Thursday, April 14, 2016

Everything You Need to Know About The Recent Elizabethkingia Outbreak

There has been news going around of another disease outbreak in the midwest. It's a little-known bacteria called Elizabethkingia.

What is Elizabethkingia?
Elizabethkingia is a bacteria commonly found in nature. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines it as follows:
Elizabethkingia is a genus of bacteria commonly found in the environment worldwide and has been detected in soil, river water and reservoirs. However, it rarely makes people sick. Cases are diagnosed through culture of body fluids, most often blood testing. Elizabethkingia has mostly caused meningitis in newborn babies and meningitis or bloodstream and respiratory infections in people with weakened immune systems. About 5-10 cases per state per year are reported in the United States, with a few small, localized outbreaks reported in both the United States and other countries, usually in healthcare settings.
To date, CDC has confirmed a total of 59 cases confirmed (57 in Wisconsin, 1 each in Michigan and Illinois) while 20 deaths were confirmed (18 in Wisconsin, 1 each in Michigan and Illinois).
So Elizabethkingia is actually all around us, in dirt, water, etc. It's only when a person's immune system is weak that this bacteria can cause problems.

What is considered an "outbreak?"
The term "outbreak" may make the news sound like a disease is spreading across the state/country like wildfire, but that may not be the case.  The World Health Organization defines the term "outbreak" as follows:
A disease outbreak is the occurrence of cases of disease in excess of what would normally be expected in a defined community, geographical area or season. An outbreak may occur in a restricted geographical area, or may extend over several countries. It may last for a few days or weeks, or for several years.

A single case of a communicable disease long absent from a population, or caused by an agent (e.g. bacterium or virus) not previously recognized in that community or area, or the emergence of a previously unknown disease, may also constitute an outbreak and should be reported and investigated.
So outbreak just means an increase above the normal or expected occurrence. Often times "outbreak" is confused with "epidemic" or "pandemic." An epidemic is when a disease spreads rapidly to many people. A pandemic is a world-wide outbreak. Pandemic may also mean that their's a new strain of bacteria that no one is immune too, or that the bacteria is one that easily spreads to others.

Should We Panic?
Before deciding to panic or not, let's look at some facts. First, because it's found in dirt and rivers this bacteria has probably been around humans for thousands of years. It hasn't caused much damage in all that time and, in fact, it was so quite it wasn't even discovered until 1959! Second, when comparing the number of Elizabethkingia cases with the number of flu cases, we see that this outbreak is very small. Remember, an outbreak can mean a normally dormant disease has suddenly spiked. Check out this graph: (keep in mind that we are comparing elizabethkingia to only .001% of flu cases in America.)

.001% is a very small percentage. To illustrate, the width of a hair is .001% the height of a 3 story building! That puts into perspective that Elizabethkingia, although possibly fatal in young or old victims, is hardly an endemic. Unless history changes drastically, it shouldn't be an issue for the majority of people.

Finally, A Stealthy Bug Out Bag

What is the most important part of a bug out bag? Is it the food and water, the fire starting tools, or what type of knife you have? There are multiple good answers to that question, but there's one really obvious good answer. The most important part of a bug out bag is the bag itself! Your bag lets you carry all your life giving tools anywhere you go. Hence you should take careful consideration when purchasing a bug out bag.

The Problem with Bug Out Bags
There is, however, a big problem with bug out bags: often times they call attention to themselves. This is a problem because not everyone in a survival situation wants to be found by just anybody. Whether you're hiding from the government or your neighbor, you don't want a bright red backpack to give you a way. In an urban setting even tactical bags can stand out. If you see your neighbor with a tactical backpack then you automatically imagine guns, ammo, and survival supplies inside. Tactical backpacks with camouflage are obviously bad for blending into urban siutations, but even black ones stick out because they have MOLLE straps all over them. MOLLE points to military, which points to guns and ammo, which points to supplies and preparedness, which makes you a target to others in an emergency situation if people are desperate for supplies.

Stealth Bug Out BagThe Advantage of the Emergency Zone Stealth Tactical Bag
That's where the Emergency Zone Stealth Tactical Bag comes in: designed as a bug out bag, yet determined to blend in. It's black and grey color scheme doesn't draw attention. It does have MOLLE straps, but they're only put around the edges of the pack so others don't see it easily. Now you can leave your home while looking discreet. The great part is that you don't sacrifice quality or features, either.

So what are all the features of the Stealth Tactical Backpack? Here's a list:
  • Molle system around the edges where it is useful without looking tactical
  • Comes with a full size 2 liter hydration bladder
  • Built-in stowaway waterproof covering
  • Optional duffle bag mode (backpack straps detach and tuck inside)
  • Tough nylon strap extends around the entire backpack for extra support
  • Metal buckles for extra strength
  • Chest and hip straps
  • Whistle and flint striker built into the chest strap
  • Compression straps
  • Hidden and easily accessible pistol compartment. While you're wearing the backpack just reach behind your back to grab your concealed weapon
  • 4 main compartments with pockets for cell phones and smaller items
  • Padded back and straps
Best Bug Out Bag

With all these features this bag deserves the name Stealth Tactical. It's incredibly sturdy, you aren't going to be able to break it. The large padded straps are very comfortable, and with the compression straps pulling the load closer to your back it's comfortable enough for long excursions. So if you want to hide your valuable supplies but you still want tactical features and comfort, this backpack is for you. With Emergency Zone's Stealth Tactical Bug Out Bag, ordinary is your disguise, tactical is your truth.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Mora Companion Sheath Modification

One of our own here at Emergency Zone just modified their Mora Companion sheath. It's a small camo bag duct taped securely to the sheath. There's enough room for a fire rod with striker, some vaseline-covered cotton balls, and 8ft of 550 paracord. What do you think? Comment below and leave your own ideas!

Mora Companion Sheath Mod