Monday, September 29, 2014

5 Keys to Surviving a Nighttime Car Break Down

Obviously, there is never a good time for your vehicle to break down, but having it occur after dark is just adding to your misery. At that point you are introducing the extra issues of visibility by other vehicles so you don't get hit, personal visibility if you are forced to walk to a roadside call box or work on your car to get it running again, and the decrease in traffic at night, particularly on the lesser-used roads, so your chances of getting help are diminished. If you remain calm and follow a few simple guidelines, you will dramatically increase your chances of successfully dealing with this major inconvenience.

Get Out Of the Traffic Flow

If your vehicle begins to die or you get a flat tire while on a major highway, try to make it to an the next exit; if you are on a smaller road, try to work your way to the breakdown lane or the right shoulder of the road. If you are unable to get off the roadway, do not leave your vehicle.

Stay Visible

Turn on your emergency flashers as soon as possible. To increase your visibility after dark, turn on your interior lights, too. If you have a white piece of cloth or a piece of white paper, roll down the driver's side window and hang it out, rolling the window up to keep it secured in place.

Call For Assistance

If you have a usable signal, use your cell phone to call for help. A towing service like Mike's Auto Towing should be able to respond to your call in a matter of minutes. If you need to use a roadside call box and there is one nearby, use extreme caution when walking along the road and never cross a multi-lane highway at night.

Remain Well Clear of the Highway

If you need to change a tire, for instance, make certain there is no chance of being hit by a passing vehicle while you are working on it.

Personal Safety Comes First

If someone stops and offers assistance, roll down your window only a small amount and ask them to contact the nearest authorities, whether it's local police, county sheriff, or the highway patrol.

Having your vehicle break down at night can be unnerving, but most roads of any size are patrolled regularly by law enforcement personnel, so just be patient. Help will come.


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

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Emergency Preparedness: 6 Things Every Family Needs in Case of a Disaster

What would you do if a massive earthquake hit your city, knocking out the power, destroying water lines, and damaging most buildings? Would you have what you need to survive? Here are 6 things to get right now so you and your family can survive any kind of disaster.

  1. Drinking Water

    If a disaster were to knock out or pollute our running water, people with their own drinking water would have the best chance of surviving.

    According to the CDC, sealed water bottles are the safest and most reliable way to store water for an emergency. You can also store water in barrels or water storage containers, both of which can be found at either camping stores or emergency preparedness outlets. Make sure the storage container is sterilized before filling it with water. Also be sure that the water you put in the container is clean.

    In addition to storing drinking water, also consider water filtration options. Camping stores are a great resource to help you find hand pumps or purification tablets.

  2. A 72-hour Kit

    An emergency kit will mean everything to you during a disaster. It will keep you healthy, safe, and fed until more help can get to you. Here are the items to put in your kit:

    Food and Water
    • protein and/or granola bars
    • trail mix and/or dried fruit
    • crackers and/or cereal
    • canned foods such as tuna, beans, turkey, beef, etc.
    • candy and gum
    • juice boxes/canned juice
    Clothing
    • one change of clothing
    • a jacket
    • undergarments
    • a poncho
    • emergency blanket
    Fuel, Light, and Equipment
    • can opener
    • dishes and utensils (compact camping kits work well)
    • radio
    • batteries
    • flashlight
    • flare
    • candles
    • lighter
    • water-proof matches
    • pen and paper
    • pocket knife
    • rope
    • duct tape
    • small hand shovel
    Personal Supplies
    • first aid kit
    • toiletries
    • hand sanitizer/soap and shampoo
    • medication (prescription and non-prescription)
    Documents
    • birth certificate
    • marriage certificate
    • will
    • passport
    • other legal documents
    • important contact numbers
    • vaccination and immunization papers
    • insurance policies
    • credit cards
    Update your 72-hour kit every six months to make sure the food and medication are fresh, and the clothes fit. If you have children, it might be wise to add some small toys or games. Each family member should have their own kit.

  3. A Fire Extinguisher

    A fire extinguisher is good to have in a disaster in case the power lines get damaged and pose electrical hazards. They are also important to have in the home to keep an emergency like a kitchen fire from turning into a disaster.

  4. Small Cash

    Having cash in an emergency can help you obtain help or supplies that you or your family members may need. You don’t want to have your cash tied up in large bills, however, or people will be able to take advantage of your desperation.

    For example, if you need alcohol or disinfectant to clean a wound, but you only have a $50 bill, an individual with the disinfectant may see your desperation and charge you all $50 for it. If you have $1 bills to offer, you can avoid being taken advantage of.

  5. A Meeting Place

    Making a plan ahead of time will help you and your family members stay calm in a disaster and know exactly what to do.

    Designate a place your family members will congregate to after a fire, earthquake, or any other event. Phone lines will likely be tied up in the panic of a disaster, so having a meeting spot will help you keep track of all your family members and make sure everyone is OK.

    Hold a family meeting to go through different disaster scenarios and decide what to do. Type up your disaster preparedness plans and distribute them to each family member. Go through the plans regularly so even the youngest child will know exactly how to handle any emergency situation.

  6. Food Storage

    It’s wise to have at least 3 months-worth of food storage. You don’t have to go out and buy 3 months of non-perishable groceries right now. Instead, slowly build up your supply over time. One way to manage a food storage is to stock up on foods you regularly eat—cans of beans, fruit, and soup; noodles; sugar, flour, and rice; and so on.

    Then constantly rotate the food out of storage as you eat through it. When you go to the store, put the new food in storage and eat the food it is replacing. That way the food will always be fresh and ready for a disaster situation.

    Keep your food storage safe from pests with pest control products like Solutions Self Chem as well as with air-tight containers.

Disasters of any form can be terrifying and life changing. Increase your chance of survival and know exactly how to respond by preparing ahead of time. These six things will help your family handle any situation.


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

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Proper Preparation: What You Need to Survive Almost Anything

While keeping your family safe is a priority, unfortunate disasters are simply a part of life. Whether it's a weather related event, or a man-made disaster, being prepared means having supplies on hand that will get you through 72 hours, or until the worst has past. Whether it's a self-contained kit or a well-organized closet, it's important to have the following items on hand in the event of a disaster situation.

Water

It's critical to have water for drinking, cooking, and sanitation. For a 72 hour period, 3 gallons per person is an acceptable supply to have on hand. Purification tablets may also be used to treat questionable water sources in the event your secure supply runs out.

Fire

Whether it's for cooking or keeping warm, a reliable source of fire is a fundamental necessity during any disaster. Waterproof matches will work even in wet conditions, and disposable lighters are always a good backup.

Food

A 3-day supply of non-perishable foods should be available, or should be a part of your 72 hour survival kit. Since power could be an issue, it's important to stock foods that don't require refrigeration. Canned foods, peanut butter, energy bars, and dried fruits are good examples of what to have on hand in the event of an emergency. Make certain to consider your family's dietary needs, and whether or not you need to feed infants or small children. While this might seem obvious, don't forget a manual can opener and eating utensils.

First Aid Supplies

Homeowners should always have a first aid kit on hand. If you're unsure of what to purchase, most kits are rated for the number of people that may require emergency care. Keep your emergency kit sealed. Purchase a second first aid kit to avoid using your emergency supplies.

Flashlights and Batteries

Keep a fresh supply of batteries and flashlights in your emergency kit. Do not put the batteries in the flashlights until it becomes necessary, as this will ensure a longer battery life.

Communication

Having a battery operated radio will help to keep you informed of the conditions as they relate to your emergency. Don't rely on cell phones. You may not be able to keep them charged, and there may be no signal during the emergency.

Most Underwriters Insurance Brokers (BC) Ltd will have a comprehensive list of supplies families should keep on hand in the event of an emergency. Don't forget to mention this list when you're discussing your Vancouver home insurance policy.


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

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Don't Loose Your Home: 6 Things That Can Quickly Damage Your Property

A home is more than an investment, it is an essential comfort and a place where people build their lives. There are six things that can quickly damage property regardless of location. Being conscientious of these things will allow homeowners to minimize costly expenses, maintain their homes value over time, and keep their homes looking and feeling great.

DIY Remodeling

Do-it-yourself projects always seem manageable on paper. Seemingly, they require moderate labor and even less cost, when compared to hiring a professional contractor. Unfortunately, even for those ambitious enough to complete a project, they often result in less-than-professional results that can lead to other property damage down the line. The damage could go beyond the property too, and cause injury to those who live in the home. When it comes to remodeling, get the help of professionals to protect your home and your family.

Pets

Pets are adorable, but no matter how well they are taken care of, they can quickly cause property damage under a variety of circumstances. Some pets will feel the need to mark their territory all of over your home, causing dangerous odors and bacteria to thrive. Others will scratch the walls and floor, leaving more areas for pests to hide. If you have a pet in the home, take measures to make sure they don't damage the house.

Mice And Other Pests

While there are many pests that can invade your home, one of the most common is mice. They can create a dangerous living situation if not taken care of, so call the experts to be sure they are gone for good. Pests like termites cause structural damage and can go unnoticed without having a property inspected routinely. Some areas have problems with scorpions and spiders. Whatever environment you live in, pest control should be take care of immediately to prevent damage to your home.

Plumbing and Sewer Problems

Some of the most expensive damage to a property can result from plumbing or sewer problems such as blocked toilets, a faulty water heater, under-the-sink pipes and clogged drains. Fortunately, well-maintained systems can help homeowners identify problems early on so that necessary repairs can be initiated and plumbing problems can be remedied before they turn into major structural damage.

Mold

Finding mold in a home is troublesome. Exposure to certain types of mold can cause adverse health affects and getting rid of it can prove difficult. If mold is present in significant quantity, a professional service will be needed to get rid of it.

Weather

Like mold, weather can also quickly cause damage to property by the sheer force of it. Rapidly spreading wild-fire, floods, hail and lightening, as well as major storms like tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes require a disaster-plan in place to help homeowners recover from large levels of residential damage.

Even though there are many things that can quickly damage a property, anticipating them will help individuals and families respond appropriately so that they don't loose their home.

Informational credit to ICE Pest Control and Wildlife Removal.


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.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Easy to make cleaning products for emergencies

Life can be really hard sometimes, especially on those occasions when we are struck by a natural disaster or some unfortunate accident occurs in our home. In such cases we first think about the safety of our loved ones. Only when the traumatic event seems to have come to its end, we realise that we need to take care of our homes, as well. A lot of people tend to resort to professional cleaning companies for the purpose, but if your budget is limited or you just want to restore the previous lustre of your place by yourself, here are some ideas for homemade products that will help you. Moreover, they consist only of ingredients that can be found in every home.



In the first place, I would like to share with you some recipes for universal cleaners that can be used in practically every room. I guarantee that they are all easy to prepare and are extremely powerful. They will make your home spotlessly clean again, eliminating all traces of destruction and anything that might remind you of the unpleasant accident.

Firstly, you will need equal parts of white vinegar and water. Mix them in a sprayer bottle and your cleaner is ready. It is really suitable for cleaning countertops, floors, exterior surfaces of the toilet, tiles, windows, and many more. If the stains are harder to remove, you can heat the solution in the microwave until it is almost hot. This solution is used a lot from companies who offers deep cleaning solutions.

The next universal cleaner I would like to dwell upon contains the good old baking soda. Mix one cup of it with ¼ cup of Borax. Now you have a creamy non-abrasive product that is strong enough to clean all kinds of dirt.

If you want a special solution for your tiles and grout, you can try this one. You will need ½ cup of baking soda, 1/3 cup of household ammonia, ¼ cup of white vinegar, 7 cups of warm water. Mix in a container of your choice. I highly recommend to put the water first. Another thing that you need to take into consideration is that the solution should not be placed near anything that contains bleach.

In case you want something even more powerful for your windows, you might want to try the following mixture. You will need 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of white distilled vinegar, 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol, and 1 ½ tablespoons of cornstarch. Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle and your cleaner is ready. Mind you, shake it well every time you use it, for the cornstarch tends to settle on the bottom.

My next suggestion is for your wood laminate. You will need 1 part water, 1 part white vinegar, 1 part 70% rubbing (Isopropyl) alchohol, and a few drops of liquid dishwashing product. Mix the ingredients together and pour in a spray bottle. That is, you will not need a bucket. I guarantee that this product is extremely effective and dries quickly. Moreover, it is generally safe for pets.

And finally, I would like to offer you a solution for dried blood. I really hope that less people would need to clean this particular type of stain, but, unfortunately, those are very likely to occur during a disaster or an emrgency. So if you have dried blood on your upholstery, you might treat it with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent and 2 cups of water.

These are several cleaners that will certainly help you clean all the mess after all kinds of disasters and other emrgencies. They are all made of ingredients that are surely present in every home, which makes them cheaper than those from the stores. But I promise they are equally effective. And remember, what is most important in cases of natural disasters or other types of accidents is not to panic. Only this way you will be able to find the right solution to cope with the problems that follow them.


Written by a writer who wished to remain anonymous.

Monday, September 15, 2014

5 Ways to Prepare for a Plumbing Disaster

A plumbing disaster can happen at any time. They take many forms and can involve everything from basement flooding to wastewater backup. You do not want to be caught unprepared for this type of emergency. You can prepare for a plumbing disaster in five ways.

Install a Sump Pump

A plumbing disaster could occur in the basement. Water from an upper floor could rush through your home and enter you basement. You should install a sump pump if you want to be prepared for a plumbing disaster. This pump will activate automatically if water from a leaking pipe or main starts to fill up your basement.

Elevate Appliances and Electrical Systems

A plumbing disaster could send a few inches of water into a room. This is enough water to damage appliances or electrical lines on the ground. You should elevate your appliances and electrical systems in order to prevent this from happening. Raising appliances just a few inches can prevent damage from rushing water.

Keep Buckets and Cleaning Supplies in an Accessible Location

You want to be able to mitigate potential damage when a plumbing disaster occurs. This is why you should keep buckets, rags, mops and other supplies in an accessible and central location. Keeping these items together will let you get to them fast so that you can start catching water or cleaning up puddles that could damage your floors.

Have the Number for an Emergency Plumber Ready

The single most important way to prepare is to have the name and number of a reliable plumber ready. Get the number for a business like Shorty's Plumbing & Heating Inc with emergency service available. Put the number on the front of a refrigerator or program the number into a cell phone. This will let you call the plumber fast if a plumbing disaster strikes unexpectedly.

Stock Fresh Water

A plumbing disaster could affect the water in your home. There could be wastewater streaming through your pipes and fixtures. You want to stock fresh water just in case this happens. The fresh water will allow everyone to stay hydrated until the problem is fixed. A gallon of water for each person in the home is usually enough.

Preparing for a plumbing disaster means looking at your home and assessing where water could cause damage. You want to take as few risks as possible when preparing. You also want to make sure that you can contact a professional plumber the second you realize a disaster has started.


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

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Disinfecting Food

good food
Disinfecting food before consumption is a great thing to do. It can ensure that your food is safe to eat. Produce can be contaminated in the soil it's growing or during preparation. If the surface you're preparing your food is contaminated, bacteria will spread on it, making it dangerous for you.

Germs that are found in food include E. coli, salmonella, yeast, listeria, and mould. That's why it is important to disinfect all the food before use. Proper handling of produce can make all bacteria disappear. If you don't know how to disinfect food, check this article. Below QualityCleaning Walworth give a few tips to keeping your food clean and healthy.

How to Disinfect Food


What you need:
  • Cutting board
  • Soap or dish detergent
  • Clean cloth/paper towel
  • Knife
  • Produce brush

Instructions:

Before you handle produce, make sure you wash your hands under warm running water for about 20 seconds. Use dish detergent or soap. Then rinse with cold water all the fresh produce and remove any damages or bruised areas. Use a cutting board and knife to cut any rotten areas.

Even if you intend to peel your produce, don't forget to wash it. Produce with a rough or thick shell should be scrubbed with a produce brush. For example, melons and cucumbers.

Rinse well with cold water. Make sure you remove all dirt and debris, then use a paper towel to dry the fresh food.

When you are ready with this step, wash all utensils, adding a dab of detergent. Scrub well and rinse.

Warnings and Tips:
  • Meat and fish products are disinfected during the cooking process. They need to be processed at a very high temperature.
  • When you are processing food such as raw meat, cooked food and fresh produce on a cutting board, be sure to use separate boards to avoid cross contamination.
  • Store produce and meat separately to avoid cross contamination.
  • Make sure you keep your cutting boards, food storage places and kitchen counters clean and sanitised.

Meat and Eggs


It is a well-known fact that salmonella is found in meat and eggs. This type of bacterium can reside both the inside and outside of eggs. The problem is, it's not visible and eggs seem to be normal. If they are digested lightly cooked or even raw, chances are you spend the next couple of weeks in hospital and under quarantine. That's why it's important to cook eggs well and at the right temperature. Salmonella can be killed at 160 degrees F.

Poultry must be cooked until a temperature of 165 degrees F is reached.

More tips:
  • It is a wise idea to keep eggs in cool places. The best temperature for them is ≤40° F (≤4° C).
  • Do not keep eggs at room temperature.
  • Always make sure you eat eggs right after cooking.
  • People with weakened immune systems, children and elderly people should not consume raw, lightly cooked eggs or undercooked meat.
  • Symptoms of salmonella include: chills, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, headache, abdominal cramps, blood in the stools. If you notice anything like that, immediately contact your health care provider.

How to Wash your Utensils and Tools


Blender gasket should be hand-washed or, if possible, placed in the dishwasher. Wooden spatula can be either placed in the dishwasher or hand-washed. Use hot water and a dab of detergent, Rub well, rinse and dry. Can opener can be washed in hot soapy water. Remove all the debris carefully, then rinse well with water. You can put it in the dishwasher as well. Before you do, scrub lightly.


Written by a writer who wished to remain anonymous.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Top 5 Survival Handguns

Being a survivalist means being prepared for nearly any contingency possible. Firearms are part of that preparation, whether some of us like it or not. Despite the charming allure of guns and their power over man, they are above all tools, albeit dangerous ones. In a survival situation one may need a varied arsenal of firearms to hunt game, defend their home and practice skills. Much like the great pioneers who once survived for years in the wilds, firearms are something that should be treated with respect. But what makes a good survival gun? In this article we will focus on the handguns available on the market, which may be used in such situations. This list comprises of personal favorites, so it is far from being perfect. I'm sure many of you will disagree with my choices, however one thing remains true in the end: the reasons we love handguns. They are compact, powerful for their size and they are much easier to obtain than most firearms out there. This list focuses on durable and reliable handguns we can use in most situations, working with common ammunition we can find with ease. We begin with a popular law enforcement choice:
  • Sig Sauer P226

    This is a choice for many military and police forces personnel, a very popular handgun around the world as we all know. Its 9mm clip holds 15 rounds, weighing a comfortable 34 ounces when full. You can also find it in .357 and .40 calibers. Retail prices range around $800 to $900, though its quality is something worth paying for.

  • Glock 17

    One of the most popular handguns in the world, larger than the Glock 36, but the most common choice for most law enforcement officers. Weighing 32 ounces and sporting a nice 9x19mm, 17-round clip, it offers reduced recoil and control, becoming a great gun to train beginners. You can find it on the retail market for around $440. You can be sure this gun will be reliable and instantly recognizable to anyone who's ever held a firearm.

  • Springfield XD Service Model

    This service model includes a trigger safety much like the ones in the Glock handguns, offering a familiar feeling when you hold it. It has a beveled magazine well, helping with reload speed of its 16-round magazine. Although it may not be a great precision weapon, it still has mechanical durability and you can still score some tight grouping with the right ammo. Average prices are somewhere around $470 on the retail market.

  • Smith & Wesson .40 M&P

    A polymer-framed .40 caliber light pistol, this gun has a nice and comfortable grip with an equally comfortable grip tang for hand protection. It has a surprisingly low recoil for its caliber and it holds a 15-round clip which offers plenty of ammo. Retail prices are somewhere around $600 for those inclined to buy it.

  • Ruger RedHawk

    A classic, almost Wild West-looking piece with a double-action construction. Made of stainless steel and capable of handling the Magnum load it uses as well as the dangers of the elements. The RedHawk is great for self defense and serving as a back-up weapon. It holds 6 rounds in the .44 Magnum caliber and it weighs around 46 to 54 ounces. Its price varies somewhere around $990 to about $1050.



Written on behalf of: Pimlico home and office removals Heather Roberts is a freelance guest blogger from London, UK. She has got many published articles on various topics such as cleaning, organizing, home and garden etc. She loves to spend her time with family and friends and she also tries to live an eco-friendly life.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Sunjack Portable Solar Charger Review

by Shane White

solar charger


How many times have you left the house to go out where there is not a place to plug in your cell phone or tablet hoping that you had just enough battery life to get by only to find that your device is drained long before you had thought it would be. What's worse, you have to check your email since you are expecting something important. As a blogger, it happens to me far to often. This is why when Sunjack Solar sent me the Sunjack Portable Solar Charger, I was very excited! Never would I be without a charged mobile device again!

After using this product for a few weeks, I have found that this product is even better than I hoped it would be. What makes this awesome is the solar charger and the battery combination. This means that I can charge from the charged battery at night, or the solar panel when the sun is out.

Solar Charger

It has four large solar panels (14W monocrystalline solar) that are each about 6-inches by 9.5-inches and folds neatly into a tablet sized case that you can easily stow away in your glove box or survival bag. It is also a nice light weight.
  • The solar charger has four large solar panels that are around the size of a large tablet.
  • There are two USB outputs on the solar charger assembly so you can charge two devices at the same time.
  • You can charge the battery and charge the device from it or you can charge your device directly.
  • Folds to 6.25-inches by 9.75-inches by 1.75-inches thick.
  • Weighs 2 pounds

Battery

This battery is powerful enough to charge any device that can be charged with a USB cable. It had no problem charging my ridiculously huge smartphone. I have a Galaxy Note 3 which is pretty much the biggest smartphone out at the time of this writing. In fact, it can charge my phone several times with one battery charge.
  • Fully charged in about 5-hours with the solar panels in direct sunlight.
  • Can be charged if plugged into a wall outlet.
  • (1) 2 Amp Micro USB input
  • 2 Amps to charge the two USB outputs.
  • The 8,000mAh lithium-polymer battery which can be charged in just a few hours of direct sunlight.
  • This should be good for 1000 charge cycles
  • There are LED power level indicators and an LED light.
Why do you need a solar panel and a charger? Think about it this way. The sun doesn't always shine. At night or in a storm, you have no way to charge your phone if you just have a solar panel. Alternately, if you just have a battery, it will drain after a few uses if not recharged. I suggest using your solar panel to keep your battery charged when it is sunny so you have your battery ready whenever you need it. If you have access to an outlet, you can charge it by plugging it in as well.

Imagine a worst scenario where you are stuck without power for hours. Frustrating isnt it? Now imagine if you power is out for several days. This isnt as uncommon as you think. I have been in several situations like this in my life and read about them almost every week. If you need your phone to reach loved ones or emergency services, you cannot be without your cell phone. Especially in a world where land lines are becoming a thing of the past.

Maybe your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and your battery is dead from trying to restart it or maybe you are lost in the woods. What do you do then?

With the Sunjack Portable Solar Charger, it will be very difficult to run out of battery power in your mobile devices. I recommend this product to ensure that you are always charged.

Sunjack Solar was initially funded through Kickstarter, which I find cool and has donated many Solar Chargers for humanitarian efforts. They also offer a 20W Solar Charger kit with 2 batteries, and a USB powered Camplight 8 LED bulb which is quite bright (340 lumnens). Be sure to check them out.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Living Off The Grid? 4 Things To Consider Before You Go Dark

For many, living in a home entirely self-sufficient is a dream come true. As society edges closer to a word of complete sustainability, there are still some modern designs that you need to heavily consider before officially pulling the plug.

Water Collection

You need water to survive and going off the grid means you lose an entire infrastructure designed to provide clean water to your home with the twist of a faucet. One of the most popular answers to this is drilling a well or pulling from a local lake or stream. On top of that, you’ll need to implement a holding system for water you need immediately as well as a pump and filtration system. Rainier climates also employ rain barrels.

Waste Disposal

What comes in must go out, and you definitely do not want the waste accumulating anywhere near your home due to sanitary issues. No matter where you build your home, there will be sewage regulations to comply with that were set in place to protect the environment. The best way is simply a septic tank and drainage field. Kamloops Septic Service does excavating and septic service up in Canada. They would be the first to tell you that a well maintained septic tank means you have a reliable waste disposal system when the worst happens. Also, a new addition is the composting toilet.

Power

You can live without electricity entirely, but many off grid still enjoy the modern day comforts of electronic appliances. Take your electric bills and determine just how much energy you consume in a year. This will kick start exactly how you approach designing the generation. It can be solar, wind fueled or even geothermal. On top of that, you will need a way to store the electricity and have a backup generator in case of failure. Whichever you choose, the best plan is to always go with a variety of sources just in case the sun is covered for a week.

Design

Finally, you want the house to be as energy efficient as possible, and this goes as far as the direction in which you build the house in order to maximize on natural light and heat. Solar orientation and siting of the home are the base of the design. From there, architects then figure out the building envelope and, finally, the systems that need to be put in place to power the home. Before ever sitting down with an architect, really determine the purpose of building such a home to make sure it is tailored to you.


Chaleigh is a writer and photographer that is from NYC. She spends most of her days in front of the computer. When she isn't tapping away on the keyboard, you can find Chaleigh exploring the big city or traveling around the country.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Choosing an emergency multi tool - get the biggest bang for your buck

If somebody was to ask me to define the difference between a truly prepared person and one that just calls himself that, I would say that it's in the way of thinking. A true prepper will know that he/she can never be completely prepared and will recognize that when SHTF it will be a lot different than we imagined it.

It will call for a lot of improvisation, creative thinking and flexibility.

So, why not start developing that mindset right now. What you can to do make that one first step is shift the way of thinking from predicting different scenarios and adding stuff to his BOB to thinking about flexible items that can cover scenarios we can never think of.

Enter multi tool.

Now, I am not here to discover warm water and tell you that a multi tool is one of your BOB essentials. I am here to offer some guidance on how to choose wisely and get the biggest bang for your buck:

Here's what you can expect from this short guide:

  • what's really a multi tool and what you can expect from it
  • what it isn't
  • what to look for in one to get value for your money and get a piece that's just right for preppers
  • just to be specific - I'll share what I have in my 72-hour BOB

  • So, let's dive right in.

What is it?


A multi tool is an essential prepper sidekick. In a survival situation, it can become your best friend.

Why?


Because it is so versatile and offers so much chance for improvisation. Anything from simple stuff like opening cans and bottles to more advanced jobs, like fashioning wire snares and traps.

If you've ever been hunting or hiking with a backpack full of blades and tools, you probably know what I'm talking about.

I know that after my first hike with a bunch of metal/tools in my backpack and after that hike ended up with me using my trusted Gerber for 70-80% of the tasks, I was able to shed some serious weight from that backpack for the next hike.

Now, I know that a hike in the Rockies is not doomsday, I am just mentioning this to get my point over.

What is it not?


A multi tool is not a piece that will ever be good enough for you to lose all the tools and blades from your BOB.

Never.

Remember, they make these things to fit 10 or 20 pieces in one tool that's usually the size of pliers. So they make compromises.

I know this very well, because the "they" in the previous sentence used to be "us". Yes, I worked in a multitool factory for almost a decade, and I know the industry inside out.

So, it will not replace a good long knife, solid set of scissors (there's a catch here, I'll share it when I get to the part where I tell you about what's in my BOB).

Let us get to the gist - what to look for when choosing a survival multitool

  1. Versatility


    Let me ask you this: "Do you see yourself picking your teeth with a toothpick from your multitool when everybody is running for their lives?" I am guessing NO.

    My point here is that a lot of what goes into a majority of multitools out there is glitter and stars that's there just to sell the product. For a survival situation we are looking for a heavy duty multi tool that will be free of all that fluff and will only include what we really need:
    • sturdy pliers and a wire cutter
    • two well-made blades, regular and serrated
    • a saw
    • regular and phillips in a couple of sizes
    • bottle and can opener
  2. Quality of the materials


    We want something that we can depend on. A piece that will not break or start rusting in a few days.

    Let me be specific - my ideal multitool would be a combination of 420 stainless steel, 154cm stainless steel and titanium.

    Here's why:
    • 420 stainless steel is stronger "by size" that titanium and has very little chromium (12%) that's just right for most tools except the blades
    • 154cm steel for the blades because this holds edge 3 times as long as regular steel
    • titanium for the rest of the tool because it's corrosion resistant
    Looking for red flags on the label:

    If you don't know your stuff, the weak sides of the tool can be right there, in front of your nose, presented as a good thing that sounds expensive.
    • Stay away from "dye coat stainless steel" - this is regular steel dyed to look like stainless steel but will rust before you can cay say: "Oh, look darling, a zombie..."
    • Look for "titanium coated" - this looks oh so nice and shiny, but it's just money from your pocket if you go with it. It will peel under mechanical influence, and you'll be left with whatever is beneath that glitter...
    • This last one is just my two cents, but I stay away from anything that's not made in the USA
  3. Usability


    This one is really simple - just look for something that will be convenient to carry on your belt and that will deploy easily using one hand.

  4. Design and safety


    When I say design here I don't mean something that will match your eyes or look good on your camos.
    I am talking about 2 things:
    • easy to use and deploy (this one ties into the previous entry on the list, one hand deployment of crucial pieces without cutting yourself)
    • safety locks

What I have in my BOB


You remember I mentioned that there's a catch about the scissors.

Well, here it is - since I'm always looking for ways to shed weight and increase the flexibility of everything I have in there, my BOB includes Raptor medical tool. It's probably the only tool out there that features scissors that are as good (if not better) than most standalones.

And my main multi tool is Charge TTi. It doesn't meet all the criteria I listed in "my ideal multi tool" , but it's as close I could get with the pieces on the market today.

I am not saying that these are the best multi tools, they just tie really well into how I planned my BOB.

Final thoughts


I am here as your industry insider to point out what to look for and what to avoid. But what will find it's way into your pocket or BOB is all you. By all means, do your research, read multi tool reviews and choose the best multi tool that suit your specific needs.

If anything of what I said here sticks, neither my time writing this or your time reading it is wasted.

Stay safe and make wise choices


Morry Banes is an avid blogger in the field of multi tools and preparedness.

He is an ex multi tool factory worker and today he is a husband and a father, owns a hardware store in Tigard and he's an editor of bestmultitoolkit.com where he writes and reviews best multi tools.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Montie Gear - Y-Shot Slingshot - Review

by Shane White

Slingshot
The folks at Montie Gear gave me the opportunity to review this cool slingshot. The Y-Shot Slingshot. At first glance, it looks pretty ordinary, but the more I look at it the more I like it.

This slingshot is capable of firing up to half inch steel balls up to 150 feet per second. It is made with a half inch water jet cut aluminum frame and is wrapped with 550 paracord. It uses a TheraBand Gold band with 16 pounds pull weight. It is also the perfect size and shape to cram into your already packed bug-out bag. Let me tell you about more of its features.

Handle

The most important part of a slingshot in my mind it the handle. The handle of the Y-Shot is wrapped with 550 paracord. I can't tell you how much, since I figured that I would never rewrap it as nicely as they did. The paracord wrapping makes this slingshot very easy to handle (no pun intended). Montie Gear also has a wrist rest accessory that you can get with some slingshot kits or as an optional accessory. I didn't get a chance to try this out but I will try to get one in the future for mine.

Accessories

Seriously...these people have everything a slingshot could ever need! They have iron and fiber optic sites, arrow kits, replacement bands, double bands (increases pull weight to 35 pounds), slingshot holsters, magnetic ammo holsters, thumbscrews (if you like to take it apart without tools), and various sizes and types of slingshot ammo.

Options

If you like your slingshot a certain way, they can deliver. Here are some of the ways you can get yours:
  • Frame Colors: There are three at the time of this review. Black Powder (what I got), Clear Annodize (metalic), and Pink if you prefer a pretty one (pink costs a bit more though).
  • Wrap Colors: You can always rewrap with any color or style paracord you like, but the colors of the 550 paracord you can order it with are Digital Desert Camo, Digital Woodland Camo, Black, Pink, Safety Orange, and Zombie Green.
  • The tactical version comes with their fiber optic site, a wrist brace, and a picatinny rail.
  • The Zombie Apocalypse version comes standard with a zombie green handle, extra ammo, extra bands, and targets so you will always be ready.
  • The D.I.Y. verson is the one you need if you want to save a few bucks, would like to put it together yourself, or need to paint yours or whatever. It has all the parts and instructions you need to put it together yourself.


This product was a thrill to play with. They don't recommend using rocks since it can damage the band. I need to pick up some more ammo soon so I can play with...I mean practice with my newest survival tool.

This is not a toy! This is a very useful tool. Don't let your kids play with it unless they have been properly instructed how to use a slingshot and you are comfortable that they know it can be how to use it.

If you want to know more, check out Montie Gear's website. If you have questions, every time I have been there, Montie has been available to answer questions.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Doomsday Giveaway for September 2014!

For September 2014, we have teamed up with Vigilant Trails once again to give away a Vigilant Trails survival fire kit.

The Survival Fire Kit includes six different ways to start a fire and four different kinds of tinder. Click the image below for more details.

Survival Kit


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

a Rafflecopter giveaway Be sure to check out the Vigilant Trails web site! Good luck!

If you don't win, buy one. They have great stuff.

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