When the times comes that the supermarket shelves are empty, alcohol will be a valuable barter item. Make sure to stock up on the smallest bottles you can get, that way you can work out the ‘exchange rate’ far easier than if you just had large bottles.
Other than barter and having the odd glass yourself there are many uses for alcohol in a post-collapse world. Here are a few suggestions:
- Sterilizing medium: Surgical instruments, razor blades, hands, kitchen worktops, butchery equipment and anything else that needs to be cleaner than average. Remember to remove all surface soil first, and in the case of anything that contains protein, such as surgical instruments and butchery equipment, clean them in COLD water. Protein, including blood, denatures at 45°C, it sets solid, and an alcohol bath may not be able to penetrate and therefore clean properly.
- Antiseptic: For shallow and surface wounds only. It will sting like hell but is effective in killing a good number of bacteria. Dabbing it onto mouth ulcers supposedly relieves the pain but you have to resist licking it off for it to work!
- Fire starter: Catches fast and burns hot. It’s actually the vapor that is flammable not the liquid itself. Use sparingly and stand back, it goes up with a really good whoosh.
- Cooking: The addition of a drop or two of wine can add a whole new dimension to a boring dish, and this can lift the spirits…no pun intended. Add a little wine to gravy or soup to make it taste much richer, or a little whiskey in a cup of instant coffee can make the mediocre into a treat.
- Insect repellant: Speaks for itself. When medications are in short supply it will be essential to prevent bug bites, particularly those of mosquitos which spread a myriad of diseases.
- Relieving poison ivy, oak or sumac rash: Pouring vodka on the rash as soon as possible after exposure removes the oil from the skin very effectively.
- Mouthwash: Swish around your mouth for a couple of minutes to kill bacteria. Another benefit is you can swallow it afterwards!
- Freshen Clothes: Yup, spritz with vodka and leave to dry in a well ventilated space. Invaluable for when washing clothes after one wearing may be difficult.
- Clear Mold: Sticking with vodka, spray it onto mold, leave for ten minutes and wipe away. Mold really reduces the air quality and can be lethal to asthma sufferers.
- Cocktails…Molotov: Nuf said.
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Contributed by Lizzie Bennett of Underground Medic.
Lizzie Bennett retired from her job as a senior operating department practitioner in the UK earlier this year. Her field was trauma and accident and emergency and she has served on major catastrophe teams around the UK. Lizzie publishes Underground Medic on the topic of preparedness.