I’m often out working with the Boy Scouts teaching the finer points of bushcraft. One skill that seems to difficult, and yet fundamental to shelter building, is how to stake out and set guy lines and anchors. Natural anchors like shrubs or trees make it easy to set guy lines. When natural anchors aren’t available, using stakes is often a preferred method; yet what seems simple is often done wrong or at least not very effectively.
When the soil works in your favor, set stakes deep into the ground at an angle away from the shelter. The guy line and anchor should form a near 90-degree angle. I would say leaning the stake to any angle from 45 to 60 degrees on the ground is ideal.
Moving from Virginia to Arizona posed additional challenges: uncooperative soil (rocky, sandy, or loose/loamy). Finding rocks has been easy, and in these areas, I’ve found that simply wrapping the guyline around a big rock, or using multiple smaller rocks around the line is very effective. I’ve also used a stake as a sort of “Dead-man” anchor between rocks, somewhat like a toggle.
In the winter, creating authentic “Dead-man” anchors can be done by tying the guyline to the middle of the stake and then burying it on its side deep in the snow (or sand). Also, tying off to the bottom of a stake and driving the stake normally can also be effective. Parachute-style anchors can also be effective when used in sand and snow.
When stakes have been in the ground for some time, especially if the ground is cold or frosted, I’ve found that a simple twist (a multi-tool is often helpful here) is enough to loosen the stake before pulling it out.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warning hospitals and doctors that “now is the time to prepare,” has issued a six-page Ebola “checklist” to help healthcare workers quickly determine if patients are infected.
While the CDC does not believe that there are new cases of Ebola in the United States, the assumption in the checklist is that it is only a matter of time before the virus hits home.
For example, one part reads: “Encourage healthcare personnel to use a ‘buddy system’ when caring for patients.” Another recommends a process to report cases to top officials:
Plan for regular situational briefs for decision-makers, including:
– Suspected and confirmed EVD patients who have been identified and reported to public health authorities.
– Isolation, quarantine and exposure reports.
– Supplies and logistical challenges.
– Personnel status, and policy decisions on contingency plans and staffing.
The checklist has been distributed to major hospitals and even little ones, including an urgent center in Leesburg, Va.
“Every hospital should ensure that it can detect a patient with Ebola, protect healthcare workers so they can safely care for the patient, and respond in a coordinated fashion,” warns the CDC.
“While we are not aware of any domestic Ebola Virus Disease cases (other than two American citizens who were medically evacuated to the United States), now is the time to prepare, as it is possible that individuals with EVD in West Africa may travel to the United States, exhibit signs and symptoms of EVD, and present to facilities,” it adds.
Several hospital and medical websites have just begun to post the checklist online.
ABUJA, Nigeria — As alarm spread over the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa, President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, one of the three main countries battling the worst known outbreak of the disease, has declared a public health emergency that calls for the deployment of security forces to quarantine epicenters of infection. He also said he was canceling a planned visit to the United States.
In an address to the nation posted late Wednesday on the presidential website, Mr. Koroma said the emergency would “enable us take a more robust approach to deal with the Ebola outbreak.”
Mr. Koroma said he had been planning to attend a United States-Africa summit meeting in Washington, but would instead go on Friday to Guinea to discuss a regional response to the outbreak. The other two countries accounting for many of the 672 killed by the disease in recent weeks are Liberia and Guinea.
“We need to tell everyone that the epidemic is here, it is happening, and it is serious,” said Amara Jambai, the director of prevention and control at the Sierra Leone Health Ministry.