A Plague on All Houses

Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,

This week’s must-read articles run the gamut from low-tech ways to keep cool to preparing for a biological disaster to the dangers of home canning — and more.

Let’s take a look.

1. Why You Need to Prepare for the Coming Biological Disaster Today

No. 17 on Sheepdog Man’s “Big List of Nasty Disasters” is preparing for a biological disaster. This piece address both the possibility of a pandemic caused by a disease outbreak as well as the likelihood of a bioterror attack. Frankly, either option is terrifying.

I like these guys — they’re thorough. This post talks about preparing for secondary effects like mass panic, limiting of freedoms, even economic collapse. They also review how to create and seal a safe haven in your home, four ways to stay informed and up-to-date and the best respirator to protect you from biological agents.

2. 17 Tips for Staying Cool When It’s Hotter Than Hell Outside

August is upon us and temperatures across the United States are rising.

On the list of modern conveniences we take for granted, air conditioning is pretty close to the top. But it wasn’t all that long ago when people had to come up with other ways of keeping cool.

Take a look at this post by Lisa Bedford, the Survival Mom. In it, she runs down 17 secrets to survive the heat. She also recaps the symptoms of heat stroke — which is definitely something you want to watch out for in warm weather.

3. Power Firms Alerted on Hack Attack Scenarios

Ukraine’s power grids have been hit multiple times, resulting in loss of power for hundreds of people, and now researchers are working to get the word out to the rest of the world.

No country is immune to this type of attack. In fact, says the BBC, paraphrasing Robert M. Lee of Dragos Security, “Power generation firms and grid operators in Europe, Asia and the Middle East [are] ‘immediately’ at risk from the type of attack seen in Ukraine… U.S. power firms [are] safer because they generally use different hardware.”

However, “safer” doesn’t mean “safe.” If you lose power for several days or, God forbid, weeks, how will you fare? Do you have food and water storage to last until the lights come back on? Do you have a generator to power the basic necessities in your home? Do you have a bug-out bag and an escape plan ready in case people lose their cool and you need to evacuate?

If not, now’s the time to prepare, because the risk is real.

4. This New “Secret Weapon” Can Keep You Safer Than Any Gun

It’s not a tactical pen, billy club flashlight or the indestructible NOC Knife…

But it can make would-be criminals flee in confusion, send rapists running for the hills and trick thieves into stealing worthless junk. Not only that, but this weapon has the power to instantly turn any bad guy into an obedient personal servant.

Don’t believe me? See for yourself by clicking on the link above.

5. Botulism — Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Tips for Safe Home Canning

If you have an especially bountiful garden, canning is a great way to enhance your emergency food stores. Botulism — or botulism poisoning — is a potential (although rare) risk that comes with canning, because canning provides the Clostridium botulinum bacteria the perfect place to grow.

To minimize this danger, check out the article above from Common Sense Homesteading. It explains how botulism is transmitted (including whether it can be spread person to person), what symptoms to look for and how to prevent the bacteria from forming in home-canned foods.

Check it out. And until next time…

Stay safe,

Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson

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