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!

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