Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Monday, July 16, 2018
An article came out today in the Idaho Statesman that enumerates various incidents where the US government has LOST weapons grade nuclear materials. According to the article, "since the cold war ... 6 TONS of bomb materials have gone MUF", meaning "material unaccounted for". The article goes on to say that some of this "may be stuck in pipes at processing facilities, etc." so just because it is unaccounted for does NOT necessarily mean that 6 tons were stolen. That said, the article starts off mentioning some samples of material that WERE recently stolen from a rented SUV that was being used by "two security experts from the Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory." While these samples were NOT sufficient quantity to make a nuclear weapon, it bespeaks of a lack of security in the handling of such materials. Idaho Statesman Article But knowing that there are 6 TONS of nuclear material - much of it weapons grade - that are MISSING or unaccounted for, does NOT leave one feeling "warm and fuzzy". This is theoretically enough to "make hundreds of nuclear explosives', according to the article. Also, according to the article, an amount of plutonium the size of a grapefruit is sufficient to produce a bomb. Think terrorist bomb, 'dirty bomb', possible EMP weapon, etc. SCARY!!!
Monday, June 25, 2018
Folks who read my last post know I got my EMT-Basic certification about a year ago. But I didn't stop there. In my constant effort to be more prepared for whatever comes, and to be of help to my family, friends, neighbors and colleagues, I took some additional seminars dealing with emergency medicine in an "austere" setting. What do I mean by "austere"? My EMT training was primarily geared toward helping the patient stay alive, and preventing further injury, until they could get to the hospital. This is all well and good, and works in most situations. But what about a massive grid down situation? Or another hurricane Katrina, where massive flooding prevents rescue workers from getting to you in a timely manner? Those situations can be termed "austere", because doctors, nurses and hospital care may NOT be readily available - for some time, if at all. A fellow YouTuber comes to the rescue for these scenarios. There is a Registered Nurse (RN) who maintains a YouTube channel called "The Patriot Nurse". If you go back and search through her videos, you will find she has posted lots of valuable medical information - as well as some at times brutally frank, politically oriented ones. I'm NOT here to debate politics or to comment one way or the other on the merit of the political stances expressed in some of her YouTube and Patreon videos - THAT is for another blog. I will NOT address or render comments on politics or take sides here in this forum. BUT the FREE MEDICAL information she provides in some of her videos is outstanding and is of concern and potentially helpful to all of us - regardless of one's religious or political persuasion. Additionally, she offers a series of paid seminars called "Medical Prep 101, Medical Prep 201, and Medical Prep 301. My adult step daughter and I took all three of the medical prep classes several months after I got my EMT-Basic patch. So I had some background with which to evaluate the course content. In short, I think the classes are EXCELLENT - especially for laypersons, or even people with a "nurse's aide" level of training. There was another EMT there besides myself; we both thought it was a good review as well as offering certain valuable info that we DON'T normally get through EMT training and continuing education. To follow is a very brief synopsis of what you get during the classes: Medical Prep 101 and 201 - covers all major aspects of first aid, diseases one is likely to encounter now or during a disaster, and also offers frank discussion of how quickly medical care deteriorates when infrastructure is damaged or destroyed. She comes from a background of having been a nurse in 3rd world countries where the facilities and technology we take for granted are at times severely lacking. Video presentations and a course notebook she provides augment the lecture and hands-on exercises. A question and answer period after each "chapter" or section gives ample opportunity for students to get their questions answered, as well as for class discussion that can be quite informative. Medical Prep 301 - briefly recaps some material covered in Medical Prep 101 and 201, then offers excellent coverage dealing with new and re-emerging old diseases which bear watching now, and which can quickly become problematic during a disaster. She presented good information about the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria, ebola, plague, tic-borne diseases and other potential threats - diseases that can in themselves trigger a major disaster. Exctensive coverage is given to nutritional and holistic approaches to maintaining health as well as helping the body's own defenses and systems fight back and heal from a disease or injury. Issues such as maintaining adequate sanitation when water and sewer utilities are damaged/destroyed are discussed at length and are a topic EVERYONE should know and be equipped to deal with. Other topics include feminine hygiene, childbirth, preventing (and recognizing) STDs. Much of the information she presented dovetailed nicely with my prior EMT training. After all, emergency medicine is emergency medicine. However, FOR ME, the true value I found in it was the viewpoint or "angle" the material was presented from. As stated earlier, all of my prior training was STRICTLY geared toward pre-hospital care during "normal" times in "normal" circumstances. Her presentation is more akin to what is given in Hesperian.org's book titled "Where There Is No Doctor". But UNLIKE reading Hesperian's book - which I DO recommend - The Patriot Nurse offers the hands-on experiences, the classroom interaction and question-answer opportunities one does NOT get from reading a book. And As I mentioned earlier, these classes are a superb primer for those with little medical knowledge, yet contain enough solid information to arm even those folks to contribute meaningfully to helping during a disaster or grid down scenario. The information that my step daughter has gotten from Patriot Nurse's Medical Prep seminars has also helped empower her in terms of knowing what to do in a medical emergency. And what is wonderful about knowledge is it is one thing that cannot be taken away from you. FWIW.
"Disaster Preparedness For EMP Attacks and Solar Storms" is a must-have reference guide for engineers, emergency responders, military personnel, planners, preppers, and anyone else interested in getting real information (NOT someone's fantasy or personal opinions) about this issue. Hopefully this information will help some folks to gain real, useful knowledge and make intelligent, informed choices.