I.P.N. Develops the Ready-UP! Ikhaya-Eco Human Emergency Shelter Initiative To Help Combat Homelessness
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.
In 2014, the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) stated that for the first time since WWII, their are over 50 million people who have been forced out of their homes by various conflicts around the world. Half are children … often times orphans who have lost their parents to violence or, most recently in West Africa the Ebola virus.
Refugees aren’t limited to developing countries. The US may be the world’s wealthiest nation, but it also has a population of it’s own refugees — not displaced by war, but economics. According to a 2012 HUD (Housing and Urban Development) study there are nearly 700,000 homeless Americans and nearly 4 million experience homelessness for short periods each year.
Some of the hardest hit are women, children, veterans, the sick, the elderly, the mentally ill and, the working poor. These are people who work regular jobs, but don’t make enough to maintain an apartment or a home. Often times, they are forced to live on the streets, in cars or, anywhere else they can protect themselves from the elements.
The number of homeless in America increases yearly despite the fact that according to the human rights group Amnesty international, the amount of vacant houses in the US outnumbers the homeless population by five times.
The plain fact is, for whatever the reason, homelessness is a growing problem that over time will become much worse. A major natural or technological disaster, economic volatility, conflict and the rapidly shifting climatological changes manifested by global warming will very soon produce even more homeless, straining a system that is already at the breaking point.
There is a desperate and immediate need for many different types of emergency shelters, temporary and permanent. It must be:
1. Simple to construct and breakdown – preferably without tools and rapidly (for mini shelters — less than 1 hour). Check out a few great examples posted below.
2. Inexpensive. This is an extremely important factor. Especially for permanent shelter (home) construction. People who are homeless typically do not have the financial resources to purchase an emergency shelter or home of any type. If it isn’t low priced or what we call ULC (ultra low cost), they won’t be able to purchase it.
One of the best and most practical permanent home designs is the Eco-Dome created by the late architect, author, humanitarian, Nadir Khalili innovator of the Geltaftan Earth-and-Fire system known as Ceramic Houses, and of the Superadobe construction system.
3. Durable and extremely weather resistant. A tent can offer some shelter from the elements, but it is difficult to insulate and easily torn. A portable hard shell emergency shelter can provide users with more protection from the elements.
4. Portable. The best types of emergency “hard-shell” shelters are the types that can be easily transported. Such as the Room-Room shelter pictured below.
The Life Cube shelter for disaster response is also a great option.
5. Locally Available — If you are at the point where emergency shelter is needed — it is needed immediately and not 2 days or two weeks later when it is shipped from a manufacturing plant. It is extremely important that emergency shelters are readily available for all who need them. This is why it is best that they are manufactured locally where shipping or delivery time is minimal. Local manufacturing also cuts down the price as shipping costs much less, if necessary at all.
6. Sustainable – It is extremely important for emergency shelters to protect not only the people who use it but also, the Earth where it rests.
There are many other critical aspects about emergency shelter that I could mention, but in the final analysis, the most important point is that public awareness about the need for emergency shelters, along with information about the different types available, and how to create your own must be raised!
I’m hoping that our Ready-UP! Ikhaya-Eco Human Shelter Initiative will help to expedite this process. To begin, I’ll be posting articles and videos about emergency shelter here on our website — and, on our growing FB page. I’ll even Tweet about some developments … occasionally. (I’m not the most prolific Tweeter)
You’ll be hearing me speak about Ikhaya-Eco in the media too. Finally, I’ll also be conducting online classes, and in some cases, live workshops in the US, Canada and around the world about how to build improvised emergency shelters with off the shelf components and commonly found waste materials. I’ll be joined by Team Ready-UP! and, some of the innovators from around the world that have created the most effective designs.
For those who would like to help us in our effort, we’ll be adding a special section on this website for financial donations.
We need your help to make this project successful and anything that you can spare will make a difference!
We also need donated equipment, materials and other supplies along with volunteers.
One of the most exciting things about this project is that many of our designs will actually be used to provide shelter for the homeless. In cities cross the US, Canada, and eventually across the globe.
The Ikhaya-Eco program will offer the public practical and immediately applicable solutions that will be applied to help defeat the problem of homelessness.
It is up to us to manifest them into reality! Let’s make it happen!
Ikhaya is a Zulu word for home.
It’s time that everyone around the world has a beautiful one — large or small.
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.
Besides being an award winning singer, composer, arranger and recording engineer, she is also an organic gardener, and environmental activist that has infused all of this into her music.
Back in the late spring of 2014, I had a conversation with Davina about how to make preparedness more attractive to the African-American community.
For the most part, we discussed how local and federal programs created to raise awareness and promote disaster preparedness have had little to no effect at all on the public. Literally millions of dollars spent to create advertising campaigns that are clever – but, in reality do nothing other than to employ advertising executives, photographers, graphic artists and models that they use in the ads.
Nobody is really paying attention — and this is especially true in inner city communities. Speaking frankly, the only disasters that most folks who live in these areas are worried about these days are crime, unemployment and, as we have seen most recently with the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases and protests, police brutality.
Sadly, when disasters do strike, it is the residents of these areas that are in the most need of preparedness as they are highly vulnerable to disasters when they strike; due to several factors including their locations. Many live in low lying areas near rivers, lakes and the ocean, old poorly maintained homes, industrial areas etc. Most have no vehicles to escape disasters or, don’t have finances to purchase preparedness gear and supplies. Or gas — if they have a car.
That’s the reality.
Another big reason why the message doesn’t resonate with us is that after Katrina, black folk – and I’d say at this point most Americans have very little (if any) confidence in F.E.M.A. (Federal Emergency Management Agency) despite their efforts to improve themselves. It’s not like F.E.M.A. has helped to dispel these feelings as anyone in the New York City area that suffered from the impact of Hurricane Sandy will tell you. Many are still wrestling with F.E.M.A. for aid and assistance that will almost certainly never come.
In the final analysis, their “urban” outreach programs (urban is a codeword for black, latino) have fallen far short of their mark – to say the least. The C.E.R.T. program (Community Emergency Response Training) has fared a little but better, but not nearly enough to make a significant difference.
Something else is needed to reach this community — and we knew exactly what it is.
Plain and simple … it’s soul.
A standardized and otherwise bland approach won’t work with us.
We may be American by culture and location but the drums of mother Africa still beat in our hearts.
We both agreed that if you’re going to reach black folk with a message, they need to be moved emotionally by it. Even I’m guilty of ignoring this fact. For the most part, when I appear on TV or do radio spots, my approach to the subject has been pretty straightforward and I guess you could say … rather bland. That style is great for a newscaster, but it won’t motivate us to do anything other than either ignoring what I say, or … just switching the channel.
I’ve always known that reaching my folks requires a much different approach — but I just didn’t want to do it! Black folks are accustomed to a far more energetic and soulful style of speaking — the kind you see in a church! I know how to speak like a preacher, but if I tried it on national TV, you could bet that I’d be quickly be escorted to the exit.
Since that option isn’t open to me, the only other pathway to our hearts is music. There is no way to understate its value to us.
Our music has helped us to endure the many struggles we have encountered since our ancestors arrived on these shores.
Davina and I knew that it can play a very critical role in helping to get it across and nothing would work better to reach the masses than hip-hop.
I’ve had this same conversation with many of hip-hop’s most prominent artists and proponents including Chuck-D, Afrika Bambaataa, Ernie Paniccioli and, many others. Jumel Redd Omegga Dillard, an I.P.N. founding member and hip-hop artist who actually wrote a theme for I.P.N. called “The Day The Earth Died” – a song written in 1999 about an attack on the World Trade Center.
I can tell you that Chuck, Bambaataa, Immortal Technique and many others in the industry that I’ve spoken with about the subject feel the same way that Davina and I do about this subject. They know that we need to prepare for disasters, but don’t know exactly how to tackle the subject.
It’s powerful material, but unfortunately, they no longer receive the media attention needed to help spark trends. If Jay-Z, Kanye, or Nicki Minaj dropped a hot song or an album about disaster preparedness, I can guarantee that it would become the next new craze. Flashlights and multi-tools may not replace Air Jordan’s but they would almost certainly become far more popular, and a fashion accessory. They also go well with Timberlands
I know that the community wants the information. It’s really about how it’s delivered and who they get it from.
All that is needed is something that can help light the fuse that will set it all off.
I knew that to begin, We needed to modify the practice into something that would immediately resonate with us. Davina began to brainstorm and create new songs that specifically speak to preparedness and its importance to our community. One of the first is called Ready-UP! featuring OG Smokeahontas.
Davina is also speaking with a number of her peers in the music world to help motivate them to create similar material. I am also speaking with several movers and shakers in the hip-hop industry, radio, film and television about developing related projects.
I’ve also reached out to many of my associate and colleagues within the world of preparedness across the nation to help create a new form of disaster preparedness — called SoulPrepping. In short, SoulPrepping is more holistic than the standard practice. It’s also more of a culture than a practice – just like hip-hop!
SoulPreppaz are individuals that are dedicated to not only preparing themselves for emergencies, but also their churches, schools, businesses & community. Soul Preppaz also practice sustainable living — to help preserve Mother Earth for future generations.
A special emphasis is placed on gardening, such as the Guerilla Gardening pioneer Ron Finley in Los Angeles.
Finley days that “growing your own food is like growing money” and plants gardens all across Los Angeles – alongside highways, in abandoned lots, curb sides or anywhere vegetation can grow. He envisions a world where as he says “gardening is gangsta” and poor communities across the nation can enjoy fresh produce. This is a major principal in SoulPrepping. Work like his and another gardening pioneer, Will Allen of Growing Power
Allen and Growing Power, located in Milwaukee is an agricultural organization dedicated to the development of sustainable community food production systems. SoulPrepping or, “EcoSoular” prepping for renewable energy power generation systems and alternative eco-friendly (green) low cost and disaster resistant homebuilding, along with local and national environmental activism balances off the sustainable living component.
Health and fitness is another major part of SoulPrepping. The African-American community suffers from diabetes, asthma, cancer, hypertension and other diseases that diet and exercise can help to diminish and in some cases completely eliminate.
All SoulPreppaz must conform to a dietary and nutritional protocol that helps to maximize and maintain their health fitness and well being.
Self-defense is a major part of the SoulPreppaz program. America’s inner cities have high crime rates that expose many of the residents to violence. A SoulPreppa must know how to protect themselves and their family from violent crime.
Finally, all SoulPreppaz must strive to become self-reliant! We must learn to as Marcus Garvey once said Do For Self – in fact, all SoulPreppaz are truly “DoForSelfers” who will learn that it will not only prepare them for disasters but also, improve their quality of life.
This is the goal that we have set to achieve for 2015 – to build a national collective of African-American SoulPreppaz who are ready to deal with any disaster or emergency. Take our pledge and join us!
And we will reach out and send you our info!
Stand by for an upcoming interview with me and the artist Davina as we speak about our plans for the SoulPreppaz Society!
“I hereby pledge in the name our blessed ancestors to always be prepared for any disaster and emergency. I vow to develop the skills and acquire the tools that will allow me to protect my family and community”
By Jona Jone
Last holiday season, everyone shared smiles, laughter, love and warmth. We expected hearty greetings and warm welcomes from our friends and relatives; it’s hard to expect anything would go wrong. But just because it’s the holiday season, it doesn’t mean security threats ceases fire. In fact, it’s more important to make sure you are prepared for what we might encounter along the way, while everybody’s lenient. No, we’re not talking about a holiday zombie attack, but we’re not counting that out as well.
Being prepared, whatever season it may be, is very important. Aside from giving yourself the ability to respond appropriately to unwanted scenarios and safeguard your family and others, it also gives you the peace you need to completely enjoy the celebration wherever you are. Here are some more reasons why you should rethink about your survival strategies for holiday season.
Disasters Doesn’t Have Holidays
Not because it’s the holidays, disasters also take a break. They can happen anytime, and if you aren’t prepared, you might get hit hard. A lot of disasters and calamities happen during this season all throughout the globe. The Weather Network recalls calamities that hit the world during the yuletide season including the unexpected white Christmas on Texas, a powerful storm that hit the southern US including about 48 tornadoes, and the Christmas flood that put Oregon underwater. But it’s not only in the United States. Who could possibly forget the Boxing Day tsunami in Indonesia 10 years ago? It’s important to know more holiday survival tips to know what to do in such cases.
It is fun to see your house full of Christmas decorations, socks lined up waiting for Santa Claus, and Christmas tree shining bright. But imagine Santa setting himself on fire with your chimney’s still-burning embers, reindeers crashing through your roof, candles causing fire, and Christmas lights blasting before the New Year’s Eve. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates there are more than 12,000 injuries each year directly related to holiday decorations.
Not All Intruders Are Like Santa
After the fun and exhausting Christmas celebration, everybody just wants a good rest. Well, maybe some of them just don’t have the same schedule. Unwelcomed guests might come in the middle of the night, not to leave gifts, but to take some from you. Burglars always look for an opportunity like this when you are tired, drunk, or just at ease because of the holiday spirit. But if you have a burglar-prevention plan, you can sleep without the worry. If you are planning to leave your house and celebrate elsewhere, make sure to choose the right alarm system for your home that enables you to get alerts remotely such as hardwired or wireless alarm system.
Speaking of intruders, not all of them are after your belongings. Some of them are after you or your family. The celebration, booze and the euphoria can cause people to do things they wouldn’t do if they weren’t drunk, or worse, drugged. These problems might occur inside your property while having a good time with your friends or somebody you do not know might come inside and join the party in a rude way, or even outside where lots of other people are hanging out. Self defense and knowledge about handling the situation properly is a must.
Oh, the Gifts You Would Receive
The gift-giving season can be a lot of fun, especially the receiving part of it. But with all the gifts you would receive, your house can be too cluttered and might interfere with your escape plans, you might lose sight of your emergency kits, and you might have a hard time gathering all the necessary items for unwanted scenarios. You need to plan ahead of time, to avoid the hassle the seemingly harmless gifts can give.
Christmas is Not Just for You
Stores where you can buy necessary items in case of emergencies are most probably closed during the holiday season. Store clerks celebrate Christmas too! Your survival kit must be in good shape before you get hit by a disaster—possibly Godzilla—and be ready for any scenarios. Packing up your Go Bag just makes perfect sense.
For the Love of Our Furry Friends
Have you ever thought of how your pets would feel during this party time? Sure, they’d have more food than they would be able to eat. But other than that, they might not be at ease with all the guests that would visit you and feel threatened and fireworks and other noises stresses them a lot more than humans. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals states that pets, especially our canine pals have a tendency to have fear of noises. This can be caused by genetics or learned fear. Your survival plan should also include our pets and their safety.
Because Zombies, That’s why
Well, as we’ve mentioned, we can’t just rule out the possibility, right? Of course we’re kidding. Zombie Apocalypse is not a threat, and it wouldn’t happen. But what if it does? Being ready for any—yes, any—scenario is what we’re after. Sorry, we just can’t help ourselves from thinking about the zombies.
Before indulging with all the Christmas and New Year celebration, your holiday security plan should be in place. You should have your first aid kits and emergency tools ready, your home security system working, and your mind prepared any time of the year, including the yuletide season. It pays to be prepared, so you can enjoy the festivities at ease.
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.
In 2015, the I.P.N. is committed to presenting the most revolutionary and cutting edge disaster preparedness/response/self-reliance/sustainable living concepts and ideas that cover the broadest spectrum in each discipline. The following story features one of the most incredible!
Over two decades ago, my friend Dana Beal, one of the original Yippie! activists introduced me to Ibogaine, an amazing alkaloid drawn from Tabernathe Iboga, a plant found in the African rainforest. When Ibogaine is taken in a medicinal form in small doses, it can arrest the craving for a broad spectrum of drugs including,
It’s anti-addictive properties were accidentally discovered by Howard Lotsof back in the early 60′s, when he was experimenting with drugs and developed a heroin habit that he couldn’t kick. While searching for a new high, a chemist friend who also frequently “turned on” with psychedelics offered him a mysterious white powder, that he proclaimed would induce a “thirty-six hour trip.” He was curious and tried it, not knowing that the bitter tasting powder was once used by the US government’s MK-ULTRA (Project Bluebird) mind control program on groups of black ex-opiate addicts.
The experiment was conducted by Dr. Harris Isbell at the Federal Narcotics Hospital Of Lexington
Kentucky (of course — the CIA doesn’t confirm or deny that they did this) Almost immediately after taking Ibogaine, Lotsof lost his craving for heroin. He even felt emotionally transformed and invigorated. He began to search for more and for subjects to test it on, informally creating the first Ibogaine trials. Over the years, Lotsof conducted extensive scientific research into Ibogaine and, was awarded a patent for narcotic addiction in 1985 and poly-drug dependency in 1992.
On December 12, 1980, Beal teamed up with Lotsof to help inform the world about the curative and healing aspects of Ibogaine and to develop a program to help treat addicts around the world. Howard Lotsof died of liver cancer in 2010, but Dana has been relentless in his quest to make Ibogaine treatments available to all who need them.
A few years ago, I began to consider the possibilities of Ibogaine being used as an emergency treatment for hardcore opiate/cocaine/crack addicts and alcoholics before and – after large scale disasters — when methadone’s availability is sparse or non-existent and other addiction treatments aren’t readily available. The stress produced by large disasters of any type can also provoke former substance abusers to relapse. It’s a major problem that is almost never discussed in the context of disaster preparedness, response and recovery. I knew that it needed to be — so, I began to explore many different types of available therapeutic options but, in the end, nothing even came close to Ibogaine.
In the fall of 2014, I had a telephone conversation with another friend, Dimitri Mobengo Mugianis, a drug policy activist who shared some of his ideas about the subject with me. He had extensive experience with Ibogaine as he was once a substance abuser with a habit that it helped him kick. His experience with Ibogaine was so profound that not only did it break his cycle of abuse, he was inspired by, or perhaps compelled to learn more about it and traveled to Gabon, an African nation where Ibogaine is used in a religion called Bwiti and where he eventually became a Bwiti healer — called an “N’ganga.
Mobengo was extremely concerned that this ignored segment of our nation’s population will be shattered when a large-scale disaster strikes leaving an already compromised community completely devastated. He was right. It would be an absolute catastrophe and we both knew that something must be done to immediately deal with this looming crisis. We agreed to work together to develop some practical concepts that could help to significantly diminish this threat. Right after we ended our conversation, I knew that Ibogaine would be at the top of our list of ideas.
The problem is, we also knew that it isn’t legal to use in the USA. Canada, Mexico, Norway, the UK and several other countries allow it, but that doesn’t help Americans with drug habits. Legalization is the only way it can be used as a widespread therapy in the U.S. That process begins with an FDA trial.
Once it receives their approval, Ibogaine could be made available for all who need it. Given the rapidly escalating heroin crisis in the USA, and the looming prospect of a large scale disaster, we can’t afford to wait for another addiction treatment method when the best one is already available.
I believe that it is time to rally support for an FDA trial, and a major push toward legalizing Ibogaine’s use in the USA.
Ibogaine isn’t a magic bullet and it must be used properly by professionals. When it is, this amazing gift from Mother Nature combined with human ingenuity can not only cure addicts of their life shattering habits but also emotionally transform them in a highly positive way. It even shows promise for treating patients with Parkinson’s disease and other ailments.
It is definitely a cause worth fighting for as the benefits to all who are treated with it will be evident not only in their lives but for their families, communities and ultimately our entire nation.
To help support this cause, I joined Beal, along with other Ibogaine proponents from across the nation including the popular hip-hop artist Immortal Technique on the steps of NY City Hall to inform Mayor DeBlasio and the NY City Council about Ibogaine and, to also enlist their aid in conducting a safety trial at a NYC area hospital.
We’re still working to gain the support of the Mayor’s office and the NY City Council but have recently assembled a dedicated team of health professionals that are helping us to secure a location where the trials can be conducted. In November, we staged a benefit at Carolines Comedy Club featuring Immortal Technique, the legendary performance artist Penny Arcade and — yours truly to raise funds for the effort.
In addition, it was also created to help fund an Ibogaine project in Afghanistan that Beal created to help combat the growing opiate problem that has produced nearly 2 million addicts in a nation of 30 million people.
Comparatively speaking, could you imagine America with nearly 20 million heroin addicts? This is what Afghanistan is facing and Beal, along with former Afghani policy maker Murtaza Majeed, and others are working to combat this scourge by opening Ibogaine clinics at the center of the storm in Kabul, the nation’s capitol. Murtaza and Beal are committed to help turn the tide of this wave of misery that is rapidly spreading across the country and both believe that Ibogaine is the best and most effective way to accomplish this. Beal also believes that Afghanistan will serve as proof of Ibogaine’s potential for the USA.
I’m already aware of what Ibogaine can do and hope that in 2015, we can assemble the support that Dana Beal, Murtaza Majeed, Dimitri Mobengo Mugainis, and everyone who has been involved in the struggle needs to make this amazing gift from nature available to everyone. I plan to continue my work to make this happen and I hope that you will join our efforts!
Contact: Dana Beal @
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!
The original team Ready-UP! will be featured – along with a few new additions …
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Basically 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.
By Jona Miranda Jone
Food, water, and shelter are the foundations of any long-term survival plan. Preparing adequately for these three basic items will make surviving for you and your family much easier. Food is vital in survival because without food, you’ll become weak, susceptible to illnesses and diseases, and you’ll not be able to perform any survival-related tasks. Having an emergency survival food kit and supplying bulk of food in your pantry is a great investment not only for survivalists but also to non-preppers because it provides practicality, security, and peace of mind in case an emergency occurs.
Are you ready to have bulk food storage of your own? Here’s 10 inspirational prepper shelfies that would make you think twice on building your own prepper food pantry.
10. Easy Access for Every Prepper’s Convenience
This has an easy-access space, sorting items from the least commonly used, which are placed above, from the most common ones below. It also has cupboard with doors which hides the things that you don’t want people to see.
9. Save Space with Pull-out Shelves
This might be a little smaller but it is still ideal especially for space savers. Existing cabinet can be customized adding shelves mounted to door walls. Drawers can be replaced with pull-out storage shelves to give an easy access on the items placed at the back.
8. Sealed Tight for the Long Run
Wheat is a basic food product that has chock full of fiber, protein, vitamins, and even minerals, which are especially important in times of survival. Storing grains, oats, seeds, beans, crackers, and pastas in tight-sealed jars can prolong its life. If stored properly, these cans could last for a very long time.
7. Cram It With Canned
Canned foods come in many varieties and make an excellent food storage item. It’s also great if you have a few supply of fire or gas since most of them doesn’t require cooking or heating. Canned goods can last for several years. Freeze dried foods are much better option than the hydrated ones because there’s no rotation needed plus it can last for up to 25 years.
6. Shelf it for Later
Adding a food rotating system in your pantry makes food storing much easier. It is designed to organize and rotate large quantity of cans in a compact space making organizing and food storing a breeze for every prepper.
5. Spice For Survival
Oils, flours, spices, and condiments are the basic needs in cooking and add flavoring as well. Saffron and chili are one of the survival spices to consider as it makes the food tastier. Some of the good basic spice to consider includes dill, oregano, cumin, and rosemary.
4. Say ‘Yes’ to Shelving
An almost perfect shelfie! Most of the tips mentioned above can be seen in this neatly arranged shelf.
3. Carb-filled for Better Survival
Storing on carb-filled goods is also a must in prepping. Carbohydrates play a critical role in the proper functioning of the immune system. It’s also the body’s main source of energy which would be of great help in survival.
2. Supersize with Food Buckets
If you’re not at ease with the idea of storing food barely on shelves, you can try to supersize those using buckets as food storage. Ready-made emergency survival kits are also available if you don’t want to have the hassle of preparing them. Food buckets can be filled with pretty much anything that is dry and sits on the shelf. You can use dry ice, Mylar bags, gamma lids, oxygen absorbers, and a handheld sealer to secure your food bucket.
1. A Prepper’s Pantry Fit for every Prepper’s Desire
Hooray for the best prepper pantry! An awesomely organized pantry complete with labels, food buckets, rotating shelves, food containers, and most of all, food! This prepper’s pantry is everything a prepper wants for his pantry!
Running out of food should not be an option for your family. Remember that the key to a good food storage plan is food rotation. Knowing what you have and effectively rotating them is more important than buying something new. Make sure to arrange them according to expiration date, the closest to expiration should go at the front row and the newest ones at the back.
Writer for the Communities at Washington Times
By Nelson Vega, I.P.N.
On Saturday, May 31st 1-6:30 PM, the I.P.N. will present the first broadcast of X-Stream! Our live streaming uncensored program featuring Executive Director Aton Edwards. This will be the first in a series of three online training sessions in the I.P.N.’s unique “ia- science of life-protection” protocol.
This session will feature the basic principals (Tao) of “ia” along with basic personal/home/community disaster preparedness & self-reliance. The 6 hour class is designed to help new I.P.N. instructors to learn how to teach our unique preparedness methods that have helped to train thousands around the worlds since 1989.
Several I.P.N. members used “ia” methods to survive and escape horrific disasters including the most notable, America’s largest act of terrorism, the WTC/Pentagon attacks back in 2001.
Over the years, Edwards and several other experts have shaped “ia” into an easy and quick to learn and apply highly effective disaster preparedness/response/self-reliance protocol that will help all who practice it to survive nearly any emergency or disaster, become self reliant and learn how to protect and preserve our planet. It is as Edwards describes “a new martial art – not unlike Kung-Fu or Karate, self-defense skills that protect the individual. “ia” is protection for life” … all life!
It is sure to be a rewarding experience for all who join the broadcast!
By Sam Singh I.P.N.
The I.P.N.’s own Executive Director Aton Edwards has kicked off our Ready-UP! America & NOW! programs with a bang with a special appearance Monday on the Katie Couric Show “Katie.” On the show, Edwards spoke about the importance of disaster preparedness and what you need to know and even own.
The LifeGear Go-Bag was featured in the segment along with Leatherman Multi Tools. Edwards is working to help direct the general public toward equipping their homes with Go-Bags and other potentially life saving preparedness equipment as part of the Ready-UP! effort. Several major companies have joined the Ready-UP! team and many more are signing on.
Edwards goal for the Ready-UP! program is to help direct Americans to cutting edge information, equipment and techniques that will allow them to become prepared, self-reliant and live sustainably.
I.P.N. Member RJ Coté is laying down the truth on the air! Recently, BBC World Service presented a segment on Urban Preparedness for Disasters, and RJ spoke to the fact that support services will not be accessible to many New Yorkers when they most need it. The time to think about this is NOW. ABC Nightline will have RJ speaking to the evacuation of millions competing for resources on the way out of the NYC Metro area.
RJ is a longtime computer expert for I.P.N. and can explain how mini-disasters like computer crashes can be avoided just by planning ahead. He goes on to say the same goes for life-threatening events. “Never stop learning,” says the quiet man who looks like he should be on a boat, with his signature Greek skipper’s cap and twinkle-eyed grin.
“A few minutes spent today thinking about your plans in the case of a disaster – for your family or for yourself – can save lives, including your own.”
You can reach RJ by dropping him a line via email.