Most Common Injury

The reporting from Russia where the meteor exploded/hit has been really interesting. I’m a bit of a space junkie when I’m not prepping, so this one was interesting on multiple levels. One thing in particular has been on my mind as we’ve learned more about the event. The people in the town were largely injured by glass. Windows became lethal shards flying through the air.

As I think about that hazard, I am inevitably reminded of an incident from my childhood. Oklahoma, early evening, (I was in bed, but not asleep) a storm rolled in. Tornadoes, hail, the usual sorts of threats. My mother came in and closed the blinds in the bedroom I shared with my two siblings. I remember watching her, and thinking about the baseball sized hail I had seen that one time at my aunt’s house. I thought, is she closing those to stop hail from getting in? I thought those blinds were not going to do much if something made it through the window. So, I figured out the likely trajectories of anything coming in the window, and I moved to the corner of the bed least likely to get hit, and fell asleep. (Yes, apparently Calamity Jane has been this crazy for a while.)

Fast forward to today, and I’m still in tornado alley. I think my window quilts would stop quite a bit of hail and glass.  I have those over all the external windows in the living room and bedrooms.  If you live in a place that gets cold enough for window quilts to be useful, I highly recommend them.

If I ever get to live in a house I own, I’m going to make sure I have working shutters.  They probably won’t help against a rogue meteor explosion, but they could be very useful for storms. On a related note, can I just say how stupid I find the fake shutters that get nailed to the sides of cookie cutter suburban houses? What’s the point? The builders couldn’t be bothered with real shutters? Real shutters were what? Too expensive? Too complicated?

Anyway, back to the glass. I heard a factoid once about a large metro area, if all of the glass in the skyscrapers broke at once, it would cover the streets below in a couple of feet of glass.

Now, I don’t know of anything that would save you from a ton of skyscraper.

But, I do know you need to be thinking about the potential glass hazards in your house.  Whether you’re more likely to see tornadoes or hurricanes or vandals. Even if you can’t afford to retro-fit everything with shatter-resistant panes. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

And your final thought for this post. Do you have enough gauze and bandages to handle the situation if multiple members of your family have multiple glass lacerations?

– Calamity Jane

27 comments… add one
  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. February 19, 2013, 8:45 am

    I remember reading a California earthquake story and one of the recommendations was keeping a pair of shoes very close to your bed, in case you had to get up quickly and evacuate your home. Shattered glass or other items would possibly cause injury to your feet.

    Installing solar window film would help keep the glass from flying through room unless it was a really close impact.

  • irishdutchuncle February 19, 2013, 8:51 am

    yeh, working shutters are an excellent idea. pre-cut plywood, otherwise…

    • j.r. guerra in s. tx. February 19, 2013, 2:01 pm

      Some of us down in hurricane alley use those Ply Lox for plywood pre-cut, they work pretty well. Jamb them in tight and insert a wood wedge for tighter fit.

  • ORRN on LI February 19, 2013, 9:25 am

    I keep meaning to put together a first aid package for wounds, this is a good example of how you need to be prepared to help yourself. Just think how full the local emergency rooms were, and they do not have hospital systems over there like we have here. I should also learn to suture, I watch them do it all day long, it’s time to start bugging them to teach me. As for the fake shutters, they give a finished look, kind of like molding inside the home, no real use, just aesthetic . Mine aren’t even wood, vinyl is final!

    • smokechecktim February 19, 2013, 11:49 am

      there’s a product called dermabond which is basically souped up super glue that works great on small cuts. It will replace the need for sutures on lots of small lacerations. You still will need the suturing skill though!

  • Charles,,,, February 19, 2013, 9:57 am

    ORRN, stitching, go to youtube, Doom and Bloom, they show how to suture using a pig’s foot, bought at a grocery store easily enough, in the south anyway, but you can use that pigfoot numerous times to practice on, not as easy as it looks the first few times, skins tougher then it looks even sticking a needle through, been hunting a topical to help numb the area but no luck yet so if anyone has knowledge I’d be most thankful. Herbal or OTC.
    Fighting window’s/shudders as shown in the movie The Outlaw Josey Wales seemed cool, one of Rawles books has them in it The Patriot’s I think, but man oh man what an undertaking to harden a house, and the expense, yikes, but then question arises, how much is your life worth? Easy said when the coiffures are empty. An entry deterrent from the old days, old timers called the plant “no rape’ums”, old timers would plant these outside ground floor bedroom windows, Yucca plants, they grow great without alot of care and spread within it’s area, one plant would be 3-4 within a year, they run on rihzomes and they have long spear shaped foilage with a point like a needle on the end that whils stick ya good… End of babbling, TY.

    • rush2112 February 19, 2013, 8:53 pm

      how about the stuff used for toothaches?

      • wilson February 19, 2013, 10:47 pm

        I read somewhere that there are over the counter creams that contain lidocaine.

  • smokechecktim February 19, 2013, 11:36 am

    when I lived on guam typhoons were constant threat. PLywood precut and labeled for each window were needed. large hooks in the first floor ceiling to hang the furniture and rugs off the floor, because there will be flooding, lots of laterns and candles….and of course lots of what we called typhoon fifths. 1.5 liter bottles of booze to help weather the storm. I have friends in tornado alley and they built a small safety room in their garage to run to in case of tornado. When small we had a old outside root cellar that was our safe room. Dont they still have those in iowa CJ?

    • D'ja'c February 19, 2013, 1:20 pm

      Hey Tim, Hafa Aday! (sp.) I was in Guam 25 years ago w/ the seabees.

      • smokechecktim February 19, 2013, 1:25 pm

        you weren’t one of the SB’s who put the japanese sub in the swimming pool were you?

  • Steve February 19, 2013, 12:16 pm

    Calamity Jane, right now almost anyone with good credit can own a better home than they can rent. Since the great recession started rents have risen, property prices are still low, interest rates are 3%, and there are many first time home buyer programs out there.

    Aren’t a lot of people prepping for a hyperinflationary collapse? It may just be one of many disasters coming. A great way to prepare is to buy now before it’s too late. Now for home purchasing may be like November was ammo purchasing.

  • D'ja'c February 19, 2013, 1:50 pm

    Can’t stand fake shutters. Might as well make them useful, esp in high wind areas. There is also a stick on glass treatment available that will stand up to a baseball bat. Some one in here will know what it is called. I recently put together a kit with just large gauze pads, beta dine, tape and stretch tape. It’s a quick grab just for nasty stuff: chainsaw/ hunting accidents… So you don’t have to waste time digging thru the little stuff. Rock-on!

    • D'ja'c February 19, 2013, 10:57 pm

      3M window security film. Some good demos on youtube.

  • Vicky February 19, 2013, 2:27 pm

    We came from Kansas originally, and my parents used wooden shutters (one piece, barn wood) on the west side of the house for hail. We had hail every year, and they worked well. My husband and I had wooden shutters in Louosiana and they worked well when Camille came through, although we were on the outer edge or it wouldn’t have mattered. Now that we’re in Ohio, I may still get shutters although it’s going to cost a lot. We have a walk-out basement with 13 24×72 triple-pane windows lining the SW wall. They’ve stood up to everything except the drought. As the ground dried out, the windows cracked. They’re $1,400 apiece and I can’t afford to replace them. Insurance won’t touch it, so we may replace them with something cheaper and add shutters. We’ve had snow up to five deep in this area, so any type of protection might save the side of the house. (On reflection, I should never have bought this particular house, anyway.) I don’t like it and it doesn’t like us.

    • Jon Lorisen February 22, 2013, 10:07 pm

      wow, that’s a lot of money….

  • rush2112 February 19, 2013, 7:34 pm

    a good point jane was making though is to get your first aid supplies now. just a thought, maybe buy one less box of ammo and get some basic first aid stuff and antibiotics now. Get plenty of OTC antifungal med like Lotrimin, Desenex, etc. these types of skin afflictions will ruin you quickly. idea for numbing an area to be stitched up- what about the OTC stuff used for toothaches?

  • Michelle February 19, 2013, 8:13 pm

    Shards for thought!

  • Anonymous February 19, 2013, 8:31 pm

    The stories of all the injuries from broken glass reminded me of the Halifax Explosion.

    Two ships collided with each other during WW1. The ship loaded with TNT went on fire, then a huge explosion destroyed much of the city of Halifax (in eastern Canada). A lot of people were looking out their windows at the ships in the harbor, then when the explosion happened people were pelted with broken glass.

  • Wally February 20, 2013, 1:00 am

    In the laceration portion of our first-aid box, in addition to the butterflys and suture materials, we have duct tape-a small bottle of pure honey-and a couple of tubes of super glue. All are great for those shtf episodes for someone without medical knowledge can use to help stem and/or slow blood loss.

  • riverrider February 20, 2013, 3:39 pm

    um, safety glasses? goggles? they are a must. you must at all cost save your sight. post shtf, blindness kills. we’ll be doing much more that would endanger our sight then too. i keep a pair in my ghb.

  • Jon Lorisen February 21, 2013, 8:51 pm

    I’d like to hear more about window quilts. I hang up some wool blankets this time of year but something a little less tacky would be nice :)

    • Vicky February 21, 2013, 10:40 pm

      Wool isn’t tacky! Think Hudson Bay… Any natural fabric has a type of cachet. Quilts are probably a better insulator, but wool work well almost anywhere.

      • Jon Lorisen February 21, 2013, 11:56 pm

        Oh I love wool, sorry, no insult intended. But just tacking up some blankets doesn’t look quite as finished as I would like. It would be nice to have something we could pull back easily too…would the wool work as fill for the quilt?

        • Calamity Jane February 22, 2013, 9:05 am

          Yes, you can make a quilt with a wool blanket as the middle. It’s a VERY heavy quilt when you do that, and it’s possible there are home sewing machines that can’t take that kind of bulk.

          My window quilts are just basic quilts, they are just sized to fit the window in need of covering. And I put matching loops on the top of quilt, and thread a large dowel through, and then perch the two ends of the dowel on some nails.

          They do pull back nicely when we want to let some sun in.


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