Thursday, October 29, 2015

Stocking Up: How to Build a Self Defense Arsenal on a Budget

Self-defense is a right that the founders of the Unites States enshrined into the constitution for every single American. Bearing arms is about taking action to protect your family in case something was to go wrong. With terrorism and political instability in the world, who knows what the future may hold. However, building an arsenal isn’t always cheap. Below are a few ways you can purchase what you need without spending a fortune.

Purchase Your Ammunition in Bulk

One of the purposes of building an arsenal for self-defense is to have a cache that can’t be quickly depleted. If you don’t have enough ammunition on hand, you could be overpowered rather quickly. To solve that problem, you should probably purchase the ammunition you need for your firearms in bulk quantities. Thankfully, buying more means saving per shell and per bullet.

Shop and Save Online

You shouldn’t limit your arsenal to weapons and ammo purchased at your local gun shop. Instead, check out some of the major online firearms dealers like Brownells. Some stores have very competitive prices due to the fact they do higher volume business. Also keep a look out on websites that publish online coupons and sales for other websites like Discountrue. You may eventually see a significant discount on something you need for your arsenal.

Buy Used

A firearm does not have to be new to work well. It simply needs to be well maintained. With this in mind, you should consider buying some used firearms if you want to pad your arsenal. Gun shows and pawn shops are both excellent choices. Just make sure to test the guns you buy this way out on the shooting range before you place them into your arsenal.

Take Advantage of Military Surplus

The US has one of the largest military budgets of any government in the world. Not everything it pays for actually gets used. You can benefit from this by purchasing some of that surplus from military surplus stores at a significant discount. While you won’t find surplus military guns and ammo, you can find plenty of other things you can add to your stockade such as ammo cans, knives, survival supplies, military grade boots and tactical gear.

Develop a Relationship with a Dealer

Gun shop owners and sellers at gun shows do have some leeway in regards to what they charge customers. If you are trying to slowly build up a decent arsenal over time, try to develop good relationships with a few sellers. They may be willing to give you discounts because they know you’ll continue giving them business in the future.

Some people take action to protect their families by using the second amendment right to bear arms. Thankfully, there are ways you can do so while not spending all of your disposable income.

Written by Rachelle Wilber

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

First Aid Firsts: What Basics Your Kids Should Learn

Any child could encounter an emergency at some point, perhaps even on the playground. Children who are prepared have greater self-confidence in these situations, and can even save a life. Here are basic first aid skills to start teaching your child.

First Aid for Choking

Even young children can be taught the lifesaving Heimlich maneuver. Discuss what commonly causes choking and how to tell if someone might need help. Have your child practice the Heimlich maneuver on a stuffed toy. Children can also practice the basic movement on each other as long as they understand not to use the pressure they would use in a real emergency.


Young children can be introduced to CPR, and older children can easily master it. Explain the basics of when and how to use CPR. Avoid creating fear or anxiety about heart functions by answering their questions candidly. Tell them that CPR is only needed when someone’s heart has stopped. Call a cardiovascular clinic in your area like the ICE, Institute of Cardiovascular Excellence to see if they have illustrated pamphlets you can use to explain CPR and basic heart functions to a child.

    The basic steps your child should know are:
  • To listen to the chest and see if the person is breathing, or if they can hear a heartbeat.
  • How to call 911.
  • To start chest compressions -- You can teach chest compressions using a stuffed toy.
  • Rescue breathing is more difficult to teach unless you have access to a CPR mannequin. Explain the steps as thoroughly as you can, and look for instructional videos online.

Stop Wound Bleeding

Profuse bleeding requires immediate care. Teach your child how to apply pressure on wounds using bandages or available cloth. The bandage shouldn’t be removed when the bleeding has stopped. Instead, instruct the child to call 911 or look for an adult.

Stop a Nosebleed

Nosebleeds become an emergency when the bleeding is profuse and shows no signs of stopping on its own. Kids should learn how to help the victim lean his head forward slightly, and pinch his nostrils shut for 10 minutes. If the bleeding continues, instruct children to call 911.

Treating Burns

Burns are one of the most common injuries. All children can be taught to cool burns with running water as soon as possible. When your child is old enough to understand, you can go into detail about the different degrees of burns. Burn cream in a first aid kit can be applied to first-degree burns after the burn has been cooled by water.

Avoid filling your child with anxiety about emergencies. Make the teaching process into a game or song to keep things lighthearted, and go over the steps often to help your child retain the information. With a few lessons they can be prepared and confident no matter what happens.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer, recent graduate from the University of New Mexico, and avid runner. She loves to blog about fitness, health, home and family. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

What You Need To Know About Snakebite Survival

Black Rat Snake-
By Stephen Lody Photography (Own work
[CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Natural or human-made, disasters have a penchant for bringing out unfriendly reptiles. Even the most prepped of us will find ourselves gathering firewood, foraging for food and water, or seeking shelter in new places when disaster strikes – and that’s just inviting some of the 3000+ snake species on the planet. That’s why it’s so important for the well-prepped survivalist to understand how to avoid and survive a snake attack.

Here’s what you need to do, to ensure you can survive potential snakebites if things go awry.

Understand the different kinds of snakes

Most people fear bites from venomous snakes, but few know that non-venomous bites pose the risk for serious infection as well. While there’s no clear-cut way to distinguish between the two kinds, most venomous snakes have triangular heads, elliptical instead of round pupils, or pits between their eyes and nostrils. Prep yourself up for survival by researching the common kinds of snakes found in your region. Some prominent venomous snakes are rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths, coral snakes and cobras, so familiarize yourself with their features as soon as possible.

Prevention is better than cure

When you step into unchartered territory, you need to steer clear of snakes – venomous or non-venomous. Snakes tend to hide in tall grass and undergrowth, or under piles of leaves, so avoid areas sporting these as much as possible. Wherever possible, go out in the coolest parts of the day; snakes are at their most active in hot weather and during the night. Keep a pair each of thick boots, long pants and leather gloves in your survival bag, so you remain well-protected from snake and insect bites at all times.

Understand snakebite first-aid

If you or someone you know are bitten by a snake, knowing the right first-aid can slow down the spread of poison and give you time to reach your bug-out bag or shelter for medicine. The fear that comes from a snakebite often does more harm than the bite itself – keep yourself calm if bitten, as stress amps up circulation, which causes the venom to spread faster. To further slowdown the flow of the venom, position the affected area below heart level, remove items such as tight clothing or jewelry from around it, and then use a splint or compressing bandage to restrict its movement. The compressing device you use should be tight enough to slow down circulation, but not so tight that it further damages the affected body part.

Carry antivenin in your bug-out bag

The World Health Organization (WHO) includes snake antivenin in its List of Essential Medicines, as the only specific treatment for envenoming bites. Carry an antivenin that meets WHO requirements in your bug-out bag, to prevent and reverse the effects of a potential envenoming snakebite. There are multiple kinds of antivenins, some of which are specific to geographies and species, so be sure to find the one most appropriate for your surroundings. Ideally, you should be looking for anti-venom that treats snakebites from most of the common snake species found in your region.

With these four guidelines shaping your survival prep and first aid kit, you’ll be well-prepared for snakebite survival, should disaster strike. Just remember that no matter how well-prepped you are, bite prevention is always better than treatment.

Written by James Smith

Thursday, October 08, 2015

How The Recession Changed The Way We Think About Prepping

Before the recession hit, emergency preparedness was largely hypothetical. People usually imagined apocalyptic situations, without a lot of regard to real-life preferences. However, the recent economic downturn has made everyone think twice about their emergency plan. Here are three things you should take away from the recession, so that you can prepare more realistically:

Being Self-Sufficient Is Crucial

Sure, your parents might have emergency supplies stashed away in their basement, but if other people get to them first, you might be out of luck. During emergencies, being able to stand on your own two feet is crucial to your survival. For example, during Hurricane Katrina, some people couldn’t afford to evacuate New Orleans, which left them battling the disaster on their own—without much government assistance. Do yourself a favor and create a tactical plan for your family. Save money and resources, so that you don’t have to rely on anyone else during an emergency.

Choose Food Storage You Will Actually Eat

If you were one of the 7.9 million people who lost their job during the recession, you probably found yourself dipping into your food storage from time to time. Unfortunately, if you couldn’t bring yourself to stomach those bottled peaches or packets of protein powder, you probably spent some of your valuable savings on food and water. To ward off hunger in the future, test out food storage before you invest in a larger supply. Buy small amounts and use the ingredients when you make normal dinners. By experimenting with food storage, you might learn which items to avoid, so that you can stay comfortable during emergencies.

Invest In Weapons Training

Although the recent American recession was generally peaceful, other parts of the globe experience hostile takeovers—endangering citizens that are unable to protect themselves. To keep your family safe, you may have invested in a nice gun cabinet and a few pieces of weaponry. Unfortunately, if you don’t know how to use that gun, you might find yourself at square one during a home invasion. To protect your family, take the time to invest in weapons training. Take a concealed carry course, and practice your shot from time to time. You can stock up on useful weapons by using coupons for gander mountain guns and finding a safe suitable for gun storage. You never know—it might seem like a leisure activity now, but later, it could help you to ward off criminals or hunt for food.

By carefully evaluating your emergency plan, you might be able to avoid common frustrations, so that you can weather any storm life throws at you.

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

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

How You Can Help Others Understand the Importance of Emergency Preparedness

As you have promoted safety and risk awareness at your home or place of business, you may have felt frustrated. Most people do not seem to have the same zeal for the subject that you do. As a result, you worry that they will forget your suggestions and find themselves in critical danger when a disaster strikes. To ensure your message gets through to them, you have to use different strategies. Some people respond better to the methods below than they do to emails and presentations.

  1. Get Your Masters in Emergency Management and Urge Others to Do the Same

    Before you can stress how much safety matters, you have to have a thorough understanding of it. Learn about common workplace hazards and how to respond to them by earning your master’s in emergency management. Get this degree online if you do not have time to attend physical classes. Once you have your degree, you can fully understand and explain the safety measures your building requires. Your community needs experts, and getting the right education is a great way to inform others the importance of emergency preparedness.

  2. Host Contests with Employee Incentives

    Your employees may not give you their full attention when you present safety information by itself. However, when you add prizes to your presentation, your listeners will feel more motivated to participate. You could also host contests after trainings and presentations to ensure your message sinks in. Offer desirable prizes like gift cards and electronics, do not just settle for food.

  3. Role Play and Practice Drills

    As the saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.” If you want your employees to realize how much emergency preparedness matters, have them act on it. Role play different scenarios such as responding to injuries or fires. Hold drills for floods, fires, earthquakes, inclement weather and intruders. When your employees go through the motions, they should remember your message better.

  4. Post Signs and Instructions in Every Stairwell and Bathroom Stall

    Even if your workers ignore your emails, they will see these signs and instructions every time they take a break. Because they see the sign so often, they will know how to respond to emergencies even if they do not consciously study the instructions. Additionally, if your office has break rooms, post signs and instructions there as well.

Whether you need to improve safety in your home, office, store, educational institution or other building, the tips above can help you boost emergency preparedness. Use these strategies to ensure your peers and employees can respond to any disaster and return whole and healthy to their families, no matter what risks they face.

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.

Friday, October 02, 2015

How to Teach Family Safety Lessons More Effectively

Every family should have an emergency plan. Whether fire or other natural disaster, power outage or other issue, families need to have a clear idea of what to do when a problem occurs. Even the youngest family members should have a good idea of what to do should the unthinkable happen. Here are some ways to keep your whole family engaged while helping them to prepare for possible disasters.


When thinking about family emergency planning, the first thing to do is figure out what dangers are possible in your area. Fires and power outage are universal, and should each have a plan. Do you also live in an area common to tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, or volcanoes? If so, you may want to work on plans for each of these as well. Have your kids help you to point out the possible emergencies, so they are aware of what they may be.


Once your plans are made, be certain to do drills of each. If you have fire ladders on upper windows, get them out of the box and be sure everyone can use them. Time people and offer rewards for the fastest escape. The best-run emergencies are those where people react on instinct. Drills create the muscle memory to act without thinking.


Prepare an emergency kit to keep you fed and hydrated for a number of days. It should have food and water for all of you, and an alternate cooking source like a camp stove to help make sure you can sterilize water and cook food. The amount of time your kit runs for is up to you; depending on the level of planning, people usually keep storage from between three days to three months. Seven days is usually more than sufficient for most emergencies, however. The other important part of this kit is to go through it at least once a year and replace anything expired. Food, flares, batteries, and first aid items can all go bad.

Plan a Meetup

Another thing to consider in emergency planning is what to do if disaster strikes when you are apart. If the kids are at school or practice, and you are at work or home, then how do you get to them? If you are within walking distance, this is easy. But if an earthquake strikes and you are further apart, consider giving them an alternate person to go to who is closer by and who knows that they are your children's emergency backup people. This means you can head to them and know they are safe.

Take a Class

Whether you want more info on disaster preparedness, or you want your kids to also be first aid and CPR certified, a family class makes a lot of sense when it comes to safety planning. Even if their role is most likely to call 911, a child who is prepared if a parent has a medical accident will be much more likely to respond quickly and maturely, which can mean the difference between life and death. There will be cases where they can do more than this, such as helping to stabilize a broken limb, or other problem while waiting for help. By taking these classes as a family, you open discussion to the roles you play, and the times when those roles can shift.

Revise as Your Kids Grow

Early on, your kids will likely follow and you will lead. However, you will find that your kids are much more engaged in safety lessons if you give them leading roles. Allow them to run drills and give you goals at times. Let them suggest changes or take on leadership roles. Give them real responsibilities in your emergency scenarios. This will give them confidence, and keep them paying attention so that if a real disaster strikes, they are as prepared as can be.

Your family’s safety is your number one priority. To keep them safe, make sure you are ready for any kind of disaster. Use these tips and other methods like installing a NorthStar Home Security system for the best results of keeping everyone happy and healthy.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer, recent graduate from the University of New Mexico, and avid runner. She loves to blog about fitness, health, home and family. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.

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