Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Prepper's Guide to Safe, Secure Weapon Storage

Aside from food and first aid supplies, one of the most popular items for preppers to keep in their homes is a firearm. It is important, however, for all preppers to keep any and all firearms safely stored, no matter what other precautions they’ve taken. Weapons should be kept in a secure location so they cannot be accessed by unauthorized people like strangers or children.

Legal Ownership

The first thing to do is research the weapon laws in your area. The right to bear arms is extended to many citizens, but there are laws that govern licensing and restrictions for those with criminal records. In some places, it's legal to openly carry a firearm without a specific licensing procedure as long as it doesn't cause a public disturbance. In other states, it's unlawful to carry a concealed weapon. Edmonton lawyer Rod Gregory, who works with illegal weapons possession cases, recommends that all firearm owners refer to their local gun laws to make sure they’re in compliance with all regulations.

Family Safety

A weapon is often kept with the intent of keeping a family safe. Unfortunately, there are many instances where a child has found a gun and caused deadly harm to themselves or another. Children don't always listen, even if you've taught them about the consequences and dangers of firearms. It's better to keep the gun out of little hands with the use of secured weapon storage.

Unsecured Locations

While you may want your weapon at the ready in case of an emergency, it will only take a few extra seconds to access a secured location. It might save the life of a child, too. Don't leave your weapons stashed in unsecured locations like the top of a closet on a shelf, hidden inside books or under a couch.

Secure, Well-Hidden

Keeping all your weapons in a gun safe is the best way to keep your family safe from accidental shootings but it's not convenient when there's an emergency. Weapons should be within easy reach when you need them to secure your home or your family's lives. Most large weapons should be kept in a gun safe, but for other secure, hidden guns, a microvault is the answer. This is a safe small enough to conceal in various locations throughout the home, but is safe from unauthorized users since it has a coded lock.

You want to keep your family safe from emergency situations, but you don't want your child or someone else's child to end up with a serious injury from a firearm. A small vault that can be bolted to the floor, under a couch or hidden under a desk is the perfect solution for keeping your family safe.

Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston. When she manages to tear herself away from the computer, she enjoys baking, rock climbing, and film noir.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Prepping: How To Be Prepared Against Different Holiday Threats

The winter holidays are coming and you should know the do’s and don’ts to survive the hectic schedule and to truly enjoy what the celebration is all about while keeping safe. There will be a lot of traffic, stampede on shopping malls and a great hike on cholesterol levels when you cannot refrain from eating excessively during the parties you’ll attend. Above all, you need to be on red alert when guarding your house because this is also a busy season. Burglars take advantage on empty houses around these times.

Crimes during holidays hike up since many of the houses are left empty. There will be many expensive gifts prepared such as jewelry sets and even stashes of cash kept at home. Be alert and be prepared on anything that might happen along the way. Here are tips that will help you how to have a safe and sound holiday celebration.

When at home

Spending your holidays at home does not guarantee that you will be totally safe. There are many possibilities that might happen during these special occasions. Home safety precautions such as these should be practiced:
  • Access the outreach materials and educational programs of the US Fire Administration Center.
  • You can read these materials online to ensure that you know what to do when fire happens. According to the US fire administration, most of the causes of residential building fire are cooking, heating and electrical malfunction. Since during the holidays, a lot of cooking is involved as well as putting up of Christmas lights and electronics, it is necessary to know the precautions in the modules provided.
  • Install a lock up safety system in your home.
According to U.S. Department of Justice, 60.5 percent is forced entry in residential homes, 33.2 percent are unlawful entries which means they have entered without force and the remaining percentages are the failed forced entry attempts. This statistics show that there should be a lock up safety system followed and one should be alert at all times.

When leaving the house for a holiday vacation

It is very important that you keep your house or condominium safe while you're on extended holiday vacation. There are many cases that when the family leaves their home for vacation, burglars easily break in their house and clear out their valuables. From the FBI NCIC statistics 70 percent of the burglary happens while the tenants are away from their home.
  • Before leaving, secure locks and close all windows. Windows with grills are best to be installed in your home for added safety.
  • If you have glass doors, ensure a secondary blocking structure that will make your house closed even after glasses are broken.
  • Install a security system comprising of CCTVs and warning devices.

When shopping

Shopping during the holidays at the mall is like being in the middle of a battlefield. The area is congested; the people come and go as fast as they can. The common crimes involved would be kidnapping, bag slashing and pick pocketing. The congestion is a good factor for robbers because they can easily infiltrate the bag of a victim. Many robbers would also take advantage of using their strategies on ATM machines to steal money right from your ATM card.

  • Bring a safety pack where you can put all of your credit cards and ATM cards in one place and make sure you can access it all the time.
  • Avoid using your gadgets especially smart phones in congested areas.
  • Secure your bags and be alert.
  • Never trust anyone with your belongings.

When with children

Going to theme parks during the holidays is a trend for many families. However, surprisingly, studies show that in every 40 seconds, an innocent child is being abducted and 20 percent of these children unfortunately die. This is according to the FBI National Crime Information Center. This is just a sign that when you are with your kids during the holidays, make sure that you follow these holiday safety tips.
  • Always remind your children how dangerous it is to talk to strangers.
  • When in a crowded area, make sure that you hold your kid at all times.
  • Always survey the area if there are any suspicious individuals.
  • It is better to go to secure areas where children’s safety is prioritized.

When hosting a party

When you are hosting a party at home or at a venue, there is a huge risk involved because of food safety issues including crowd control. When you have invited over 30 people in your party, it is a known fact that you may lose control of the party you are hosting. Alcohol and drugs may come in and out of the party without you knowing and you will be at risk since you are held reliable as the host of the place. If hosting over 30 people, make sure you do the following:
  • When the setting is in your home, make sure that all of your valued items are in a safe locked up place.
  • During the party, check the food you serve several times to avoid food poisoning.
  • When alcohol is served in your party, make sure that you have trusted people to deal with the crowd with you to be in control all the time.
  • It is also good to serve healthy food in beautiful plating to avoid any health complications for all of your guests.

When strangers intrude you

When you will have a face-to-face scenario with a stranger that would intrude you, make sure that you know what to do. Always be alert and be aware of your surroundings. Being much more aware of your surroundings compared to the intruder is an advantage that you should utilize.
  • Know the nearest exits around the area.
  • Always have an emergency self-defense item with you. May it be a pepper spray or an electric taser, any of which would still be useful.
  • Always put the emergency numbers to call on your phone.
  • Be mentally and physically prepared.
These are only a few tips that you may follow to ensure you and your family’s safety on threats during holiday season.

Emily Harper is a writer and a full-time mother. She often writes about sustainability, parenting and issues concerning families and women. She runs the blog

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sun In Winter: What You Can't Forget To Check When Leaving Your Cold Weather Home

A cold weather home is a home that is used only part of the year by people who would rather hang in the sun. During the winter months you might migrate to states with warmer weather, and usually during this time you’ll enjoy yourself at a luxurious vacation home. Many people own cold weather homes they allow to sit vacant during the winter months in this way.

But there are some problems with cold weather homes that need to be attended to before going on vacation for the winter. Included are some tips for the major things to check before leaving. 

Make The House Secure

One thing that is very important with any vacant home is making sure that the home is secure. Vacant homes are easy thief bait. Get ahead of the game and install a security system in your home which can be programmed to alarm when thieves try to break in. Many new security systems have monitors which allow you to view your home long distance by computer. 

Whether or not you choose to install a security system, you should notify a trusted friend or neighbor that you will be away. In many localities you can also notify the police, who will keep an eye on your home during the winter months. Don't forget to leave a forwarding address and phone number, in case a contact is needed. Having someone stop by intermittently to check on the house is a good idea.

Plan Ahead For Winter Weather

Cold weather homes take a battering in the winter, as all homes do, so prior planning is needed. Plan for harsh winds by removing anything from the outside that could blow away. Plan for snow and cold by making sure windows and doors are properly insulated with weather seal products. Check to make sure your heating system is working properly, and put in a fresh filter. Have a roofer come to your home and do a visual check of the roof for any vulnerable areas that could develop into leaks. 

Turn Down Or Shut Off Utilities 

Heat should remain on at a temperature that will keep all live systems operating properly, somewhere between 50 and 60 degrees. Shut off unnecessary lights and electricity, but retain some lighting with an electrical timer for security purposes.  It is very important to shut off the water at the main shutoff valve during the winter months, since below zero temperatures can cause pipes to freeze. A Plugged Piper Drain Service recommends purchasing RV antifreeze to pour into toilets, which will keep the water in the bowl from freezing. 

Make sure your plumbing system is in top condition before you leave. Have a plumber or drain cleaning company visit for an annual inspection to check for possible leaks and make repairs as necessary. A plumber can also set your boiler on a vacation setting, which will slow down the action of the boiler in the winter months when it is not being actively used. Just remember to have him come again when you get back from vacation to change the setting. 

Vacationing over the winter is only enjoyable if it is worry-free. Remove worries by making sure to prepare your cold weather home for the winter before you leave.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She writes for many online publications and blogs about home improvements, family, and health. She is an avid hiker, biker and runner. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Pandemic: Why Your Warning System Is Everything

If you’re sitting at home, and suddenly the power goes out, your car stops working and you can’t get any stations on your radio, then you can be fairly certain that one of three possible scenarios has just occurred:

  • Your region was just hit by an unusually massive X-class solar flare.
  • The U.S. was just hit by a high-altitude EMP device.
  • The U.S. has just been engaged in nuclear warfare.
All three scenarios listed, require three different courses of action and therein lies the problem. If suddenly this type of catastrophic event occurs, then you’ll be happy that you had a way to monitor radiation levels because option 3 would certainly be the most severe of them all.

So, how do you keep track of another highly likely crisis occurrence of the biological nature? How do you ascertain whether or not it was an attack or just an extremely contagious disease? What warning systems can you trust? Because we’ve seen time and time again …

Trusting the public is often like following a company of brainless beings off a cliff.

Why Public Perception Can Deceive You

It’s not the average Joe that we need to be worried about. If anything, the one quality that word-of-mouth has going for it ... is the fact that it’s a decentralized source of information, and that can’t logistically support a single propagandized agenda.

However what your neighbor’s cousin’s ex-wife told you by word-of-mouth, might be completely and totally inaccurate and listening to it would be tantamount to betting your life on a rumor, which is a major gamble. Though you don’t necessarily have to gamble on word-of-mouth with this crisis.

One of the biggest differences between a pandemic and just about any other crisis, is the fact that society’s infrastructure is still left intact. That means you’ll still be able to flip on the radio or TV and receive news about what’s going on.

But there’s two fundamental problems with trusting in major news networks during a biological catastrophe.

Your Preparedness Depends on Information

Let’s think about what we would be able to assume if we began to hear news about a fast-spreading pandemic, which could have been the result of a biological attack …
  • First, we’d at least have an idea that we could be under attack, but we wouldn’t know from whom it had originated (considering that the news media itself could be compromising with the enemy to coerce the population).
  • Second, we wouldn’t know if the government is pushing a nefarious agenda in hopes of driving public fear. Although it wouldn’t be the first time a government has engaged in that type of behavior.
  • Third, if local and internet news sources are telling people to run to the hills, whereas the major news networks are telling people that everything is fine ... then you can be fairly certain that either CNN hasn’t the foggiest as to what is happening … or the government is cutting its losses, because it has depleted its resources on combating the spreading disease.
  • Fourth, the news is giving accurate, helpful information, and assisting the government in keeping as many individuals out of harm’s way as possible. Though, after Hurricane Katrina, Waco, 9/11, and just about every other disaster that the U.S. government has attempted to handle … I think I’d rather trust my gut.
Either way, your preparedness depends on good information; if your information source hasn’t proven itself to be exactly credible over the years, then perhaps you need to count on a different source.

Your Information Depends on Good Sources

I’ve generally stopped trusting in the public’s ability to look after my family and me. That’s why I lean toward using a private sector, a third party service or I rely on my own knowledge and technical capabilities when I’m trying to access good information.

For instance, companies like DataTech911 would be a fantastic choice for two main reasons:
  • They’re centralized enough to provide consistent, accurate information.
  • Yet they aren’t a government agency which could have an agenda, or a tendency to be infested with complete and total incompetence.
Another great option would be to have an insider source within emergency medical services, a crisis-management arm of the government or even local police. If you were able to maintain contact with someone, or several people, who have eyes on the developing situation, then this would be a huge advantage.

Of course, there’s always the option of purchasing a police scanner but listening to reports about gas station robberies all day could get old quickly.

Alicia grew up in Alaska where she earned her hunter and wilderness safety license at age 13. She now works as a content coordinator for a tech company in Pennsylvania and blogs in her free time at Homey Improvements.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Family Plan: How to Make Sure You're Prepared for a Fire

Although many households are prepared for a natural disaster, fires are often a second thought when it comes to getting the right equipment. To keep your family safe and know what steps to take with the event, there are a few ways to prepare ahead of time. By having a plan established and using the right fire safety equipment, it can work to save the lives of residents in the home and reduce the amount of damage that occurs.

Keep Fire Extinguishers on Hand

Fire extinguishers should be used in a fire, and located in key areas of the home that are easy to access. Although the extinguisher may not put the entire fire out, it can still be used when trying to exit the home, and keep the fire at bay. Keep an extinguisher in each room of the home and review how to use it at least once a year.

Create an Escape Route

An escape plan should be established and practiced in the event of a fire. Residents in the home should review the escape route every six months and practice crawling low while moving towards different exits to escape the house. For residents who are on second or third levels of the home, emergency escape ladders should be available to reach the ground level outdoors. Residents should practice deploying the product and practice using it to become familiar with the item if a fire occurs.

Delegate Different Tasks

Different residents in the home should be responsible for caring for pets or elders who are unable to care for themselves in the event of a fire. A first aid supplier in Kam Loops, Nutech Safety Ltd, suggests assigning different members of the home to each person who will need assistance to ensure everyone escapes the home safely and is not left behind.

Choose an Outside Place to Meet

To get a head count of who makes it out of the home if a fire occurs, it's important to choose a place to meet for each resident. This will make it easy to know who is safe, and who may still be left in the building.

With over 14,000 people injured in a home fire each year, it's important to prepare for the disaster, and review what steps to take every six months. It will work to equip each resident in the home both mentally and physically to ensure they increase their chances of escaping the property safely.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She writes for many online publications and blogs about home improvements, family, and health. She is an avid hiker, biker and runner. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Doomsday Giveaway for December 2014!

For December 2014, We are giving away 40 Mylar Emergency Blankets! That's right! The Doomsday Moose is giving away ten 4-packs of these survival blankets to ten lucky winners!

Throw a couple in you car, and a couple in your bug-out bag for emergencies. Stay warm when you need it the most! Be sure to enter below!

All you need to do is use the Rafflecopter tool below to enter. You can tweet about this giveaway or another link on this blog, follow us on Twitter, "like" us on Facebook, share us at your favorite social network, or follow this blog. Easy as that. On January 1st we will select the winners.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Good luck!

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Basics of Urban Home Defense

It is no surprise that people in urban environments lock their doors more regularly and take a defensive posture more readily than those in suburban and rural environments. Unknown is whether or not this behavior is associated with higher crime rates per capita in cities or the fact that one is more likely to encounter more strangers than familiar faces in cities. Regardless, there are proven tactics to better secure living spaces in urban areas.

Layering Security

Think of security as an onion. The core of that onion is the family and belongings being protected from accidents and criminal behavior. The layers surrounding the core are each independently functioning security protocols and equipment. Security protocols include things such as not walking down dark alleys at night and making sure to see who is at the door before answering it. Security equipment comes in all types and varieties, from early warning equipment such as alarm systems to defensive equipment such as custom locksmith-made door locks.

Alarm Systems

A serious crime committed in a neighborhood gets other homeowners primed to add to their own home security setup. This usually involves a call to an alarm company. This is a great first step in securing any home or apartment. Alarm companies today install perimeter and motion detection systems as well as smoke and carbon monoxide warning devices. They are all connected to a central alarm system that is monitored around the clock. Basic systems are often low cost or free with a monitoring agreement. Being connected to a monitoring agency is a layer of security unto itself because someone is there to send help to occupants who cannot help themselves.

Home Fortifications

Going beyond early warning of criminal entry, a developing fire or an appliance leaking deadly carbon monoxide is fortifications to deny or resist forced entry. The costs for these types of fortifications really have the sky as the limit, but even homeowners on a budget can install devices that help keep the criminal element on the outside. For apartment dwellers, a specialist from Davies Lock & Door Services Ltd. says that simply changing out the old locks upon moving in will improve security. There is no knowing who has a key for old locks. Also, some older locks are easy to defeat while custom locks made by a locksmith are not.

Additional Home Defense Measures

Even meager budgets can afford more elaborate security upgrades if they are added a little at a time. Security grates added to ground floor windows may not be affordable to add all at once but may fit into a tight budget adding one at a time. The addition of outdoor lighting that have motion detection switches is a good deterrent. Nothing startles intruders like a bright light suddenly announcing their presence. A well-trained pet dog is also a deterrent. Not a guard dog, but just a common canine who is part of the family and knows when and when not to bark.

Security Protocols

Leading in home and family protection is all family members following standard safety and security protocols without fail. Locking doors and windows should be routine. Everyone who answers the door should know who is on the other side before opening it. Surveillance cameras are a great help here. Children should have clear instructions as to how to respond to strangers to prevent luring and abductions. Adults should not take unnecessary risks just for the sake of convenience.

As a planted onion develops its outer layers a little at a time as it grows, so should the layers of security for a family. It should be adapted according to risk and budget. However, above all personal security protocols should be things the whole family is willing and able to participate in. Add protocols and equipment a little at a time, and reassess the entire security system in place on a regular basis.

Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston. When she manages to tear herself away from the computer, she enjoys baking, rock climbing, and film noir.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Emergency Water Preparedness: How to Distill Clean Drinking Water

If you are an adventurer, you must know how to distill clean drinking water. Hikes, expeditions and all sorts of thrilling adventurers in the wild require survival knowledge and experience. Drinking water is one of the most important life supporting necessities. Without food we can survive for quite some time, but without water we can not last long because our bodies are made out of it. Therefore, it is more than important to know how to prepare yourself water that is safe enough for consummation. Learn your lesson because it can save your life.

Actually, everyone should have at least basic understanding of drinking water distillation because this is one of the most important things in life. There is no guarantee that you won't find yourself in a situation where life sustaining skills and knowledge would be determinative. After natural disasters, transportation accidents, and many other unfortunate events, there is a very high possibility that the water supply won't be enough to ensure your safe being till you get out of the situation. In crisis, our bodies tend to dehydrate really fast, therefore we should always have a descent supply of drinking water.

Using water with uncertain purity for drinking, cooking or even washing may put our health at risk. Taking water from random sources is very dangerous because it could have infectious character. Water that hasn't been distilled could contain various micro-organisms, germs, bacteria, parasites or chemicals. Splendid Deep Cleaning would like to give you some survival advices which everyone should know.

The easiest and most common method for drinking water preparation is boiling. All you need is a water container and a heating source that will warm the water till it reaches the boiling temperature. Once the water starts boiling distinctly - with nice big bubbles, leave it for about five to ten minutes. It would be wise to filter the water before boiling. A t-shirt fabric will do the job. After boiling you could pour it several times from one container to another. That process with add more oxygen to the water content, so it will taste better and it will have more life sustaining qualities. Boiling kills almost all of the dangerous bacteria and micro-organisms but it doesn't remove all the heavy metals, chemicals and salts. Bear that in mind if you are planing to boil water with poor quality.

Water distillation is a more efficient method for processing water for direct consummation. In camping or emergency conditions, you will have to find heat source and two containers – larger one and smaller one that fits inside. You will also need a flat lid that will cover the larger container. River water, spring water, rain, snow or even sea water can be distilled for drinking. Pour the water in the larger container and place the smaller one inside. Leave it floating above the surface or hang it somehow to the lid. Place the lid to cover the container and let it boil. The steam which evaporates from the boiling surface cools on the lid surface and condenses. The condensed water is pure and falls - drop by drop - down inside the smaller container. The collected water will be good enough for drinking. The distillation method kills the boiling resistant bacteria and removes even salt, heavy metals and some chemicals. The overall process requires more time and preparation but it is more effective than boiling.

Every human being must have basic survival knowledge. We have to know how to sustain our lives, if we find ourselves in a natural environment. Since we are made out mostly out of water, so we should learn how to prepare drinking water in case of emergency.

Written by a writer who wished to remain anonymous.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Being Prepared in Extreme Weather Situations

Chaparral Supercell 2
With more reports of extreme weather affecting every region of the world, it’s important to be prepared now more than ever. Most weather and disaster preparedness experts agree that the more prepared you are when disaster strikes the better your chances are of coming out unscathed. Whether camping with your family or preparing your home for an extreme weather scenario there is a portable generator that meets your needs.

Many companies including Westinghouse, Honda, and Champion are making high quality quite generators for RV’s, small generators for camping, and duel fuel portable generators, that can usually be converted to tri fuel portable generators with an easy to install conversion kit.

The conversion might be an added expense but can come in handy when a disaster strikes or when resources are hard to come by. By converting your generator from a duel fuel portable generator to a tri fuel portable generator, you’re adding the ability for your portable generator to run off of natural gasses, and propane as opposed to just gasoline. Gasoline is great option if you use all of the fuel in your tank and use your generator often. However when gasoline sits for long periods of time it can become gummy and cause your generator to malfunction when you need it most. Many natural gasses and propane can sit undisturbed for longer periods, and are often used by professionals for their emergency generators.

Gasoline also becomes one of the most sought after resources after a disaster, and can be extremely hard to allocate between your vehicles and your generator. Using natural gases and propane assures you will have fuel when it’s needed most and will probably assure you are the most popular person in your neighborhood if extreme weather does affect your region.

Generators are hopefully a last resort in a weather emergency, but can enhance camping and outdoor experiences, so having a generator can serve a number of different purposes from powering appliances in your RV, keeping the lights on while in the outdoors, or just adding an additional source of portable power around your home.

We hope you never have to use your generator as an emergency survival device, and can use it as another way to enhance your daily and special activities. However there is no denying that when disasters do occur that having a generator at your disposal can be the thing that makes the difference. If that day comes having a tri fuel generator can be a huge advantage in making sure you and your family are safe and comfortable.

The article was written by Henry Habgood. Henry is an Amazon Affiliate and is the owner of Generator Gator.

Friday, November 21, 2014

5 Hiking Safety Tips You Can't Afford to Ignore

Whether it is a first-timer on a short hike near their home or a multi-day excursion on the other side of the country, safety should always be a hiker’s number one priority. Many outdoor enthusiasts may have a general knowledge of safety tips and tricks when out in the wild, but it is also important to have a healthy dose of respect for nature and just how dangerous it can be. Here is a closer look at five safety tips that should never be ignored when heading out on a hike. 

  1. Pick a Location and Stick to It

    A little improvisation to catch a view or explore an interesting area is not a terrible idea in most situations, but those heading outdoors should stay relatively close to their planned hike. This is necessary for a couple of reasons, beginning with the fact that family, friends, and park rangers should know where the hiker plans on being and for how long. Heading off of the trail could also mean finding oneself in an unsafe situation such as an area prone to animal attacks. 

  2. Bring More Water than is Needed

    Water is often the heaviest item brought along during a hike, and this leads to many under-preparing with their water supply. In addition to hydrating before and after a hike, it is also vital to pack quite a bit more than one thinks they will need, preferably in shatter-resistant bottles. Anyone that is going on a hike that will take longer than a few hours should bring a secondary source of water and never drink untreated water. Some of the most popular options include purification tablets or a filtering stick. 

  3. Learn How to Treat All Basic Medical Issues

    Medical kits that are designed for the outdoors are lightweight and will include tools to treat all of the most common issues that may take place. Instead of using a heavier and larger kit, such as those designed to be stored in the trunk of a vehicle, hiking kits should include basic items such bandages of different sizes, burn treatments, lip balm, sunscreen, a multi-tool, and cleaning pads. When creating these kits, it is also a good time to begin considering medical wristbands that could prevent mishaps if one is injured and in need of professional medical attention.

  4. Stay Loud, Stay Visible

    Staying visible and noisy to both humans and any wildlife that may potentially be around could help hikers prevent some serious issues. For wildlife, heavy footfalls or even whistling will scare almost all animals off, even predators in many situations. Having bright clothing and something like an emergency whistle to make noise could also help a hiker be found by a search party if they are lost or in need of help. 

  5. Don’t Panic

    No matter how prepared an outdoor enthusiast may be, accidents can happen and adrenaline is sure to set in if they do happen. When this takes place, it can be all too easy to succumb to fear which will result in bad decision making skills and wasted energy. While no one will understand how they will react until they are put in one of these situations, it is important to always take a moment, relax one’s nerves, and then think through the problem logically. 

There are countless variables that will affect the safety of a hiker, and not all of these variables can be controlled by those that are enjoying the great outdoors. With some forward planning, researching the area, and knowing one’s limits, many potentially dangerous situations can be easily avoided. 

Karleia is a freelance blogger and outdoor enthusiast. You can follow Karleia on Google+.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Surviving the 6 Most Common Car Emergencies

Knowledge is power when it comes to surviving a scary auto emergency. Try to remain calm and level-headed when faced with the unexpected. Here are some common emergencies and advice to help prepare you before you need it.

Brake failure

Shift the transmission to a lower gear to slow the car down. If you see a curb, rub the tires against it to further slow down. Shift into neutral if you haven't already. Apply the emergency brake. Steer to the side of the road, then switch off the engine. Call for a tow truck.

Flat tire or blowout

Take your foot off the gas, but don't apply the brakes. Turn on your flashers and slowly move to the side of the road, then brake. If you do not know how to change a tire, call for help. If you do know how, proceed only in a safe location.


Take a deep breath and turn on your hazard flashers. If possible, pull over to the side of the road. Assess your injuries before leaving your vehicle. Do not move anyone who is badly injured unless necessary for their safety. Call 911 and begin to document the scene.

Locked keys inside

If you don't keep an extra set of keys on you, call 911 if you are in an unsafe location. If you feel safe, call a locksmith or your roadside assistance service. Check your insurance policy as some cover this emergency.

Out of gas

As soon as you realize you are running out of gas, get your vehicle to the side of the road. Shut off the engine to avoid seizing up the fuel pump. Turn on your emergency flashers, then call an emergency road side service or friend to bring you gas. If those aren't possible, call a tow truck.


Turn on the heater full blast to drain heat from the engine. Pull over to the side of the road, and turn off the engine. Unless you see steam, open the hood to release the heat. Wait 30 minutes before adding coolant. Call roadside assistant or a friend if you don't have coolant. If these options aren't available, call a tow truck.

Keeping your car properly maintained could prevent an emergency altogether. Auto care centers, like National Transmissions, can help identify potential problems during a factory recommended maintenance check such as tire and battery condition. Drive safely.

Karleia is a freelance blogger. Away from the office she enjoys scrapbooking and enjoying time with friends and family.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Protect Your Privacy - 5 Simple Practices to Follow for Your Safety

Your privacy is in important especially in a modern age where information on almost everyone is readily available. Maintaining you online and physical privacy is one of the most important things that you have that you need to protect with a conscience effort. Just how do you protect your privacy when it seems like the world is becoming less and less private, though? What are some steps you can take to ensure that you always hold onto your privacy? Keep reading to find out just a few ways that you can protect yourself and your family from invasions of privacy.

Block Third Party Cookies When Online

Adjust your internet browser's settings so that it does not allow third party cookies to track you when you are online. Company gather and sell the information that is accumulated after you visit sites. You can do this simply by accessing your browser's settings. Always do this on each browser that you use as those with malicious intent can get ahold of private information with a little effort if cookies are left active on.

Install a Fence in Your Backyard

Your home is one place where you should always feel safe and secure, where you shouldn't have to worry about your privacy being invaded. You should be able to relax at home without any worries, and a privacy fence from Lynx Brand Fence Products (Alta) Ltd helps you achieve that. Having fence can protect your land and your privacy by keeping those nosey neighbors at a distance. Installing a fence in your yard is a great way to ensure that your privacy is respected.

Use a Personal Email Address for Personal Emails

Don't give in to the temptation to use your work email address to send out personal emails. Because your company basically owns your work email address, they will be able to monitor anything that you send out. Using your work email for personal use can have a really negative affect in your personal life. If you don't want everyone at your company knowing your business, make the decision to always use a personal email account for sending personal emails.

Ignore Spam Emails

As tempting as it may be to open the types of messages that claim that you have earned an inheritance that you weren't expecting, it is best to just let spam messages be. Don't open spam messages, and never download anything that is sent in them. Don't click the "unsubscribe" button that appears in spam messages, either, as it can lead to trouble.

Invest in a Paper Shredder

You don't want just anyone to read your mail and other important documents after you throw them away, so it is smart to purchase a paper shredder and use that to destroy all paper before it leaves your home. You will be happy that you made the investment as it can protect a lot of sensitive information that you would not want others to be able to access.

Privacy isn't just a dream, it is attainable. You can lead a private life if you just work to attain it, and you can rest in peace knowing that you’re safe and secure both physically and electronically.

Meghan is a freelance writer from Oklahoma. She enjoys being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise as well as researching new topics to expand her horizons.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Ways To Help Your Retirement Community Prepare For The Unexpected

Retirement communities are places with various necessities and amenities that cater to elderly people. There are many activities that these people get involved in every day. It seems like a relatively safe place to stay, but no place is 100% safe. Even the workers and residents in a retirement home must prepare for the worst. Make sure when you look for a retirement community check it out for emergency plans before deciding on where to live.

Falls and Accidents

It seems simple enough to handle a fall, but you could cause more damage if you handle it incorrectly. There are good and bad ways to lift and move injured patients. All nursing home workers must know how to respond quickly and within the scope of their abilities. Based on information from the Sunshine Retirement Living company, all workers need to follow valuable guides. They must avoid getting into trouble with their superiors or the patients’ families.

Theft and Burglary

Every senior resident needs to check out the overall security of the facility. The building managers hire staff members who are not likely to steal from the residents. They install a security system that prevents unlawful entries that lead to thefts and burglaries. Thefts are likely to occur to people with bad memories because they leave things lying around. So, putting careful security measures into place is important.


Every building needs a proper fire prevention and protection plan that includes a regular drill. However, evacuating everyone in an assisted living center is difficult. There are many people in wheelchairs and hooked up to oxygen tanks that need careful assistance. If these people do not know how to get out fast enough, they are likely to die from burns or smoke inhalation.

Natural Disaster

It is not common, but when a storm or tornado comes, it causes more damage than imaginable. Every residential living area needs a detailed disaster plan that includes emergency evacuations and temporary relocations according to Sunshine Retirement for seniors. A major hurricane could do damage that varies from creating a big flood to causing long-term power outage. The patients must still be tended to and receive their medical treatments. No matter what the issue is, there must be a solution written down.

There are all kinds of horror stories that haunt anyone interested in joining a retirement home. Anyone with an ailing parent must ensure that the home and surrounding communities are completely safe. If you work in a retirement community, put a few, good disaster plans into action. The elderly people need as much help as they can get from the workers. Whether you encounter thefts or fires, stay prepared from the very beginning.

Savannah Coulsen is a freelance writer. She lives in Raleigh. Savannah loves to read and write and she hopes to write a novel someday. Savannah also loves learning and is a self-proclaimed health guru.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Tips for Building Your Underground Bomb Shelter

It’s certainly unfortunate that we live in a world where we even have to worry about how we can protect our families in the event an unthinkable tragedy takes place. But with wars seemingly popping up all over the globe and tensions continuing to rise, it looks like it’s only a matter of time before the next catastrophic event occurs.

By deciding to build an underground bomb shelter, you’re taking proactive steps to ensure that your family will be safe no matter what events happen in the outside world. As you go about designing your shelter, it’s important to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What kind of tools and equipment does my project need? In order to build the most effective and secure shelter possible, you’re going to have to dig deep by using an excavator, and you’re going to have to haul away a lot of boulders, tree trunks and other organic material. Once you make the decision to build a shelter, it’s probably in your best interest to finish construction as quickly as possible. So you’ll likely need some heavy machinery—not just a shovel.
  • What kind of features do I want my shelter to have? Believe it or not, today’s shelters are essentially underground homes. As you design your shelter, you’re able to choose exactly what kind of features it will have. From a fully functional kitchen to bedrooms with closets, you’ll have to figure out exactly what your needs are so that you can meet them as best as you can. On top of these kinds of features, you also have to consider what kinds of safety features your shelter will have as well. NBC air filtration systems, for example, will make sure contaminated air does not get inside your shelter in the event a nuclear, biological or chemical attack occurs.
  • How big does my shelter need to be? For starters, of course, you’re going to have to determine how big your shelter actually needs to be. You’re then going to have to make sure that your property can withstand that kind of construction. The more you plan ahead and do your due diligence, the easier it’ll be to build your underground bomb shelter.
  • What kind of materials should I store inside my shelter? Shelters are constructions that you hope you never have to use. But in the event the unthinkable takes place, you’ve got to make sure that you can actually live in the space you created. It might be worth your while to stockpile a bunch of canned food and bottled water to make sure that you’re able to eat and drink in your shelter. You also might want to outfit the bunker with board games, televisions, DVDs, books and other items that can be used for your entertainment if you’re forced to live underground for some time.
There’s a reason we are all aware that it’s better to be safe than sorry. By taking the proactive steps and deciding to break ground on an underground bomb shelter, you’re doing all that is within your power to make sure your family is protected no matter what happens. While you can’t prevent a catastrophic event from occurring, you can put yourself in the position to weather any proverbial storm that may come your way.

Alicia grew up in Alaska where she earned her hunter and wilderness safety license at age 13. She now works as a content coordinator for a tech company in Pennsylvania and blogs in her free time at Homey Improvements.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Luxury Camping: Everything Your New Trailer Needs

Camping is a favorite pastime of many American families. When enjoying a family trip, roughing it in a tent is a thing of the past. Now a camping trip entails sleeping in a Motor home, or relaxing in a luxury cabin. It seems now more than ever we are getting used to comforts in even the most uncomfortable places. Let’s explore some of the features that make us feel like we are being pampered while enjoying the great outdoors.

Pullight Dynamo

This is an item that will work as a flashlight, but also is a way to charge the many electronics you need later. Don’t leave all your connections to the civilized world at home on a camping trip, since this device will help you keep in touch without outlets. The device has a yo-yo string to generate energy, as well as a way to convert all movement into usable energy to charge your devices.

Self-Stirring Mug

Every camper enjoys a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, or a cup of hot cocoa at night, but dealing with spoons around the campfire is a hassle. This self-stirring mug will take care of the stirring needs of any beverage, and keep your drink mix and frothy until the very last drop.

Biolight Camping Stove

Most campers seem to never have enough outlets. What if you are camping where there is no electricity? Devices that need to be charged would soon become useless. With this stove all that is needed is some wood burning to make sure you can keep a charge. As says, energy conversions are making technology possible in even the most remote places. Even big appliances like fridges and Kele fans are becoming more portable and self-sufficient.

Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen

This gadget stores everything you write with the pen electronically. This is a great camping tool, use paper to write down important information, then automatically access what you wrote through your computer. This luxury item makes taking a laptop a need of the past. Some pens even broadcast a Wi-Fi signal. You’ll be able to remember everything you saw without a camera dangling off your wrist.

Three in One Breakfast Maker

This is a perfect camping item that allows for a delicious breakfast of eggs, toast, and coffee using only one appliance.

Portable Ice Maker

Drinks are a necessity when it comes to camping, and no one wants to have warm beverages. With this device you will have easy access to enough ice to even make some scrumptious margaritas.

Camping is a fun adventure to spend quality time with your family. Consider all the small luxuries you enjoy on a daily basis, and explore the possibilities of taking them camping for added comfort and enjoyment.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She writes for many online publications and blogs about home improvements, family, and health. She is an avid hiker, biker and runner. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Effective Pest Control of Indoor Spiders


Killing a spider seems like an easy task, but is it really? You'll be surprised to find out just how ineffective pesticides can be if you're using any. The secret to getting rid of spiders is to know their nature. Here in this article we explain what methods work effectively against indoor spiders. Read along.

Why pesticides won't work

The thing about spiders is that they are not like other insects. In fact they are not really insects, they are arachnids. So, unlike flies and ants that clean themselves using their mouth, spiders do not groom themselves, at least not routinely. They may resort to this if there is something stuck to them like a huge particle. What's more, spiders do not touch surfaces, as they “walk”, with their bellies. It's only their feet that actually touch the ground, ceiling or wall.

So if you want to kill a spider, the best way is to do it directly. Attack it with a shoe, newspaper or a direct spray – whatever weapon you have at hand. However, this can only work if there aren't many spiders in the house.

Reduce bugs in the house

The best way to deal with spiders is to get rid of the things that attract them. As you probably know, spiders are predators. Yes, they feed on other insects. So, if you want to keep them less interested in your house, you should keep other bugs at minimum. What you may not know is that spiders usually hang around lights because lights attract other insects that spiders can consume. Thus—

Keep outdoor lights turned off at night

And just to make it clear – spiders will not feel “invited” to your house when the lights are on, but other bugs will and this will attract spiders.

Patch holes and cracks up

Another great way to keep spiders out of your house is to patch every crack in your house up that spiders can use to find their way onto the premises. Window screens are of greatest concern here. Make sure you replace every window screen which is damaged or torn.

In addition, use caulk around electrical components, cables, wires and faucets, as they are connected with what's going on outside and can be the means for spiders to enter your home.

But apart from this, how do you deal with spiders (directly) once they are already sharing your home with you?

Add some glue to it

House spiders and jumping spider dwell on the ground. A great way to deal with them is to set glue traps out. You can use glue boards. Just make sure you place them next to doors and windows, beneath furniture and in dark corners where spiders are most likely to dwell. Another thing that will attract spiders to the glue trap is a bug glued to it.

The best way to make this work is to pay attention to spiders' common traffic patterns. If you know where they usually dwell and which “paths” they use, this trap can be very effective.

Keep your house clean and tidy

Spiders hide out in different places. The more messy your house is, the more places to hide out in. Which means you should keep clutter at minimum. Never lave leftover food on the table or on the sink. Make sure you sweep the floor after each meal to remove food crumbs that attract other insects such as ants, are saying from Pt Maintenance. Don't leave dirty dishes in the sink for too long.

Additionally, be sure to wipe down counters and shelves regularly, sweep or vacuum the floor and never leave piles of dirty clothes on the floor. Remember: the cleaner the house is, the better.

Written by a writer who wished to remain anonymous.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

How To Turn Your Home Into An Ultimate Shelter When Disaster Strikes

When a major disaster strikes, you want to be ready. Your home can be a fortress that you use to protect your family, but you need to make sure you take steps to turn your home into the ultimate shelter. It's important that everyone can feel safe at home and be protected from whatever may come.


You need an upgraded security system that you can run with a battery or generator. When you have a better security system, you can keep looters out of your house. Also, you can scavenge for batteries to keep the system going.


You need to have a pantry in your home that carries several weeks of food. You want to build this pantry up over time as you do your regular grocery shopping. Filling this room with canned good and dried foods will help keep the family fed. Cycle through the food when it starts to reach it's expiration date and slowly replace what you use so nothing goes to waste.


If there really is a disaster, you want to make sure that the windows are covered. The covering on the windows can prevent wind and rain from coming in the windows are broken. Consider getting dual-pane windows to keep the heat in during cold weather. Also, you may want to use blackout shades that will help to prevent people from looking inside.

Safe Room

You need to create a safe room in your home for the family. These are typically rooms in the basement that do not have outside access. You can store your pantry food in there, and you can keep weapons in the room for your protection. Your family can retreat to this room if something serious happens to the home.

The Fireplace

Keeping your fireplace in good condition is a must. When you are hiding in your home for a long period of time, you will need something to keep the family warm. If your fireplace is in good condition, you can keep the fireplace running all winter to warm the family.


You need to keep a generator in the house that you can run on gasoline or propane. These fuels will be easy to find in the aftermath of a disaster, and the generator can run all your electronics for communication. These generators can also be used to power the home if you can find fuel.

You need to be prepared for a disaster, and you need to be sure that your family has a plan. When remodeling your home or building from scratch, it's important to keep these things in mind. Professional builders can make any room and use almost any material you want.

Informational credit to Alair Homes.

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.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Doomsday Giveaway for November 2014!

For November 2014, We are going to let two winners pick out their own survival gear. This month the prize is a $25 Amazon Gift Cards!

Do you need a little extra cash to help you with your survival goals? Maybe we can help you with an Amazon gift card. This giveaway is open to everyone so enter.

Check your Bug-Out Bag and see what is missing. Look through your food storage and see what you lack. Maybe you need a book or two that will help you to get more knowledgeable or better organized. It's all good stuff. Get what you like with this month's giveaway!

$25 Amazon Gift Card

All you need to do is use the Rafflecopter tool below to enter. You can tweet about this giveaway or another link on this blog, follow us on Twitter, "like" us on Facebook, share us at your favorite social network, or follow this blog. Easy as that. On December 1st we will select the winners.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Good luck!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What's the Quality of Your Water? Here’s How to Test and Treat It

Homeowners should have an idea about their quality of water. There are DIY and professional testing methods and treatments available.

Basic Home Test Kits

Water quality test kits are sold at most hardware stores and swimming pool service companies. A typical set includes multiple strips that are soaked in water coming from a faucet. Test kits usually check for the most common parameters affecting water purity such as chlorine, iron, lead, and nitrates. The pH and hardness of water could also be checked. The results are easy to read based on the color changes of the wet strips. At, the EPA provides resources about water quality standards.

Lab Tests

Only professional laboratories can test water for living contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and parasites. Homeowners with private wells should have their water tested for giardia and cryptosporidium, two strains of aquatic parasites which cause gastrointestinal problems. If harmful microorganisms are detected, a UV filter must be installed in order to destroy them on contact. Local health departments may offer residents free water testing as a result of any spills and other incidences that cause contamination.

Solutions by Plumbing Companies

Based on water quality test results, a professional plumbing company like Plumb Perfect Ltd and others can install the appropriate filtration and softening systems. A softener is highly recommended for homes that have hard water, which is loaded with calcium and magnesium deposits that lead to scaling of fixtures. A whole house water filter eliminates all types of known contaminants and chemicals expect for microorganisms. Reverse osmosis, sediment and activated carbon technology are integrated into filtration systems that purify water before it's distributed throughout a home's supply lines. For shower heads and bathtub faucets, KDF filters are recommended to remove any traces of impurities that might remain in bathroom fixtures.

Point of Use Filtration

Sometimes, it's most cost effective to install point of use filters instead of whole house filtration systems. For example, ice and water dispensers in refrigerators can be equipped with carbon filters that deliver crispy and cool drinks. Similarly, the kitchen sink could be connected to a small faucet mounted filter or an under counter unit. Such filtration might be best recommended for water that is drunk or used to wash produce. Simple carbon filters eliminate the unpleasant characteristics of Chlorine and other natural metals like iron.

Homeowners have the right to demand water quality annual reports from utility companies. It's also a good idea to follow government safety standards about this issue.

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Beams LED Lantern with USB Charger - Review

by Shane White

Mr. Beams, an indoor and outdoor LED lighting company sent me this LED Lantern for review.

The Beams LED Lantern with USB Charger seems like a great lantern to have around. It has a bright mode with 3 LEDs that have an output of 260 lumens, and a nightlight mode with 20 lumens output. It also has a USB Charger build in that charged your USB powered device (cell phone or whatever) off 4 D-Cell batteries.


Full Brightness Mode

In this mode, it is quite bright to look at. It is enough light to read or do other tasks that need some light. The 260 lumens of light should last for 30 hours on a set of 4 D-Cell batteries. In this mode, the lantern will shut off after 60 minutes to save battery life warning you after 58 minutes by flashing that it is about to turn off. The control button is easy to use and find in the dark. It is a three way switch that cycles through the three modes (Full Bright/Night Light/Off).

Night Light Mode

The night light mode is much dimmer and can be used to keep you from smashing your toes when walking in the dark. Lets just say that the 20 lumens of light lasts for a long time.


USB Charger

The USB charger is good enough to charge my big smart phone. It can charge several times off the installed batteries. The rubber cover over the USB port sealed it well enough to keep the rain water out and closes in a way that I feel comfortable enough that it won't get water inside.

Weather Resistant

This is easily weather resistant. This lantern is not rated for submersion, but looking at how it is sealed, I would think it would survive if it fell in the river. Don't hold me responsible if you do this and it stops working. I have not tried this personally.

Other Features

I like how flexible this lantern is. It can be configured to be used in a number of ways. It has a nice large sturdy hook on the top that you can use to carry or hang the lantern. The Bottom also has a hook, but it is smaller and plastic. I would be a little more careful with this one. It is designed to fold out of the way and is not weak, but just be careful with it. This hook is here because you can unsnap the top of the lantern and hang it upside down to make the lantern quite a bit smaller and lighter.

Overall, I like this lantern. I have used it quite a bit for things like working on the car at night or whenever I needed a nice bright lantern.

The folks at Mr. Beams are offering anyone who enters the code DOOMSDAYMOOSE at checkout to get a 25% discount off your final order. Nice deal!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Basic Skills and Supplies Needed For Traveling in Cold Climates

If you’re planning a cold-climate hike or you may be stranded in colder weather, there are a few very helpful tips and skills that will keep you moving in relative comfort. This article will briefly cover the basic materials you should carry with you when traveling in a cold climate and offer a few hints on what skills you’ll want to arm yourself with if the going gets chilly.

Carry It Along

Whether you’re driving or striking out for an extended hike, there are a few items that could be the difference between suffering from exposure and survival in case of emergency. These include, but aren’t limited to:
  • Water: keep some in bottles in your car or a canteen with a treatment kit with your camping gear.
  • Tinder: matches and an old pill bottle stuffed with dryer lint and sealed in a plastic baggie can be a literal lifesaver.
  • Car Hat: if you live in a very cold climate, keep a blanket, extra pair of gloves, and a warm hat in your trunk.
  • Flairs: again, this works best for car-kits, but in case of emergency, a road flair can provide a guide for any help that may be in the area.
  • Snacks: a few vacuum-sealed snacks never hurt, especially if you’re stranded.
  • Cold climate sleeping bag
  • Survival knife
  • Nesting pots
  • Flashlight
  • First Aid Kit

Skills for Hikers

Along with water, food, and dry tinder, being able to keep your wits about you in the colder climates can save fingers and toes, as well as your life. Be aware of the first signs of frostbite—pinch your fingers and toes to determine nerve activity. Travel specialists from BCMI Mgmt, who encounter many hikers and mountaineers venturing out into the chilly outdoors, recommend always dressing in layers. Start these layers with a lightweight polyester shirt and build outwards, adding sweaters and jackets as needed. Wool will keep you warm, even if it gets wet, but there are a number of other, lightweight synthetic fibers that can be good to carry along, too. Other skills can be life-saving, such as:
  • Fire-building skills
  • Map-reading and interpretation
  • Building a pine-bough mattress
  • Seeking camp sites exposed to sunlight
  • Water purification skills
  • Shelter-building skills
  • Knowledge of hypothermia signs

While you may never be stranded, knowing how to fend for yourself can also enhance intentional cold-climate camping. By educating yourself on traveling lightly while carrying what you’ll need, you can go farther and derive even more enjoyment from your time in nature. It always pays to be informed and prepared, especially in harsh environments where anything can happen.

Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston. When she manages to tear herself away from the computer, she enjoys baking, rock climbing, and film noir.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Storm Prep: 5 Ways to ensure you stay safe during a blizzard

Winter season is rolling up quickly and you might be faced with a blizzard or two this winter. Are you prepared and ready to deal with a snowstorm? Check out these five ways to make sure you and your family stay safe during a blizzard.

Assess Your Home Before the Blizzard Hits

Before a blizzard strikes, take some time during nicer weather to inspect your home. Check your roof to make sure there are no loose shingles or damaged areas. Check the gutters to make sure they are secure. Put storm windows or weatherproofing plastic in place over windows. Have boards or plywood ready to put in place over the outside of your windows in case a blizzard brings hurricane force winds.

Do you know what your insurance covers if your home is damaged by a blizzard? Contact your insurance agency if you need a quote for additional homeowners insurance or have questions about the insurance policy you currently have.

Have Your Heat Source Inspected

One of the most important things you will need to stay safe and survive a blizzard is a heat source. You need to make sure your main heat source is ready to go. Call in a HVAC technician to check out your furnace or hire a chimney sweep to make sure your chimney or stovepipes are clean and in order.

Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Underwriters Insurance Brokers (BC) Ltd recommends testing every smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in your home before a blizzard hits. If you don't have any, or enough for every level in your home, now is the time to get them. Put fresh batteries in each detector then test them. Take the time to run through fire drills with your family and talk about symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure everyone knows what to do in case the unthinkable happens.

While you are checking your smoke detectors, take a look at your fire extinguishers. Find out if they need to be inspected or upgraded then make sure it happens before bad weather hits.

Stock up on Items You Will Need

Make a list of necessities your family would need if you are snowed in. Stock up on non-perishable food items, bottled water, personal hygiene items, and food for your pets. Bring in additional wood or call for additional gas or fuel oil to heat your home before the bad weather starts. Have flashlights and a battery-operated radio on hand in case the electricity goes out.

Stay Home, Don't Go Out

Finally, one of the most important things you can do to ensure your safety during a blizzard is to stay home and don't go outside unless absolutely necessary. Make sure you are well-stocked with food, personal items, and fuel or wood for heat. If you have to go outside, use a rope to tether yourself to your home so you can find your way back.

Planning ahead and being ready for a blizzard can ensure that you and your family stay safe and sound -- inside. Start planning now, before winter starts, and you will be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws your way.

Karleia is a freelance blogger. Away from the office she enjoys scrapbooking and enjoying time with friends and family.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Important Role Of Cleaning in Food Safety

Foods (cropped) Food safety is one of the things we barely think about. Most of the time we only wash our hands prior to food preparation. But is it enough? According to specialists, it isn't, and other measures should be taken as well. Check this article for more information.

Why cleaning is important in regard to food preparation

It is vital that all equipment which may be in direct contact with food is kept clean and free of viruses. If a contaminant gets on the food to be processed, it may spread onto it, later causing food poisoning. This is not the only reason why one should keep their kitchen clean.

By maintaining your kitchen you will create a nice working environment. In addition, you'll keep cockroaches, flies and other insects away. Not to mention rats.

If you want to protect your family from food poisoning or contamination, you should not only keep your kitchen utensils and surfaces spotless, but also clean your food. Veggies and fruits should be rinsed well with cold water before consumption. Physicians advise that your soak them in water for about half an hour or so to enable pesticides to get out. Some produce can also be cleaned with vinegar. Just spray a mixture of one part vinegar and three parts of water on fruit and vegetables and rinse well.

In addition, remember to wash your hands well with soap before you start cooking.

What to disinfect

What areas should you disinfect before you start cooking? Every surface that your hands or food are going to be in direct contact with during cooking will need to be disinfected. This includes:
  • Light switches
  • Fridge and door handles
  • Knives and other utensils
  • Chopping boards, slicers and other work surfaces
  • Sink, countertops
Why is sanitising crucial? Most of the time washing is not enough. See, washing removes soil which is easy to see. But there are a number of bacteria that are not visible and should be removed. This can be achieved by sanitation or disinfection.

Paper towels or rags?

According to Global Hygiene Council, a number of bacteria can be found on a cleaning cloth or rag. They conducted a survey, which revealed not surprising but still rather shocking news – many domestic rags and cloths contained E.coli. The ironies of life: homeowners use towels and cloths to clean but unfortunately they only achieve the opposite effect and put their health at risk.

Luckily, there is an alternative to rags and cloths, but it is a bit more expensive. For example, you can use disposable wipes or paper towels. If you find this option too costly, you can just use a sanitiser. Make sure you disinfect all the cloths you use in cleaning every day. Also, think about whether you store them properly. Be sure to sanitise the surfaces they come in contact with. Yet, to clean a surface where food is going to be consumed you'd better use paper towels.

What disinfectants to use

There are to main types of disinfectants to use to sanitise surfaces: Quats (Quaternary Ammonium Compounds) and Hypochlorites (Chlorine based disinfectants). The former are very powerful. They may be the perfect disinfectant-cleaner because they are non-corrosive and don't have a bad odour. They are also very widely available. The latter are very common too. They are cost-effective and very efficient. One of the so called Hypochlorites is bleach, which is again widely used in the household.

When it comes to using sanitisers, you should keep in mind that some of them may need to be diluted. The reason for this is that some chemicals are very concentrated. Always check the label for instructions on just how much water to use, or the product will not be effective.

Written by

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How You Can Avoid The Ebola Virus

Ebola is a scary word for a lot of people. We worry that we might catch it and if we do that we might die from it. It is a very real threat.

There is no vaccine for it yet but there are things you can do to help avoid it. Some of them are rather simple and others are a little more complicated. It would be a good idea to do what you can to keep yourself and your family safe.

By: CDC Global

The first thing you want to do is avoid the bodily fluids of anyone that has it. This is probably the easiest thing to do unless you have a family member that has it. You would also want to avoid direct contact with anyone who has died from it.

Unless you do have a family member with Ebola or you are a medical worker you probably won't have to worry about coming into contact with anyone who has it for the time being. This could always change in the future so it is important to remember how to stay safe.

Another thing you can do is to avoid wild animals and wild animal meat. They can be carriers and you just can't be too careful with that. The animals you should most likely stay away from are monkeys, forest antelope, porcupines, pigs and fruit bats. All of these animals can carry the disease.

It is also very important that you know the symptoms of Ebola. Once you do you will know if you should go to the doctor or not. You want to be very careful about it because you don't want to assume it is nothing when you really could be carrying the disease.

This is especially important if you have traveled to an area with Ebola. It might even be a good idea to talk to your doctor about it even if you don't have any symptoms. It would be good for them to know that you have been somewhere it was possible to get.

By following these tips you will be helping lower the chance that you will get the disease. You want to be on guard about it because if you do get it you could be in for a long road. It can be scary because a lot of people don't understand it yet and it seems like such a strange disease.

If you have a loved one who has gotten it, make sure you listen to the doctor about what to do. They will know the best way to keep you safe and you need to follow their orders. You don't want to do anything that could increase the chances that you or another person could get it.

Try not to worry too much if you have not been in contact with anyone who has it. Most people will not get the disease and most likely you will not get it either as long as you follow these guidelines.

Aria Meyer is a freelance write and an active blogger. She writes mainly about fashion and technology, but she also writes about other topics too. She is currently working with several ecommerce websites to help them with content. Aria got her Bachelor Degree from Cal State Long Beach and currently living in Walnut, CA. Right now, she is working closely with EMedItems to help them grow the marketing department.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

How to Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane

If you’ve just moved near a coast, you know hurricanes come with the territory. But you might not know what you need to do to prepare for the storms. Here is a beginner’s overview of home hurricane preparation.

Start with the Outside

During a hurricane, your home is going to be hit with strong winds and any debris those winds are flinging around. If your windows get penetrated, the winds will be able to enter your home and cause structural damage (like blowing the roof off). There are two main ways to keep from losing your windows.

Storm shutters are your first option. Shutters typically come in metal or plywood varieties. According to USA Today, wooden shutters should be made of marine plywood at least ¾” thick, and need to be cut to fit each window. Remember, the time to install these shutters is before the hurricane is upon you!

Your next option is to install laminated glass or plastic glazed windows. These impact windows, like the windows sold at Storm Shield LLC in Cape Coral, FL, are specially manufactured to be able to withstand the impact of flying debris without shattering. The strength of the windows will also protect your home from burglars once the storm has passed.

Doors, including garage doors, are also weak points on the exterior of your home. Make sure you install doors that can withstand strong winds and torrents of rain.

Don’t Forget the Yard

Part of preparing your home for a hurricane is making sure nothing around it will pose a threat. Here are some precautionary measures to take with your yard:
  • Trim any dead or week tree branches and/or trees. Consider removing large trees that are growing near your home or cars if you think they might get knocked over. Do this at the beginning of hurricane season every year.
  • Put in the garage anything that can be picked up by 100-mile-an-hour winds. This includes garbage cans, patio furniture, lawn decorations, toys, and so on.
  • At the beginning of hurricane season, consider replacing gravel or rock landscaping features with shredded bark or other materials that won’t damage your home if picked up by the wind.
  • Consider installing a chain link fence (also called “hurricane fence,” and for good reason). Since wind can blow through a chain link fence, it is less likely to fall over or be picked up and slammed into your home.
  • You may want to also install a hurricane-proof mailbox.

Inside Your Home

Once the exterior of your home has been fortified, it’s time to turn your attention to the inside. Inside preparations will focus mostly on sustaining you and your family while you are waiting out a storm. Load up on emergency preparedness supplies like drinking water, food storage, clean clothing, and a grab bag in case you have to evacuate.

Here are some of the things to put in your grab bag:
  • important documents including birth certificates, marriage license, social security cards, insurance policies, and so on
  • a change of clothing—including a warm jacket and undergarments
  • personal hygiene items
  • food and drinking water
  • a flashlight
  • first aid supplies
  • cash and ID cards
  • emergency blanket and poncho

Plan for a lack of power while you are waiting out a hurricane. Make sure you have plenty of flashlights with extra batteries. Also stock up on drinking water just in case you lose access to running water. Even if you have shutters and/or impact resistant windows, stay in a room that has no windows to avoid injury if your windows shatter. Move important belongings to the upper levels of your home to avoid damage from potential flooding.

Hurricanes are a force of nature not to be reckoned with. However if you live near a coast, you have no choice. Increase your home’s chances of surviving a hurricane by following these tips.

Meghan is a freelance writer from Oklahoma. She enjoys being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise as well as researching new topics to expand her horizons.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Ways To Make Sure Your Home Is Ready For The Unexpected

No homeowner knows if an intruder or robber could break in and take everything. Fortunately, technology has advanced significantly in the fields of home and business security. You can buy a complete security system at an affordable rate every month. Take the right steps to ensure that your house is prepared for the unexpected.


There are plenty of outdoor security lights found in stores like Home Depot and more. Choose from LED, flood and motion sensor fixtures that are easy to have installed. It is never to leave the front or back yard in complete darkness. You can buy energy efficient flood lights that activate only when motion is detected or switch to accent lights.

Security Systems

Research the different types of security systems out there. Look at ones specially made to prevent fires, burglars and trespassers. You can buy the most modern technologies that only allow you to type a few codes into an electronic panel. There is a system that fits every budget and personal safety need. You can even get a 24 hour monitoring team that looks after your belongings whenever you are sleeping or away on business.


Many locks are not tested thoroughly and do not offer the right amount of protection. It is easy to pick most locks on the market nowadays. Kicking in the door is easy if your lock is flimsy. Most homeowners use deadbolts to provide top security, but many different options are available. There are quality lock products and services provided by companies like Affordable Lock Services Inc., an Aurora locksmith.

Fire Prevention Equipment

You need fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and fire blankets to prevent your house from crumbling to fire. If you have an extinguisher, everyone in the house should know how to use it. If you have a fire blanket, keep it close to common sources of fire like ovens. It is necessary to replace the batteries in the smoke detector every now and then. The U.S. Fire Administration provides many tips about ways to avoid a fire disaster.

Prepare for your home and sanctuary, from the worst. Protect your financial assets because everything could be gone in a flash. A fire takes a few minutes to spread, and a burglar takes less than 30 minutes to operate. The last thing you want is an insurance claim agent visiting your house. Follow these simple tips to stay alert as a property owner.

Savannah Coulsen is a freelance writer. She lives in Raleigh. Savannah loves to read and write and she hopes to write a novel someday. Savannah also loves learning and is a self-proclaimed health guru.

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