Monday, April 28, 2014

Four Tips to Prepare for the Worst Other Than Self Defense

Most Americans spend their days assuming things will always be as they are now. Unfortunately, some disaster or emergency can take place that can turn your life upside down at any time. War could break out, the grid could go down, an extreme natural disaster may occur and a lot of people seem to think we are due for a zombie apocalypse. Whatever may go wrong, your first thought is probably to be sure you are stocked up on ammunition so you can protect yourself and your family, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, there are many other things that you can do to help prepare yourself for a worst case scenario.
  1. Everyone Must Eat

    Stocking up on canned goods and a few non-electrical can openers is a great idea, but you can go a step further. If you don't already have a green thumb, consider taking some gardening courses for beginners to learn how to grow much of your own food. Many foods you grow in your own garden can be canned and will keep for years.

  2. Nothing Survives Without Water

    You will never feel more thirsty than when you turn on the faucet and nothing comes out. When utilities are down, you can only look to yourself to take care of your needs. You should be stocking up on water, and also look around for clear freshwater sources near your home. Keeping a couple of good rain barrels on hand can also be very useful.

  3. Put Together Great First Aid Kits

    You will want to have everything you need to help heal yourself when you can no longer pick up the phone and make a doctor's appointment or head to the local emergency room. Make a first aid kit for each member of your family, and include items such as personal and often-used medications, flashlight with batteries, assorted bandages and absorbent compress dressings, adhesive cloth tape, antibiotic and hydrocortisone ointments, antiseptic wipes, space blanket, breathing barrier with one-way valve, instant cold compress, scissors, snake bite kit, tweezers, sterile water, iodine wound cleaning solution and a first aid instruction booklet.

  4. Camping Gear

    In the event you get displaced from your home, be sure to have a really good tent on hand for an extended camping trip. You should also bring a camping stove with appropriate cookware, fishing poles and a fish cleaning kit, matches, radio with extra batteries, good sleeping bags for each member of the family, extra clothing and bug spray.

These are just a few ideas to help you be better prepared for whatever comes, but don't stop there. Do some brain storming, and try to plan for whatever you can come up with that will help you go on with your life as well as possible in the event your normal way of life comes to a sudden halt.


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

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Protecting Your Home: Six Steps To Help Prevent Your Basement from Flooding

A flooded basement can cause significant damage to your home. It can destroy your household items, furniture, and building foundation. The repairs may cost tens of thousands of dollars. However, homeowners can take six simple steps to prevent flooding in their basements.

  1. Rain Gutters

    Make sure your house’s rain gutters are free of leaves and debris. The gutters should be well connected and properly angled to prevent rainwater from falling on the ground close to the foundation of the house. Undertake regular gutter cleaning even if you have guards on your gutters. Ensure the gutters are cleaned at least twice a year to keep them fully functional.

  2. Downspouts

    Install downspouts on the roof of your house. Make sure they are properly installed to direct rainwater at least 10 feet away from the foundation of the house and onto an area that slopes away from the house. While some homeowners connect downspouts to dry wells, this is not advisable. Dry wells connected to downspouts can quickly fill during the rainy season and force water near the house’s foundation, where it can flow into the basement.

  3. Settling Ground

    Some homes, especially recently constructed ones, are surrounded with back -fills, which allow water to settle and accumulate. The water may eventually flood and start flowing into the basement. You can eliminate back-fills by filling them with top soil and planting grass or other plants to prevent soil erosion. In addition, make sure your home’s back-fills are not elevated to exceed the height of the foundation to prevent adverse drainage problems.

  4. Poorly Pitched Yards

    Make sure the pitch of your yard is not off. Poorly pitched yards direct rainwater towards the house. The water directed towards the house will eventually spill over the foundation and into the sill plates. This will not only cause flooding in the basement but may also cause the walls to collapse. This can be remedied by re-excavating the yard.

  5. Sump Pumps and Pipeline Pigs

    These are machines that automatically pump water that has collected in the basement into specific destinations outside the house. Sumps pumps are easy to install and maintain. Make sure you connect pipeline pigs to the sump pump. Pipeline pigs are devices that help in inspection and cleaning of pipes. These devices protect pipelines from corrosion and cracking, and help detect problems inside the pipeline.

  6. Chemical Sealants

    Water Seepage is one of the major causes of flooding in basements. You can prevent water seepage by applying waterproofing solution on the basement’s walls and floor. Make sure you apply several coats of the solution to seal the walls and floor of the basement completely.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She loves to run and bike when she's not writing articles. For more information check www.DrinkwaterProducts.com to make sure you are installing these home appliances correctly. Contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

10 Home Tools That Will Be in High Demand After a Major Disaster

When planning for disasters, it's important to have the right tools on hand before it occurs. Local store shelves will be cleaned out in a matter of minutes. Even after large snow storms, you find your local grocery store more empty than usual. Remember to stow away these ten items so that you won't have to face off with mobs at the hardware store to get them.

Generator

Keep the juice on at your house by maintaining a backup generator. Most generators run on gasoline or diesel fuel, which must be stockpiled beforehand.

Water Purifier

Water lines may be disrupted during natural disasters. Most rivers and lakes have bacteria that is extremely harmful to your digestive system and could be potentially fatal. A water purifier will allow you to obtain drinkable water from natural bodies of water or by collecting and filtering rain water.

Lantern

When you do not wish to expend generator fuel just for light, it helps to have a small lantern handy. Electric lanterns are cheap, but make sure to stock up on batteries. Likewise, stash away plenty of fuel canisters if you choose a propane lantern.

Camp Stove

Many preppers stash away tons of canned and dried foods but neglect to equip themselves with any cooking equipment. A camp stove can fold up for easy storage and run on small cans of fuel.

Tarps

Tarps are one of the most versatile emergency supplies. They can be used to temporarily patch damaged walls or windows, or they can be made into shelters.

Hatchet

A hatchet may be a lifesaver in a disaster. Its most apparent use is chopping wood for fuel. Most hatchets can double as hammers; this could come in handy when boarding up broken windows on your home.

Door Kick Plates

Looters have been known to roam the suburbs during emergencies. Installing door kick plates will make it harder for them to enter your home.

Shovel

There are a bunch of If the public water system is not working, it may be necessary to dig latrines outside to maintain sanitary surroundings. If your home is not in a liveable condition, a shovel will be required for digging a trench around your improvised shelter to prevent flooding during heavy rain.

Two-Way Radios

Communication with family members is always important, and cellular telephone towers may not be in working condition. Keep a pair of two-way radios on hand to ensure that you can communicate with the members of your household no matter what. There are a good amount of people who are prepared to establish a radio network through a specific type of radio called HAM radio. However to operate the radio requires a bit of expertise.

First-Aid Kit

When emergency services are overwhelmed, you are your own first responder. Purchase the most comprehensive first-aid kit you can find, and learn how to use it.

Most of these tools can be found from different tool outlets like Smede-Son Steel & Building Supply in Detroit or Home Depot. Stock pile your tools soon and be prepared for survival living!


Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer from Sacramento, California. A mother of two, Hannah enjoys writing on blogs of all niches.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Securing Your Home and Property After a Break-In

When your home gets broken into, you don't just lose your material possessions; you can also lose your sense of security. Feeling safe again after a break-in isn't easy, but taking these steps to secure your home and keep your property protected is an excellent way to regain a sense of control while improving the security of your home and preventing future break-ins.

Improve Your Lighting

Burglars often love dark areas, so make sure that they can't find these areas around your home. By installing additional lighting around the perimeter of your lawn, you can make your house a lot less appealing for those who are looking for vulnerable, hidden areas. Plus, this lighting can allow you to feel safer and more secure when walking in and out of your home at night, and it's one of the most cost-effective methods of making your home feel safe and secure.

Change Your Locks

Changing your locks and ensuring that your windows are in good shape is both easy and inexpensive. You can buy a good deadbolt to replace your current lock and install it yourself, or you can hire a handyman or locksmith to do the job for you. If possible, consider spending a few extra dollars on a sturdier deadbolt that is more difficult to open. Also, if necessary, consider repairing or replacing your windows if they don't lock securely.

Talk to Your Neighbors

It's important to inform your neighbors about what has happened. Not only will doing so allow them to take necessary precautions to take care of their own homes and families, but it can also encourage your neighbors to keep an eye out for suspicious activity around your home. In fact, it might even be a good idea to start a neighborhood watch group so that you and all of your neighbors can look out for one another.

Install a Security System

Installing a security system is a great way to deter break-ins. Many would-be thieves won't even attempt to break into a home if they know that a security installation has been done, and the alarm itself can stop a burglar in their tracks.

Get a Dog

Getting a dog is a pretty big responsibility, but you might find that having one will make you feel safer. You don't have to have a vicious dog in order for it to deter would-be thieves; the noise that even a smaller dog can make will often be enough to call attention to suspicious activity and to scare away someone who is contemplating a crime.

Moving on after a break-in isn't easy, but following these tips to secure your property against future invasions is an excellent way to both take action and reaffirm your control over your own home and belongings.


Emma is a freelance writer from Boston. Her interests include urban survival training and Urbex. In her free time, she enjoys baking, film noir, and indoor rock climbing.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

5 Emergency Situations and How To Prepare for Them

Life is full of surprises and, unfortunately, many of them aren't the good kind of surprises. We're all forced to deal with unexpected occurrences sooner or later, so it's best to prepare ahead of time for what could possibly happen down the road. After all, it's always better to be safe than sorry. Here are some emergency situations that you could find yourself in one day and how you can get ready for their coming.

  1. Home Invasion

    The home is supposed to be a safe place, but the truth is that no place is totally safe. When people get desperate, they can break into your home to steal or worse. You and loved ones could get hurt or even killed. Prepare for a home invasion by always keeping the doors and windows locked. Keep your cell phone on you at all times, and keep a flashlight by your bedside since invasions usually happen at night. If you have a firearm or other defensive tool at home, keep it at arm's length.

  2. Heavy Snow Storm

    Not everyone has to deal with the inconveniences of snow and cold, but unusual winter conditions have been reported in areas that don't normally experience them. If a bad snow storm hits your area, you could be trapped at home or wherever you may be for a while. Stock up on nonperishable food, clothing, medications, and medical supplies for the house. Keep a small amount of the same in the car as well. Having a lighter on you would be useful so that you can make fire when necessary. Heat will be crucial to survival in such a situation.

  3. Car Accident

    Auto emergencies can injure and take lives, and they continue to occur in alarming numbers. In fact, driving is one of the most risky things that a person can do, yet most of us have to daily. To prepare for a car accident store food, water, extra clothing or blankets, and first-aid supplies in the car. Make sure to have a cell phone and flashlight handy as you may have to spend some time fending for yourself until emergency responders can locate you. You can avoid most accidents by making sure your car is in good repair with quality parts from www.usedautopartsindianapolis.net/ and being a safe driver at all times.

  4. Power Outage

    Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, winter storms--any natural disaster can knock your power out. Get ready for a blackout by buying flashlights, candles, matches, and lighters so that you can see. Invest in a portable generator if you have the money. Buy coolers and ice to preserve perishable food, and make sure there are lots of extra clothes around so you can stay warm when the heat is out.

  5. Societal Collapse

    When a major disaster such as war or viral outbreak destroys society as we know it, all of the survivors will do everything they can to continue surviving. When there's no one around to enforce laws, crime will be sure to run rampant. As far-fetched as it may sound, a societal collapse is very possible. Prepare yourself by stocking up on everything that might be needed for survival. Put an emphasis on acquiring clean water as well as guns, knives, and other tools that can be used for defense and hunting.

With all the unpleasant surprises that are sure to come your way in life you should really consider preparing for the worst. With this preparation for emergency situations you can be sure to stay safe because if you are caught unawares it's too late.


Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise as well as researching new topics to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stocking Up Means Restocking

Being a prepper requires learning some of the old ways of doing things like building shelter, hunting, and making fire. But if you want to survive in an emergency situation, you've got to constantly update your supplies and skills. If you've been preparing a shelter or compound for years, you've got the drive. But have you kept up with new options for a safe and comfortable bugout? Go through your complete supply list once a year and replace or update everything you can with newer or better versions.

Food

Whether you've got a one-week emergency supply of rations or have put away enough non-perishables to get by for months, your food supply won't last forever without spoiling. The average makeshift grocery supply will only last you a matter of months. If you're storing MREs, the commercial variety have an average shelf life of three years, while military grade is rated for a couple years more. Heat and cold will shorten the shelf life of all your foods, so trade them out and eat the older ones after renewing your storage supply.

Communication

When it's time to bug out, the odds are good your family will not all be together in one place. It's important for each of you to be able to communicate with each other, and independent technology is the key. In many emergency situations satellites will still be up and operational, so satellite phones will eventually be of use, even if the cell towers are jammed right away. If the electricity goes out you'll need to be able to charge your phone wirelessly, so keep a wireless charger or car charger on hand. Switch out your equipment for newer and tougher models as they become available, and invest in the new tough covers that render a phone waterproof and shock resistant.

Skills and Knowledge

You owe it to yourself to continue your education to improve your chances of survival once an emergency happens. As new and advanced methods for tasks arise, make it a point to learn these new ways of doing things. As you family grows and your environment changes, adjust your escape plan to account for new routes, roadblocks, or starting points. When new emergency tools are invented, buy them and practice using them until it becomes second nature.

With the worldwide bee shortage, you should learn about ways to pollinate future crops in your compound. If your family is growing, carpentry skills are valuable and easy to learn. Are there new types (or old) of weapons you can practice with? Is there a better type of vehicle to use on your land? Constantly look out for a better way to do things, from small entertainments to major life issues. You've only got one chance to get it right, so spending time now to improve could be the valuable way you ever spend your time.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Best Ideas for Improving Your Home to Counteract Four Disaster Scenarios

The goal behind home improvement is mainly to beautify the house. What may not always be obvious is that in undertaking a lot of upgrading projects, major possible threats can be blunted. Any lengthy observation of the news shows that extreme occurrences can hit without warning. Often times, something completely unexpected can be minimized through an improvement. Here's a few ways this can unfold.

Washed Away

Relentless rainfall has sent the nearby river over its banks and into the home's basement. In a warming climate with increased humidity, this can turn into a frequent event. The homeowner just has to accept that their basement could wind up an indoor swimming pool. A home improvement project like turning the attic into additional living space can compensate for the loss of one living space with another that's out of harms way.

A Hole In The Roof

When shingles get old, they become brittle and can break apart in high winds, exposing the underlying roof to leaks. In the event of a passing hurricane, this is almost certain to happen. Not only will the high winds do damage, the torrential downpour will definitely make its way indoors. A new replacement roof stands a better chance of laying flat in the face of 70 mph winds and forms a solid barrier against battering rains.

Extra Privacy

Home improvement isn't limited to the house itself. Surrounding the home in a privacy fence enhances appearances and value. In the event of a wildfire, it can do one more thing. If the fence consists of a high concrete wall, it provides the best protection against wind-borne embers that could set the house on fire. It not only blocks the flames, it's fireproof itself. The key is to avoid wooden or vinyl stockade fencing.

Window Accents

A great improvement to the exterior of any house is window shudders. If they happen to be storm shudders, though, they'll provide both beauty and safety. Originally designed to guard against hurricanes, storm shudders are versatile in many different situations. Imagine if a house was hit by the pressure wave from a detonating nuclear warhead or impacting meteor. Just by closing these decorative steel or aluminum additions, there's no chance of shattered glass flying throughout the interior.

More Than Pretty

People usually like to initiate home improvement projects to give their houses a brand-new look. As these examples show, there can be more vital reasons to make some changes in a home.


Rianne Hunter is a wife, mother of three, and a writer that covers a broad range of subjects like home improvement, family, and health. She recommends talking with professionals such as a San Rafael roofing supply company to decide what you should do to best prepare your home for disasters.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Long Term Food Storage In The Event Of An Emergency

food storage
In the event of an emergency, it is important to have planned ahead for food and drink storage. Some ways of storing food and beverages, such as water, are relatively easy; others are more difficult. It is our goal to keep things relatively simple, which provides a greater chance for survival in an emergency situation.

Food Storage For Mobile Use

In a serious emergency, it isn't always convenient to stay in your location. Sometimes a person simply has to grab what they can and move out of an area quickly. In the event of a major tornado storm, or hurricane, you may have to travel a long distance. Taking food on your journey to a safe zone will be essential. To keep food from spoiling, it is always a good idea to keep a cooler around to pack food in and a freezer full of ice.
  1. Fill the bottom of the cooler with ice packs or free ice.

  2. Pack the food on top of the ice.

  3. If you have any room left over and more ice, pack the top with ice also to create a barrier against heat.

Even if the electricity goes out, you can transfer the food and ice to a cooler and take your food with you. A separate location may provide more adequate food storage facilities than your current location. In any case, a cooler is perhaps one of the best ways to store food in a serious pinch. It is not the longest storage option around, but it might be the best option given the type of emergency one is faced with.

water storage

Water Storage

Staying hydrated is perhaps one of the most important things to keep on top of during an emergency situation. One can store water in a variety of ways. Here are some ways to do it:
  1. Order and store commercial size bottles of water from a company like Cooksey Culligan

  2. Fill gallon jugs with drinking water from your faucet in preparation for an emergency.

  3. Buy 50 gallon water tanks from a specialized dealers, clean out the barrel with water and bleach. Rinse and fill with water again and put a slight amount of chlorine bleach in the tank to keep the water sanitized over a long period of time.


Dehydrate Fruits And Vegetables

When it comes to maintaining adequate food stores during an emergency, dehydrating food can often be a life saver. Dehydrating food can be done in preparation of an emergency as follows:
  1. Slice fruits or vegetables into thinly sliced pieces

  2. Add any sort of seasoning you want to the slices.

  3. Place in a dehydrator and dehydrate the slices for several hours until they get to a leathery or hard consistency.

  4. Remove the slices from the dehydrator and store the dehydrated food in vacuum sealed bags with an oxygen absorber to improve the longevity of the food during storage. More will be said on Oxygen absorbers later.


jerky

Making Jerky

One way to keep meat around for the long term is to make your own jerky. Beef, turkey, deer, bison, and salmon are perhaps the best meats to use.
  1. Choose a piece of meat to use. The leaner the meat the better.

  2. Remove any fat on the meat and then freeze for many hours. Next either shave into slivers of less than one twentieth of an inch, or have a butcher thin slice your meat for you.

  3. Marinate the meat for an entire day in a solution, such as vinegar, brown sugar, and olive oil. A person can add liquid smoke, if they prefer this flavor. After 24-hours, dust the meat with a liberal amount of salt and any other herbs, spices, or hot peppers, which flavor one might enjoy.

  4. Lay the meat strips uniformly separated on the trays of your dehydrator to ensure proper air flow. Dehydrate for two hours initially. Then check every 30 minutes after until the meat gets as dry as you want it. Make sure to check that the meat is not raw. The meat should look a brownish color inside.

    Alternatively, preheat an oven to 175-degrees. Put the strips of meat on an open wire rack in the oven, with something to catch drippings beneath. Let cook for an hour to ninety minutes, then check in half hour intervals. Look to make sure the inside is not raw as mentioned before. The process of drying the meat can often take longer than three hours, so be patient.

  5. Place the finished product into a plastic packing bag with an oxygen absorber. Then proceed to vacuum seal for long storage./LI>

Note: Oxygen absorbers typically come in two types. The B and D types. B type oxygen absorbers are used when the product you are storing is not fully dry or brittle, being activated by the moisture that still remains in the food. On the other hand, the D type absorbers contain their own moisture, and hence work better with fully dried products.


Storing Dry Beans

In an emergency, dry beans can often be one of the easiest food sources to store and keep around long term.
  1. Take the dry beans and put them into a durable plastic container

  2. Remove any debris, such as rocks, broken beans, or other foreign materials.

  3. Close the container and store in a dry cool place. Try not to expose the container to any excessive heat or sunlight, if possible.

Beans should keep like this for at least 12-months, if not longer.

Though emergency may strike at any given time, it is helpful to know that one can prepare to preserve food for a long time, if needed. Of course, there are many other methods by which long term food storage can be accomplished. Consequently, it is always a good idea to learn as much as one can.


Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer from Sacramento, California. A mother of two, Hannah enjoys writing on blogs of all niches.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five Life-Saving Skills Your Kids Should Know

We all love our children and would give our own lives to protect them. Unfortunately, life doesn't always allow us to be there with our children, and it is very important that all children are provided with the skills they need in order to protect themselves when their parents aren't around. There are several skills your child should know that could potentially enable them to save their own life or the life of those around them.
  1. Three Little Numbers

    Children as young as two have been taught to dial 911 in an emergency. Just being able to dial the number and tell the operator that their mommy won't wake up or they are lost somewhere will cause the 911 operator to activate a trace and get help on the way to you and your child. Older children should have their address and phone number written down next to the phone so they can give the 911 operator more information for quicker assistance.

  2. Choking Hazards

    Your children should be taught the universal sign of choking, clutching hands to the throat, so they know what to do in order to let someone know they are choking or can help someone who is choking. This should be a part of classes that teach the Heimlich Maneuver, which will enable them to save themselves or another choking victim. A general first aid class can be combined with this as well.

  3. Swimming Lessons

    A large number of children die each year from accidental drowning in backyard swimming pools or trips to the lake. Give your child the gift of private swimming lessons so they will be sure to get individual attention and come away from the lessons fully capable of saving their own lives if they should find themselves in deep water. CPR classes can be incorporated with this as well if you feel your child is ready to learn this lifesaving skill.

  4. Firearm Safety

    In a perfect world, your child would never be near a potentially deadly firearm. In your own home, you can make sure the guns stay locked up, but you never know what may be happening when your children are playing at the home of another child. Whether you own guns or not, you need to teach your children about gun safety, and make sure they know to always tell an adult immediately if they find a gun or a friend has access to any firearm.

  5. Self-Protection

    Far too many children are abducted every year. Let your children know they are allowed to question an order from an adult that seems strange to them. Give them a password that only you and the child know that must be given by anyone you authorize to pick them up. Empower them by signing them up for seminars dedicated to teaching them how to defend themselves if needed.

Make sure your children are taught these life-saving skills, and you can breathe a little easier when they are out of your sight. Having these skills will also make your child feel safer and be much more confident in themselves.


Annette Hazard is a freelance writer that usually writes about home and family issues. She is a mother of one and spends her free time exploring the outdoors with her family.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Wildlife Encounter: What To Do If You Come Face To Face With An Animal While Camping

hiking bear
Camping is an awesome outdoor experience that allows you to enjoy nature's beauty and pick up some essential survival skills too. Being that it typically takes place in the woods where wild animals may roam, it's not uncommon to run into a non-human creature during your camping trip. Unfortunately, not all animals are friendly. Predatory beasts such as bears and mountain lions can cause serious harm to you and your loved ones if they are hungry or feel threatened, so here's what you should do in case you come face-to-face with an unexpected animal:

Keep Your Cool

If you encounter a potentially dangerous animal, always try to stay as calm as possible. If you allow fear to consume you, there's a good chance that you could make a mistake that might result in your own injury. Keeping your cool not only allows you to think more rationally during a dire moment, it'll also allow you to have more control over your motor functions in case you need to act quickly and precisely.

Create Lots of Noise

In many cases, wild animals approach a campsite simply because they're curious. Maybe they got a whiff of the delicious stew that you were cooking over the campfire. They may have also noticed movement from behind the bushes. Most of the time, wild animals aren't planning to attack humans. If they're not desperate, causing a ruckus should scare them off without issue.

Try to Appear Larger

Intimidating a predatory animal can get you out of a bad situation, and making yourself look bigger should make you appear more intimidating to the animal. Stand up as tall as you can, and raise your arms above your head to create the illusion that you're larger than you really are. Grab a coat, blanket, or other items in the vicinity to scare off the animal.

Use Bear Spray

If you are backpacking in the back country in bear territory, it's always wise to bring bear spray with you. If you feel like a bear isn't interested in leaving any time soon or begins to show aggressive behavior, use your bear spray. It is a powerful deterrent that can save your life. Be sure you know how to use it before bringing it with you in the back country, and be sure you are close enough to the animal for it to be most effective.

Do Not Flee

Running is the last thing you'd want to do when facing a predatory animal. If it's hungry, it will chase you down when you're acting like prey. Even the fastest humans cannot outrun a bear or cougar, so don't even attempt it. Fleeing is a surefire way to make the beast more interested in you.

Be Ready to Defend Your Life

If you're unlucky, you'll encounter a starving animal or one that feels seriously threatened. Such animals are not likely to back down. Always be prepared to defend your life. Grab a stick, wood hatchet, survival knife, or whatever you have on hand to use as a weapon. You may have to fend for yourself until help arrives. In some cases, playing dead is the best thing to do. Know how to react with different animals to stay safe.

Camping is a very popular outdoor activity during the spring and summer months, but always keep in mind that you're outside in the wild. Even designated campgrounds aren't entirely safe because animals can wander wherever they'd like. For wildlife enthusiasts, places like Yellowstone National Park, the Gunflint Trail or The Everglades are ideal options for the best opportunities to see wild animals. Even in popular parks and trails, danger remains present with wildlife. Remain aware of your surroundings at all times if you don't want to get ambushed by a wild animal.


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

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Securing Your Home: 10 In Home Items To Have For An Emergency

If there's one thing you can count on as much as death and taxes, it's emergencies. From natural disasters to house fires, emergencies are an inescapable part of life. In order to remain as secure as possible, we recommend you keep the following things on hand:

  1. First Aid Kit

    It goes without saying that every home should have a basic first aid kit. Your kit should include bandages, small splints, a pain reliever, iodine or antibiotic cream, gauze and water purification tablets.

  2. Fresh Water

    At the first sign of a potential disaster, you should have spare water receptacles you can fill to capacity. The experts from Bruce MacKay Pump & Well Service, INC say if the pipes run dry, at least you will be prepared.

  3. Canned Foods

    What would you do if the food supply were interrupted? Keeping a few day's worth of canned foods in storage answers that question. Cured meats and dried fruits and vegetables also work well.

  4. Solar Powered Radio

    Commercial radio is still one of the best forms of communication during an emergency. So keep a solar powered radio in your home. Some newer radios come with hand cranks to keep them going through the nighttime.

  5. Warm Blankets

    Did you know that hypothermia is a real possibility even in moderately warm weather? Avoid hypothermia by making sure you have warm blankets on hand.

  6. Cash

    Though it's never good idea to keep large amounts of cash in the house, it's important to have at least a little bit in the face of a pending disaster. Without electricity, your credit and debit cards might be worthless.

  7. Hand Tools

    Nothing is more frustrating than being in an emergency situation without the right hand tools. Keep a small toolbox with several screwdrivers, a hammer, a utility knife, etc.

  8. Gasoline

    A disaster capable of knocking out gasoline delivery could leave you immobile. Keeping a little gas in storage will ensure you can drive during an emergency.

  9. Computer Backups

    Every computer owner should be creating regular backups of important data. This data could be a lifesaver if your computer is destroyed.

  10. Important Documents

    It's always a good idea to purchase a high quality personal safe to store your important documents in. Those documents include birth certificates, marriage licenses, Social Security cards, etc.

Keeping you and your family secure during an emergency requires a bit of planning. If you implement a safety plan, including the 10 items listed above, you should be able make it through most disasters.


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.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

6 Checklist Items for When Disaster Knocks out Electricity

snowy neighborhood


Disasters can strike at any time, and you want to be ready for them. Sudden winter storms can knock out power, and you might be in the dark for several days or longer. When the lights go out is not the time to wonder how you and your family will stay warm. There are six important items you should make sure that you have before a transformer blows in your area.

Emergency Generator

When a storm hits the radar for your area, generators around you will sell out and the prices on them may skyrocket. Buy a generator now so that you’ll have it ready to go. You can have it hard wired to the panel in your home, but that isn’t necessary. Ensure that your generator is ready to power your refrigerator and a few other key appliances of your choice by getting a long extension cord. You should also have plenty of gas on hand to run the generator. Finally, start the generator every few months to ensure that it’s still in great working order and ready for an emergency.

Extra Gasoline

The gas isn’t just for the generator. In the case of a widespread power outage, there may not be gas available in your area. You may still need the car to go places, and you’ll certainly need to feed the generator at some point. It’s wise to have a few extra cans on hand.

72-Hour Food Kit

How much food should you have on hand in case of a power outage? Some people would tell you a week or even a year. This is really a very personal answer, but most experts agree that the bare minimum is three days. In addition to food, you should also have water. If you have items that need to be warmed up to be more palatable, then invest in a little camp stove.

Firewood

What happens when your electricity goes out in the middle of winter? How will you heat the home? Even gas furnaces have an electric switch that allows them to start. You can use the generator to run this switch, but it’s also wise to have firewood on hand. This can be used for heat and for cooking if necessary.

Consider the Electronic Files

Protect your electronic files regularly by backing them up. If you lose power while working on something important, you don’t want it to be lost forever.

Hunting Supplies

You like to think the that power will come back up the same day, but horror stories abound of people going weeks without power after a hurricane. In extreme weather situations, the widespread damage to infrastructure can take weeks or even months to fully address. The grocery stores may not be up and running, and you probably won’t have the gas to drive in and out of town every day. This is where your own hunting skills come in. With basic hunting supplies, you can go out and bag a deer or even a squirrel to keep your family fed while everyone else is in chaos.

It’s important to be self-reliant and depend on yourself in an emergency. While you may have complete faith that the power will eventually come back on, you want to be ready to keep your family safe and secure in the meantime. Add these six items to your emergency preparedness kit to ensure that your ready when the lights go dark.


Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer from Sacramento, California. A mother of two, Hannah enjoys writing on blogs of all niches.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

In the Middle of an Emergency? How to Stay Calm and Move on

keep calm and carry on


When in an emergency, you might feel frazzled, stressed, and reactive. Remaining calm throughout an emergency can help move the emergency out of crisis mode. Keep your cool and move smoothly forward by following these six simple steps, which, though ordered, may be repeated.
  1. Breathe

    The first, and perhaps most important, step is to breath. Take several deep breaths. Inhale, reminding yourself that you can be calm. Exhale, telling yourself to release your anxieties and fears.

  2. Think

    A natural tendency and instinct in an emergency is to react, or overreact. Often our bodies act before our minds catch up. Though sometimes this is important in the face of personal danger, other times it can be detrimental to self and others. The short time that you take to think before you act could be lifesaving.

  3. Ask Questions

    If others are involved, ask what has happened, what is happening, and how you and others are doing and feeling. These questions and answers will help you to understand the situation more fully and best respond.

  4. Prioritize

    With more information, you can wisely prioritize your next steps. Ask yourself what needs to happen first to keep the situation and everyone involved safe. Then, move toward a solution that will redefine the emergency from being a crisis to a situation simply needing management.

  5. Take action

    With priorities, your actions can take shape. These include informing others of the situation and its progress, caring for someone else, clearing unnecessary and unhelpful spectators, and delegating responsibilities. Not only will these help you to remain preoccupied so that you stay calm, but they will also help you handle the emergency effectively and appropriately.

    Say that you’re locked out of your car but need to take someone to the hospital immediately. First, you could dial 911, and then try to get ahold of a locksmith to come unlock your car.

  6. Express and Process

    You have navigated through and past the emergency. Now you will most likely feel a variety of emotions, including questioning what happened and how you responded. You might even viscerally relive the emergency for some time. This can be a difficult process. Find someone to express and process your experiences with to help you heal and move forward.

Emergencies vary in severity and the effects they will have on you and others involved. Familiarizing yourself with these steps will help you prepare for when you find yourself in an emergency and will decrease the negative effects you might experience both during and after it. Just remember: breath, think, ask questions, prioritize, take action, and express and process.


Tricia is a mom and a blogger from Beverly Hills. She recommends www.LocksmithFairfieldCA.com for your locksmith needs.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

How to Treat Head Injury and Concussion

headache
Head trauma is a dangerous condition that can result in permanent injury, disability or even death. Among the most common types of head injury is a concussion. This occurs when a bruise forms on the brain due to an injury of the head. Although the majority of concussions heal without issue, a lack of first aid can greatly increase the risk of complications. Here's how to treat a head injury or concussion.

Inspect the Victim

Look at the victim's wound closely, but keep in mind that scalp injuries aren't necessarily a reliable way to determine the extent of the damage. Small injuries like cuts can appear more serious than they are, while less-visible injuries could be hiding extensive brain damage. There are typically two ways you can tell if the victim has sustained brain damage.

Physical Symptoms

  • Visual abnormalities, blurred or doubled eyesight
  • Impaired coordination
  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • Poor balance
  • Muscle weakness or paralysis
  • Dizziness
  • Headache, nausea or vomiting

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Difficulty concentrating or making sense of things
  • Amnesia
  • Irritability or sudden changes in mood
  • Loss of interest, apathy
  • Displaying inappropriate behaviors or emotions
  • Fatigue or sleepiness
  • In the case of a concussion, one pupil will be larger than the other

Evaluate the Victim's Consciousness

It's critical to analyze the victim's consciousness and and cognitive function. You can do this by following a trick called the AVPU method, which stands for “Alertness, Voice response, Pain and Unresponsiveness”:
  • A: Does the victim seem "alert" and able to answer your questions?
  • V: Is the victim able to respond to your "voice?"
  • P: Are they showing sensitivity to "pain?"
  • U: Are they "unresponsive" to any of the above methods?

Stay Calm and Focused

If the victim is awake, keep asking questions. This lets you determine the level of injury and also helps prevent the victim from losing consciousness. Common questions used for this purpose are:
  • What day is today?
  • Do you know where you are?
  • What is your name?
  • How do you feel?

See a Doctor

All head injuries, especially those resulting in loss of consciousness, cognitive impairment or concussion, must be addressed by a doctor as quickly as possible. Even a seemingly insignificant injury can be life-threatening. If the victim doesn't appear to be in serious condition and is able to stand, drive them to the nearest medical center right away.

In an Emergency

If the victim loses consciousness, does not wake up or exhibits other signs of brain trauma, you're advised to call 911 immediately. Describe the situation and symptoms to the dispatcher as calmly and accurately as possible. This will help emergency personnel know what to expect. Whatever you do, don't move a person who is in this condition. Jostling someone with a brain injury can worsen the damage and potentially result in death. Emergency personnel will provide a neck collar and backboard to support the patient during transport to the emergency room.

Informational Credit to Owl Now Urgent Care


About the Author: Emma is a freelance writer from Boston. Her interests include urban survival training and Urbex. In her free time, she enjoys baking, film noir, and indoor rock climbing.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

5 Must Read Tips to Prepare For and Recover From a Disaster

emergency kit


Disasters happen, there's no getting around that. Thinking "it won't happen to me" won't stop it from happening to you! It's best to be prepared and never have to face anything worse than a rainstorm than to not be prepared and face a hurricane, earthquake or civil unrest, to name a few possibilities. 

You may want to provide duplicates of some things. Storage units are excellent places to keep copies, duplicates and extras if you carry the key with you at all times. Don't assume that you can get to your vehicle, or that you'll be home or can get home when a disaster occurs.

There are five things that are critical to surviving and recovering.

Water

Food and water are the two most talked about things when the subject of preparing for disaster comes up because they are critical to survival. Everyone should have a system of water storage or know where to get it. Whether you buy hundred gallon containers or simply fill gallon jugs as you come across them, have an adequate supply for drinking and sanitation.

Food

Food storage has become big business lately, but you don't have to buy it. Make your own dehydrated and canned food and keep it handy.

Shelter

Depending on the disaster, you may not be able to stay in your home, or you might be away from home and not be able to return. Don't rely on emergency services to provide shelter, especially if the disaster is widespread and long lasting. Keep a few "moon" blankets and some warm clothes on hand. Two Mylar type blankets can be set up as a small tent as well as keep you warm in cold weather.

Learn to build shelters from vegetation, but don't just look at the pictures and listen. Go out and build one so if a disaster occurs and you need shelter, you have the confidence to do it.

Personal Care

Prescription medicines, over the counter medicines and first aid items need to be on hand so you can grab them or find them in the dark. Scissors, a small hammer and a saw can be included in this stash. 

Vital Paperwork

Documents are critical for recovery. Insurance papers, automobile titles, real estate deeds, driver's licenses, Social Security cards, health insurance papers and more are needed to not only get help, but to establish who you are when everything else is unavailable. Keep copies at home and another safe place away from home.


Karleia is a freelance blogger. Away from the office she enjoys spending time with her daughters and husband.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Six Survival Tricks that Only Require a Rope

knot


To a survivalist, every yard of paracord is like a hundred dollar bill. That's because they understand the value of a piece of rope during an emergency situation. Ropes can be used for a wide range of tasks when survival is the goal, and here are a few tricks that every individual should learn in case something goes horribly wrong one day.

  1. Figure-eight on bight knot

    If you need a rope that can handle a lot of weight, this simple technique is exactly what you want. The figure-eight on bight knot is one of the strongest and sturdiest knots out there. All you have to do is create the figure-eight pattern, then pull the loop through the top hole until everything's tightened. The loop end is meant to be attached to a hook, carabiner, or pulley system for added hoisting force.

  2. Figure-eight follow-through knot

    If you find yourself in a situation where you need a longer rope, you can use this technique to tie two ropes together. After creating a figure-eight on one far side of the rope, pull the end of the rope through the bight of another rope, and trace the first figure-eight with that end. You should see three pairs of strands when done properly. This knot could be used to reach a hiker or climber who's been injured after falling down a high rock face.

  3. Bowline knot

    This trick is often used by rock climbers and emergency personnel who must strap themselves in to be lowered down somewhere. The knot creates a loop that won't continue to be tightened with force so that it can support weight without injuring the person wearing it. After creating a simple loop, pull the end around the back and through. Continue pulling the working end down and around the standing end, then thread it back up through the original loop and tighten. Adjust to form the desired primary loop size, then pull the leftover rope around the string to create a simple knot that retains that exact form.

  4. Two half-hitches

    If you ever need to secure yourself, somebody, or something to a tree, this knot is what you'd want. First, wrap the rope around the tree, then slip the working end through that initial loop to form the first half-hitch. Then, wrap around the standing end again, but pull through the new hole created to form the second half-hitch.

  5. Mule knot

    First form a bight, then pull the working end around it. Thread it through the newly created loop, then tighten it down to section off the original bight. This technique is used for securing a rope-based transportation system that can transfer people or objects between two different locations.

  6. Sheet bend knot

    Used to attach two ropes of unequal thickness together, this basic knot can come in very handy when length is a must. First, create a bight with the thicker rope. Then, thread the thinner one through the bight, wrap it around both ends of the thicker rope, then pull it back up through the hole created by both thin and thick ropes.

There are few items more useful during a survival situation than some type of rope such as a shock cord or paracord. Even if you don't plan on using one for your next mountain climb, camping trip, or drive to the grocery store, it would be a good idea to have one with you just in case. You never know what could happen, so it's always best to be prepared for the worst.


Annette Hazard is a freelance writer that usually writes about home and family issues. She is a mother of one and spends her free time exploring the outdoors with her family.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Five Ways to Move Your Home off the Grid



Millions of citizens worldwide dream about going off the grid. Not only does going off the grid offer you the freedom of feeling like a self-made individual, but in the long run it helps you to save thousands of dollars. If you're looking to achieve greater independence, think about incorporating these five tips for moving your home off the grid.

Incorporating Solar Energy

In recent years advances in solar technology have made solar energy a viable alternative to power from utility companies. Some homeowners now cover their roofs in "solar shingles"; these alternatives to solar panels look just like regular shingles, but with a blue tint.

Creating Your Own Water System

Using a well is a great way to avoid paying an outrageous water bill. However, you'll need a well pump. Companies like Pumping Solutions can help you better understand the available options for well pumps. Once installed, you'll have access to water for all of your home's needs.

Harnessing the Wind

Home wind turbines now start out at under $1000, making them ever more viable alternatives to energy from the grid. Although these turbines require large, open spaces to realize their full energy production potential, even in cities these turbines can act as a good supplement to your energy needs.

Growing a Garden

Instead of stocking up with food from the grocery store every few weeks, try growing your own herbs, vegetables and fruits. Picking plants directly out of your garden will help to reduce storage costs associated with store-bought food. Additionally, growing plants helps to keep you healthier as well. Gardening is great for reducing stress and the plants you harvest may have higher nutritional content than the ones on the store shelf.

Heating with Propane

While wind and solar energy are great, their efficiency is at the mercy of the weather. With propane as a backup heating source, you don't have to worry about restricting your energy usage on cloudy, still days. On top of that, propane is more efficient for heating than electrical heaters. You can also use propane as a backup gas source for cooking.

Getting off the grid requires a large upfront investment. However, if you follow these tips to move your home off the grid, you stand to gain not only a greater sense of independence, but a thicker wallet as well.


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

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Doomsday Giveaway for April 2014!

April is paracord month. This month we are giving away 100 feet of the good stuff. Genuine MIL-SPEC (MIL-C-5040 Type III) Paracord. This comes in your choice of colors (Black, White, OD Green, Foliage Green, Tan, Coyote Brown, and Orange). Just let me know what color after you win and you will get one 100-foot piece.

paracord photo: hunk of paracord paracord_72dpi.jpg


Paracord, especially MIL-SPEC is something that no prepper can do without. We want to help you get some. This cord is tested for over 550 pounds. Also, many people use it for crafts such as bracelets, keychains, belts, etc.

All you need to do to enter 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, follow this blog, or any of the other easy entry options. On May 1st we will select the winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

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