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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Biological Hazards

iStock_handswithsoap

(Source – CDC and Ready.gov)

Biological agents are organisms or toxins that can kill or incapacitate people, livestock and crops. A biological attack is the deliberate release of germs or other biological substances that can make you sick. However, in nature there are many items that can prove to be harmful and in some cases these can be seeded by terrorists.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Various strains of Influenza
  • Cholera
  • Typhus
  • Yellow Fever
  • Measles
  • Chicken Pox
  • Ebola

Actions to Take:

  • Take vaccinations that may be offered. If you are unsure as to your status check with your doctor to ensure all required or suggested immunizations are up to date. Children and older adults are particularly vulnerable to biological agents.
  • At all times one should maintain a high level of personal hygiene. This is especially critical before, during, or following a biological attack. Wash hands frequently, shower, clean surfaces using sanitary wipes, be aware of your surroundings and distance yourself from individuals coughing, sneezing, or secreting other bodily fluids.
  • Avoid large and small animals such as mice and wildlife, insects (mosquitoes, ticks, etc.), birds, especially bats, and unknown domestic pets (cats and dogs, etc.).
  • If you believe you have been exposed to a biological agent, take off and bag your clothes and other personal items. Wash, wear a facemask, or if not available, make a mask out of two or three layers of material.
  • Most biological agents can be filtered using home HEPA (High Efficiency, Particulate Air) filters in the air intakes. These filters are capable of filtering most biological agents that are typically larger than 3 microns.
  • In a declared biological emergency or developing epidemic, there may be reason to stay away from crowds where others may be infected.
  • Since biological agents and diseases exhibit varying incubation periods, usually measured in days or even weeks, biological agent attacks are not as noticeable initially. The more serious phases of the disease will occur several days after the disease has been contracted.
  • It is important that you only seek medical attention when you are certain you are ill. It is likely that the medical care system will be overwhelmed and the “worried well” will exacerbate that problem if they seek care when they do not need it. Your local medical experts will inform you of the symptoms that indicate you may be ill. Many symptoms do overlap, so ensure you don’t seek care until you need it.

Benefits of a Rocket Stove

simple rocket stove

(Illustration of the Rocket Stove concept)

Practical Emergency Cooking Methods

By Sid Ogden – TACDA Advisory Board Member

 

Major disasters almost always result in loss of power, which could extend to many days or even weeks.  Heating our homes and cooking becomes a challenge.  Refrigerated and frozen foods need to be consumed or lost.  Unprocessed foods need to be prepared and cooked.  Fuel will be scarce.  We will be forced to capture heat from any source possible.

Rocket Stoves offer a great advantage during times of crisis.  Cooking on a rocket stove occurs at the top of the chimney, where the fire is hottest, instead of at the bottom of the chimney over an open fire.

Rocket stoves provide controlled use of fuel, complete combustion of volatiles, and efficient use of the resultant heat.  They have become popular in many third-world countries for heating homes, cooking and boiling water.

The main components are:

  • Fuel magazine: Horizontal area where unburned fuel is placed. The fuel is pushed horizontally, through a small door near the bottom of the stove.
  • Combustion chamber: The area at the end of the magazine where the fuel is burned.
  • Chimney: A vertical area above the combustion chamber, which provides the updraft needed to maintain a hot fire.
  • Heat exchanger: The heat from the chimney is transferred to either a pot for cooking, or to a conductive reflector for heating a room.

The fuel magazine can be horizontal where additional fuel will be added manually, or the fuel can be added from above, through another door in the chimney.  As the fuel burns within the combustion chamber, convection draws new air into the combustion chamber from the door below, ensuring that any smoke from smoldering wood near to the fire is also drawn into the fire and up the chimney. The chimney can be insulated to maximize the temperature and improve combustion.   This will increase the efficiency of the stove by two percent or more.

The design of the stove allows it to operate on small diameter sticks and takes about half as much fuel as a traditional open fire.

 

Learn more about this amazing stove, as well as other cooking and heating sources by visiting the internet web site: http://www.aprovecho.org.  From there, go to “Publication & Media”, then to “Publications”, and then to “Capturing Heat”.  If you want to build your own stove, check out the Youtube info on “Capturing Heat” by Dean Still & Jim Kness .  We suggest that you study the site, and make a copy of the information.

(Rocket Stoves can be purchased commercially.  Sid recommends the site http://www.stovetec.net.)