Friday, February 13, 2015

How To Make Sure Your Home Can Withstand All Weather Extremes To Keep You Safe

Your home may be a place where you entertain friends and relax after a long day of work, but at the most basic level, a home is a shelter for you and your family. It protects you and your loved ones from the harsh elements year-round. The ability of your home to serve as a protective shelter, however, will be based in large part on how well you maintain your home over time. With a few steps, you can make sure that your home is able to withstand all weather extremes to keep you and your loved ones safe in even the worst conditions.

Service the HVAC Unit Regularly

The most common type of extreme weather conditions you may face relates to harsh temperatures. Both extreme heat and cold can result in injury or even death in some cases, and you need to be able to easily control the climate inside your home. Servicing your HVAC unit regularly will help you to minimize the risk of having your HVAC unit fail during extreme temperature conditions.

Invest in Storm Windows

High winds can wreak havoc on your home, and they can impact your safety and well-being. For example, high winds themselves can break fragile glass in some cases. In addition, when objects become moving projectiles due to high winds, these objects can shatter the glass and fly into the home. Storm windows are special windows that are designed to withstand extremely forceful wind gusts. You may consider investing in storm windows if your home does not already have them.

Repair or Replace Your Roof

Your roof covers a broad surface area on the top of your home, and it will take the brunt of the force in many extreme weather situations. Because of this, you need it in excellent condition at all times. You can request a roofing inspection periodically to learn more about its condition. By repairing or replacing it as needed, you will be able to help your roof do its job most effectively.

Invest in a Sump Pump

If your home has a basement, it may be prone to flooding during some weather events. A sump pump can be installed in your basement to remove water before it reaches a damaging level. You can invest in a new sump pump or take steps to repair or maintain an existing unit.

Making repairs or improvements to your home as needed will help you to keep it in great condition and will ensure that it can protect you and your family during inclement weather. Take time to follow these tips today so that you are prepared for all weather conditions. Informational credit to Simpson T Roofing.


Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She enjoys writing about home, family, business and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys spending time with her family and reading a good book when she isn't writing.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

7 Food Hacks To Learn For Any Disaster Threat

Hurricanes, blizzards, terrorist attacks, power outages, epidemics, and so on — you will never know what natural and manmade disasters will take you by storm. Such stressful times necessitate every ounce of physical and emotional strength and it is crucial to have an emergency food supply for at least three days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This survival food storage guide will walk you through how to come up with a game plan. This includes advice for planning your food stock and food storage tips for your emergency survival food to last for as long as possible.

  1. Plan Smart According to You and Your Family’s Needs and Tastes.

    The average American male consumes just less than 2,500 calories a day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Practical Preppers consultant Scott Hunt urges preppers to ensure a supply that provides at least 2,200 calories per day and covers basic nutritional requirements. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends including vitamin, mineral, and protein supplements to ensure adequate nutrition.

    Pay attention to individuals with special diets. Babies need liquid formula, in case mothers are unable to nurse. Prepare powdered milk for toddlers and canned dietetic foods, juices, and soups for the ill or elderly. Also, take note of food allergies.

    Try to replicate the diet that you are used to eating. Familiar foods boost morale and give a feeling of security amidst uncertainty. Needless to say, pets should be considered. Store non-perishable food for them.

    Canned Milk
    Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Lupole via Flickr, Creative Commons

  2. Your Survival Food Kits Should Withstand Harsh Conditions.

    Catastrophes often require you to be mobile for safety. Calamity food buckets to help you in cases like natural disasters are highly recommended for being portable, handy, and durable enough make it through any calamity or even mishandling. Some food kits come in sturdy and ready buckets, making it convenient in that you no longer have to deal with packing and worrying about bulky and fragile food containers.

    Another important consideration is space. Choose food kits that take up the least space and are stackable to make things easier for when you need to evacuate.

    Wollaston Lake Evacuation
    Photo Courtesy of Jordon Cooper via Flickr, Creative Commons

  3. Mind Their Shelf Life.

    Know what to consume first the moment the electricity goes off. According to FEMA, use first perishable food items from the refrigerator, pantry, garden, and other parts of your house. After that, use the food items from the freezer. A well-filled and well-insulated freezer can have frozen food that is safe to eat for at least two days. Professors Judy Harrison, Ph.D. and Elizabeth Andress, Ph.D. of University of Georgia add that you should consume the foods only if they have ice crystals remaining or if the temperature of the freezer has remained at 40°F or below. You need to limit the number of times you open the freezer door to conserve the remaining cold of the appliance. Stick a list of contents on the freezer. Also, cover the freezer with blankets to hold in cold. Pin blankets back so that the air vent is not covered. Last to be consumed are the non-perishable foods and staples or those that have the longest shelf life.

    Apocalypse Chow Pantry
    Photo Courtesy of Earthworm via Flickr, Creative Commons

  4. Maintain Food Quality by Storing Them Correctly.

    CDC says that certain storage conditions can enhance the shelf life of canned or dried foods, the ideal location being a cool, dry, dark place. Keep food in temperatures between 40 and 60°F. Keep foods away from ranges or refrigerator exhausts as heat causes many foods to spoil more quickly.

    Some food products absorb strong smells so keep food away from petroleum products, such as gasoline, oil, paints, and solvents. Also, protect your supply from rodents and insects by storing them in boxes or in paper cartons. It will also help in preserving food longer if they are heavily wrapped or stored in airtight containers.

    Soup In Containers
    Photo Courtesy of Jody Richards via Flickr, Creative Commons

  5. Be Never Without Water

    One can survive more than three weeks with reduced food intake or even without food (think Mahatma Gandhi). However, it is different with water. Water comprises at least 60% of the adult body and plays a crucial role in every living cell. With this, according to Randall K. Packer, a professor of biology at George Washington University, the longest a person can go without water seems to be a week, which is, however, a generous estimate. The typical period would be three to four days.

    According to FEMA, a normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts (half gallon) of water each day, though people in hot environments, children, nursing mothers, and ill people will require even more. Prepare at least one gallon per person, per day, for drinking, food preparation, and hygiene purposes for at least two weeks.

    You can buy commercially bottled water, which should be kept untouched in its original container until you need to use it. You can also treat water yourself by boiling, chlorination, or distillation. It is best, though, to combine methods for safer water.

    Avoid salty and spicy food, as these will increase thirst. Instead, have salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals, and canned foods with high liquid content. If possible, reduce activity and stay cool to further minimize thirst. You can ration food, but never water. Drink what you need today, and find more for tomorrow.

    Bottled Water Macros December 02, 20106
    Photo Courtesy of Steven Depolo via Flickr, Creative Commons

  6. Always Practice First-In, First-Out.

    Make an inventory of your food items and the expiry dates. Put the best-before date on each item with markers. Work with the shelf life of your stock by rotating them. Store the older supply at the front while put the new ones at the back when replenishing emergency food.

    100116-F-3231D-064
    Photo Courtesy of isafmedia via Flickr, Creative Commons

  7. Cook Food Wisely

    According to FEMA, for cooking indoors, you can use a fireplace. On the other hand, use a charcoal grill or camp stove for cooking outdoors. Keep cooked food hot with candle warmers, chafing dishes, and fondue pots. To avoid further disasters, use only approved devices for cooking and warming food. Canned food can be eaten straight out of the can, but if you heat it in the can, open it and remove the label before heating.

    CDC adds that having the following items on hand will help you in food preparation despite loss of electricity, gas, and water: Cooking utensils; knives, forks, and spoons; paper plates, cups, and towels; a manual can and bottle-opener and heavy-duty aluminum foil. They also cautions to never burn charcoal indoors, as the fumes are deadly when concentrated in a confined place.

    IMG_6320
    Photo Courtesy of Ken Owen via Flickr, Creative Commons

Never famish despite whatever challenge life throws at you. Events beyond your control should not unnerve you as long as you prepare to the best of your ability. Nothing is certain in this world, but a practical, survivalist mindset will bring a sense of security and make you feel on top of things.


Philip Masterson is the author of AlarmDefense blog. Circle him on Google+.