Survival Medicine: 4 Deadly Diseases Unleashed In A Disaster… And How To Treat Them!


It was the deadliest disaster since 1928…

Hurricane Katrina hit an area of approximately 90,000 square miles and resulted in the displacement of approximately 1 million citizens.

We all know of the horror stories these “refugees” faced in the Super Dome (theft, violence, even rape, and murder!) but few people realize the horrific health problems that ripped through families because of all the sewage, chemicals, and other contaminants that polluted every drop of water in the area.

Here are some secrets that will help you avoid

The 4 Deadly Diseases You And Your Family Will Face During A Disaster

When it comes to “disaster diseases”, the biggest threats don’t come from dead or decaying bodies or spoiled food.

They mainly come from the complete FAILURE of basic public-health services like sewage disposal and water purification.

And it can come from ANY disaster – not just hurricanes or flooding – even just a major blackout power outage (I’ve seen this during combat when sanitation workers aren’t able to get to work).

No power means no air conditioning… no fans as back-up… no refrigeration to keep life-saving medicines stable… and no open pharmacies to dispense medications.

Also read: Half-Prepping Equals NO Prepping: The Good Guys Are Not Coming To Save Us!

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No transportation means no access to hospitals – and during Katrina, even the people who reached them found that many had no power, no supplies, and no water to drink.

Without these basic infrastructure services, medical care goes back to the 1800’s and you and your family are prone to illness from:

E. Coli Contamination

E. Coli is a very common bacteria that can have devastating effects – including diarrhea and severe cramping – especially for those already weakened by malnutrition and dehydration.

Normally, washing your hands and food can prevent exposure, but disasters aren’t “normal” and everything you touch can be laced with fecal matter – even in your home if sanitation services stop. The bacteria that cause infection can enter into your body in a number of ways.

  • failing to wash hands completely before preparing or eating food
  • using utensils, cutting boards, or serving dishes that aren’t clean, causing cross-contamination
  • consuming dairy products or food containing mayonnaise that has been left out too long
  • consuming foods that haven’t been stored at the right temperature
  • consuming foods that aren’t cooked to the right temperature or duration of time, especially meats and poultry
  • consuming raw seafood products
  • drinking unpasteurized milk
  • consuming raw produce that hasn’t been properly washed

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Symptoms of intestinal infection generally begin between 1 and 10 days after you’ve been infected with E. coli. This is known as the incubation period. Once symptoms appear, they usually last around 5 to 10 days.

Symptoms can include:

  • abdominal cramping
  • sudden, severe watery diarrhea that may change to bloody stools
  • gas
  • loss of appetite or nausea
  • vomiting (uncommon)
  • fatigue
  • fever

Symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to more than a week.

Symptoms of a severe E. coli infection may include:

  • bloody urine
  • decreased urine output
  • pale skin
  • bruising
  • dehydration

In most cases, home care is all that’s required to treat an E. coli infection. Drink plenty of water, get lots of rest, and keep an eye out for more severe symptoms that require a find a doctor. Avoid taking an anti-diarrheal medication — this slows your digestive system down, preventing your body from getting rid of the toxins. Antibiotics generally aren’t recommended because they can increase the risk of serious complications.

Recommended article: Identifying and Processing The Wild Lettuce For Natural Pain Relief


In survival scenarios, many believe that trauma from gunfights at the OK corral will cause the most deaths. The truth, however, is that many avoidable losses will occur due to more basic issues, such as dehydration from infectious diarrheal diseases. These most often occur from failure to assure the sterilization of water, proper preparation of food, and safe disposal of human waste. One of the many duties of the medic in austere settings is to supervise these activities.

I remember getting Dysentery when on a mission in Honduras many years ago from drinking just 1 cup of what I “thought” was safe water.

I was wrong (BIG TIME!) and thought I was going to die because there wasn’t even a hospital in the area I was at (kind of what you might experience in a real disaster when medical help is over-strained, eh?).

I managed to pull through… but trust me, you don’t want to experience this problem where it’s hard to even keep water inside your body!

Dysentery was the cause of death of many soldiers in the Civil War. In total, infectious diseases like Cholera, Typhoid, and others killed more men than bullets or shrapnel.

About 2-10 days after infection, the patient will begin to show symptoms. Some will experience mild effects but others will progress to more severe disease. Besides frequent watery stools mixed with blood and mucus (sometimes 20-30 times a day!), you may see:

  • high fevers
  •  Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Excessive gas
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • An urgent need to evacuate
  • Vomiting

Low-Cost Root Cellar/Bunker

This guy did something very sharp and inventive: His cellar had all the benefits of our great-grandparents’ root cellars, the American Army war bunkers, and the secret Viet Cong building method with none of their drawbacks. Watch the video and learn more!

All of the above leads to significant dehydration, which is complicated in severe bacillary dysentery by erosion of the lining of the gut, leading to ulcers that cause bleeding from the rectum.

It’s especially important to rehydrate victims aggressively. Oral rehydration salts contain electrolytes that will more effectively aid recovery. These can be purchased commercially or improvised using the following formula:

To one liter of water (2 liters for children), add:

  • 6-8 teaspoons of sugar
  • ½-3/4 teaspoons of salt
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoons of salt substitute (used by people who can’t use regular salt. This item has potassium, an important electrolyte, and can be found wherever regular salt is found.)
  • A pinch of baking soda for bicarbonate


In some cases, you can be exposed to the germ “Vibrio Cholera” and diarrhea can be so uncontrollable that you or someone you love could literally go from “perfect health” to DEATH in just a matter of a few hours from severe dehydration!

Actually, we rarely see cholera in the United States because we have proper-working sewage and water treatment systems.

But remember… during a disaster or collapse, these protective systems go down and germs run rampant throughout your environment.

Symptoms of cholera present themselves within a few hours to a few days after infection. The patient will experience the rapid onset of watery diarrhea, historically called “rice-water stools”. In a certain percentage, this will be severe enough to cause major dehydration, the major cause of death. This can happen in an alarmingly rapid fashion, within hours in some cases. Even the mild cases are problematic, as they increase the risk of spread of the illness.

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Other symptoms related to dehydration include:

• Nausea and vomiting
• Low blood pressure
• Tachycardia (rapid heart rate greater than 100 beats per minute)
• Severe thirst
• Muscle cramps
• Restlessness, irritability, confusion, mood swings
• Loss of skin turgor (elasticity)

Typhoid Fever

More than 100 years ago, a female cook in NYC (you may have heard of her – “Typhoid Mary”) infected about 50 fellow co-workers, starting the spread of this dangerous disease.

Typhoid is always a threat due to carriers already in our society… but at a much greater risk when sewage and water purification controls are wiped out – and can cause high fever, collapse, and death.

Treatment Of Deadly Water-Borne Diseases In A Disaster…

Given that medical treatment in the after-effects of a disaster will be scarce (or non-existent), you will most likely have to provide self-care for yourself or a loved one who had fallen ill from these horrible illnesses.

For the most part, you can get by with antibiotics and LOTS of hydration.

Of course, BOTH of those could be a real problem to get your hands on when hospitals are overrun, pharmacies have been looted and picked clean, and water sources are contaminated (which got you in this trouble, to begin with).

This is why I always advise people to stockpile antibiotics for your own personal use in a crisis.

I buy mine on visits to Mexico where I can get them cheap at any local pharmacy without a prescription… or you can pick up some Fish-Mox (best for Typhoid) and Fish-Zole (best for Cholera) at a pet store that sells fish products since these “fish versions” are the same as our medical prescription antibiotics.

But the real key is to stop diarrhea and stay hydrated… or you WILL die!

Having anti-diarrheal medicine is a MUST for your home supply (and your bug-out bag).

For hydration, an IV is really helpful here, but few people have several bags of IV solution for hydration, nor do they know how to administer it.

Again, this is why it’s so critical to have an endless source of clean, drinkable water to avoid deadly dehydration.

Filters can really help, but most don’t work where there are chemical spills contaminating water – a really big problem people don’t realize happens in “super storms”.

The best thing you can do is be sure you have filters that can truly clean your water, no matter what the contaminant.

If you can’t have an endless supply of clean water, then at the very least be sure at all times to have a good supply of bottled water in your home, and make sure you rotate the stock every so often so that it’s good and fresh.

For so many people in the U.S., clean water is so plentiful and readily available that we rarely, if ever, pause to consider what life would be like without it…and once it’s unavailable things can (and will) go south FAST.

As you can imagine, any form of this disease will greatly decrease the chance of survival off the grid. As the well-prepared medic can intervene early with certain medicines, a high index of suspicion will decrease avoidable deaths.

But if you remember these tips and plan ahead, you can be ready BEFORE things go bad!

The Most Comprehensive Book Available

Our grandfathers had more knowledge than any of us today and thrived even when modern conveniences were not available. They were able to produce and store their food for long periods of time. All the knowledge our grandfathers had, in one place.Here’s just a glimpse of what you’ll find in the book:

The Lost Ways is a far-reaching book with chapters ranging from simple things like making tasty bark-bread-like people did when there was no food to building a traditional backyard smokehouse… and much, much, much more!


Discover how to survive: Most complete survival tactics, tips, skills and ideas like how to make pemmican, snowshoes, knives, soap, beer, smokehouses, bullets, survival bread, water wheels, herbal poultices, Indian roundhouses, root cellars, primitive navigation, and much more at The Lost Ways


Here’s just a glimpse of what you’ll find in The Lost Ways:

From Ruff Simons, an old west history expert, and former deputy, you’ll learn the techniques and methods used by the wise sheriffs from the frontiers to defend an entire village despite being outnumbered and outgunned by gangs of robbers and bandits, and how you can use their wisdom to defend your home against looters when you’ll be surrounded.

Native American ERIK BAINBRIDGE – who took part in the reconstruction of the native village of Kule Loklo in California, will show you how Native Americans build the subterranean roundhouse, an underground house that today will serve you as a storm shelter, a perfectly camouflaged hideout, or a bunker. It can easily shelter three to four families, so how will you feel if, when all hell breaks loose, you’ll be able to call all your loved ones and offer them guidance and shelter? Besides that, the subterranean roundhouse makes an awesome root cellar where you can keep all your food and water reserves year-round.

From Shannon Azares you’ll learn how sailors from the XVII century preserved water in their ships for months on end, even years and how you can use this method to preserve clean water for your family cost-free.

Mike Searson – who is a Firearm and Old West history expert – will show you what to do when there is no more ammo to be had, how people who wandered the West managed to hunt eight deer with six bullets, and why their supply of ammo never ran out. Remember the panic buying in the first half of 2013? That was nothing compared to what’s going to precede the collapse.

From Susan Morrow, an ex-science teacher and chemist, you’ll master “The Art of Poultice.” She says, “If you really explore the ingredients from which our forefathers made poultices, you’ll be totally surprised by the similarities with modern medicines.” Well…how would you feel in a crisis to be the only one from the group knowing about this lost skill? When there are no more antibiotics, people will turn to you to save their ill children’s lives.

If you liked our video tutorial on how to make Pemmican, then you’ll love this: I will show you how to make another superfood that our troops were using in the Independence war, and even George Washington ate on several occasions. This food never goes bad. And I’m not talking about honey or vinegar. I’m talking about real food! The awesome part is that you can make this food in just 10 minutes and I’m pretty sure that you already have the ingredients in your house right now.

Really, this is all just a peek.

The Lost Ways is a far-reaching book with chapters ranging from simple things like making tasty bark-bread-like people did when there was no food to building a traditional backyard smokehouse… and much, much, much more!


And believe it or not, this is not all…

Table Of Contents:

The Most Important Thing
Making Your Own Beverages: Beer to Stronger Stuff
Ginger Beer: Making Soda the Old Fashioned Way
How North American Indians and Early Pioneers Made Pemmican
Spycraft: Military Correspondence During The 1700’s to 1900’s
Wild West Guns for SHTF and a Guide to Rolling Your Own Ammo
How Our Forefathers Built Their Sawmills, Grain Mills, and Stamping Mills
How Our Ancestors Made Herbal Poultice to Heal Their Wounds
What Our Ancestors Were Foraging For? or How to Wildcraft Your Table
How Our Ancestors Navigated Without Using a GPS System
How Our Forefathers Made Knives
How Our Forefathers Made Snowshoes for Survival
How North California Native Americans Built Their Semi-subterranean Roundhouses
Our Ancestors’Guide to Root Cellars
Good Old Fashioned Cooking on an Open Flame
Learning from Our Ancestors How to Preserve Water
Learning from Our Ancestors How to Take Care of Our Hygiene When There Isn’t Anything to Buy
How and Why I Prefer to Make Soap with Modern Ingredients
Temporarily Installing a Wood-Burning Stove during Emergencies
Making Traditional and Survival Bark Bread…….
Trapping in Winter for Beaver and Muskrat Just like Our Forefathers Did
How to Make a Smokehouse and Smoke Fish
Survival Lessons From The Donner Party

Click here to get your paperback copy of The Lost Ways and The Lost Ways II


  1. We regularly get material from our county and state disaster agencies here in Taxylvania encouraging us to be prepared in time of disasters.
    In each it warns that during such times, pharmacies may not be open and that we should be sure to have some back up prescription medicine.
    Unfortunately, doctors will not prescribe extra meds (even non-opiods), even if we offer to pay for them ourselves.
    Attempts to contact our two senators (Toomey and Casey) about legislation allowing citizens to be prepared with the vital medications we need – and that they they suggest we have – have been completely ignored. (Though, honestly, Toomey did respond with an emailed form letter thanking me for my opinion about ObamaCare repeal.)
    Seems awfully puzzling.
    Why would the government encourage us to be prepared then make it illegal for us to get prepared?
    You might think they really didn’t care for us at all!

    • That’s it, I am stealing “Taxylvania” Ha-Ha

      Listen, we have gone through this for years with primary care physician that argues about one extra prescription a year. Doc knows without this med death will result.

      1. QUOTE FEMA stating they say to have extra on hand in CASE OF EMERENCY. This works unless you are drug abuser or looking for meds such as pain pills, sleeping pills…
      2. Call Doc’s office and state you are going on vacation and need to fill an extra prescription as you will be away and will not be able to fill before running out. You can probably get away with this once every year or two. Do not to combine # 1 above
      3. Fill your prescription at 27-28 days (when insurance allows) instead of 30-31, and stash the extra days of meds, you will build up a stash.
      4. Never hit up more than one Doctor, it is all computerized and they will know what you are up to resulting in being black balled.

      Even if only given an extra week or two, that is better than nothing and when combined with #3 over time an emergency stash will result, just like adding a extra can of beans a week 🙂

  2. On reading your paragraphs about Dysentery, it brought back very painful memories of getting Amoebic Dysentery while on a joint Air Force/Army humanitarian mission to Guyana in South America during the 1990’s. Unbeknownst to us AF types, a soldier put local ice in one of our drinking water coolers we had taken down with us. Being frozen does not kill amoebas! A few of us got deathly sick and thought death would have been much more pleasant than the horrible symptoms! After awhile, I wound up in a local Guyanese hospital passing out every time I sat up. It took about 5-6 bags of lactate ringers and about three weeks to fully recover. The medicine the AF gave me to kill the amoebas was almost as bad as have the suckered in my gut. Bottom line: clean filtered water IS ESSENTIAL for life! Make sure your water supply is as pure as you can get it! Never assume water out in nature is clean, even from a mountain stream (you don’t know what may have crapped in it upstream).

  3. Making your own colloidal silver is the answer to it all. It will kill all that and a lot more. All you need is 3 9volt batteries, 2 wires with alligator clips, 2 silver wires or rods and a glass of water, and you can wipe out any virus or bacteria.

    • Bill–and also you need distilled water for that–there can’t be any minerals in the water.
      But yes, this is far better than using antibiotics.