Friday, February 28, 2014

5 Unconventional Things to Stock up on Before the Zombie Apocalypse

burning match photo: Burning Match IMG_1387.jpg


Apocalyptic events seem like the stock of pop-culture shows and extremists, but just last week, the 9th largest city in the US came to a stand still for 2 days when a snowstorm hit the south. The year before, Super storm Sandy devastated areas of New York and New Jersey, causing looting and crime waves. Now matter where you live, you should be prepared for the possible, if not inevitable likelihood of a major disaster. This includes stocking up on those things that could be most helpful in an emergency situation.

Anything necessary in an apocalyptic moment is something that should be considered essential in the realm of our daily lives; always be prepared, right? Here are the must-haves for a prepared home, on any given day, zombies or not:

Chain Link Fence

A chain link fence is light, portable, and easy to assemble. Use it to ensconce a wood fence, or double-up for maximum security. Insulates your property from intruders, keeps your kids and dogs in the yard. It can also come in handy should you need to raise your own poultry after a major disaster, or create a safe zone.

Nail Gun

A nail gun could be an invaluable tool in the event of a catastrophe. Whether you're looking to build some comfortable shelter, or just wanting to repair your home, a nail gun can save you a lot of time, and energy. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, a small army of volunteers from nearby states poured in to Louisiana to help people put their lives back together. Those with nail guns were able to quickly provide short term and long term relief to the survivors. Having a tool that can quickly board up windows and doors could be a life saver if you get word of an emergency storm alert.

Ample Fishing Supplies

If the shelves of the grocery store are empty, you'll need another way to find food. Some disasters can last a lot longer than you might hope or expect, and it never hurts to keep some fishing gear handy. Whether you live in a dense urban area, or in the middle of nowhere, you will likely be near some body of water that has fish in it. Keep a couple of poles, nets, fishing lures, and ample fishing line on hand. Even if you aren't particularly adapt at fishing, you can share them with someone who is and get some fresh food.

Power Tools

Preparing for a disaster is threefold, you need to have the supplies on hand to help you do some timely disaster prep, like boarding up windows, supplies that will help you during a disaster, like a radio and shelter, and supplies to help you after the event has passed. Power tools like band saws and skill saws can help you before and after a disaster to build shelter, and clear debris. A portable band saw, for example, could be used to salvage valuable metal parts and pieces that you might need, or to clear debris in tight spaces. If you do keep power tools on hand, be sure that they are well charged, and that you have replacement parts on hand. Chances are, the hardware store will be closed after a disaster, so pick up some extra batteries, or Makita band saw parts. You can get the supplies you'll need to keep your tools up and running at a local store or online at sites like http://www.mmtoolparts.com/store/tool-parts/dewalt-parts/dewalt-band-saw-parts

Matches

What an underdog. Your lighters will eventually run out of fluid. If you plan on eating anything warm after the power and gas grid fails, you best be gathering these endlessly useful flint-sticks in bulk. Get them for free! Fill your pockets at every restaurant, gas station and wedding you go to. Matches should be falling out of every drawer in your home. Even if you use them to barter for other necessities, matches will not be something you regret stocking up on.

No matter how convinced you are of an impending disaster scenario, it wouldn't hurt to have these five items around your home for day-to-day use, and for protection.


Marlena Stoddard writes on emergency preparation and energy independent homes. Originally from Senoia, GA, Marlena lives in Santa Rosa, CA with her husband and 2 children. When she isn't spending time with her children or writing, Marlena enjoys hiking and photography. For more on Marlena, you can follow her on Google+.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tips on Keeping Your Home Prepared for a Power Outage

lit lantern


Sometimes a power outage is a temporary inconvenience; in other situations, it’s a major problem that accompanies natural disasters. Regardless of their cause or duration, power outages can be prepared for in advance using the following tips:

  1. Stock your Water

    Keep two weeks’ worth of purified drinking water on hand, preferably bottled water. During prolonged power outages, water purification systems may not be functioning correctly and tap water could therefore be contaminated. Potentially unsafe water should be treated with water purification tablets or thoroughly boiled before use. If you don't have power, boiling may be difficult, so it's best to have some water on hand.

  2. Food Storage

    Keep a week’s worth of non-perishable food on hand. Due to the risk of microbial contamination during prolonged power outages, refrigerated perishables should be discarded after four hours. Perishables in a freezer – or refrigerated perishables immediately transferred to an ice-packed cooler - can be kept for up to 24 hours.

  3. Emergency Kit

    Make sure to have the following essentials:
    • A first aid kit containing bandages, gauze, and disinfectant
    • Flashlights with extra batteries
    • Sanitation items and prescribed medications
    • A battery-operated or self-powered radio
    • A fully charged cell phone
    • Extra pocket money
    • A manual can opener

  4. Protect your Valuables

    Protect your electrical appliances by installing surge protectors. In the event of a power outage, disconnect all electrical appliances. If you like, leave one light on to tell you when power’s been restored.

  5. Emergency Detectors

    Install carbon monoxide detectors near bedrooms. Carbon monoxide detectors can warn you of electrical fires, which are almost impossible for homeowners to extinguish. Since most electrical fires occur within a building’s walls, the fire may appear smaller than it actually is. Know the location of the closest exit and call 911 as soon as you and your loved ones are safe. Be sure that your detectors have back up batteries if they are the type you plug into an outlet.

  6. Back up Plan

    Consider purchasing a backup generator. This generator must have a transfer switch installed by a licensed electrician before it can be used to power your home. Never plug a portable generator directly into a household outlet. Operate gas-powered generators outside, away from doors and windows. If you aren't sure why your power went out, it's best to contact a specialist to come check on your home electrical wiring. If your neighbors power is still one, you most likely have a wiring problem.

Well-prepared households have a written safety preparedness plan that covers what to do in the event of a power outage and where critical supplies are kept. Since natural disasters often accompany power outages, the two can be integrated to prepare your family for a worst-case scenario. If necessary, make sure this plan accommodates the needs of young children, pets, and the elderly. This way, your family can be kept safe and comfortable even when the power is out.


Kandace Heller is a freelance writer in Orlando, Florida. She studied Communications and loves to read and write. Kandace loves doing research and sharing what she learns to help others.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

8 Effective Tips To Control Mosquitoes In Garden

_mosquito
The menace which mosquitoes create in your surroundings is not an unfamiliar occurrence for you. This is especially common in the damp areas or the places which witness frequent rainfalls. Nothing turns you off more than a swarm of flying mosquitoes buzzing around you just when you are having that relaxing cups of coffee in your garden on a certain evening after work. Not only do they disrupt your day to day working, but are also notorious for spreading various diseases which could lead to perilous consequences. Not to mention the inflammation they cause on the skin which leads to a deathly itching as well as a red rashes.

Here are a few tips as to how to control mosquitoes in your garden effectively

  1. Get rid of sources of standing water

    Mosquitoes are known to breed in and around stagnant water. Therefore, guard your house against standing water anywhere – bathroom, water accumulated at the backyard, swimming pool , pits near your house, even water tanks which attract a lot of mosquitoes since there is a vast number of germs breeding inside. Be very careful if your house area is a low lying area, since during rainfall, water logging at certain spots leads to stagnant water at many places. It is for this reason that the countryside places are mosquito induced since the maintenance level there is not as high as the niche towns.

  2. Wear Light Colored Clothes

    It has been observed that dark tones of color like black, brown, royal blue and others are the ones which attract the mosquito’s big time. So, especially when you’re outdoors in the evening, wear light shades like pink, lemon yellow, baby blue, peach, white, sea green and other pastel shades which are effective in keeping away the mosquitoes. Not only this, they are also effective in making you feel lighter, cooler and more comfortable during a hot and humid weather.

  3. Essential Oils Help In Warding Off Mosquitoes

    If you are looking out for some natural remedies to ward off mosquitoes and do not intend to use mosquito sprays, fearing the harmful chemicals it contains, then here is a tip. Get some lemon grass oil and peppermint oil from the nearest store. Mix 100 ml of both the oils in a small bottle and shake well. Apply on your body before sleeping or even while going for your regular routine evening jog. The staunch smell of the oils repels the mosquitoes greatly and they fly away from whichever area smells of these oils. If you do not buy the idea of applying the oils on your body, then buy some candles which are burnt using essential oils and light candles in your house using this oil. The atmosphere would feel much conducive than before.

  4. West Nile Disease

    West Nile disease is a fatal disease which is very common in the North America and it is caused by a mosquito bite. The disease has a mortality risk and as if the infection caused in the body reaches the brain, the victim dies. The risk is the highest during early fall and late summers when people tend to get careless and relaxed about mosquito protection. However, the medical researchers in North have observed that the chances of West Nile disease in a more severe form increases with the people who are stung by mosquitoes late in summers.

  5. Stay out of the garden when mosquitoes are most active

    Mosquitoes are usually very active either after sun down or early morning during the wee hours. So, one way to protect yourself from the mosquitoes is to stay away from your garden or any other mosquito induced place at those times when the risk of their presence of the highest. However, if you do not wish to restrict yourself or your family members, then instead of the regular measures, go for more natural gardening or organic gardening which usually involves the use of organic manure and other ingredients for keeping the grass and plants healthy but have a peculiar smell which drives mosquitoes away.

  6. mosquito net
  7. Make Use Of mosquito Mesh Nets

    While sleeping you are inactive and also unaware of the presence of any disturbances around you. And it is then, when you are most defenseless that mosquitoes attack you as they would get to suck your blood peacefully without receiving any defense in return. Therefore, choose to cover your bed with a mesh net whenever you are sleeping. Go for the ones which are fixed one time and do not require to be removed every day. The tiny holes in the net would give you the much needed oxygen while efficiently protecting you against mosquitoes.

  8. When Outdoor, Choose A Breezy Spot

    You must have observed that mosquitoes always fly to places which do not have proper circulation of air since their body weight is minimal and they cannot cover long distances. Therefore, mosquitoes are never able to fly very far. So, when you are outdoors, choose a place which is breezy in order to keep the mosquitoes at bay. If you are in sitting in a park, go for the spot which is right under the densely lush tree so that even if the breeze is light, you get to experience the soothing wind as well as keep yourself guarded against mosquitoes.

  9. Remember To Change Water Of the Bird Bath

    The small place where water is accumulated for the purpose of creating a bird bath is surely a thoughtful way of helping out the thirsty birds during summers. However, always remember to replace the water there with fresh water at an interval of 2-3 days as after that germ build up would increase leading to breeding of mosquitoes.



Jaden Sanders is a blogger. He likes to blog about tips and tricks to keep animals away from home and garden.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How to Clean and Field Dress a Wound

field dressing a leg wound


Whether you are at home, on a hike, or on a hike that has become a dire survival situation, knowing how to appropriately care for wounds can save you everything from a trip to the emergency room to yours (or someone else's) life. While cleaning and dressing an open wound, keep in mind that everything needs to be clean: your hands, any surgical or cutting instruments, the area you're working on, and all bandages need to be as clean as possible to prevent infection.

Prepare the Wounded Area

Once the wound has been located, remove clothing from the area by trimming with scissors or completely removing the article of clothing. Dirty clothing can put the wound in contact with harmful materials like debris and infection-causing bacteria. Remove any remaining foreign objects you see from the wound. Special care should be taken with sharp materials, to avoid causing further injury upon removal.

Stop the Bleeding

Using a clean cloth, such as gauze, apply light pressure to the wound. This will stop up the flow of blood from the wound. Be careful to not apply too much pressure; this can cause tissue death and delay proper healing at the wound site. If the cloth soaks through with blood, switch it out with another clean cloth. Repeat until bleeding has stopped. Do not use a tourniquet unless bleeding is extremely severe, as in an arterial bleed. In this case, use the tourniquet sparingly and use a clean cloth, in tandem, to help stop bleeding.

Clean the Wound

Once the bleeding has stopped, use a cleaning solution to carefully rinse the wound. Both antiseptic wash and saline solution will work for this. In the event that neither is available, you can wash the area with antibacterial soap and lukewarm water. Slowly pour your cleaning solution over the wound; never rub or pat the area. Any remaining debris can be removed with clean tweezers, so long as it isn't deeply imbedded. If the wound starts to bleed again, apply a clean cloth until the bleeding has stopped. Debris from an urban injury, like road rash or glass cuts, can be extremely tough to get out and can cause severe tissue and internal damage if removed incorrectly. Use extreme caution for these instances.

Dress the Wound

To dress the wound, use a triple antibiotic ointment to cover it. The ointment will help protect against infection, while keeping the skin from sticking to the bandage. For a small wound, a simple bandage will suffice. If the wound is too large for a regular bandage, use gauze secured with waterproof tape. Repeat this step every twelve hours. Fresh bandages and triple antibiotic ointment help prevent infection and scarring.

Remember that, if you are not in a situation where field dressing is absolutely necessary and emergency medical care is available, do not attempt it. An expert in injury law, attorney T. Neal Brunt advises against performing certain procedures unless absolutely necessary, as you may be held responsible if your efforts put an injured person in further danger or were performed without permission.

Accidents can occur anytime, anywhere. If you plan on spending extended time outdoors, perhaps hunting or camping, it's a good idea to carry a first aid kit. Keep your kit stocked with bandages, gauze, tape, antiseptic and triple antibiotic ointment. Include a first aid kit in any emergency supplies or go-bags you have, as you'll never know when you'll need it. Keep in mind that the key to successfully managing an open wound, in combination with the steps above, is to remain calm and work quickly.


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.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Be Prepared With an Emergency Kit for Your Car

While planning for the apocalypse may seem like the paramount concern, planning for tomorrow is equally important. Whether a superstorm is bearing down or you simply run out of gas during extreme cold (or hot) weather, being equipped for the worst case scenario can save your life and the lives of your loved ones. Factor in these four "S"s when packing an emergency car kit, and remember: proper preparations can mean the difference between survival and fate as a cautionary tale.

Survive

In the event of a catastrophe, immediate survival depends on a few key things. Water is at the top of this list. With that in mind your car emergency kit should include enough water to last at least a day or two. The rugged Reliance Products Four Gallon Aqua Water Container is compact and storable, making it a leader in its field and a great choice for your needs. This container is designed for easy mobility and access - and because it is made of heavy-duty transparent plastic - you can see how much water remains.

Of course, there is a chance that you may have to also collect and store your own water. In these situations you will also need a water filter.



In addition to water and a filter, LED flashlights and/or headlamps, an emergency radio, fleece blankets, a reflective emergency sleeping bag, a multi-purpose knife, batteries, fire starters, work gloves, binoculars, light sticks, maps, walking shoes for every family member, sunscreen, bug repellant and face masks are all additional essentials. A first aid kit is also mandatory: the American Red Cross offers a number of them, including the Deluxe Family First Aid Kit.

Sustain

While the above materials will help you respond to an immediate disaster, long term survival depends on more sustenance. Pack items with long shelf lives that are lightweight but high in calories, such as energy bars, peanut butter, almonds, jerky, dried fruit, tuna fish, fruit cups, trail mix and seeds. Sports drinks and V-8 juice help replenish fluids while providing nutrients. Avoid chocolate which can melt in high temperatures.

Sanitize

While these items may not be the most urgent on your list, you'll be grateful for them in any extended emergency situation. Toilet paper, baby wipes and disinfecting wipes are handy when bathroom access is in question. Practice good hygiene by bringing along hand sanitizer, soap, feminine protection items and dental supplies -- such as toothbrush, toothpaste and floss. Trash bags and a variety of zip-top bags can help with everything from holding water to containing trash to covering uncertain surfaces. Travel-sized items are typically the most efficient when it comes to stocking a portable apace-saving kit.



Secure

When the power goes out, so do ATM machines; a lack of cash renders you powerless. Shore up your defenses by making sure you always have enough cash for gas and an overnight stay at a hotel. In catastrophic situations, threats aren't just natural: a whistle and pepper spray can help ward off attackers. Lastly, keep a laminate list of emergency numbers readily available.

Before you head out for that next road trip or just to pick your kids up at school, take a second to imagine the worst happening. Are you prepared? Do you have what you need? If not, you have a new priority item on your daily "to do" list. Use this helpful guide to prepare an emergency car kit and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you will be ready when disaster strikes.


Joanna Hughes writes on all subjects, ranging from lifestyle, fashion and beauty to business and tech.

Friday, February 21, 2014

How to Survive an Insect Apocalypse

locusts photo: 20130302_zaf_x99_250.jpg

Swarms of locusts fly over Al-Moqattam district of Cairo on March 2, 2013.  ZUMA PRESS 734424_425849857499073_1802517975_n.jpg


When we picture the end of the world, we often imagine the devastation of a nuclear bombing, or society collapsing into a total state of anarchy. However, if you prepare only for these scenarios, you may find yourself completely at a loss in the case of an insect apocalypse.

Sure, it may not sound like a glamorous way to go, but we are already extremely outnumbered by these tiny creatures. We may be closer to peril than we realize when it comes to locusts, mosquitoes and ants. What can you do to prepare for these situations and make sure you and your loved ones escape unscathed? Read on for some valuable advice.

The Locust Plague

Locusts are mostly known for the role they are said to have played in the ten plagues of Egypt, but most species of locusts are alive and well today. While these insects do not directly harm humans, they cause devastation through their ability to completely devour all the organic material in the area they decide to swarm. Therefore, if you are living off the land, or even depending on a small garden plot for most of your food, locusts can be a huge problem.

If locusts swarm your shelter, there’s not much you can do to stop them. A few precautions can help save some of your crops. Surrounding your garden in sturdy netting, cheesecloths or Flour Sack Towels may help save some of the damage, but remember that locusts can squeeze through gaps in the netting.

If the worst happens, and you lose your crops, remember that, surprisingly, locusts are edible, and a good source of protein.

Mosquito Apocalypse

Most of us recognize mosquitoes as minor annoyances - their bites a given negative side to summer’s nice weather. However, did you know that mosquitoes can swarm, just like locusts? If conditions are right, fertile breeding leads to overcrowding, and the hungry insects will ruthlessly start sucking on the blood of any animal they can find.

Fortunately, mosquito traps exist which actually interrupt the breeding cycle. One of these devices is a must-have if you will be in a place teeming with mosquitoes, even if they’re not swarming. Beyond the trap, be sure to wear light long-sleeved clothing and gloves to protect yourself from bites, and consider wearing netting around your head to protect your face.

Ants Taking Over

The ground beneath your feet is teeming with another potential threat: hundreds of thousands of ants. The powerhouses of the insect world, ants have colonized nearly every landmass on earth besides Antarctica. In fact, ants of one particular species have colonized much of the world, forming one gigantic mega-colony that spans from Europe to Japan to the California coast.

As anyone who has seen Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull knows, ant swarms are terrifying – even when not elevated to a cinematic level. Fire ants can swarm in seconds and their bites can even lead to death.

In order to escape these bites, which tend to be incredibly painful, avoid wearing sandals or flip flops when walking through an area where you may not immediately spot an ant mound. Keep ants from swarming your home or shelter by creating barriers with substances ants dislike, such as soap, peppermint oil, cinnamon or coffee grounds. If they do enter your home, take advantage of insect control products designed to trap and kill them.

No matter what happens, remember that insects are less likely to be drawn to a clean space than a messy one. Make sure that any food you have stored is in air-tight plastic, glass or metal containers. Insects can chew through materials like cardboard and fabric, so never store food in these. Finally, be sure to keep insect repellent sprays and traps on hand; you’ll regret not having them!


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.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

7 Duct Tape Tips for Doomsday Survival

duct tape infographic
So, you’re all prepared for doomsday, with your year’s supply and food and water? But, what about your year’s supply of duct tape? Take a moment to Google “duct tape”, and notice how many uses there are for this sticky substance. Well, we’ve put together a survivor’s list of seven essentials that can be made out of duct tape:

7 Survivalist Uses for Duct Tape

  1. Fix your tent

    You’re at your campsite about to turn it in. Is that a tear you see when you open your tent? No problem. Use a patch of duct tape for covering the tear or hole. For added protection, mirror your patch on the other side of the tent, as well.

  2. Keep your tent closed

    A damaged tent zipper can be a nightmare. You can become vulnerable to the cold, night air and bugs as your tent door flaps around in the wind. Use duct tape on the door to stick it closed instead.

  3. Make a cord

    Using duct tape, twist a few lengths of it into a rope or cord.

  4. Reseal open food packages

    Bugs and critters invading your food stash is a survivalist’s nightmare. So, after opening packages of food, fold the tops over and seal them up tightly with duct tape. You can do the same thing with your canned foods, too. Just seal the top of the can securely with the miracle tape.

  5. Protect your water

    Strips of duct tape can be used to repair a pierced or cracked hydration bladder or water bottle. It’s even effective for reinforcing and strengthening them when they don’t need repairing. Simply wrap duct tape all around your water bottles to help prevent cracks and leaks. Just remember that duct tape doesn’t stick well to wet surfaces. So, dry off your bottles well first.

  6. Fashion a shelter

    Out in the world with no tent or other type of shelter? Then, you need to make your own shelter. This will be a real test of your survivalist skills. All you need is some duct tape and trash bags, plus a wind break, sleeping bag cover or survivalist’s shelter roof. And, there you have it… the tools for a makeshift shelter.

  7. Insulate your boots

    Surviving Doomsday could mean lots of walking, running and hiking. Why knows where you may have to trek to find safety, warmth, shelter, supplies, even your family. Use duct tape to insulate the insoles of your boots, shiny side up. The silver side will reflect your feet’s warmth back inside the boots. Plus, with enough layers of tape, you may even create a cushion of comfort.

Get duct tape and more Survival Tips from FoodInsurance.com today.


Chett Wright is the Online Outreach Coordinator for Food Insurance for 5 years and enjoys cycling and hanging out with his family.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

When Disaster Strikes: 4 Things People Don't Consider

emergency gold


It seems disasters are happening with more frequency in today's world. Mother Nature is becoming less discriminate about where and when she strikes with an earthquake, flood or famine. Disaster can also be created by humans rioting or going on crime sprees. You and your family must be prepared for any such emergency. While most people have a preset emergency response plan in case of a disaster, here are four things people often forget to consider:

Shelter

Even if you have a pre-determined escape plan and general destination, you must have a shelter to go to. This could be a tent or even a tree house in a remote wooded area if a local shelter is not an option. If you are dealing with extreme weather conditions, your survival depends on having a place to protect you from the elements. Your life can be in danger after only a few hours of exposure to extreme heat or extreme cold. Even having a blanket or sleeping bag in your emergency supply kit can help provide temporary cover.

Fire starter

Most people will know to have extra food and water supplies on hand, but many will forget the importance of having a way to start a fire. A fire serves multiple vital uses. It not only keeps you warm, it can be used to light your way in the dark. It also provides a way to cook your food and purify your water supply. Be sure your emergency survival bag contains lighters and tinder. Look for weather-proof igniters that can help you start a fire regardless of external conditions.

Alternative Currency Option

If disaster were to strike an entire nation, or possible even the world, the entire economic structure could possibly fail. This would probably mean those dollar bills in your wallet or bank account could be meaningless. Having something that would be of value that could be used to buy food, water or other supplies is a good idea. When prepping for the worst, a lot of the doomsday professionals recommend putting away gold, silver or other precious metals. Paul Albarian & Associates, LLC Cash for Gold are a great example of a professional to consult about obtaining gold and other precious metals.

First aid kit

If you are surviving in the woods in unfamiliar territory, you might be more prone to cuts, scrapes, insect bites or bites from larger animals. You should have a first aid kit that includes alcohol or other disinfectants, gauze, bandages and antibiotics. Be sure to bring any medications you are taking. Because you may be exposed to unusual trees and plants, you should have anti-itch lotion on hand, as well as allergy pills, pain relievers and antiseptic ointments. Don’t forget tweezers, scissors and a few flashlights.

Make a checklist and study it often. Being fully prepared in an emergency situation can avert an even bigger disaster.


Chaleigh is a freelance writer that lives in NYC. She enjoys writing and lifestyle photography. She writes about anything from restaurant reviews to how to properly pave your driveway. In her spare time she likes to take pictures, snowboard, golf, and play ice hockey.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Importance of Survival Skills: Eight Skills to Develop



Survival is not just about prepping or the amusing antics of a television survivalist. Every day, real people find themselves in situations where comfort, if not survival, hinges on their ability to be prepared with the skills and knowledge to get through natural disasters, accidents or other emergencies. Learning these useful survival skills now can save you later.

  1. First Aid

    Accidents happen every day, everywhere. Having a solid foundation in first aid can help you help others before professional help can be found. Books, classes and supplies can give you the knowledge to do good when it is needed.

  2. Starting a Fire

    Fires are not just for warmth, although warmth is a necessity in winter conditions. Fires can help keep predators away, cook meals, boil water and provide comfort in a stressful situation. In normal life situations this can seem like a less important skill to have mastered, but in a wilderness situations this is a crucial skill that is needed to stay alive.

  3. Building Shelter

    Knowing how to build shelter from whatever materials may be at hand can help you keep dry and warm in wet, cold conditions. Tree branches, grasses and man made materials can be used to build a cozy shelter to keep you out of the elements.

  4. Hunting/Trapping/Fishing

    Being able to procure food is essential to survival if you are unable to reach standard supplies. Learn to set snares, build traps, fish with various lines and methods and hunt to ensure you can stay nourished in a survival situation.

  5. Gardening/Foraging

    In addition to hunting, foraging is a critical survival skill. Invest in a book about edible plants local to your region or find a mentor to show you what plants are safe. In a long term survival scenario, knowing how to garden will be one of the most useful skills you can obtain.

  6. Physical Fitness

    Whether you are surviving in the wilderness or in your back yard, there is no question that surviving can be incredibly taxing on the body. By getting fit now, you will be better able to work and less likely to suffer from illness and injury by having an unprepared body in an emergency.

  7. Resourcefulness

    Making do is an underrated skill. Practice making things with scraps and supplies you have on hand. Practicing allows you to develop an eye for the usefulness of different items, allowing you to use your ingenuity to survive with supplies others might overlook as useless.

  8. Defense

    Defending your home, family and yourself is important in any survival situation. Sign up for a martial arts class, a home defense class or to take shooting lessons at a gun range. Houston natives take advantage of local classes and instructors from institutes such as Memorial Shooting Center. In a widespread emergency, chances are good that someone else will want or need what you have.

Survival is about more than being prepared with physical objects. Having the skills and a preparedness mentality will allow you utilize whatever resources are at hand, giving you an edge in nearly any emergency situation.


Brionna Kennedy is native to the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Washington, then moving down to Oregon for college. She enjoys writing on fashion and business, but any subject will do, she loves to learn about new topics. When she isn't writing, she lives for the outdoors. Oregon has been the perfect setting to indulge her love of kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Always Be Prepared: Top Ten Items That Should Be In Your Survival Kit

When determining what to include in a survival kit, first decide where it will be kept. Is it a kit for your car? Or a camping trip? Or perhaps you’re going to keep it stored in your home for general preparedness. The location will determine which items you will want to pack in case of an emergency.

But wherever you plan on storing your emergency kit, there are ten essential items that must always be included.

Knife

A fixed-blade knife or cutting tool. This is a basic survival tool and is an essential part of any kit. You never know when you will need to cut something. This can be something simple like food, or fabric if you need to make a bandage.

Matches/Other Fire Starters

Magnesium fire-starters are popular and easy to use, as are lighters. Fire is necessary for warmth at night, cooking food, or signaling for help if you are stranded. Just make sure to have enough in case of a true emergency. Fire or warmth is a basic need and should be more then covered. Also consider carrying some kindling as well.

Map and Compass

Whatever region you plan to be in, keep a good map handy. If you are planning on being off the road, then bring a topographical map. Otherwise a road map is fine. Also know how to read and navigate a map. Combined with a compass, you will be able to establish your bearings. In this day and age many of us depend on our GPS to get us from place to place. But there can be situations where a GPS isn't going to function. Having a map as a back up is a necessary item.

Flashlight and Extra Batteries

A LED flashlight is an ideal choice. Though LED flashlights consume less power, it’s best to have extra batteries handy. A hand-crank flashlight is also a good option, so you won’t have to worry about conserving power.

First Aid Kit

Should include the basics, such as gauze, tape, and band-aids. This is an obvious addiction. You really should have one of these in every location, house, car, mini one for purses. You never know when you will need it.

Stainless Steel Water Container

Not only can it carry water, but can also be used to boil/purify water from other sources. This is something that can always be stored in cars in case of emergencies or in camping gear.

Paracord

A minimum of 10-20 feet is reasonable for most ordinary uses such as lashing and tying down a shelter.

Food

The type and quantity will depend on the location or purpose. When traveling, small calorie-rich foods are best. When at home, a larger selection of canned foods are preferable.

Extra Clothing

Even during the summer, hypothermia can become a real possibility during a cold rain or in the night. Remember to dress in layers, so you can peel away clothing when it becomes too hot, or add them when it becomes too cold.

There are also a lot of cool clothing items that can be added to an emergency kit in case of random situations. Tecgen Select is one of many companies that offer flame resistant clothing to include in emergency kits. Check out your possibilities for a better idea of what might fit your needs.

Mylar Emergency Blanket

These are not only an excellent source of warmth, but in a pinch they can be used as an emergency shelter.

Keep in mind this list of essential items is only meant as a starting point for your own kit. You can customize it further to fit your specific needs. Remember, there is never any harm in being prepared.


Brionna Kennedy is native to the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Washington, then moving down to Oregon for college. She enjoys writing on fashion and business, but any subject will do, she loves to learn about new topics. When she isn't writing, she lives for the outdoors. Oregon has been the perfect setting to indulge her love of kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dorcy 160 Lumens 4D LED Twin Globe Lantern Review

by Shane White

The Dorcy L.E.D. Twin Globe Lantern in my opinion is a great lantern to keep for emergencies. For one, it uses LEDs in a variety of different brightness settings and also it is waterproof. Yes...it really is waterproof.

I love LEDs. They are not always the brightest, but they are bright enough and they last a long time. This lantern in its 160 lumen setting (two LEDs on) boasts up to 175 hours of runtime. That is over a week of being on with one set of 4 D-cell batteries. That is excellent for a lantern. Lets hope you don't need it longer that that. If you do, you can keep it on the one LED setting and should get up to 350 hours (two weeks). Optionally, its night light setting would get you up to 600 hours.

waterproof lantern

Waterproof

Yes it is waterproof. I simulated a torrential downpour and a flash flood to find out if this was really waterproof. I simply turned on the lantern, put it in the shower full blast, and closed the drain until the lantern began to float. The shower rained on the lantern for a good 30 minutes and then it was left to float for about 4 hours. There was no signs that it effected the lantern in any way. no dimming, no water on the inside, nothing. It just kept on working. The fact that it floats even with the 4 heavy D-cell batteries inside can come in very handy should you have a flooded basement, or if your boat capsizes or something like that. You won't have any problem finding it. It will be floating right on top of everything.

Dual LED

With the switch set for both LEDs, you should get 160 lumens for about 175 hours. I kept this on for quite a while and it never did dim. I am confident that it will last a long time. The lens around the LEDs is designed to shine 360 degrees of light. I found it to be of reasonable brightness as well.

Single LED

While I didn't see a specific rating listed for just one LED turned on, I found it to be nice and bright as well. I would probably just keep it on one LED most of the time to conserve battery life unless I was reading or something. of course I would have some extra batteries as well.

Night Light

The night light is an amber colored LED and had a couple of ratings listed of about 600 hours (what it said on the box), and 700 hours (on a couple of web sites). When you are talking about that long on time, I don't think it makes that much difference. This is a ridiculously long time to test (over a month of on time) so I will just take their word for it. An LED by nature is reliable and long lasting so I will just have to assume that it will keep burning for quite some time even if it falls short of the 600 hours. If you do have to count on a specific length of time for some reason, I would gamble on the 600 hours but keep extra batteries just to be safe.

Other Features

The base is very heavy because of the batteries mostly. This is nice to keep the LED portion somewhat upright when in water. It is also nice so it doesnt blow away. There is also a plastic hook built into the top so you can either hang the lantern by the handle or by the built in hanger.

This lantern is a great lantern for camping or for emergencies. There are several advantages of it being LED as well. It won't get hot, and it will last a very long time on your batteries. I don't recommend keeping batteries in this lantern if you don't plan on using it for a while. Leaving batteries in lanterns and things in this way is not a good practice anyway.

Overall, I consider this to be an excellent lantern. Keeping extra batteries for the lantern will keep this lantern lit for a very long time.

If you want more information on the Dorcy 41-3108 160 Lumens 4D LED Twin Globe Lantern, check out this link.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Midland ER300 Emergency Crank Weather Alert Radio Review

by Shane White

Midland's newest Weather Radio, the ER300, was just released in January. I am pleased to have the opportunity to review such a cool product.



In my opinion, everyone should have a weather radio that can wake them up in case a storm or something is happening in their area. The Midland ER300 Emergency Crank Weather Alert Radio is an excellent choice that is full of features.

Weather Radio

First and most important of all is the fact that this is a weather radio. This radio receives signals from the NOAA/NWS, as well as AM and FM. Tuning is easy with the rubber tuning and band select buttons. Weather alerts can be enabled my toggling the WX ALERT button so that you will be aware of any alerts in your area. If you have trouble receiving stations, simply pull out the antenna to improve your signal. This alarm is nice and loud and should wake you up if needed without any trouble.

Power

This is where I was the most impressed with this product. From standard AA batteries to solar to a hand crank, there are just so many ways to keep this weather radio powered up.
  • AA Batteries

    Pop open the battery cover and install six AA batteries to power it up. This works nice as a backup if you are not able to charge this by other means. I recommend keeping the AA batteries separate but nearby so they will last longer.
  • Lithium Ion Battery

    When you receive this product, simply connect the 2000 mAh Lithium Ion Battery inside the battery compartment. Right out of the box, mine had some power which could be useful for those who buy and throw it right into their bug out bags. There is a switch on the side of the radio that toggles between the AA batteries and the Lithium Ion Batteries. Keep it switched to the LI position to utilize the hand crank, the solar panel, and/or the USB charger.
  • Hand Crank

    For a nice quick charge, pull out the large hand crank and turn it for about a few minutes and you can listen to the radio for a few minutes. I found the crank to be a little awkward, but not too bad. I have large hands so I usually have trouble with these things anyways. The hand crank worked great for charging for short periods of time.
  • Solar Panel

    I really liked the solar panel. I found that simply keeping this in a well lit room seemed to keep it charged enough to keep monitoring for weather alerts. Naturally this is much more effective in the bright sun outside or other bright lights.
  • USB

    The best way to keep this charged is to just plug it into a USB port, or you can get a USB outlet adapter for it and plug it in this way. The USB in is not the new micro USB connector that fits most cell phones just so you know, but the older style mini USB connector. A cable is included in the box so you don't have to search for one. Just be sure you keep it with your radio for when you need it.
I used the li-ion battery the entire time I use this radio. I found that the life of this radio to be very long if it is sitting in a room simply monitoring for weather alerts. I recommend keeping it plugged in so that it will always be fully charged when you need it.

Cell Phone Charger

This is something that is very useful as well. Simply plug in your phone and it will disable the radio while it charges your phone. Very handy.

Flashlight

A 130 lumen flashlight is on the front of the radio. This makes the radio an even more useful tool. There are two levels of brightness as well as a flash mode depending on what you need.

Ultrasonic Dog Whistle

I am honestly not sure what the advantage of this is, but if you need one, it has it. I don't recommend putting this up to your ear to see if it works. It does work and can hurt your ear.

During my trial period of the weather radio, I got to hear the weather alert go off. We had a winter weather warning and was alerted with a very loud alarm. After canceling my alarm, it took me to the NOAA weather station to hear exactly what was going on. Very nice and easy if you are half asleep and want to know if you need to take shelter or just turn it off.

I believe this is an excellent weather radio. The size and number of features makes it a great multi function tool for your bug out bag, to keep bedside, or really just bring anywhere.

Midland ER300 Emergency Crank Weather Alert Radio Spec Sheet

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Survival Tips to Prepare for a Big Storm



There are few geographic areas where you can avoid potentially extreme weather during at least part of the year. In fact, if you live in an area like the Northeast United States, you are probably used to having to prepare for huge blizzards, tropical storms, or hurricanes depending on what time of year it is. In case you are new to the necessity of weather preparedness, or you are just looking for some tips you might not have been aware of, these are some tips to help you prepare for and survive a big storm.

Make a List of Important Contacts and Store it Safely

Whatever type of storm is heading your way, there is no way to predict exactly what will happen, or what services you might end up requiring. This is why it is prudent and even necessary to make a list of various contacts, and put it in a safe place. It is best to make this list the old fashioned way with pen and paper in case the power goes out, and your devices eventually lose power. These are some of the contacts to put on the list: Fire and Rescue, police, local government offices, local emergency management, nearby hospitals and other medical facilities, or the local media. Be sure to store these contacts someplace that will be safe and out of the way, yet easy to find in an emergency.

Put Together a Supply Package

There are some supplies you will definitely need to keep on hand no matter what your predicted situation. Some of the most important supplies include as much water as possible, at least a gallon per day per person. Enough food for at least a few days, preferably all non-perishable items. First-aid supplies, a hand-crank powered radio, flashlights and batteries, extra trash bags, and a solar charger for mobile phones.

Protect Your Perishables

In the event you lose power, do not immediately write off what is in your refrigerator or freezer. Assuming that you keep the doors closed, your food should last for up to 24 hours without power. However, it is important to remember not to open the freezer or refrigerator door to maximize freshness.

Protect Your Pipes

If you lose heat during cold weather, your pipes can and will freeze. Keep some towels on-hand to soak in hot water -- use your stove if necessary -- and wrap around your pipes to prevent freezing. Make sure the rest of your house is properly maintained as well. Patch up any leaks in the roof, or call in roofers to make sure you don't have any weak areas. Be sure your other appliances are all up to date as well.

Keep Matches Around

Matches are another good preparedness tool. You can use matches to start burners on your stove if the electricity goes out, as well as heat up keys if your locks freeze.

These are some of the most important ways to prepare for a big storm. More than anything it is important to prepare thoroughly and conscientiously so as to protect your family and property from the unthinkable.


Brooke Chaplan is a writer and outdoor enthusiast living in New Mexico. She love to hike, bike and run. In her research on pipe protection she found that roofers in Atlanta GA recommend checking the attic pipes before a big storm. Contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Stranded on the Road? 5 Things You Must Know to Remain Safe

stranded on the road
Being stranded on the side of a deserted highway is a very helpless feeling. Making the wrong decisions will ultimately put your safety in danger. If your vehicle happens to break down on the road, your personal well-being should become your number one priority. Here are five things that you need to know to stay safe.

Make your vehicle visible

Each year, hundreds of stranded vehicles are crashed into by oncoming traffic. In many instances, the driver of the vehicle failed to see the parked motorist. If the darkness of the night has arrived, the best approach is to turn on the emergency blinkers. In the event that the battery has died, a bright handkerchief needs to be placed into window.

Check your surroundings

Before attempting to venture outside of your vehicle, be sure to first probe the surrounding area. If you need to call a tow truck service, you will need to provide at least a couple of landmarks to the operator. Even if you notice the glow of a gas station in the distance, the best option will be to wait for help to arrive.

Avoid sleeping while the engine is running

Depending on the outside temperature, you may be tempted to warm or cool the interior of the vehicle. Never leave the vehicle running for longer than a few minutes. If you fall asleep while the engine is running, you could inhale the potentially fatal carbon monoxide gases from the exhaust pipe.

Keep doors locked

Although there are some friendly citizens that may stop to help, always be weary of strangers. It is not uncommon for criminals to target stranded motorists. Keeping the doors locked is always the best decision. If you fear for your safety, do not hesitate to call 911 from your mobile phone. Many highways also have emergency phones available along the route.

Contact a tow service

If you are a member of a roadside assistance program, you are already one step ahead of the game. Numbers for the local towing companies can be attained by speaking with a phone operator. Motorists who own a large vehicle may need to contact a company that specializes in heavy duty towing. After calling, the tow service will usually give you an approximate time in which they are scheduled to arrive.

Being stranded is a scary experience that no motorist wants to experience. By keeping a clear head, you will be able to stay out of harm’s way.


Karleia is a freelance blogger. Heavy duty towing in Houston, or any city for that matter, will ensure your vehicle is safely towed, should you ever find yourself stranded on the road.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Emergency Survival Tips

If you live in a natural disaster prone area, then chances are you may find yourself—at one point or another—needing some advice on how to survive while help is on its way. This is precisely why I’m writing this; to ensure all of you tornado alley/earthquake fault residents are able to keep things together when the going gets tough; here are a few preventative techniques and survival practices to ensure you can keep on keeping on in any disaster.

man in desert


Store Fresh Water

Though this might seem a bit “end of the world preparer” status, keeping fresh water—preferably in bottles—is a fantastic way to make sure you are well-supplied when an earthquake or tornado hits. Unfortunately, one of the most sensitive parts of any city’s ecosystem is the water supply, and you may find yourself without running water if the disaster is bad enough. So, if you have your own fresh water, stored in a cellar or even your attic, you may find things a bit easier to deal with while the disaster is underway.

Get a Survival Kit

In the eventuality that fresh water is cut off, there are going to be other problems too. For instance, plumbing will be completely out of order, food may be difficult to come by and, unfortunately, there probably won’t be much in the way of electricity, at least for a while. With these things in mind, a survival kit might be a good thing to purchase, as they will come supplied with many different objects that could come in handy during a disaster of this magnitude.

From “honey pots”, to flashlights, to first aid kits, survival kits offer a ton that could make your post-disaster life quite a bit easier, so try to get one of these before it’s too late.

Stock up on Batteries

Again, if the disaster you survive knocks out the water, more than likely you won’t have electricity, and you can’t be sure how long this will last. To help counteract the danger of this, make sure you have an emergency set of batteries, and appliances that are battery powered (i.e. flashlights, radios, etc.). This way, you won’t need to worry as much about the lack of electricity, and you will be able to hold on just a bit longer.

Store Non-Perishable Food

Non-perishable food is probably the most important thing you could have in the event of a natural catastrophe, as you could be losing electricity—causing your refrigerated food to spoil. The fact is, without food, you won’t have energy, and you might not have the power to help with relief efforts or even stay alive. With non-perishable food, you can keep all of those problems at bay. Here are a few tips on how to store your food.

Now, the likelihood of a natural disaster of this magnitude—that you would need all of this—is not very high; however, do you want to be caught off guard? If not, then follow these directions, and keep safe. You’ll thank me later, we guarantee it.


Tyler Fleck is a multi-purpose blogger who writes about many different subjects, from survival to health to fitness and more; however, this particular post was written on the behalf of SurvivalGearPacks. For more interesting blogs about survival, or if you are looking for some survival kits for sale, visit their website.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Winterizing: Five Ways to Protect Your Home From the Cold

icicles on roof
Home improvements, heating products and services can help keep your monthly heating bills manageable. Winterizing isn't just about keeping you more comfortable and saving money during the frigid winter months, however. An improperly winterized home can cause health and safety hazards as well as damage that can lead to expensive repairs. Here are five ways to protect your family and your property while staying cozy and warm in your home.

  1. Tighten the Seal on Your Building Envelope

    Any gap in an exterior wall lets cold air inside and allows the air that you've paid to heat to escape outside. Armed with caulk and can of polyurethane spray foam, seal up the leaks around any fixture that passes through walls, including plumbing pipes, gas lines and electrical conduits. Check bypasses in your attic floor too. Gaps around things like ducts, recessed lighting fixtures and attic hatches provide an escape route for household heat.

  2. Insulate Windows

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), heat lost through windows can account for as much as twenty-five percent of your heating bill. The easiest way to insulate windows is to add new weather stripping to the sash and a fresh bead of caulk around the casing. With a snugly fitted storm window, you can achieve the same energy savings as a new, high-efficiency insulated window.

  3. Have Ductwork Inspected for Leaks

    Up to twenty percent of the air that passes through ductwork is lost to leakage in the average home, according to the EPA. Skilled HVAC contractors offer pressure testing services that can identify how much air is lost to leaks, cracks and gaps in the ducts. If results show leakages of more than two percent, you can save money by having the ducts sealed and insulated.

  4. Protect Pipes from Freezing

    Your plumbing needs extra attention during the winter. A pipe exposed to frigid air can cause the water that passes through them to freeze and burst the pipe. Save yourself from a costly repair by winterizing your plumbing system. Disconnect all garden hoses and cover outdoor spigots. In states with early winters, these preventative measures should be taken in autumn—plumbing in Utah, Idaho, Montana, and most of the Northeast can be in danger as early as October. Protect exposed pipes along outside walls and in your basement, attic and crawlspace with thick foam-rubber insulation or arrange for a qualified plumber to undertake the task for you.

  5. Schedule Heater Maintenance

    A well-maintained furnace or boiler not only operates at peak efficiency but provides safeguards for your family's health and safety as well. Without regular maintenance, however, heater parts can corrode and allow harmful byproducts like carbon monoxide to leak into your home. Seasonal tune-ups ensure that you enjoy safe and efficient operation.

By investing a minimal amount of time, money and effort in winterizing your home, you'll enjoy a substantial reduction in your monthly utility bills. You can leave most of your winterizing improvements in place throughout the year for energy savings and enhanced comfort in every season.


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, February 09, 2014

Six Ways To Always Be Prepared For A Natural Disaster

gas can photo: Jerry Gas Can w/ Spout DSCF1093.jpg


Despite our best efforts to protect our family from the outside ills, in the wake of natural disasters, people oftentimes feel hopeless. Even though weather forecasters are able to inform us of an approaching hurricane or tornado in advance, it’s tough to know what will happen when a natural disaster actually hits and the effect it will have on our homes. Regardless of the uncertainty, we can prepare ourselves for natural disasters. Below are six ways to prepare ahead of time.

  1. Invest in a Generator

    People don’t understand just how important power is until they don’t have it. We rely on power to keep us warm in the winter, to cook our food and to log into the computer for work. Having a generator ready to go should a disaster occur will help keep your family safe and give you a sense of normalcy in your lives.

  2. Have a Storage Facility

    By renting out a storage unit with 24-hour access, like you can find at TheStorageCenter.com, you can store and retrieve any back-up items you might need if your home is destroyed in a disaster. Spare furniture, bottled water, canned goods, blankets, pillows and extra sets of clothing and shoes are just a few things you can keep stored away for emergencies. Have copies of any personal documents you might need and store them safely in your unit. Knowing that you have somewhere to go and some personal items you can use will give you peace of mind during difficult times.

  3. Keep Your Gas Tank Full

    Like water and food, the supply of gasoline diminishes quickly in times of natural disaster. Experts recommend always filling up your gas tank after it reaches the half full mark. Additionally, keep an extra gas container full of gas in your garage. This gives you the opportunity to get out of a demolished area if necessary.

  4. Set Aside Emergency Funds

    You don’t need your entire savings and checking account hidden under the mattress, but have some cash on hand to get you by for a few weeks or to allow you to travel safely to a new location. If you don’t have a savings account, start one now to help pay for any unexpected expenses during emergencies.

  5. Homeowner’s Insurance

    The most devastating effect on a family is losing their home if they don’t have insurance coverage to take care of their losses. Always have a good homeowner’s plan that covers natural disasters in your area.

  6. Smart Shopping

    Any disaster can quickly interrupt the natural distribution of food in your area. Always have a steady food supply until the food logistics are reliable again. Learn how to preserve food for times when there are little food sources.


Anyone in the world can be stricken by a natural disaster at any given time. To be safe, you should always be prepared for this possibility.


Tricia is a mom and a blogger from Beverly Hills who loves her kids and hiking. There's not much more to her than that!

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Advantages Night Vision Provides in a Survival Environment

night vision image

Night vision capability is a common area of discussion among preppers, but it is typically not as high on the priority list as other essential gear such as food, medical supplies, firearms, and ammunition. While the cost of night vision technology prevents many from looking into it seriously, it provides many advantages in a survival environment.

Security

The dark can be a scary place. Whether it is because the power is out in a high population environment or you are in a rural area, a survival setting will have many dark hours in a day. The single most heavily relied upon sense for humans is sight. Night vision provides an early detection capability that is critical for providing security. It also will not give away your position with the right equipment and proper use. The US military has had the night vision advantage over every adversary since the Vietnam War. This is the reason why the military has planned so many operations at night and has had such a high success rate.

The other often overlooked advantage that night vision capability provides is psychological. The psychological effect is twofold, positive for the user and negative for the non-user. Knowing that you have a visual capability advantage over others, or at the least are not at a disadvantage, is priceless in a situation where security is in question. Difficulty seeing leads even the most experienced professionals to be doubtful and apprehensive. The best form of security is deterrence. If you can detect a potential adversary before they can detect you and give them a reason to doubt their safety, they will likely retreat without incident.

It is also worth mentioning the usefulness of night vision for light discipline. Much like deterrence, blending in to not become a target can be the best form of defense against potential security threats. Standard night vision devices work by amplifying light making them the perfect tool to check for light leaks. You’ll be amazed at what you missed if you have never used them before. Additionally, if would be attackers are using night vision to identify possible targets, it is critical that you use it as well to not attract attention and give yourself the best possible chance for survival.

Procuring Food

Any survival situation requires that the basic needs of food, water, and shelter be met. Preparation can mitigate the need for food procurement for a time, but for any longer term survival situation, obtaining a food source will become necessary. One of the most important considerations for food planning is to ensure your plan is adaptable and diversified. Using night vision to aid procuring food will unlikely be the first option in your plan, however, it can aid in versatility.

Night vision provides two significant advantages for food procurement. First, it gives you flexibility. If the situation dictates that it is safer or more effective to gather food at night, you will have the flexibility to do so. It can also help increase your chances of success. If you are forced to hunt at night, a night vision rifle scope will certainly produce a higher success rate than hunting without one. Second, it can allow you to gather food without alerting others to your actions. Due to security concerns, it might be wise to accomplish required tasks such as food gathering in a way that makes it difficult for others know of your actions. In a TEOTWAWKI environment, night vision can give you the ability to effectively procure food while not highlighting your activities to others.

night vision goggles

Bartering

While bartering leverage isn’t unique to night vision, bartering diversity is something for preppers to consider. While anything of value can be used for bartering, night vision has a few distinct advantages. First, in any survival situation where bartering is a factor, it is likely that night vision capability will be in short supply. Availability, along with the tremendous tactical advantage it provides will make it highly valuable. Night vision devices also have a unique size, weight, to value combination that is hard to match in useful gear. If you have Bug Out Bags and want to maximize the efficiency of the space, night vision can serve a dual purpose as both a capability and a form of currency.

Parting Thoughts

Night vision gear will give any prepper a substantial advantage in a survival environment. It provides game changing capabilities for security while also being useful in other areas. It could ultimately be the difference maker in a survival situation and is essential when preparing for the worst case scenario.

BIO:

Adam Alm is a night vision and outdoor enthusiast. A former Air Force fighter pilot, Adam gained night vision experience in combat missions and, more recently, with commercial night vision products. Originally from state of Washington, he now owns and operates ViperEyes.com, a night vision store.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Prepping For Nukes: Est. 1947

nuke photo

Why everyone seems to be prepping for the dubious event of a zombie apocalypse is beyond me. Quite frankly, it probably has to do with popular TV shows, and the desire to rig a shotgun to a chainsaw.

But if preppers are going to be brutally honest with ourselves, the getting ready for a pandemic of flesh-eating undead-types, although needed, should probably be the last on our list of prepper priorities. There are plenty of very real, very possible scenarios for which we should be prepping. For instance, what has been considered the most devastating human-controlled civilization killer known to man? It reigns as the undisputed king of mass-destructive weapons: the nuke.

Let’s face it; we still have arsenals loaded to the gills with these terrible devices –and other previously hostile nations don’t appear to be willing to give them up either. Not to mention, there are some foreign regimes that have threatened to deploy them against the US in very recent history (I’m looking at you, North Korea). So, why are we only focused on preparing for infected walking corpses? I haven’t the foggiest.

And so, in the spirit of 1947, let’s take the prudent steps to preparing ourselves for the worst of the worst and the sum of all fears.


Step #1: If you have nothing else, you absolutely, positively need a fallout shelter.

According to ye olde’ Department of Defense map from 1963, they believe that the initial nuclear blasts from a full-scale surprise attack would kill 62 million when the US population was around 190 million (roughly 32-percent casualties). This means, that about 1 out of 3 people may still be alive after such a catastrophic event. What will kill another 46 million (an additional 25-percent) would be the radioactive fallout for the many of us who do not have access to appropriate shelters.

The lesson we should learn from this is simple: don’t live near primary or secondary nuclear targets, and establish access to your own fallout shelter.

The guidelines for building fallout shelters are all over the web, but the important part is that you have enough of a barrier between you and the gamma radiation that would be falling from the heavens shortly after an attack. According to this FEMA report from June of 1980, you’ll need cinder-blocks, concrete, and earth to do the job:

“The shelter can be built of two rows of concrete blocks, one 12” and one 8”, filled with sand or grout, or of poured reinforced concrete. Windows have been omitted; therefore, electric lights are recommended for day to day use.”

Though an above-ground structure would probably be cheaper and easier to construct, I would still recommend a below-ground shelter. Given the state of society afterward, you may not want your shelter to be easily identified. However, either way… just make sure you have access to something that will protect you from fallout.


Step #2: Furnish your shelter for an extended stay.

There are 3 major installations that you absolutely need to have in your shelter; otherwise, you could be doing more harm than good.

  1. Ventilation – You must have the ability to filter the air in your shelter. First, so that you can ensure that no radioactive particulates have gotten inside. Second, so that you can keep the air quality clean to fight against disease inside the shelter itself.

  2. Waste Containment or Disposal– There are lots of methods and plans available for disposing of human waste, so be sure to take heed. You don’t want that to pile up with nowhere to put it. In the worst-case scenario –a couple 5-gallon trashcans should do in a pinch (pun intended).

  3. Decontamination Shower – You will need a way to wash off radioactive particulates in the event that you must leave the shelter.


Step #3: Supply your shelter in a logical way.

When prepping, it is important that you address the most likely killers first. You can go without food for 2 weeks and still survive (although it won’t be in the least bit enjoyable). However, if you go without appropriate medical supplies, tools/weapons for safety, including edc knives and guns, camping supplies, water filtration system, and radiation protection, you could be a goner within hours. If you go without water, your goose is cooked in 72 hours.

First, you should address the possibility of immediate medical needs. The initial blasts (depending on how close you were to ground-zero) could cause burns, broken bones, and cuts from shattered glass.

Second, you absolutely need an adequate supply of water, enough for the number of your shelter’s occupants for at least a month. This is not something on which you can skimp, as it is crucial for hydration and hygiene.

Third, it’s also important that you have tools and materials in your shelter for necessary repairs. Be sure to have a good multi-tool and a sturdy, full-tang survival knife on hand. Brands such as kershaw and gerber are highly recommended, but if you are concerned about budget, tac-force provides workable blades. Remember, these two accoutrement, tools and knives, can tackle countless jobs from cutting fabric to processing food. A good knife is just one of those tools you should always have on your hip, especially in these precarious scenarios. Also, considering the fact that local law enforcement will most likely be unavailable, appropriate defensive measures and weapons might just be a smart call.

Fourth, you should address the issue of radiation detection and protection. This means that you should have supplied your shelter with these items:

  • Radiation detection device(s)

  • Potassium Iodide Pills

  • Multivitamins, Omega-3, and Calcium

  • Tyvek Suits (w/ boots and gloves)

  • Duct Tape

  • Commercially-made Gas Masks

Last, it’s time to stock up on the basics, the creature comforts, and the things needed for normal life.

  • Condensed Food

  • Fuel

  • Communication Devices & AM Radio

  • Toiletries & Feminine Products

  • Sitting & Sleeping Accommodations

  • Books

  • Etc.

Note: You should also consider constructing a Faraday Cage (if this costs you more than $10 at the dollar store, then you spent far too much. Also, consider looking into military surplus supplies), which will protect your electronic gear from being wiped out by the EMP emitted by nuclear detonations.

As a prepper, Raja (contributor), believes that an individual is responsible for his/her on safety. If one solely depends on the government and other institutions to provide care during disaster, he/she is being dependent on someone else. Being a prepper, it is a persons own responsibility to adequately prepare for anything.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Surviving A Home Invasion: Have A Reaction Plan In Place

Did you know that a U.S. home is invaded, on average, every 15 seconds? Approximately 20 percent of us will experience this frightening event sooner or later; the question is, what should we do about it if and when it happens? The following tips will help you stay alive through such an episode:

Maintain an audible alarm system

An alarm that wails like a banshee may be sufficient to stop the invasion at the door or window, especially if they understand that many of these systems are also programmed to summon emergency aid. In fact, simply displaying signs in various windows warning that such a system is in place might cause the invader to think better of the idea.

Barricade yourself if possible

If you're alone (preferably in a room with a phone) and you hear a break-in occurring elsewhere in the house, then you can focus on self-preservation. Lock your door or block it with a chair or heavy furniture, then phone for help and/or wait it out. A burglar only wants to steal things, not get into a conflict with the occupants, so let him take what he wants and give the police a chance to apprehend him.

Call 911

You don't actually have to speak to the 911 operator; in fact, not saying a word may actually elicit a quicker response. That's because these personnel are actually trained to dispatch the police to the site of the trouble call if they hear nothing but ominous silence on the other end of the line. Program a single button so you can auto-dial the number as fast as humanly possible.

Don't fight or pull a gun (unless you absolutely must).

Wait until you know you face an imminent life or death scenario before drawing a weapon or taking other aggressive action. A simple robbery, for instance, doesn't justify putting your life at risk. Bear in mind that once you attack the invader, he may feel that he's now the one in a life or death situation, and he may act accordingly!

Even if you have a black belt in martial arts, one bullet from his gun will neutralize that advantage in a big hurry, so exercise the better part of valor. There's one clear case where you can disregard this tip: if the invader tries to take you out of your home. That's most likely a one-way trip, so you may as well dig in your heels and do whatever you must to keep yourself parked where the police can get to you.

Let the invader go.

If the invader knows that you've gotten through to emergency services, he may cut his losses and make a run for it. If he does -- let him! A foolish pursuit might cause the invader to shoot you down, and catching the bad guys is a job for a trained, experienced police officer, not an outraged resident.

To all of the above, add perhaps the most important survival tip of all -- use your head. Stay as calm as you can, and you'll be able to make the right decision at the right time.


William Reynolds has worked as a freelance copywriter since 1997. William specializes in website content, ghost-blogging, print marketing content and audio/video scripts to help businesses with their online reputation management and promotional strategies.

(Images courtesy of Feelart and Naypong /FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

5 Ideas For Designing Your Doomsday-Proofed House

Fallout Shelter Handbook
It seems like each week there is a new threat on the horizon that portends the extinction of the human race and subsequent destruction of the planet. Knowing this, how should you build your house to survive an apocalyptic scenario? If you have any intention of weathering the end of the world in your house, you owe it to yourself to read on for five tips that may make you among the last surviving humans on the planet.

Separate power source

In the event that a major society-ending catastrophe does occur, it will not take long for the common power grid to go offline. To recover from this, consider installing a backup generator somewhere on your property that can be fired up to provide emergency power. An even better option would be tapping into renewable sources of power like solar or wind.

Years supply of food

The past few years have seen the growth of companies offering freeze-dried pallets of food that can feed a family of four for years. The freeze drying process also makes preparation of the food relatively simple, as long as you have access to clean water. This leads to the next point...

Water and air filtration systems

Having shelter and power may be seen as a luxury in the days after a doomsday event, but access to clean air and water are more of a necessity than anything else. A multistage water filtration setup could capture and decontaminate any water found, producing a steady source of clean water to use for cooking and cleaning. Likewise, air filters can isolate any harmful airborne agents and circulate clean air throughout your living spaces.

Communication system

Some survivalists in Utah have taken things a bit further and incorporated a small radio antenna that juts out about 20 feet into the air from the base of their bunker. Not enough for long-range communications, but certainly enough to make contact with any locals. If you have any intention of hooking up with post-apocalyptic survivors, follow what these survival-minded home builders in UT did.

Underground fortification

If you think things will get really bad, digging down into the earth is a sure-fire way to gain the ultimate in protection. A reinforced concrete and steel bunker built 30 feet below the surface could withstand anything short of a direct nuclear attack. It is also the most expensive option you could add to a home.

Anything to survive

So there you have it, five tips for how to turn your humble abode into one of the last bastions of human life. Hopefully this inspired you to prepare a couple of contingencies, just in case, but it does not mean that your newly-fortified home will be totally impregnable. That meteor may just decide to land on your front lawn you know.


Marlena Stoddard writes on disaster and emergency prep. Originally from Senoia, GA, Marlena lives in Santa Rosa, CA with her husband and 2 children. When she isn't spending time with her children or writing, Marlena enjoys hiking and photography. For more on Marlena, you can follow her on Google+.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Doomsday Essential: Radios and Why They Are Crucial

old time radio
If a disaster occurs, then being able to communicate with others across a distance will be very important. Cell phones rely on too many external factors to be reliable. This leaves radio as the most durable and practical solution. Radios come in many different forms today. Some are good for short-range communications while others can receive signals from around the world. It is important to understand why radios are such crucial and essential items.

One-Way Emergency Radios

These are basically one-way consumer radios that sometimes have access to special weather bands. Emergency radios are important because they provide a very simple way to monitor public airways for news or alerts during a disaster. It is likely that any official information that needs to be sent during an emergency will be broadcast on public AM or FM frequencies. It is best to choose a radio with a hand crank as a power source. Hand-crank radios do not need batteries or sunlight and will operate anywhere.

Citizens Band (CB) Radios

CB radios are still very common throughout the country and the world. A CB radio allows for two-way communications across a number of channels. The radios have a range of up to 20 miles or more depending on the antenna and any obstacles blocking the signal outside. If a disaster or emergency hits, then there is a good chance that at least a few people within 20 miles of a shelter or home will have CB radio. They can be used for communication and coordination. They might also be able to receive news or unofficial alerts.

Amateur or Ham Radios

Ham radios are incredibly effective tools in a survival situation or disaster. The radios can communicate over very long distances. They can send and receive a variety of signals and data. Ham radios are the best option for communication if a major disaster occurs. The drawback is that they can be expensive and they require a license to own. The effectiveness of a ham radio relies on the antenna. Fortunately, ham radio antennas can be simple wires hung between tall trees outside a home or shelter. Ham radios can be used to talk to other people hundreds of miles away or to monitor local signals when planning a move.

Two-Way Family Radio Service (FRS) Radios

FRS radios are the common handheld units that can be used as walkie-talkies. These radios make it easy to stay in contact when moving with a partner or group. They can sometimes have a range of a few miles although too many obstacles will block the signal. These can be used when scouting around a home or when retreating through the terrain. They are also effective for staying in touch inside a building or a large shelter.

Radio Scanners

The final type of radio that can be very useful is a scanner. Scanners are special devices that work automatically. Scanners step through all of the available channels in an attempt to find a signal. The scanner will stop if any signals are found. A scanner is useful for finding local news or other people who are broadcasting on non-traditional frequencies. A scanner can also detect the FRS radio signals of anyone unknown coming into the area. Scanners make staying aware of what is going on easier.


Derek is a blogger for Bearcat Warehouse, a site that sells different digital radio scanners and accessories for all of your Doomsday needs.

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