

Here are some of the more common uses for paracord we could think of, but the uses are really only limited by your imagination.

  •  Repair torn clothing with the internal strands which slide easily out of the kernmantle (casing). Use a makeshift needle or be sure to keep one in your first-aid kit.
  •  Repair torn or broken equipment either by sewing or tying the pieces together securely
  • Rig a makeshift tow rope.  A single length of paracord has been tested to handle 550 lbs of weight, so wrap it securely 10 times and you have the ability to pull 5500 lbs.
  • Securely tie down items to the top of a vehicle, or to protect them from a wind-storm
  • String up a clothes line. Wet clothes are uncomfortable when you’re camping and dangerous when you’re trying to survive.
  • Hang a bear bag to keep your food away from hungry critters. This is good whether you’re camping or roughing it in the woods
  • Replace your shoe laces. Just burn the ends and thread them through.
  • Replace a broken Zipper pull
  • Use it as dental floss. Pull out the internal strands and keep up your hygiene even in the woods, or to get that pesky piece of meat out from between your teeth.
  • Tie things to your backpack with it so you can carry more stuff hands free
  • Secure an animal to a tree or post, or make a leash
  • Tie up a person
  • String up a trip wire to protect an area…rig it with bells, or cans or make a fancier trap
  • Lower yourself or an object very carefully down from a height.  (note:  paracord is NOT climbing rope, and is NOT a realistic replacement for true climbing rope; do not expect it to catch you should you fall. For security double or triple the thickness if you can)
  • Rig a pulley system to lift a heavy object
  • Make a ladder to get up or down
  • Tie up a tarp or poncho to make an awning to keep off sun or rain
  • If you’re hiking in a place where there is danger of avalanche tie yourself to your buddy so you can find each other should one of you get caught under snow
  • Keep your stuff. Tie objects you’re likely to drop around your wrist, ankle, or waist
  • Make a pack by first making a netting then adding a draw-string
  • Build a shelter using sticks or by tying up the corners of a poncho or tarp
  • Rig an improvised hammock
  • Make a snare out of the internal strands
  • Lash logs or other items together to build a raft.
  • Tie snow shoes.  Bend a 1” branch in a teardrop shape. Tie it securely then weave the paracord back and forth across the opening. Tie this to your shoes.
  • Use it to make a bow drill for fire starting…(note it does take a lot of practice to start a fire with a bow, so don’t rely on this unless you’ve done it before!)
  • Make a sling to throw stones for protection and food.
  • Use it for signaling by tying a mirror or colorful cloth to the top of a tree
  • Use it to make a bola for hunting large birds
  • Make fishing line by cutting a length and pulling out the internal strands (there are seven of them, each of which comes apart into two, so there’s 14 thin lines if you aren’t catching really big fish). Just tie them together.
  • Make a fish stringer. If you’ve just pulled the strings out to make fishing line, the remaining kernmantle (the colored sheath) would be plenty strong enough to hold fish. Otherwise just cut a length, and tie through the gills.
  • Secure your boat or raft
  • Make a net out of the internal strands…if you have some time on your hands
  • Tie straight sticks around a broken limb to make a splint. 
  • Tie a sling to hold your arm
  • Sew up a wound using the internal strands.  For thinner thread untwist one of the internal strands
  • Make a tourniquet to slow loss of blood
  • Make a stretcher by running paracord between two long sticks, or fashion a branch drag to move an injured person
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What is paracord?

received_1222581237755269Parachute cord (also paracord or 550 cord when referring to type-III paracord) is a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope originally used in the suspension lines of parachutes. This cord is useful for many other tasks and is now used as a general purpose utility cord by both military personnel and civilians. It is seen by many preppers, survivalists and those into bush craft as the go to cordage!

 

It comes in many thicknesses, depending on its load bearing weight and can come in any colour you can imagine, including glow in the dark. The cordage can be teased apart to give multiple strands, however the load bearing capability will be duly reduced.   received_1222581407755252

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Treating burns and scalds (first aid)

Appropriate first aid must be used to treat any burns or scalds as soon as possible. This will limit the amount of damage to your skin. You can apply the following first aid techniques to yourself or another person who has been burnt.

london-riot
First aid for burns

  • Stop the burning process as soon as possible. This may mean removing the person from the area, dousing flames with water, or smothering flames with a blanket. Don’t put yourself at risk of getting burnt as well.
  • Remove any clothing or jewellery near the burnt area of skin, including babies’ nappies. However, don’t try to remove anything that’s stuck to the burnt skin as this could cause more damage.
  • Cool the burn with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes, as soon as possible after the injury. Never use ice, iced water, or any creams or greasy substances such as butter.
  • Keep yourself or the person warm. Use a blanket or layers of clothing, but avoid putting them on the injured area. Keeping warm will prevent hypothermia, where a person’s body temperature drops below 35C (95F). This is a risk if you are cooling a large burnt area, particularly in young children and elderly people.
  • Cover the burn with cling film. Put the cling film in a layer over the burn, rather than wrapping it around a limb. A clean clear plastic bag can be used for burns on your hand.
  • Treat the pain from a burn with paracetamol or ibuprofen. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions when using over-the-counter medication. Children under 16 years of age should not be given aspirin.
  • Sit upright as much as possible if the face or eyes are burnt. Avoid lying down for as long as possible as this will help to reduce swelling.

When to go to hospital

Once you have taken these steps, you’ll need to decide whether further medical treatment is necessary. Go to a hospital accident and emergency (A&E) department for:

  • large or deep burns – bigger than the affected person’s hand
  • burns of any size that cause white or charred skin
  • burns on the face, hands, arms, feet, legs or genitals that cause blisters
  • all chemical and electrical burns

Also get medical help straight away if the person with the burn:

  • has other injuries that need treating
  • is going into shock – signs include cold, clammy skin, sweating, rapid, shallow breathing, and weakness or dizziness
  • is pregnant
  • is over the age of 60
  • is under the age of five
  • has a medical condition such as heart, lung or liver disease, or diabetes
    has a weakened immune system (the body’s defence system) – for example, because of HIV or AIDS, or because they’re having chemotherapy for cancer
  • If someone has breathed in smoke or fumes, they should also seek medical attention.

Some symptoms may be delayed, and can include:

  • coughing
  • a sore throat
  • difficulty breathing
  • singed nasal hair
  • facial burns

Electrical burns
Electrical burns may not look serious, but they can be very damaging. Someone who has an electrical burn should seek immediate medical attention at an A&E department.
If the person has been injured by a low-voltage source (up to 220-240 volts) such as a domestic electricity supply, safely switch off the power supply or remove the person from the electrical source using a material that doesn’t conduct electricity, such as a wooden stick or a wooden chair.
Don’t approach a person who is connected to a high-voltage source (1,000 volts or more).
Chemical burns
Chemical burns can be very damaging and require immediate medical attention at an A&E department. If possible, find out what chemical caused the burn and tell the healthcare professionals at A&E.

  • If you’re helping someone else, put on appropriate protective clothing and then remove any contaminated clothing on the person
  • if the chemical is dry, brush it off their skin
  • use running water to remove any traces of the chemical from the burnt area

Sunburn

If you notice any signs of sunburn, such as hot, red and painful skin, move into the shade or preferably inside.

  • Take a cool bath or shower to cool down the burnt area of skin.
  • Apply aftersun lotion to the affected area to moisturise, cool and soothe it. Don’t use greasy or oily products
  • If you have any pain, paracetamol or ibuprofen should help relieve it. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions and do not give aspirin to children under the age of 16.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

 

Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion or heatstroke, where the temperature inside your body rises to 37-40C (98.6-104F) or above. Symptoms include dizziness, a rapid pulse or vomiting.
If a person with heat exhaustion is taken to a cool place quickly, given water to drink and has their clothing loosened, they should start to feel better within half an hour.
If they don’t, they could develop heatstroke. This is a medical emergency and you’ll need to call 999 for an ambulance.sweat-cleanse-1

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Lyme disease Factsheet

Lyme disease, or Lyme borreliosis, is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks.

Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures found in woodland and heath areas. They feed on the blood of birds and mammals, including humans. Ticks that carry the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease are found throughout the UK and in other parts of Europe and North America.

It’s estimated there are 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of Lyme disease in England and Wales each year. About 15% of cases occur while people are abroad.

Lyme disease can often be treated effectively if it’s detected early on. But if it’s not treated or treatment is delayed, there’s a risk you could develop severe and long-lasting symptoms.

 

Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease

Early symptoms

Many people with early-stage Lyme disease develop a distinctive circular rash at the site of the tick bite, usually around three to 30 days after being bitten. This is known as erythema migrans.

The rash is often described as looking like a bull’s-eye on a dart board. The affected area of skin will be red and the edges may feel slightly raised.

The size of the rash can vary significantly and it may expand over several days or weeks. Typically it’s around 15cm (6 inches) across, but it can be much larger or smaller than this. Some people may develop several rashes in different parts of their body.

However, around one in three people with Lyme disease won’t develop this rash.

Some people with Lyme disease also experience flu-like symptoms in the early stages, such as tiredness (fatigue), muscle pain, joint pain,headaches, a high temperature (fever), chills and neck stiffness.

Later symptoms

More serious symptoms may develop several weeks, months or even years later if Lyme disease is left untreated or is not treated early on. These can include:

  • pain and swelling in the joints (inflammatory arthritis)
  • problems affecting the nervous system – such as numbness and pain in your limbs, paralysis of your facial muscles, memory problems and difficulty concentrating
  • heart problems – such as inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) or sac surrounding the heart (pericarditis), heart block and heart failure
  • inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) – which can cause a severe headache, a stiff neck and increased sensitivity to light

Some of these problems will get better slowly with treatment, although they can persist if treatment is started late.

A few people with Lyme disease go on to develop long-term symptoms similar to those of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. This is known as post-infectious Lyme disease. It’s not clear exactly why this happens, but it’s likely to be related to overactivity of your immune system rather than persistent infection.

When to see your GP

You should see your GP if you develop any of the symptoms described above after being bitten by a tick, or if you think you may have been bitten. Make sure you let your GP know if you’ve spent time in woodland or heath areas where ticks are known to live.

Diagnosing Lyme disease is often difficult as many of the symptoms are similar to other conditions. A spreading rash some days after a known tick bite should be treated with appropriate antibiotics without waiting for the results of a blood test.

Blood tests can be carried out to confirm the diagnosis after a few weeks, but these can be negative in the early stages of the infection. You may need to be re-tested if Lyme disease is still suspected after a negative test result.

In the UK, two types of blood test are used to ensure Lyme disease is diagnosed accurately. This is because a single blood test can sometimes produce a positive result even when a person doesn’t have the infection.

If you have post-infectious Lyme disease or long-lasting symptoms, you may see a specialist in microbiology or infectious diseases. They can arrange for blood samples to be sent to the national reference laboratory run by Public Health England (PHE), where further tests for other tick-borne infections can be carried out.

How you get Lyme disease

If a tick bites an animal carrying the bacteria that cause Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi), the tick can also become infected. The tick can then transfer the bacteria to a human by biting them.

Ticks can be found in any areas with deep or overgrown vegetation where they have access to animals to feed on.

They’re common in woodland and heath areas, but can also be found in gardens or parks.

Ticks don’t jump or fly, but climb on to your clothes or skin if you brush against something they’re on. They then bite into the skin and start to feed on your blood.

Generally, you’re more likely to become infected if the tick remains attached to your skin for more than 24 hours. But ticks are very small and their bites are not painful, so you may not realise you have one attached to your skin.

Who’s at risk and where are ticks found?

People who spend time in woodland or heath areas in the UK and parts of Europe or North America are most at risk of developing Lyme disease.

Most tick bites happen in late spring, early summer and autumn because these are the times of year when most people take part in outdoor activities, such as hiking and camping.

Cases of Lyme disease have been reported throughout the UK, but areas known to have a particularly high population of ticks include:

  • Exmoor
  • the New Forest and other rural areas of Hampshire
  • the South Downs
  • parts of Wiltshire and Berkshire
  • parts of Surrey and West Sussex
  • Thetford Forest in Norfolk
  • the Lake District
  • the North York Moors
  • the Scottish Highlands

It’s thought only a small proportion of ticks carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, so being bitten doesn’t mean you’ll definitely be infected. However, it’s important to be aware of the risk and seek medical advice if you start to feel unwell.

Treating Lyme disease

If you develop symptoms of Lyme disease, you will normally be given a course of antibiotic tablets, capsules or liquid. Most people will require a two- to four-week course, depending on the stage of the condition.

If you are prescribed antibiotics, it’s important you finish the course even if you are feeling better, because this will help ensure all the bacteria are killed.

If your symptoms are particularly severe, you may be referred to a specialist to have antibiotic injections (intravenous antibiotics).

Some of the antibiotics used to treat Lyme disease can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. In these cases, you should avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and not use sunbeds until after you have finished the treatment.

There’s currently no clear consensus on the best treatment for post-infectious Lyme disease because the underlying cause is not yet clear. Be wary of internet sites offering alternative diagnostic tests and treatments that may not be supported by scientific evidence.

Preventing Lyme disease

There is currently no vaccine available to prevent Lyme disease. The best way to prevent the condition is to be aware of the risks when you visit areas where ticks are found and to take sensible precautions.

You can reduce the risk of infection by:

  • keeping to footpaths and avoiding long grass when out walking
  • wearing appropriate clothing in tick-infested areas (a long-sleeved shirt and trousers tucked into your socks)
  • wearing light-coloured fabrics that may help you spot a tick on your clothes
  • using insect repellent on exposed skin
  • inspecting your skin for ticks, particularly at the end of the day, including your head, neck and skin folds (armpits, groin, and waistband) – remove any ticks you find promptly
  • checking your children’s head and neck areas, including their scalp
  • making sure ticks are not brought home on your clothes
  • checking that pets do not bring ticks into your home in their fur

How to remove a tick

If you find a tick on your or your child’s skin, remove it by gently gripping it as close to the skin as possible, preferably using fine-toothed tweezers. Pull steadily away from the skin without twisting or crushing the tick.

Wash your skin with water and soap afterwards, and apply an antiseptic cream to the skin around the bite.

Don’t use a lit cigarette end, a match head or substances such as alcohol or petroleum jelly to force the tick out.

Some veterinary surgeries and pet shops sell inexpensive tick removal devices, which may be useful if you frequently spend time in areas where there are ticks.

“Chronic Lyme disease”

There has recently been a lot of focus on Lyme disease in the media, with much attention on people who’ve been diagnosed with “chronic Lyme disease”.

This term has been used by some people to describe persistent symptoms such as tiredness, aches and pains, usually in the absence of a confirmed Lyme disease infection. It’s different to “post-infectious Lyme disease” (see above), which is used to describe persistent symptoms after a confirmed and treated infection.

It’s important to be aware that a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease is controversial. Experts do not agree on whether the condition exists, or whether the symptoms are actually caused by a different, undiagnosed problem.

In either case, there’s no evidence to suggest people diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease can pass the condition on to others, and there’s little clear evidence about how best to treat it.

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Ready made ‘thank you/neighbor’ bags

keep your neighbors happy!

 

Be it local flooding, snow storms, martial law or other disaster keeping your neighbors and local family happy is important. Having some ready made ‘goody bags’ with your preps can go a long way.

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It doesn’t have to be complicated in fact the simpler the better, remember OPSEC you don’t want to advertise the fact you might have much sought after supplies. keep it simple and keep it cheap!

In times of need simply hand out the bags to those you trust. simple.

What should you put in them?

  • glow sticks
  • small knife
  • candles
  • water purification tablets
  • batteries
  • small torch
  • matches/lighter
  • paracord
  • soap
  • tissues
  • whistle
  • instant heat pads
  • fishing kit
  • sewing kit
  • sweets/chocolate

Remember to keep your preps hidden and look after each other.

 

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WTF does SHTF mean? ‘prepper’ acronyms

With every community or industry there are sayings and acronyms that are used…there never seems to be a guide for what they mean, and most of the time you may feel to embarrassed to ask. We at UKSN are here to help. Here is a list of the most commonly used ones:DSCF3008

  • BOB  “Bug-Out Bag”  A bag that is packed with items you will need if you’re forced to quickly evacuate your home.
  • EDC  “Everyday Carry”  Something you carry with you every day. For example, a pocket knife, multi tool, or a torch.
  • EMP  “Electromagnetic Pulse”  A type of weapon that could be used to bring down the electrical grid. Usually appears as “EMP attack.”
  • SHTF  “Shit Hits the Fan”  Generically used to describe crisis situations. In a broader context, it refers to a time when we finally experience the natural consequences of our bad decisions. Can be applied on a national or personal level. Sometimes the longer version of this acronym is used: WTSHTF – When the Shit Hits the Fan.
  • TEOTWAWKI  “The End of the World as We Know It”  A situation where everything we are accustomed to changes. This acronym is long and awkward, so the misspelled version is also fairly common: TEOWATKI.
  • BOL  “Bug-Out Location”  The place where family members/friends have agreed to meet in case of evacuation.
  • BOV  “Bug-Out Vehicle”  A vehicle, be it a bike, car or truck that is specifically equipped to bug out.
  • EOTW  “End of the World”  Not the literal end of planet earth, but the end of a government, a nation, or a particular way of life.
  • G.O.O.D.  “Get Out of Dodge”  A phrase that means one should leave town or get out of the city and stay somewhere else.
  • MRE  “Meal Ready to Eat”  Originally a military term. Refers to individually packaged rations for soldiers in the field.
  • MSM  “Mainstream Media”  Refers to major news networks that seem to be more interested in pushing propaganda than reporting actual news.
  • WROL  “Without Rule of Law”  Describes a situation where there is anarchy and/or martial law. In either case, ordinary civil laws would not or could not be enforced.
  • YOYO  “You’re on Your Own”  The idea that you cannot depend on anybody else when the SHTF.
  • FUBAR  “F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition”  Military term that means something is really messed up.
  • INCH  “I’m Never Coming Home”  A bag that is packed with items you will need if you’re forced to quickly evacuate your home and you intend to never return home.
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