Jewish Preppers?

Some people finding our website may be wondering what is a Prepper and why does it have a religious affiliation? Well the short answer is...A Prepper is the modern day survivalist. It's not (necessarily) a right-wing militiaman preparing for Armageddon in the boondocks of Montana. But better represented by a normal, educated, middle class individual perhaps living in the most urban of cities, preparing themselves physically and mentally for any upcoming disaster, natural or man-made. This could include anything from earthquakes to volcanic eruptions, social unrest to an act of terrorism. Preparations include: food supply, medical supply, weapons supply etc. and the knowledge and skills to use them. Of course, a Jewish Prepper is just a designation for a small niche of the Prepper Community that is of the Jewish Faith. We are non-profit and nonpartisan. Enjoy!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Surviving the 10 Plagues by

Surviving the 10 Plagues

The biblical story of the Ten Plagues of Egypt, described in Exodus and commemorated on Passover, is, after all, about disasters. For most of them, there are events with a similar impact that could realistically happen to us, even without the Wrath of G-d, so I'll use them to illustrate good emergency preparedness.

[By the way: Want some Ten Plagues finger puppets, masks, and other toys for kids? OyToys has them. Fun for the whole family! :-) (They also have Jewish books, crafts, and gifts for the rest of the year.)]

Now back to our show:

1. Blood (that is, undrinkable water)

"With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.” — Exodus 7:17–18

A lack of potable water is a common issue after a disaster. After Hurricane Katrina, some buildings had no tap water, and others had it contaminated by backed-up sewage.

Preparation: Store drinking water. Many emergency kit suppliers provide sealed packets of sterilized water — containing 4.7 ounces. What the hell good is 4.7 ounces? Better choice: Aqua Blox juice-box-like containers with 8.45 ounces each. Still not a huge amount, but a decent cupful to drink. For larger amounts, there's Aqua Liters, with, as the name suggests, a full liter (about 1/4 gallon). In either case, buy 'em by the case.

Other options: Water really does have a shelf-life. Unless it's sterilized and sealed, microorganisms will multiply in it over time, and at least will make it cloudy and affect the taste. For the short term, however, nothing beats tap water for price. The American Red Cross and others sell the WaterBob, a giant plastic bladder that you put in your tub which holds 100 gallons. Smaller bladders are also sold by emergency supply vendors.

It doesn't hurt to have some powdered (but healthy) juice powder, such as Propel, to make water tastier, especially for kids.

2. Frogs

"The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs.” — Exodus 7:1–4

Sounds like just a nuisance. I mean, people eat frog legs, so having them in ovens doesn't seem like a hardship. Then again, if you watch the horror movie Frogs (1972), their toothless mouths and croaking... really don't seem scary at all.

3. Lice, 4. Flies, and 8. Locusts
(and bugs generally)

"When Aaron stretched out his hand with the staff and struck the dust of the ground, lice came upon men and animals. All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became lice.” — Exodus 8:16–17

"I will send swarms of flies on you and your officials, on your people and into your houses." — Exodus 8:20–21

Flies, lice, and locusts aren't likely to be an issue, but mosquitoes multiply quickly in standing water left by a flood or storm. After Hurricane Katrina, we had no power, which meant no air conditioning, which meant keeping doors and windows wide open. Also, ticks are always an issue outdoors. Both can carry disease.

Prep: Bug repellent. Spray your shoes and lower pants legs, and spray or rub it on exposed skin, such as arms and neck.

5. Cattle disease (food spoilage and availability)

Most of us don't have livestock, so our concern is having meat and other food that's uncontaminated, unspoiled, safe, and healthy to eat. A blackout will knock out your refrigerator, and in a disaster, that may last a long time and affect food stores as well. Other disasters may at least make it difficult to get to a food store — and difficult for them to get restocked — so you need a supply non-perishable food at home.

Prep advice: Store high-protein nutrition bars, such as Clif Bars or PowerBar Protein Plus. Canned food is good, of course, but remember you may not have means to cook it. (And don't forget a non-electric can opener!) Peanuts and other nuts have a very long shelf life. Last, but not least, MRE equivalents are actually pretty good, and are self-heating. (The Red Cross tends to use Heater Meals.) (There are even Kosher versions! See

6. Boils (and other health issues)

Keep a first aid kit. Don't just get one with band-aids and aspirin. Include antibiotic lotions, aspirin substitutes (ibuprofen or acetaminophen), upset stomach and nausea relief, and especially anti-diarrheal meds. Contaminated water or food increases the danger of diarrhea, and besides the ickiness factor, that causes dehydration that can even be life-threatening.

Also, keep some extras of any prescription medications, or at the very least, keep them ready to grab-and-go (and don't forget to take them). Getting refills can be tough when you can't reach your doctor or an open, stocked pharmacy.

7. Hail (and other weather issues)

Shelter, sleeping bags, and clothing. A Red Cross shelter, for example, can keep you out of the elements, but it's good to have some kind of sleeping bag to bring with you. Also, rain gear is very important -- even just a $2 poncho. Your internal temperature only has to drop 3-5 degrees for hypothermia, and if you're wet, that can happen fast even if it's not all that cold.

Keep an extra set of clothes, protected from water by, for example, Ziploc bags. (They make ones as large as 2 or 3 feet across.) Even if weather isn't an issue, you'll want one set to wear while you wash the other one. Wool and synthetics are preferable to cotton, because cotton retains water, while the others wick it away from your skin.

8. Locusts - See bug issues under Plagues 3 and 4, above.

9. Darkness

Flashlights and spare batteries. One very useful option is a lantern-type light; you don't have to hold it, and it lights a whole area. They can be found in hardware stores for as little as $10. Just remember to have D batteries!

Another good thing to have is glow sticks. They'll glow for up to 12 hours, with no power required. They are great for marking a path so, for example, you can walk to the bathroom without running into things.

Last, but not least, avoid candles. Too easy to start a fire. A few years back, there was a case where young boys were having a sleep-over during a power outage; used candles; and a fire started while they slept. It got so hot it melted the windows, and none of them got out. Play it safe.

10. Death of the First Born

Follow all the advice above.

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