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Straight Talk About Flint And America’s Crumbling Water Infrastructure

flint

By Aton Edwards, I.P.N. Executive Director

I’m writing this piece for the good folks in Flint, Michigan who are currently caught up in one of the worst acts of governmental malfeasance, incompetency and neglect that I’ve ever witnessed in my life.   It reminds me of a similar incident back in 1976 in a place called the Love Canal in Niagara Falls where the Hooker Chemical company buried over 22,000 tons of toxic waste that poisoned the water and the land in the area.  It was called a “national symbol of a failure to exercise a sense of concern for future generations” — words that perfectly match the horrific situation in Flint today.

22 May 1980, Niagara Falls, New York State, USA --- Original caption: Clean up efforts have started in the Love Canal. Signs have been posted all over the area with a special warning to all residents to KEEP OUT. Most of the residents have taken that advice and have moved to Motels following a press statement yesterday in Washington. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

22 May 1980, Niagara Falls, New York State, USA — Original caption: Clean up efforts have started in the Love Canal. Signs have been posted all over the area with a special warning to all residents to KEEP OUT. Most of the residents have taken that advice and have moved to Motels following a press statement yesterday in Washington. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

It’s said that over 20,000 children have been unnecessarily exposed  to high levels of lead due to a series of completely irresponsible, ridiculous decisions on the part of the Governor of Michigan Rick Snyder and other elected officials who didn’t care enough to take a moment to consider that the choice they made would be nothing less than a devastating sentence to thousands of people who will over time develop debilitating illnesses that will last for their lifetimes.

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Governor Rick Snyder

Lead poisoning can cause a number of serious health issues.  This is especially true for people who were exposed to high levels for long periods and children.   It can stunt growth, damage the central nervous system and brain development, intellectual capacity, and behavior.  It can also produce seizures, damage the kidneys and other serious ailments.  A few people who were exposed to low levels can reverse some of these effects with proper treatment, but most will carry this scar for the rest of their lives — all because the Governor that they elected to protect their health, safety and welfare just didn’t in the immortal words of Rhett Butler from Gone With The Wind “give a damn.”

lead-poisoning1

Sadly, the people of Flint will never be allowed to forget his decision for the rest of their natural lives.   I believe of for this outright betrayal of trust, he should be removed from office and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

I don’t know if this will ever occur, but I am certain of one thing.  They need and deserve more immediate solutions to their situation.  Replacing a tainted water supply with bottled water only offers a temporary solution to a long-term problem.

bottled water

Thanks to donations by vibesearch.com, Vegans delight & noego.com, I’ve been able to work on a operational plan that will offer the citizens of Flint more practical methods that can satisfy their daily water consumption needs and when you study the numbers, it’s more than you may think.

For example, the US Geological Survey says, an average person consumes up to 123 gallons of water per day by: 1. showering, 15-30 gallons, (57-114 liters) 2. brushing teeth, 1-2 gallons (3.75-7.51 liters) 3. dishwashing, 20 gallons (75 liters) 4. toilet flushing 5-7 gallons (19-26 liters)  This can be reduced a bit but even if it is, there really isn’t any way for an individual or family to collect that much bottled water on a daily basis.

Only a very specific and specialized water safety/distribution/storage plan can provide the residents with what they need.   I’ll be traveling to Flint, to meet the people and officials that can help to make this happen.    We’ll also present a special forum called Ready-UP! Flint! Get The Lead Out! hosted by Michigan native R&B artist Davina.

flintgettheleadout

Davina will be joined by other notables, celebrities and experts who will educate and inform all in attendance with information they can use to help them endure this crisis.

This production will be followed by a special emergency preparedness training session for volunteers that can function as water safety officers.  It will be streamed live.

If you’d like to support us in this effort, please contact me directly @ bsirius@readyforanything.org!

Flint is receiving lots of attention right now, but I can assure you that it is barely the tip of the iceberg.  As this story grows, you’ll learn how widespread this problem is.  Our water infrastructure is on the verge of a major collapse that would cost upwards of 1 trillion dollars to repair.

Given the way the American political system has operated over the last few years, I’m sure you can recognize that these repairs won’t be happening anytime soon.   So, we must begin to take the steps necessary to protect ourselves.

Our health depends upon this.

Thank you,

 

 

 

 

2016 IS HERE! ARE YOU PREPARED?

2016By Aton Edwards, I.P.N. Executive Director

It’s 11:25 PM, Thursday, Dec 31, 2015.  The year is almost over and a new year is about to begin – but we’re still reeling from what it had to offer in the way of disasters; and from the looks of things so far, 2016 looks like it may give last year a run for the money – and then some!

For example, right this minute, in the USA, over 12 million people in Missouri and Illinois are struggling to avoid floodwaters that are pouring over levees and destroying their homes, farms and damaging their towns.

Highways have been closed and travel to certain areas has been restricted. Water treatment facilities have also been damaged.

Raw sewage and other toxic materials are mixed into the floodwaters rendering it contaminated and undrinkable.   Bottled water is being delivered by FEMA and non-governmental organizations.   21 people have died with more fatalities expected over the coming days. It’s being called a “slow motion disaster.”

Less than a week ago, in the United Kingdom, on December 24th two storms called Eva and Frank combined to produce extreme flooding across Southern England, locations in Wales and Scotland.

At the North Pole, on December 29th temperatures reached 33 degrees F – 40 degrees above the regular temperature.

So far I’ve only mentioned extreme weather related disasters that came at the tail end of 2015. There was also the recent terror attacks in France where 130, died, 368 wounded, in Kenya where 148 were killed, 78 injured – the Ramadan attacks in Tunisia, Somalia, Kuwait, Syria where 443 died, Charlie Hebdo (9 dead) Charleston Church shooting ( 9 dead) Nigeria (200+) and many others across the globe.

There have also been large earthquakes like the one in Nepal that killed over 9,000 and 17 others over 7.0 in magnitude.

The nuclear emergency in Fukushima Japan is still in play and the radioactive debris is still washing up on the US west coast.   In Los Angeles County California, 1300 metric tons of methane gas is leaking into the air 24 hours a day posing a serious health hazard for millions of residents in the area.

There are hundreds of other threats, small and large that all pose a major threat to public health and safety.   I believe that 2016 is the year when many of these threats begin to grow and manifest serious problems that we must be prepared for.

Just wanted to let you know that I.P.N. will be on watch, in effect and ready to help you all get by with practical solutions to any challenges that we will face.

HAVE A HAPPY & SAFE NEW YEAR!

Canadian Inventor Roger Gordon Creates Cutting-Edge Green Gas Manufacturing Appliance For The Home

GreenGasInternet

By Adnan Roy

Canadian inventor Roger Gordon, has created an incredible new device that has the potential to change the way the world views fuel production along with offering a green alternative to fossil fuel that can break the bonds of foreign energy dependency forever.

Roger Gordon, Green Gas Machine Inventor

Roger Gordon, Green Gas Machine Inventor

His invention, the Green Gas Machine produces a substance called NH3 (anhydrous ammonia)  — simply stated, NH3 is ammonia without water.  This natural substance was once used to power trucks, buses and farm equipment. (NH3 powered schoolbus pictured below)

bus

Gordon uses NH3 to power his own truck and equipment at his farm in Canada.

Even the great German engineer Rudolf Diesel inventor of the engine of the same name used ammonia in an experimental engine and saw it as a viable fuel.

Diesel

Gordon’s invention was born from his need of a new and inexpensive method to produce ammonia, a critical component in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals.

He began to research methods on ammonia manufacturing and designed an apparatus in 2009 that could make it in small quantities.  He patented the device and over the next few years worked to refine and improve it with a team of engineers.  In 2012, Gordon’s work paid off.

His invention was theoretically able to produce up to 500 litres per day at a cost of less than $.50 cents per litre.  It was also a relatively small refrigerator sized unit that could easily be stored in a garage, basement or, any well ventilated area and; could be powered by renewable energy power generation systems. (solar, wind)   It requires little maintenance, no technical skill to operate and also has exothermic properties — meaning that it produces Exothermicheat that can be redirected away from the machine and ducted to heat a home during the cold winter months.      Gordon also realized that if used en masse, by the general public, his Green Gas Machine could not only decentralize fuel production by converting consumers into producers, but also help to diminish the effects of climate change by scaling back the use of fossil fuels.

Nepal Devastated By Earthquake, Thousands Dead And Injured.

Nepal Earthquake

Nepal Earthquake

By Aton Edwards, I.P.N. Executive Director

A 7.9 earthquake rocked Nepal on Saturday, April 25.  The death toll on Monday April 27th is nearly 4,000 and is rapidly rising.  Thousands have been injured and forced from their homes seeking shelter.   Powerful aftershocks have also hit the area, weakening unstable structures and frightening tens of thousands that have been forced from their homes to seek safe areas where they will not fall victim to falling debris, fires and other hazards manifested by the powerful quake.

Nepal Earthquake, Photo From Kuwaiti News

Nepal Earthquake Image: Photo From Kuwaiti News

The area is in desperate need of first aid supplies, antibiotics, pain medications, water purification equipment, generators, emergency shelters of all types and much more.   Ironically, one day before the earthquake, I was included in a discussion about emergency shelter at the Women In The World summit in NYC where architect Tina Hovsepian had her folding emergency shelter called Cardborigami on display.

 

This simple and ingenious shelter could provide relief for many thousands of the earthquake victims … if it were available today.  It needs to be mass produced immediately so that it can be available for the next similar tragedy that I must point out — can happen at anytime, anywhere.  

Cardborigami Shelter with  inventor Tina Hovsepian

Cardborigami Shelter with inventor Tina Hovsepian

In the meantime, Nepal needs your help right now!  Please check through the links below to connect with reputable organizations and agencies on the ground that need your help right now!

SHIKSHYA FOUNDATION NEPAL

https://www.crowdrise.com/nepalearthquakefund

ACTION AID USA

http://www.actionaidusa.org/

CARE

https://my.care.org/site/Donation2;jsessionid=CBA258A47FAB9494C2F3DD4B9894C32C.app330a?18840.donation=form1&df_id=18840

SAVE THE CHILDREN

https://secure.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.9274575/k.FD90/Nepal_Earthquake_Childrens_Relief_Fund/apps/ka/sd/donor.asp

SAMARITANS PURSE

http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/deadly-earthquake-in-nepal/#donateBottom

SHELTER BOX

http://www.shelterboxusa.org/news_global.php?id=1348

WORLDVISION

http://www.worldvision.org/news-stories-videos/nepal-earthquake

More info to be posted soon.  Please check for updates.

I.P.N. Develops the Ready-UP! Ikhaya-Eco Human Emergency Shelter Initiative To Help Combat Homelessness

The Ikhaya-Eco Program

The Ikhaya-Eco Program

By Aton Edwards, I.P.N. Executive Director

Shelter.  Most of us who have it never even give it a second thought — until we find ourselves without it; like after an earthquake, tornado, hurricane/cyclone, structural fire or, human-made disasters such as war.

Rhythm And Blues Artist Davina Bussey “SoulPreppa”

soulpreppaz5
By Aton Edwards, I.P.N. Executive Director

Over the years, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to work with some wonderful folk from the entertainment industry that have been supportive in helping to spread our message of disaster preparedness/response & sustainable living.  Of all that I have met and known, Davina Bussey stands out as one of the biggest talents.  She is also a longtime preparedness advocate and practitioner who has been a member of I.P.N. since the late 90’s well before the global prepping craze began.

8 Plausible Reasons to Rethink About Your Survival Strategy During Holidays

HolidayDisasters

By Jona Jone

Last holiday season, everyone  shared smiles, laughter, love and warmth. We expected hearty greetings and warm welcomes holidayfrom our friends and relatives; it’s hard to expect anything would go wrong.

Ibogaine, The Ultimate Preparedness Tool For Substance Abusers.

Ibogaine_2 copy

By Aton Edwards,  I.P.N. Executive Director

Let me begin by wishing you all a Happy New Year.  There are many difficult challenges ahead and I hope you can meet them safe, healthy and of course … prepared.

Ready-UP! Returns At The New York Comicon, October 12, 2014

ZombieApocAton2

By Aton Edwards, I.P.N. Executive Director

Ready-UP! the program is back!

We’re kicking off our next phase of Ready-UP! activity at our most exciting location yet – The upcoming New York City Comicon! 

ReadyUP!

The original team Ready-UP! will be featured – along with a few new additions …

ReadyUpCroppedAmerica

Original Ready-UP! America team, L to R: Anthony “King Simon” Brown, Eisuke Ishimuro, Aton Edwards, R.J. Cote, Margaret Ling

In this go round, some of Ready-UP! is a family affair!  be joined by my son, Amen Shepsu Adio, creator of the Gaming Reigns website, and my Fiancee, Hypnotherapist Kendell Cobb.

Aton_Family

Also included in the presentation will be Aimee German, Preparedness Expert Barry Crumbley, and more!

The Ready-UP! program will also continue to not only present the public with all the best cutting edge information about disaster preparedness, but also the best preparedness gear!   Once again, we’ll have LifeGear products on display – including the Go Bags featured on the Katie Couric Show in May.

Aton_Katie_1

More LifeGear equipment will be on display, including lightsticks, flashlights and other products.

LifeGearProd

 

LifeGear is becoming the “one stop” company for high quality and durable preparedness gear!

Arguably, the multi-tool is the most important item you can have in your Go-Bag, pocket or belt.  Leatherman makes the best multi-tools in the world!    Leatherman is the official multi-tool of our Ready-UP! program and we will be featuring a variety of selections during our panel discussion.

leatherman_logo

Leatherman-MUT-Tactical-Multi-Tool-1

Leatherman MUT (Military Utility Tool)

A few lucky people who attend will receive a Leatherman multi-tool, or T-shirt.  All who attend will receive cutting edge information about how to prepare for any disaster imaginable ranging from the Zombie Apocalypse to  something far more disturbing and real … the current Ebola outbreak.

People are in need of accurate information that they can use to understand the disease, and if they are unfortunate enough to ever come near or in contact with it, what they can do to protect themselves.

 

Finally, the Ready-UP! program is not only about educating communities for disasters, it is also dedicated to calling attention to outstanding organizations and individuals across the nation who work to help prepare their communities for disasters and emergencies and teaching people on how to live sustainably and protect the Earth.

We will continue our mission to help inform our supporters of their fine work and direct them to the channels they can help them continue it either by contributing or volunteering.

I’m looking forward to meeting all who attend our panel and thrilled to participate in the event!

See you there!

 

 

What You Must Know About Ebola – The Plain Facts

EBOLABanner2

By Aton (“The Old Man”) Edwards,   I.P.N. Executive Director

Howdy folks,  I feel that it’s time to speak with you about a major situation that I know you’ve been hearing quite a bit about over the past few days –

The Ebola virus outbreak in Africa.

As it stands right now,  it shows no signs of slowing down and the heath care infrastructures assigned to contain it are completely overwhelmed.  With these conditions it is safe to assume that that the situation will worsen before it improves and the body count – close to 1000 on August 6th – will continue to rise – as will the number of infected individuals. 

It’s also reasonable to assume that some of the people living in the hardest hit areas will do whatever they can to  get as far away from the “hot zones” as possible.   Many will cross borders into neighboring countries.   Others with the resources to do it will leave the continent altogether and head for Europe or the USA.

I’m sure a few already have.

At this point, I’d say that the probability is high that Ebola will be moving out of Africa  onto other locations around the world.

We’ve got a major situation on our hands that can rapidly grow beyond our ability to control it. 

Laurie Garrett, Senior Global Health Fellow for the Council Of Foreign Relations and author of the Coming Plague recently stated that the outbreak is officially “out of control,” that we are in a perfect storm and, that there is no strategic plan for how this epidemic will be brought under control.

The WHO (World Health Organization) is currently holding special meetings to determine if the African outbreak is an international threat.  Holding meetings is about all the WHO can do as it is too financially strapped to provide any real assistance.  Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) a volunteer organization has over 500 doctors and other health care experts working in the hot zones – but they are strained well beyond their limits.

We’ve reached a tipping point of a potentially catastrophic situation and the public is in need of accurate information  that they can use to  allay fears, separate fact from fiction, and, also the wild conspiracy theories that are currently sprouting up everywhere on the internet.

So – I’ve decided to write the following  “what you must know” piece about Ebola that you can use to inform and, if necessary (hopefully not) protect yourself if there is an outbreak in the US.  It’s not likely,  but in today’s world, anything is possible, and it is better to be safe than sorry.

Let’s begin with the obvious. 

1. What is Ebola?

It’s a negative strain RNA virus first identified in 1976.  

2. How is it spread and what are the symptoms? It’s spread through direct contact with a person who is infected with it and manifesting symptoms.  By direct I mean you’d need to be exposed to either their sweat, blood, urine, feces, mucus, saliva – or semen to get it.  It’s important to note that although the CDC , WHO  and other similar entities and virologists say that it is not transmittable by air (pneumonic) like a respiratory disease, you must also recognize that they are speaking conservatively

For example, if you found yourself sitting next to someone infected with the disease who sneezed in your direction, or perhaps touched you with a sweaty hand, you could contract the illness.

If you are infected with Ebola it can take from two to three days or up to three weeks to manifest symptoms.

Ebola_Graphic

Here’s another scary fact.  

Ever heard of a FOMITE?  if you aren’t a MD, Nurse or other medical professional, you probably haven’t. 

fomiteBasically a fomite is a an object or surface where the virus could be deposited and transferred.  It could be a escalator railing, subway pole, elevator button or doorknob.  Could even be a necktie.  Anything the virus can hitch a ride and hang out on will do.   If someone who is manifesting symptoms comes in contact with a surface you touch — and — they leave a little “deposit” of their bodily fluids – you run the risk of contracting the disease if you touch it.  There isn’t lots of data available about how long Ebola can survive outside of a host,  but even if it was only 24 hours, in a high traffic area, that would be very bad.  Especially in large cities where the population is dense and fomites are everywhere.

3. Can it be stopped from spreading?  Yes it can.   Anyone who manifests symptoms  must be isolated and tested.  In addition, everyone that they have come in contact with when they first fell ill must also be quarantined.   If you KNOW that you may have been exposed to someone with Ebola, you need to closely monitor your temperature during the Ebola incubation phase – about three times a day for 21 days to be safe.  If you manifest symptoms, don’t travel – call  911 and inform the dispatcher you may have Ebola.

4. Can it be treated? Outside of standard medical care that treats the severe illness that a hemorrhagic virus produces, there is currently no “magic bullet” drug or therapy that can treat Ebola.   There is an experimental drug called Zmapp made from tobacco plants and monoclonal antibodies taken from mice exposed to the virus that shows some promise.   The two US citizens Nancy Writebol and Dr.Kent Brantley who received the first dose administered to humans are recovering but the verdict is still out on the drugs safety.

5. What is going on in Africa?  First of all, this crisis didn’t start yesterday. It’s been about 5 1/2 months since the first death appeared  in Guinea and spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria,  and almost certainly other areas in Africa. It’s spreading rapidly due to a number of factors – poverty, lack of adequate health care, ignorance of the people about how the disease can be contracted, poor governance, bad information, etc.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this piece,  the countries that have been hit the hardest are completely overwhelmed by the outbreak.   They are nowhere near containing it as they don’t have the resources.  Many of the healthcare professionals don’t even have personal protective equipment (PPE’s) such as gloves, masks.  It is truly a grave situation that will continue to worsen unless the resources to help contain it are immediately shipped to the areas. 

The World Bank has pledged to donate $200 million dollars.

It will help, but the funds won’t arrive in time to purchase the PPE’s and other materials needed  to stop the disease from spreading further.

6.  Is this some sort of deliberate attack?  In a word … no.   This outbreak is the result of poor resources combined with distrust of the local and foreign health care professionals, burial rituals that expose people to the contagion etc.  There are actually militarized versions of Ebola, and even its ugly cousin Marburg but believe me, this isn’t one of those.  So you can turn down your conspiracy theory meters. Save ’em for the real thing.

7. How bad can this get? So far it’s killed nearly 1000 and is spreading like wildfire.   If it isn’t contained and controlled soon, the possibility exists for it to become much worse – especially if it mutates into a new strain as viruses tend do everything they can do to survive … including change into something more resilient.   It also depends on just how fast it can spread. One way to measure this is to determine its basic reproduction rate or “r naught” (Ro) factor

Simply stated – in laypersons terms:

“an r naught (R0) is basically the average number of people that one sick person infected with a disease will spread it to other people while the disease is still communicable.

The higher the value of the r naught factor, the harder it is to contain. 

The Ro factor hasn’t yet been calculated for this outbreak but it’s estimated that it’s high – but not as nearly as high as measles — because it isn’t pneumonic.   Yet.   If Ebola mutates into something airborne, better start making your peace with the universe because it will spread like a fire in a gasoline rainstorm  and in about a month or less, it would be everywhere.  The only people standing after that would be the ones with natural immunity or resistance.  

Then they’d have “Randall Flagg” to deal with at that point (anyone who’s read the Stand knows what I mean)

8.  How Do I Protect Myself From Ebola?  It’s not pneumonic … yet, so it’s easy to guard yourself.  You can’t get it unless you come into direct contact with an infected persons bodily secretions.  If you know someone who has it – if you don’t have personal protective equipment, keep a safe distance away.  Don’t touch their bedsheets, clothing or anything else that may have their bodily fluids on it.   In the meantime … wash your hands with regular soap – don’t use antibacterial as it can dry out the skin.  Keep your skin moisturized to prevent it from cracking.  Little microscopic tears in the skin provide the virus with a pathway to enter your body.

9. Should you be worried?  No, not worried but definitely concerned.  Without a major mutation in the disease that makes it more communicable, even if it does reach the US or any of the industrialized nations, they will be able to contain and control it. 

What I do believe you should all be doing is  …

learn from this situation and realize that it is your wake-up call.  

Sooner or later we will experience a pandemic.  

Something at least as big as the 1918 Spanish Flu that killed 675,000 Americans & maybe up to 50 million world wide. Adjusted to our population today, that would kill 3-5 million Americans -150 million worldwide.  –

Or, we could possibly experience something on the scale of the Black Death from 1346-53 that killed up to 50% of the European population and about 1/6 of the world.   Whatever it is, the time is now to take the precautionary measures that will help you to survive a pandemic.

Stock up on food – the more you have the better off you are.  Having the ability to hunker down is one of the most important survival tasks during a pandemic.

Stay informed – make certain to have a battery free hand crank/solar radio that you can use to constantly monitor the news reports.

Stock up on materials and supplies – make sure to have all that you need to survive a protracted emergency.

There you go Good luck to you and I hope this info helps.