Health Threats In Austere Environments

Health Threats In Austere Environments

Like soldiers in the field, Preppers living in austere environments are vulnerable a myriad of health risks.  This introduction discusses the health threats in austere environments and introduces the concept of preventive health measures.  We will periodically add to this introduction with additional articles that go more in depth.  Make sure to use the subscribe tool on the top right of this page so you don’t miss any of our articles.

Health Threats in Austere Environments

While military servicemen and women can expect significant financial backing, a robust support system, an international resupply network and the chance to return to civilization periodically to rest and recover, the Prepper potentially faces the risks but without the logistical support…be careful. We know from historical accounts of wars, natural and man-made disasters that the majority of casualties within the war or disaster zone are not the results of combat or the precipitating event, but rather the result of diseases and environmental injuries. The physical, mental and environmental stresses of post disaster and survival situations present significant challenges to the Prepper both in the planning and in the execution phase.  The Prepper and Prepper Group must plan for and maintain basic hygiene in order to remain healthy and survive to a ripe old age. Prepper Health Threats Include

  • Endemic diseases
  • Food and waterborne pathogens
  • Hazardous plants and animals
  • Entomological hazards
  • Toxins and industrial waste
  • Mental stress
  • Hazardous and damaging noise
  • Climatic or environmental hazards

Preventive Health Measures

OuthousePreventive health measures are simple, common sense actions that every Prepper can perform in order to keep him or herself and his or her companions and community healthy. Maintaining personal hygiene as well as a hygienic homestead, bug out location or bivouac site using preventive health measures will significantly reduce the likelihood of and/or spread of disease or the occurrence of environmental injuries.  If you are operating as part of a Prepper Group or Prepper Family make sure that the imposition of hygiene discipline is understood by and enforced on all. The principles of preventive health measures applicable to Prepper Groups and Families are—

  • Preppers utilize individual preventivehealth measures in their day to day activities
  • The Prepper Group member responsible for group health trains individual members in preventive health measures and advises group leader on health risks as well as preventive health requirements and compliance
  • Prepper leaders and plan for and enforces preventive health measures.

Below are a few examples of preventive health measures that should be considered by every Prepper and Prepper Group: Individual Preventive Health Measures

  • Only drink from water made potable through treatment or filtration
  • Follow proper hand washing techniques after using bathroom/latrine/outhouse/cat-hole, before preparing food, before eating and frequently in between
  • Brush teeth at least twice daily.  Floss regularly.
  • Relieve yourself only in designated areas…bathroom/latrine/outhouse, etc.
  • If on the move:  Utilize cat-holes for solid waste and don’t relieve yourself within 100 feet of water sources or bivouac area
  • Shower or bathe at least weekly and more often if possible.

Group Preventive Health Measures

  • Make arrangements for the procurement and purification of water
  • Stock soap, shampoo, toothpaste and floss.  Have recipes or knowledge to manufacture once supplies run out.
  • Arrange for hand washing stations at bathroom/latrine/outhouse sites, outside dining areas and in food preparation areas.
  • Place properly constructed outhouses at least 100 feet from water sources or areas housing people.
  • Establish bathing and/or shower points

Today’s article on Health Threats In Austere Environments was based largely on Army Techniques Publication No. 4-25-12 (ATP 4-25-12) Unit Field Sanitation Teams, April 2014 edition which has been ‘Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.’

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