Category Archives: Health & Fitness

MERS Virus the New Global Threat

From: | May 30th, 2013

usCrow contributors tend to focus on communism, war, and tyranny. However, we clearly outline several other threats the survival and prepper community should be prepared for. Viral Pandemic is listed in our Top 5 Reasons to be a Prepper, and with viruses like MERS it’s not hard to see why. Now, I rarely like citing the WHO (World Health Organization)…


About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

Stressed & Depressed: Americans ‘Snapping’ By The Millions

Stressed & Depressed: Americans ‘Snapping’ By The Millions

David Kupelian reveals record fear, stress, suicide – and inspired way out

“Terrorism. Chaos. Fear of the future. In the age of Obama, America is undergoing a “fundamental transformation” – that much everyone knows.

But what few seem to realize about this transformation is that the sheer stress of living in today’s America is driving tens of millions to the point of illness, depression and self-destruction. Consider the following trends…”

About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

Homemade Mosquito Repellant

By Farmer Blue Coral | From

Here’s an easy & pleasant mosquito repellent recipe you can make at home:

Combine in a 16 oz bottle:

  • 15 drops lavender oil
  • 3-4 Tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 Cup lemon juice
  • Fill bottle with water
  • Shake

Ready to use.

About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

The Dirty Business Of Post-Collapse Sanitation

Importance of Sanitation after SHTF – The Prepper Journal

“In thinking about preparing your family for survival after a disaster or emergency situation you can’t forget to consider their health. Your family’s health is affected by so much more than having adequate stores of food. Having the best gun for self-defense is great and important, but what if someone in your group comes down with an illness that was easily prevented? What if the killer that attacks you is a sinister little microorganism you never saw coming?…”

Read More:

About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

Analysis: Antibiotic Apocalypse – Is The End Nigh?

By James Gallagher | From BBCNews via | On Monday, March 11th, 2013

A terrible future could be on the horizon, a future which rips one of the greatest tools of medicine out of the hands of doctors.

A simple cut to your finger could leave you fighting for your life. Luck will play a bigger role in your future than any doctor could.

The most basic operations – getting an appendix removed or a hip replacement – could become deadly.

Cancer treatments and organ transplants could kill you. Childbirth could once again become a deadly moment in a woman’s life.

It’s a future without antibiotics.

This might read like the plot of science fiction novel – but there is genuine fear that the world is heading into a post-antibiotic era.

The World Health Organization has warned that “many common infections will no longer have a cure and, once again, could kill unabated”.

The US Centers of Disease Control has pointed to the emergence of “nightmare bacteria”.

And the chief medical officer for England Prof Dame Sally Davies has evoked parallels with the “apocalypse”.

Antibiotics kill bacteria, but the bugs are incredibly wily foes. Once you start treating them with a new drug, they find ways of surviving. New drugs are needed, which they then find ways to survive.


As long as new drugs keep coming, resistance is not a problem. But there has not been a new class of antibiotics discovered since the 1980s.

This is now a war, and one we are in severe danger of losing.

Antibiotics are more widely used than you might think and a world without antibiotics would be far more dangerous.

They made deadly infections such as tuberculosis treatable, but their role in healthcare is far wider than that.

Surgery that involves cutting open the body posses massive risks of infection. Courses of antibiotics before and after surgery have enabled doctors to perform operations that would have been deadly before.

Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy can damage the immune system. A course of antibiotics is prescribed to provide a much-needed boost alongside your body’s own defences.

Anyone with an organ transplant faces a lifetime of drugs to suppress the immune system, otherwise it attacks the transplant, so antibiotics are used to protect the body.

“It’s a pretty grim future, I think a lot of major surgery would be seriously threatened,” said Prof Richard James from the University of Nottingham.

“I used to show students pictures of people being treated for tuberculosis in London – it was just a row of beds outside a hospital, you lived or you died – the only treatment was fresh air.”

And this, he says, is what running out of drugs for tuberculosis would look like in the future.

But this is all in the future isn’t it?

Warning from the father of antibiotics

Sir Alexander Fleming made one of the single greatest contributions to medicine when he discovered antibiotics.

He noticed that mould growing on his culture dishes had created a ring free of bacteria, he’d found penicillin.

It was the stuff of Nobel Prizes, but in 1945 the spectre of resistance was already there.

In his winner’s lecture he said: “It is not difficult to make microbes resistant to penicillin in the laboratory by exposing them to concentrations not sufficient to kill them, and the same thing has occasionally happened in the body.

“The time may come when penicillin can be bought by anyone in the shops.

“Then there is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug make them resistant.”


About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

14 Signs of Poor Mental Health To Consider For Prepping Partners

By SchemaByte | From | On Saturday, February 16th, 2013

Armand Gautier [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsOf course you want physically active, skilled prepping partners. You also want someone that’s not going to go nuts after a month of canned food and no sunlight. While this list doesn’t guarantee it, we definitely need to consider mental health as part of network selection criteria.

A lot of preppers go out of their way to make sure they include people with very specific skills in their survival network. That’s commendable, but short-term drills and weekend camping trips don’t indicate that your friends and family will be suitable for close quarter living after TEOTWAWKI.

It’s difficult to separate the over-generalizations of the psychologists from just normal human behavior, especially given that we as a people are unfit mentally as it is. We’re zoo animals, insane by environment, to start with. Nonetheless, some people who get along in the world we live in now probably won’t be able to function in the more difficult world after a significant event. Some people just don’t deal with stress well, and others just cover up the crazy they’ve been growing inside.

It’ll be far easier to survive with reasonable, rational people – no matter the skill sets involved. Per the Mayo Clinic, most mental illnesses don’t get better on their own even without a disaster. Certainly, suggest to people that they seek to improve their state through nutrition, exercise, meditation, and counseling, but don’t count on that happening down the road. Mental fitness is harder to acquire than physical fitness.

Here’s some quick tips on signs your potential prepping partners won’t be very pleasant post-apocalyptic roommates.

5 Indications the Potential Prepping Partner is Easily Stressed

Look for indicators that the person is continually stressed as it is; clearly if so you should be concerned about their resilience in extreme circumstances.

  1. Nervous mannerisms like continually biting the fingernails or tapping a pen demonstrate stress (or perhaps too much caffeine). If you’ve never seen the person just relaxed without alcohol or something else being involved, be wary.
  2. Sweating or shaking also indicate short-term stress, and if that’s always happening then there’s cause for concern.
  3. Continually abrasive behavior like excessive aggression, crying, and impatience are behavioral indicators of short-term stress. So is restlessness, although that’s perhaps not abrasive.
  4. Decreased immunity to seasonal illnesses like colds and flu is a symptom of long-term stress.
  5. Long-term physical illnesses like hypertension and asthma can be associated with long-term stress, but could be due to other reasons.

9 Indications of Possible Mental Illness in Prepping Partners

Don’t stop there though. Make sure you don’t have someone who’s already losing it on your hands.

  1. Look for drug or alcohol abuse, which is often associated with mental illness and at least indicates an inability to cope with the world as it is now. On top of things possibly turning quite nasty if an addict can’t get a fix.
  2. Listen for continual inability to cope with life’s daily challenges, a sign of mental illness. Look especially for signs of this increasing, which is an indication of a corresponding psychological problem gaining dominance.
  3. Pay attention to wild mood swings (manic behavior) and grandiosity, which generally indicate instability.
  4. Long term depression, sadness, or irritability is an indicator of mental illness and of course would be an ugly thing to live with.
  5. Confused thinking or the inability to concentrate, when continually present, can be a sign of mental health issues.
  6. Extreme fear, anxiety, and anger is another indicator of mental illness and also indicates that the person is hardly able to deal with the unrealized and possible threats, much less the real deal. These are, in my opinion, the people most likely to become violent with provocation.
  7. Social isolationism is given by WebMD and the Mayo Clinic as a sign of mental illness, but of course keep in mind that preparedness includes a high degree of privacy for operational security – don’t confuse the two. For the most part, keep an eye out for increasing isolationism but don’t automatically exclude introverts.
  8. Unexplained physical problems, especially when there are many of them, is a common theme among the mentally ill.
  9. Continual fatigue is an indicator of mental illness or a physical health problem, also a sign that the person won’t be able to cope with the higher physical demands of complete self-sufficiency if they become necessary.

There’s of course a lot of other behavior and tendencies that are repugnant, even if the potential prepping partner will be able to mentally function. It’s best to get to know people extremely well before you agree to joining up efforts, providing Get Out of Dodge backup plans for each other, and disclosing your preps.

Resources & More Reading

  1. Mental Health Warning Signs –
  2. Mental illness: Symptoms –
  3. Coping with the causes of stress can help you avoid the physical symptoms of stress –
  4. How to Spots Signs of Mental Illness –
  5. Signs of Mental Illness & the Family –
  6. Signs and Symptoms of Stress –

About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

Dust Mask, N95, or Respirator?

By Ken (MSB) | From | On February 20, 2013

What is the difference between an ordinary dust mask, N95 mask, and respirator? The answer is important to understand.

First, a dust mask is used where particles in the air such as ordinary dust, dust from wood, concrete, construction dirt, drywall, fiberglass and other materials are present. The dust mask helps to protect the person’s lungs from damage caused by inhaling these particulates.

A dust mask will have its limitations and will be effective only under specific use conditions.

The way it works is simple in that the filter action occurs when the wearer inhales. The paper or fabric filtering material is the mask itself, which can be folded or cup-shaped, with one or two straps holding it to the nose and mouth. Some may have an exhale valve that allows heat and humidity to escape between the face and the mask. A dust mask is designed to be disposable and should not be reused.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (or NIOSH), is an organization who recommends dust mask specifications.

A dust mask is described with a letter designation and a filtering efficiency.

The letters N, R and P indicate the mask’s resistance to oil degradation. The absence of oil particles in the environment allows use of N-, R-, or P-series dust masks. The presence of oil particles requires use of an R- or P-series filter.

Filtering efficiency is expressed as percentages of 95, 99, or 99.97. A mask with a 99.97 percent efficiency rating allows less particle leakage than one rated 95 percent. The amount of acceptable filter leakage determines face mask selection.

Dust masks (including the often mentioned ‘N95′) are a cheaper, lighter, and possibly more comfortable alternative to respirators, but may not provide as much protection, and may be more susceptible to misuse or poor fit.

A dust mask, and N95 type mask, will leak. They are not fit tightly to your face and WILL allow a certain amount of unfiltered air into your nose and mouth while you inhale. A common misconception is that since N95 surgical masks may be used by health care workers or doctors in an operating room, that it must be okay for protection. In fact, the wearing of the surgical mask by the health care provider, doctor or surgeon is protecting the patient from the doctor’s own breath (sneeze, cough, germs, etc.). While there is a level of protection for the wearer in a healthcare environment, to truly protect one’s self from virus or other airborne chemical contamination, you need a respirator mask that is fitted to your face for an air-tight seal with appropriate filtering.

Having said that, one might think that you are getting ‘some’ protection while wearing a N95-rated well fitting dust mask in a public environment, where it is suspected that people may be contaminated with a given contagious virus. This is likely true to an extent, and better than nothing for sure. However you should not make the mistake of believing that you are completely protected. Observe how the ordinary (and even the better fitting) dust masks will have gaps between the mask and skin. It is not air-tight and therefore not blocking 100% of the air that you inhale.

In summary, know your purpose and have the right mask for the right job. For casual protection, the ordinary dust mask may protect you from ordinary particles in the air. A N95 type mask will filter smaller particles and will provide a certain level of protection in some environments. A respirator will provide the ultimate protection due to its tight seal to your airways, while the filter being used in the respirator will determine the particulate protection. It seems that having all three would be useful to the prepper, and cover the range of circumstances that one might expect to encounter.

This article was originally posted at:

About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

Mexico: Bird Flu Outbreak Hits 582,000 Chickens

From | On Friday, February 15th, 2013

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s animal health agency says a bird flu outbreak at seven farms in central Mexico has affected as many as 582,000 chickens.

The Agriculture Department says more than a half million birds were exposed, but the number that will have to be slaughtered has yet to be determined.

An outbreak of the H7N3 bird flu virus in western Mexico in 2012 led to the slaughter of more than 22 million hens and caused price increases in chicken and egg products.

But the department said Friday that the current outbreak has not affected the supply of chicken products.

It said tests were continuing to determine the exact strain of virus involved in the outbreak, but said it did not affect humans.

Mexico’s nationwide flock amounts to 137 million birds.

This article was originally posted at:

Editor’s Note: This is just one more reason to own your own live poultry if you have the space on your property. Chickens are quite easy and relatively inexpensive to care for.

About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

How To: Removing Radioactive Iodine-131 From Drinking Water

By Jeff McMahon | From | On April 11th, 2011

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends reverse osmosis water treatment to remove radioactive isotopes that emit beta-particle radiation. But iodine-131, a beta emitter, is typically present in water as a dissolved gas, and reverse osmosis is known to be ineffective at capturing gases.

A combination of technologies, however, may remove most or all of the iodine-131 that finds its way into tap water, all available in consumer products for home water treatment.

First, the standard disclaimers: Every government agency involved in radiation monitoring—the EPA, FDA, USDA, NRC, CDC, etc.—has stressed that the radiation now reaching the United States has been found at levels thousands of times lower than standards of health concern. When it found iodine-131 in drinking water samples from Boise, Idaho and Richland, Washington this weekend, the EPA declared:

An infant would have to drink almost 7,000 liters of this water to receive a radiation dose equivalent to a day’s worth of the natural background radiation exposure we experience continuously from natural sources of radioactivity in our environment.”

But not everyone accepts the government’s reassurances. Notably, Physicians for Social Responsibility has insisted there is no safe level of exposure to radionuclides, regardless of the fact that we encounter them naturally:

There is no safe level of radionuclide exposure, whether from food, water or other sources. Period,” said Jeff Patterson, DO, immediate past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility. “Exposure to radionuclides, such as iodine-131 and cesium-137, increases the incidence of cancer. For this reason, every effort must be taken to minimize the radionuclide content in food and water.”

via Physicians for Social Responsibility,

No matter where you stand on that debate, you might be someone who simply prefers not to ingest anything that escaped from a damaged nuclear reactor. If so, here’s what we know:

Reverse Osmosis

The EPA recommends reverse osmosis water treatment for most kinds of radioactive particles. Iodine-131 emits a small amount of gamma radiation but much larger amounts of beta radiation, and so is considered a beta emitter:

Reverse osmosis has been identified by EPA as a “best available technology” (BAT) and Small System Compliance Technology (SSCT) for uranium, radium, gross alpha, and beta particles and photon emitters. It can remove up to 99 percent of these radionuclides, as well as many other contaminants (e.g., arsenic, nitrate, and microbial contaminants). Reverse osmosis units can be automated and compact making them appropriate for small systems.

via EPA, Radionuclides in Drinking Water

However, EPA designed its recommendations for the contaminants typically found in municipal water systems, so it doesn’t specify Iodine-131 by name. The same document goes on to say, “Reverse osmosis does not remove gaseous contaminants such as carbon dioxide and radon.”

Iodine-131 escapes from damaged nuclear plants as a gas, and this is why it disperses so quickly through the atmosphere. It is captured as a gas in atmospheric water, falls to the earth in rain and enters the water supply.

This is what happened in Boise, Idaho, where iodine-131 was found in rainwater samples last week and then in drinking water samples a few days later.

Reverse osmosis works by forcing water through material with very tiny pores—as tiny as .0001 microns—so that almost nothing except water emerges on the other side. Almost nothing.

“Dissolved gases and materials that readily turn into gases also can easily pass through most reverse osmosis membranes,” according to the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. For this reason, “many reverse osmosis units have an activated carbon unit to remove or reduce the concentration of most organic compounds.”

Activated Carbon

That raises the next question: does activated carbon remove iodine-131? There is some evidence that it does. Scientists have used activated carbon to remove iodine-131 from the liquid fuel for nuclear solution reactors. And Carbon air filtration is used by employees of Perkin Elmer, a leading environmental monitoring and health safety firm, when they work with iodine-131 in closed quarters. At least one university has adopted Perkin Elmer’s procedures.

Activated carbon works by absorbing contaminants, and fixing them, as water passes through it. It has a disadvantage, however: it eventually reaches a load capacity and ceases to absorb new contaminants.

Ion Exchange

The EPA also recommends ion exchange for removing radioactive compounds from drinking water. The process used in water softeners, ion exchange removes contaminants when water passes through resins that contain sodium ions. The sodium ions readily exchange with contaminants.

Ion exchange is particularly recommended for removing Cesium-137, which has been found in rain samples in the U.S., but not yet in drinking water here. Some resins have been specifically designed for capturing Cesium-137, and ion exchange was used to clean up legacy nuclear waste from an old reactor at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site (pdf).

Triple Threat

The best solution may be the one used routinely to treat water at the Savannah River Site. The process combines activated carbon, reverse osmosis, and ion exchange. If one doesn’t get the iodine-131, two others have a chance to capture the radiation through other means.

And that may be the best solution for the average drinker of tap water as well.

[Disclosure: I have a brother who sells air and water purification equipment. I have no personal investment or involvement in his enterprise or any similar business.]

Vegetable Contamination

Once you have access to cleaned water, be sure to use it to wash your vegetables. The FDA has not yet begun monitoring U.S. produce for radiation because, the agency says, there is not yet a radiation threat here. The Chinese have been monitoring vegetables, and they’ve urged their citizens to wash their spinach:

The Ministry of Health also issued a statement Wednesday evening saying trace levels of radioactive isotope iodine-131 had been found in spinach planted in the open fields within the three regions.

It is has been proven that washing the spinach with water can effectively remove radioactive materials, the Health Ministry said.

It is believed that recent rains in these regions helped drop the radioactive iodine from the air to the ground, and the radioactive materials fell onto the surface of the spinach, the ministry said.”

via Xinhua

There may be readers who have other insights into removing iodine-131, cesium-137, or other radionuclides from drinking water. If so, please share them in comments.

This article was originally posted at

About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

Supplement Your Canned Food Storage With Vitamins

By Ken | From | On December 8th, 2012

Check nutrition labels and you will find that most canned fruits and vegetables contain very little in the way of vitamins. Having said that, there are some that are enriched with additional vitamins and are good sources of nutrition. Know this though… as time passes, the vitamin content drops. The ‘best if used by’ date printed on the packaging typically indicates the time when the vitamin content on the label is accurate.

While the nutritional value decreases over time, the caloric value of canned foods will last well beyond the ‘best if used by’ date. Unless cans are dented, rusted, or bulging, the food may still be good for its caloric content, but not so much the nutrient content. Not only that, but many other food storage items may not provide an adequate supply of nutrients.

Mental and physical health is affected by vitamin intake. For example, B vitamin deficiencies are being looked at as contributing factors in depression. Vitamin D, known for being the sole cause of rickets in children, also is suspected to have a role in depression and osteoporosis.

Vitamin supplements are a must and should be stored in a cool, dry place. Like other food storage items, vitamins also, should be rotated frequently. A good multivitamin, along with additional vitamin C, Calcium, and Vitamin D, is especially critical for adults and children. As a side note, Vitamin C in the crystalline form, lasts indefinitely.

Remember, all of the top survival equipment and food storage in the world will do little good if we do not have the physical and mental capacity for their proper use. You must remain healthy. Supplementing your food storage with stored vitamin supplements may pay off bigger than you may think.

By the way, although the title refers to canned food storage, we highly recommend a diversified food storage plan including canned, dehydrated, freeze-dried, fresh, as well as a broad variety of food types. Don’t forget to use them in your daily meal planning… and ROTATE.

This article was originally posted at

About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.