Preppers Knowledge Bank: Winter Blues, Seasonal Affective Disorder, or Sunlight Deprivation

Sunshine Fights DepressionAll humans, and most animals, need a certain amount of sunlight to survive.  If you are a prepper who plans to use a bunker or be a cave-dweller , it is important to take this into consideration.  Spending large amounts of time in dimly lit areas can bring about situations scary movies are made of.

The human body needs one hour of sunlight a day to survive.  That’s survive.  That doesn’t include a condition better than mere survival mode.  It has long been known Vitamin D prevents many diseases, but beyond that most people don’t know the “list”.  Indeed,the list is quite long.  It includes such things as improvements in asthma to bone health and can kill bad bacteria and improve heart health.

Whether you want to call it “seasonal affective disorder” or “winter blues” it can be depression brought on by lack of sunshine.  For some people, just being outside will quickly improve their mood.  The need to be outside is natural as evidenced by the number of outdoor fun activities people engage in daily.

But, what does being outside mean?  If I cover myself from head to toe with no part of my body exposed to the sun, I might as well stay indoors.  The same is true if I cover myself with harmful sunscreen products.  The benefit of the sun are blocked along with the negligible hazards.  Consider that 65,000 people world wide die of skin cancer.  Now consider that globally almost 1.24 million people die in traffic accidents.

No matter what, make certain every member of your family gets enough sunshine when the getting is good.  What if the sun isn’t available due to shortened days or being indoors most of (or all) of the time?  There are vitamin D supplements to prevent diseases by providing  vitamin D in the blood to allow the immune system to function.  Without Vitamin D your immune system can not function.

Installing full spectrum light bulbs are useful in replacing some of what you are missing and are certainly better than nothing.   Simply turn it on and enjoy a book, or better yet, this website.  Full spectrum lights are available at Lowe’s and Home Depot as well as other hardware and home improvement stores.  When preparing for a SHTF event, also consider adding a “sunrise” light to to wake up naturally.  It will improve and encourage a natural sleep pattern.  Combining the full spectrum light with the natural sunrise light, you’ll have your days and nights covered.

 

References:

Mayo Clinic

MindBodyGreen

U. S. News

Free Prepping Series, Part 3: Community

Many preppers think the best policy is to keep prepping secret and to not discuss things with “everyone”.

Here at The Daily Prepper News, we agree and disagree.  There’s a reason the phrase “no man is an island” exists.  No one can do everything on his own.  This is the foundation for every society.

Sure, people can “survive” on their own in the wilderness, if they don’t mind eating bugs and wearing animal skins, if they are available.  Aside from the “eewww” factor, it is just surviving.  Not living.  No enjoyment in life that family and friends bring.  In such an existence every minute is spent either resting when possible, finding food and water and finding shelter.  When SHTF, is it possible the loner will be living a nomadic life finding food, water and shelter wherever possible?  No that sounds like a bunch of living dead.

Prepping in Your Community

Even if your family is prepared for an event, it is just that.

One family.  Everyone needs human interaction with people outside the family unit, especially teenagers.  Without the social aspect problems arise.

If you join a network of like-minded people your skill pool will increase.  The labor force available to you increases as does the labor force of the whole group when you throw your labor into the mix.  This helps get big projects done for more people.  It also serves to teach skills to all members of the group.

Security is one of the main reasons groups band together.  It’s much harder to attack a whole city than a single home.  This is how communities formed from the beginning.  People recognized early on that survival meant helping each other.  Indeed, it is stated in the documents and letters about the forming of a union for the mutual defense of the newly formed states.  They decided to trust each other for this purpose.

Trust is earned over time.  Trust is not always reciprocal.

Not everyone is trustworthy.  Some people can’t tell the difference between those who are trustworthy and those who are not trustworthy.  Some people don’t trust any one for any reason.  Other people trust a person until they are given a reason not to.  In this respect, we agree that you shouldn’t reveal everything.  Some things need to be kept close.

With all that being said, it is important to realize that a network of people will be your best help in a time of crisis.

You can count on them and they can count on you.

If something happens and your stores are destroyed during an event, your group should take you in because they would want you to take them in if it happened to them.  A well organized group will have contingency plans for such events.

While legitimate arguments can be made about each person only using his own preps, one needs to consider their humanity and the person they are at the core of their being.  Sharing with those who share with you is a good thing.  Defending each other against marauders is a good thing.

Meeting other people who prepare for when SHTF doesn’t cost you anything and can have immense rewards.  Just knowing who the go-to people are will be a great bonus for your own prepping experience.  Having them identify you as a go-to person for some skill or knowledge you have will be a bonus to you.  It will be a measurement of how well respected you are in the prepper community.

In the final analysis, finding common ground in your local community where you can meet with other forward planning groups will only enhance your life.  Meetings of this sort happen all the time in local meeting halls or parks.  Nothing says you have to continue with the group if you later decide it isn’t for you.  But if you wait until after SHTF, it will be too late to join a group.  Most people will be not be trusted and will likely be seen as opportunistic and possibly dangerous.

[subscribe2]

Getting Prepared: A Primer for Beginners Series, part 9

A food supply for the prepared.Let’s talk food supply.

Many people have the mistaken idea that all they need to do is stockpile a bunch of food and they have it made.  It doesn’t work like that.  The first thing a new prepper needs to do is figure out what food habits exist in the household.  While it is important to assess what kinds of foods the various family members eat, it is also important to keep grocery receipts and use them to better identify what you buy, how often you go to the store, and how much long term planning you do.  How long your current supply of food will last is only as good as how you currently shop.

Prepping well will not only change the amount of food you store, but will also change your life.

Since your goal is to go grocery shopping once a month or less, you will spend less time in the grocery store.  You will waste less money on items you shouldn’t be buying anyway.  You will apply those savings towards your preps.  Your family will eat and be healthier.  You will have peace of mind that if anything should happen, you are ready.

Now that you know how often you shop and how you spend your grocery money, you are ready to move on to food planning.

If you are not in the habit of planning your menus, this would be a good time to start.

Planning menus can be challenging at first, but you can use any number of online menu Even Armstrong had a Menu Prepared.planners or you can purchase a copy of MasterCook for about $20 or MealMaster for free.  We use MasterCook because it has all the capabilities we need, we are not connected with the authors of MasterCook in any way.  We just like it best.  It keeps track of your pantry once you have entered your existing pantry items.  You can create and print your own cookbooks based on your family’s preferences and needs.  It will also keep track of pricing and dietary statistics.  When you plan a meal you will know how many calories, grams of carbohydrates, fat and other important dietary information.

Knowing this information is important because you need to know how well nourished your family will be on a diet of your preps if SHTF.  If you are including too many calories during a time when they are going to be sedentary, they will gain too much weight.  If you don’t include enough calories during a time when they will be working harder than normal, they won’t have enough energy.  It can be difficult to prepare for both scenarios, but we will tackle that at another time.

See you next time in the “Getting Prepared:  A Primer for Beginners Series”.

Herbal Cures

When it comes to herbal cures, one of the most difficult things is to know is what is safe and what isn’t.

For centuries natural remedies were the only things available. Unfortunately, in many cultures the person who held that knowledge was also the local witch, sorcerer, or other term.  In today’s culture those terms don’t make you feel confident when it comes to getting “cures” from them.

Centuries later, pharmaceutical companies went on a rampage to stomp out any confidence people had in natural remedies.   This caused the western world to forget what was known for centuries, only leaving traces of it in Asian countries.  Once that was accomplished they went about their business of making more and more pills with higher and higher prices until life saving medicines are the most expensive.

Herbal  Garden Plot

If you don’t really “need” it the product is cheap and over the counter.  If you can’t live without it, more than likely, it is expensive.

 

What happens if SHTF?  If you aren’t stocked up on prescription medicines, that could be a problem if you have someone in your group who needs them.  Unfortunately, the medicines are so expensive that the average person can’t afford to stock up on asthma or heart medicines.  I went to fill a prescription for my grand-daughter when she had RSV.  The medicine was over $400 for a ten day course of medication.  She had to have it or she was going to die.  It was that simple.

Some people think if SHTF they will be living in closed communities of like-minded people.  What if that isn’t the case?  What if someone comes to your group and brings an infection with them?

Could you turn away your favorite cousin, and her family, from the next state over after they traveled at great risk to get there?

They looked healthy when they came.  As a matter of fact they were healthy.  They brought their own brand of bugs with them.  Now what are you going to do?  You will do what every one else will do.  You will turn to herbal medicines and clean washing practices to limit the infections and help people to recover quickly.

Alexa is going to be posting in the forums about herbal medicines and information available about various herbs and their uses, safety and effectiveness.  Please welcome Alexa.

[subscribe2]

Getting Prepared: A Primer for Beginners Series, part 7

Welcome back to part 7 of our little primer.  Today we are looking at all that stuff you found in the garage.  Did you find plenty of scraps?  How about all sorts of screws, nuts and bolts?  Nails galore?  Did you get them all sorted for purpose and size?  You didn’t throw away those scraps of wood did you?  I hope you sorted them into containers according to size and type of wood.  Even the tiniest pieces of wood can be used to repair some hole in the wall.

The hardwoods are great for furniture making, wood smoke for cooking, and boat building.  Softwoods are great for indoor applications because many are susceptible to bugs and rot.  Cedar, which is a softwood, is suitable for outdoor and indoor use since it has a natural chemical compound that repels bugs and mold while still being pleasing to humans.

If you throw some cedar chips in with your wood it will help protect it from bugs and help your wood supply last longer.  Oh, and throw some cedar chips in with the stash of fabric too.

Once you know what kinds of wood you have and how much you have, decide if you think you have enough to meet your needs should TSHTF.  That means do you have enough to board up your house in a hurricane?  How about to board up windows that broke in a hail storm?  If a tornado dropped a chunk of a tree on your roof, would you have enough lumber on hand to cover the hole until repairs could be made?  You can bet there will most likely be a list of people ahead of you if you plan to use a roofing company.

It’s time to evaluate the hardware you sorted into cans of all sizes, or boxes and tins.  Consider if you have enough nails to completely nail the amount of wood you have if you were to be placing nails every four inches apart.  Do you have the right screws if you have to replace flooring or decking?

Come back for part 8!

Happy prepping![subscribe2]