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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Quarantine of Major Cities Possible



The below article, original titled "Quarantines among legal tools available if Ebola outbreak widens" came from Stars and Stripes on line. The 600 pound Gorilla in the room is how will quarantine be enforced? Martial Law within the requisite lethal force authorization and if major cities are quarantined, local law enforcement assets will not be used - they will be quarantined as well. It will be military units, mostly unfamiliar, and unsympathetic to the population they are controlling. 

http://www.stripes.com/news/us/quarantines-among-legal-tools-available-if-ebola-outbreak-widens-1.308566

As the web of infection widens, questions about the U.S. government’s legal authority to contain the Ebola virus are increasing, even as federal officials attempt to keep public panic at bay by diverting the focus from the hypothetical.

Beyond the traveler screening mandates and medical support already underway, federal officials could take several dramatic steps to protect the United States if the virus reaches epidemic levels. That includes quarantines, a ban on travel to or from foreign countries, and the declaration of a public health emergency that would allow the Health and Human Services Department to waive certain federal requirements and tap into a reserve account to fund response.

The federal government’s powers are ultimately secondary to those of the states, which hold the police power function that gives them the legal authority to isolate infected individuals or force them to accept treatment — similar to criminal arrest or civil commitment. In Texas, health officials in Dallas have quarantined the family of the only Ebola victim, Thomas Duncan, in a house until they are sure they didn't pick up the disease, according to local news reports. His fiancee, her son and two men had to miss a memorial service after Duncan died.

If a state or local jurisdiction response doesn't prevent the spread of a disease to another state, HHS can step in under the Public Health Services Act (PL 78-410). But that would mostly be to provide resources and expertise — not to take over, said Gene Matthews, chief legal adviser to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1979 to 2004.

“It’s not like a military situation, because your troops on this are primarily your state and local health officials, so it has to be collaborative,” said Matthews.

State health officials have the power to quarantine those who are only suspected of infection, and can take major actions such as evacuations or cancellations of sporting events. Governors can call up National Guard units to enforce actions or aid in anything from transportation to security.

A senior National Guard official said this week that he has heard of no direct plans or orders for the Guard’s role in any domestic response to Ebola. The Guard’s medical resources, as well as its experience dealing with bio hazards, could also aid in any response, the official said.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the National Guard Bureau said the force has personnel and resources available to help combat Ebola, both internationally and within the United States. Indeed, the Guard is supporting the current U.S. military mission in West Africa.

“We stand ready to support the needs identified by U.S. government lead agencies,” the spokesman said, adding that the Guard is “actively involved” in the planning process at both the state and federal levels.

The National Guard’s highly trained Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams could be a particularly critical capability in the event of any stateside Ebola outbreak. The Guard has at least one of these teams in each state, territory and Washington, D.C.

The state-controlled units, which are made up of 22 full-time personnel, are trained for a range of missions, including providing immediate response to the release of hazardous materials or other disasters that could result in a catastrophic loss of life and property.

The scope of states’ power in health matters comes mainly from a 1905 Supreme Court ruling in which a Massachusetts man challenged whether a city could require residents to be vaccinated against smallpox.

The justices found in Jacobson v. Massachusetts that the collective right of self-defense prevails over individual rights, as long as due process is ensured, such as the right to challenge the government action.

“Upon principle of self defense, of paramount necessity, a community has a right to protect itself against an epidemic disease,” the Supreme Court ruled.

Much has changed since then. Dozens of states modernized their health codes in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Matthews said. Most states now have a game plan for how to deal with a health crisis, and have conducted training exercises for years.

“I’m not laying awake at night thinking about whether some state official has the legal authority, but whether they have the resources,” Matthews said. “It’s now about the money.”

Federal officials have those resources, and an HHS-declared public health emergency could start the flow of money to local health officials.

Although HHS will remain the lead in coordinating response in nearly every scenario, the administration could call on the Homeland Security Department and its Federal Emergency Management Agency to help wrangle resources, provide shelter and assist with transportation if the disease begins to spread.

A presidential disaster declaration, which would open up so-called Stafford Act (PL 100-707) funding through FEMA, is unlikely considering HHS already has the authority to declare a public health emergency and Congress would likely appropriate emergency funding if there is a need.

“That’s a ‘break glass’ and in extreme type of case,” says Marko Bourne, who served as director of policy and program analysis at FEMA during the George W. Bush administration. “There would truly have to be something that is incredibly widespread across the country that was over and above the additional resources and ability provided under the health declaration. Stafford at that point is almost redundant.”

However, President Barack Obama might find it advantageous to declare a disaster and elevate the emergency management agency to a leadership role if public confidence in HHS and state response begins to diminish, said James Jay Carafano, a vice president at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

“When you lose credibility, you’re toast,” said Carafano. “You could potentially see situations where they jump the threshold pretty quickly because they see pressure that they have to do something.”

The federal government can clamp down on travel to and from the United States for public health reasons. That includes stopping American citizens from visiting certain countries, as well as barring foreigners from entering the United States, according to a Congressional Research Service report on Ebola issues.

The secretary of state can prevent Americans from boarding flights to specific countries under the authority to grant and issue passports. The Supreme Court recognized that power in a 1965 decision, Zemel v. Rusk, upholding travel restrictions to Cuba after the United States cut diplomatic ties with the nation in 1961.

The government can’t criminally charge those who do not comply with the travel ban, however. A second Supreme Court decision in 1967, United States v. Laub, threw out a conspiracy indictment against people who arranged travel to Cuba for dozens of American citizens.

Obama could issue a proclamation to deny entry to any class of foreigners if they “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States,” the CRS report states. Government officials can prevent foreigners “with a communicable disease of public health significance” from entering the country under immigration law.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies could issue directives to airlines, which can refuse transportation to anyone posing a direct threat to the health under Transportation Department regulations.

The Department of Homeland Security and the CDC maintain a public health “Do Not Board” list, the CRS report states. Airlines cannot issue boarding passes to people on the list, who are considered likely to be contagious with a communicable disease, may not adhere to public health recommendations, and are likely to board an aircraft.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ebola gives U.S. 'preppers' another reason to prepare for worst





Here is a story is just read on Yahoo.com and wanted to share it with my readers. It makes good points as to why we Prepper's should not be concerned with what others think about us. I constantly hear in the news about how Prepper's are just a paranoid group of people always thinking the worst. 

We were told that this issue concerning Ebola would not ever happen here in the U.S. We were deceived and are still being deceived. How many more cases will pop up that we won't know about until the uncontrollable out break begins? 

Doctors are given gag orders not to tell the public about what is happening. Police and emergency crews are being forced to use code words when responding to a possible Ebola incident. Our Government is not protecting us. We must do this ourselves.

"Ebola gives U.S. 'preppers' another reason to prepare for worst
By Jonathan Kaminsky

(Reuters) - With the closest known U.S. cases of Ebola diagnosed about 160 miles away in Dallas, Cary Griffin is taking no chances.

If, as the former correctional officer fears, the virus spreads to hundreds of people, Griffin is headed to the woods.

"I'll do what the English royalty did to survive the bubonic plague," Griffin said, referring to King Charles II's flight to the countryside during the Great Plague of London in 1665-66. "I'm going into the country."

Griffin, 27, of Huntsville, Texas, is among a growing if loosely-defined segment of Americans, known as "preppers," who plan, train and stockpile in preparation for a natural calamity or societal breakdown.

For many, the three cases of Ebola diagnosed in the United States so far since late September represent a new potential disaster and a reason to run to the store.

Preppers are at the extreme edge of concern over Ebola, which has led to a series of false alarms driven by fear. Government efforts to stop the virus spreading from the three worst-hit West African countries, where more than 4,500 have died, include some travel restrictions and enhanced screening at airports.

Chad Huddleston, an anthropologist at the University of Southern Illinois at Edwardsville, who studies preppers and estimates their numbers in the United States in the low hundreds of thousands, said those he has talked to are more concerned with undue public fear than with contracting Ebola.

The virus was diagnosed in a Liberian visitor who was infected in his home country and two nurses who treated him at a Dallas, Texas hospital when he was dying and at his most contagious. Both nurses have been moved out of the state for treatment in hospitals equipped to treat Ebola patients.

U.S. preppers have their roots in Cold War-era civil defense programs, said Vincent DeNiro, editor of Prepper & Shooter magazine.

The movement's profile rose thanks in part to the National Geographic Channel TV show "Doomsday Preppers," and includes strains as disparate as off-grid homesteaders in the Great Plains, wilderness experts in the Mountain West and suburbanites across the country with caches of food and guns.

STOCKPILING AND PLANNING

For many of them, gearing up for Ebola has meant fortifying their stocks of freeze-dried food, water, filtration devices and hazardous material, or hazmat, suits, which experts say can be useless if not taken off properly.

Some are also honing plans to meet teams of fellow survivalists at prearranged locations, or, like Griffin, who has no spouse or children, preparing to go it alone in the wilderness.

Stockpiling has led to shortages of a range of survival gear, from food with a shelf-life in excess of 20 years to impermeable medical suits, according to vendors. At Cheaper Than Dirt, a leading online survivalist retailer based in Texas, dozens of varieties of freeze-dried meals are out of stock, from packets of cheesy lasagna to 60-serving buckets of mushroom stroganoff.

Supplies such as hazmat suits and protective gloves - sometimes called Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) gear - are running low, said Richard Smith, general manager of The Survival Center, an online retailer in Washington state, about 1,500 miles from Texas. Smith boasted of snagging last week the final wholesale personal protection suits and respirator masks to be had on the West Coast.

Using hazmat gear without proper training is of limited benefit, said magazine editor DeNiro, who has encouraged his readers to stock up on at least six months of food.

"Buying NBC equipment and not learning how to use it properly is like buying a gun and ammunition and never practicing with it," he said.

Many preppers, who have focused their planning on everything from solar storms and earthquakes to nuclear holocaust, are skeptical of government - a view that dovetails with concerns, voiced by lawmakers and medical experts, that U.S. authorities mishandled the response to the virus when it emerged at a Texas hospital.

At a prepper and self-defense school in south Florida, fear over Ebola has meant a rush of students, about 54 in the past two weeks, to take a primer course on how to avoid contracting the virus, said David D'Eugenio, founder of the HomeSafety Academy in Lake Park.

"For the past week, I can't even tell you what our hours are like with all the people coming through," he said.

An avid prepper and retired firefighter in West Palm Beach, Florida, Bob Boike, who attends D'Eugenio's school, believes that an Ebola outbreak in the United States will likely be averted, but he is taking no chances.

Boike, 58, who co-leads of a team of 32 preppers and their families, with multiple secret locations provisioned to last them a year or more, has stocked up on water and canned food, having already socked away an ample supply of masks, gloves and other medical supplies, he said.

“This is our insurance for if and when there is societal breakdown,” Boike said."

Urban Man

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Water: Finding, Collecting, and Treating for Survival




Here is a very useful and informative article I recently read on zombease.com website. The link is list here:

http://zombease.com/water-finding-collecting-and-treating-for-survival/

Finding, Collecting, and Treating for Survival such as a Zombie Outbreak or major earthquake, local water sources may become tainted, unavailable, or inaccessible. City waterworks may be damaged and stop pumping the precious fluid to our homes, businesses, parks, etc. But even if the water supply becomes tainted or is difficult to access, with a little care and patience you can collect enough to survive and use it safely.

FINDING WATER:

Accessing water might not be as simple as turning on a tap, but you’d be surprised at the number of locations you can find it, if you take the time to look.

Rural Areas: Homes in rural areas often have wells or creeks on or near their property, giving them easy-to-access and likely safe water supplies. Other water sources in rural areas include, but are not limited to: watering troughs, silos, rain collection barrels, and man-made or naturally occurring ponds.

Urban Areas: There are plenty of places to collect water from in the city, even if the local waterworks have been shut off. Hoses, rain barrels, buckets, natural water sources, public fountains, old tires, water heaters, and toilet tanks are just a few of the many places water may be hiding out in an urban environment.

Wherever and whenever you might be looking for water it’s important to keep your eyes open and be creative. Next time you’re out and about, take a look around you and see if you can spot at least two alternate sources for a bit of the wet stuff. And remember that you must filter and purify ALL found water before consumption.

COLLECTION:

The most basic method for collecting water comes in the form of transfer from one source or container to another. This can be done a number of ways, but typically the use of a bucket or other pail-like device is recommended. You should never siphon water with your mouth and a hose from an unfiltered or untreated source, you are just as likely to become ill by doing this, as you are by direct and intentional consumption. Using a pump siphon to transfer water for treatment later is a fantastic and relatively easy way to move large amounts of water fast.

Always draw from the clearest and cleanest source that you can, and NEVER use water that has inorganic materials floating on the surface, is dark or oddly colored, has any odor at all, or shows any other signs of possible contamination. But if there is just a bit of dirt or sand in the water it should be fine after a little care is taken.

UrbanMan's note: Your survival kit should always contain collapsible expedient water containers.

MAKE IT SAFE TO DRINK:

Unless you want to pay an uncomfortable, and possibly deadly price for drinking even just a few gulps of tainted water, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. All found water, unless from a sealed and reliable source, needs to be both filtered and treated before consumption.

Filter: You will need to remove as much dirt and debris as possible from the water before moving on to the next step. If the water is cloudy it’s best to let it settle naturally over the course of 12 – 24 hours, but you may be in a rush and pouring it through a coffee filter, handkerchief, or other fine material, into a clean container will work as well. Make sure to change and/or clean any filters you use as they begin to show signs of contamination or discoloration.

The water should now be safe to use for washing clothes and gear, but not for drinking, personal care, bathing, or cleaning cookware, you’ve got another step before that.

The use of a well-made commercial filter allows you to skip the next step and go directly to consumption. Incredibly useful and capable of filtering 100s of gallons before the filter needs to be replaced we recommend the Katadyn Hiker Pro for those of you with the available income.

TREAT IT:

Treatment is a crucial step in the purifying process and should never be skipped. Now that you’ve filtered your water and it isn’t cloudy anymore, you’ll need to kill any germs left-over that may be in the water. Treatment by boiling or with bleach are the most widely agreed upon methods to safely purify questionable water, and luckily you only have to do one or the other before it’s safe to drink.

Boiling: Evaporation during boiling can be a problem if you don’t have a covered container, and the need for fuel can make this a tricky task for some. But while this method has it’s drawbacks, it remains highly effective when done properly.

All questionable water should be boiled for no less that 3 – 5 minutes for proper sanitation, but a period of 10 minutes is the best way to guarantee safe consumption (because boiling water at high altitudes takes longer, you need to add 1 minute of boil time for every 1000 feet above sea level that you are located). After the water is done boiling, it’s important to let it cool before taking a drink.

Boil treated water can safely be stored in clean and resealable containers for up to one year.

Bleach: A highly effective method, though dangerous if not done properly, bleach is a wonderful tool for treating questionable water. Use plain liquid bleach with no additives or additional ingredients. Never use scented, color safe, powdered, or boosted bleaches when treating water.

To treat water with chlorine bleach, simply place the water into a clean container and add exactly 16 drops for every gallon of water (this is most easily done with an eye-dropper). Stir the mixture well and let it rest for 30 minutes. If the water does not retain a slight bleach smell, repeat the addition of drops per gallon and let it rest for another 15 minutes. If it still does not retain a slight bleach smell, the water is too highly contaminated and will not be usable. At this point, it’s time to get a new batch of water and try again.

•1 quart bottle 4 drops of bleach

•2 liter soda bottle 10 drops of bleach

•1 gallon jug 16 drops of bleach (1/8 tsp)

•2 gallon cooler 32 drops of bleach (1/4 tsp)

•5 gallon bottle 1 teaspoon of bleach

Bleach treated water can safely be stored in clean and resealable containers for up to one year.