Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Home Security: How to Protect Your Most Precious Possessions

Everyone has valuables and keepsakes that they do not want to lose. While you may never have someone break into your house, it is still best to be prepared for everything. If you take these four home security steps, then your most precious possessions will remain safe no matter what happens at your home.

Home Safe

There is no better way to keep your precious possessions safe at home than with a secure, metal safe. If a burglar is able to get inside your house, then they will not be able to access anything you put inside the safe. Bolting the safe to the floor will ensure that they can't take it to another location. They will move on to something else once they realize the safe is not going anywhere because burglars are looking to get in and out extremely quickly. Most home safes are fireproof too, which provides even more protection for your valuables.

Get a Dog

Nothing provides amazing and cheap home security quite like a dog. Most dogs will bark anytime they hear something abnormal going on in the home. This barking will alert you in a timely manner if you are asleep. If you are not home, then the barking will most likely keep the burglars from entering your home. Barking not only brings unwanted attention to the house, but they are also risking a dangerous bite by entering your home. Even if the dog is extremely friendly, the stranger entering your house does not know that.

Alarm System

The presence of an alarm system is usually enough to deter a burglar from entering your home. The loud alarm and the fast response of the local police department provided by an alarm system gives you a level of home security you can't get with anything else. Reviews of alarm systems can help you learn more about security systems to protect your home and family. People tend to get relaxed after owning an alarm system, so you need to make sure to set the alarm each night to maintain your high level of home security.

Ample Outdoor Lighting

Dark homes are prime targets for burglars because they can get in and out without being detected by any of the neighbors. Keeping your yard well lit with some nice outdoor lighting is a great way to add style to your home while also adding an extra layer of security.

You never know when your home can be the target of a thief, so you want to have a decent amount of home security at all times. You work hard to get your precious possessions, so make sure you protect them using adequate home security measures.

Written by Rachelle Wilber

Friday, January 22, 2016

10 Items in Your Bug-Out Bag You Should Reconsider

FEMA - 37173 - Red Cross ^quot,ready to go^quot, preparedness kit
Do you think the more items you have in your bug out bag, the better? Think again.

One of the things that separate newbies from preppers is that the experts realized at some point just how heavy their backpack had become. The more they thought about the various bug out scenarios they will have to face, the more they realized many of the items will not be useful. This is why newbies keep adding pound after pound in their survival bag: “because you never know”.

Well, here’s the problem: bugging out with a 60 or 70 pound bag on your back is just not possible. That’s how much a military backpack can weigh. It’ll slow you down, you won’t be able to sprint if need be and good luck jumping with that thing or throwing it over a fence. Even worse, after 2 or 3 weeks post-collapse, much of your muscle mass will be gone, meaning you’ll be able to carry even less weight.

In what follows I’m going to give you a few suggestions of things to remove from your BOB. In most cases, you can get rid of them right away; the only case you should think twice is if you’re not assembling a BOB but an INCH bag, which stands for I’m Never Coming Home. INCH bags are oversized bug out bags designed to keep you alive without permanent shelter for an indefinite amount of time and, as you might expect, they have mores tuff in them.

One more thing before we begin. If you already have a car bug out bag, an EDC bag or even a get home bag, consider storing some of the things there. You’ll probably be able to take your other bags with you.

#1. Condoms

OK, so it’s cool and funny when those guys on survival reality TV shows carry water inside condoms. But is this what you really think you’ll be doing in a survival situation? Unless you think you’ll “get lucky” while bugging out, I would skip them. Don’t let the fact that they’re small and light fool you. When you’re looking to build the perfect bug out bag, every ounce counts.

#2. Vitamins

I can assure you you won’t develop any vitamin deficiencies over the course a bug out. Keep them at home or at your bug out location.

#3. A copy of the SAS Survival Guide

That thing is heavy! If you expect you’re going to eat wild edibles, I suggest you get the pocket edition. You may also want to download an app on your phone that can show you the same thing. If you want, you can keep a copy of the pocket edition, though.

#4. Pajamas

Ok, I know you’ll want to be comfortable but pajamas take a lot of space. They aren’t light, either, particularly if you opted for something thicker.

#5. Condiments

OK, I get that you’ll be in a stressful situation but packing bouillon cubes and tabasco sauce is pointless. I suggest you pick one comfort food and stick to it as opposed to getting a variety of them. Coffee, tea, hard candy... you’ve got plenty to choose from, just watch the weight.

#6. A gun cleaning kit

You probably won’t have to clean your gun during the bug out so you might as well keep it at your BOL.

#7. An alcohol stove

I’m not saying no one should have one but if you’re expecting a short bug out, you might want to consider a solid fuel tablet stove. It’s a lot lighter, which means you can carry more fuel!

#8. Too many pairs of socks and underwear

If you’ve got 4 or 5 of each, consider keeping at most 2. You can wash the ones you’ve worn while camping if need be.

#9. A Swiss army knife

What sorcery is this? You shouldn’t have a Swiss army knife in your BOB? Not if you already have a good fixed blade survival knife and a good multitool (like the ones made by Leatherman). Keep the folding in one in one of your pockets and, while you’re at it, consider putting more items form your bob inside your cargo pants pockets (if that’s what you’re wearing) to take weight off your back.

#10. Batteries of various sizes

If you have 4 battery-powered devices and they all use batteries of different sizes, then you have to keep spares from each size. But if you stick to a single size (say, AAA), you don’t have to do that.

Final Word

If you’re reluctant to throwing away from your bag some of these things, let me show you all of this from a different perspective: the more you pack, the more calories you’ll have to burn to carry them, thus the more food you’ll need.

Here’s what you should do next. Take everything out from your bug out bag and, before you put it back together, try to imagine all the various scenarios you’d need it. If you can’t think of anything, leave it in a separate bag until you figure out whether it belongs in your BOB with the rest of the essentials or not.

Can you remember some of the items in your bug out bag you ended up removing? Share in a comment below.

About the Author

After working for two top survival info companies, Dan decided to teach on his own and set the ambitious objective of becoming one of the top survival gurus in the world. Teaching and doing are the two words that best describe him in his never-ending quest for top-notch survival content.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Emergency Ready: What to do in Case of Head Injury

In the event of a sudden head injury, many people don't know how to respond. Panicking and making rash decisions can result in making the injury worse, and is just as dangerous as disregarding the injury as a mere bump on the head. Basic emergency preparedness is a life skill that can not only make you feel more calm and in control during unexpected situations, but also equip you with knowledge that could end up saving a life.

Head Injury 101

A head injury can be sustained through many means. Although we may envision them as a result of tumbling down stairs, slipping in the shower, or occurring in a car accident, head injuries can happen as suddenly and as anti-climactically as whacking your forehead on the corner of an open kitchen cabinet.

Usually head injuries can either be closed or open. The most common being a concussion. However, in the event of any head trauma, you should seek immediate medical attention. Even in closed head injuries, the brain can still hit the skull and become bruised, swollen, or even start to bleed internally.

Symptoms of a Concussion

  • Unable to recall events prior to or after injury.
  • Slow to respond to questions.
  • Headache or feeling of pressure in head.
  • Dizziness and/or balance problems.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Heightened sensitivity to light or noise.
  • Feeling or behaving sluggish, groggy, hazy or foggy.
  • Confusion or problems with concentrated memory.
  • Repeating words or phrases and appearing disoriented.

The best thing to do in the event of a concussion is seek medical consultation. You can also keep an eye on the patient to check if their symptoms worsen over the next several hours. If symptoms to not improve, seek emergency medical care. It's always best to see a doctor even if you just suspect a mild concussion, as a more severe head injury could be unseen.

Symptoms of Head Injury

These symptoms are indicative of a more severe head injury, and you should call 911 right away if you or someone is experiencing the following:

  • Unconsciousness.
  • Scalp wound.
  • Stiff neck.
  • Nasal discharge.
  • Face or head fracture.
  • Swelling and bruising of the eyes and face.

Head Injury Emergency Treatment

Head Injury Emergency Treatment In the event of a more severe head injury, you should first check if the person is breathing. If they are not, make sure their airway is unobstructed and begin to administer rescue breathing and CPR.

If the person's breathing and heart rate are stable, you should follow the protocol of a spinal injury and stabilize the head and neck by gently placing your hands on either side of the injured person's head. If the person is choking or vomiting, roll their head, neck and body as one unit onto their side, which still protects the spine. In case of a head injury, you should always keep a patient immobile, try not to move them under any circumstances, and keep the head aligned with the spine until help arrives.

In case of bleeding, apply a cloth and pressure to the wound. If blood soaks through the first cloth, do not remove it. Apply another on top of the first as you wait for help to arrive. If you suspect a skull fracture, do not apply direct pressure to the wound or remove any visible debris. You should also not attempt to clean or wash any deep wound.

Stay with the injured person until help arrives, and do not attempt to administer any additional medical care apart from the emergency first aid reviewed in this article. If your head injury has occurred in a car accident or as a result of negligence, you may also consider contacting a personal injury professionals at Bulluck Law Group to handle the case.

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, January 07, 2016

Off-grid Power: Electricity Generation Tips for You and Your Family

Off-grid Power: Electricity Generation Tips for You and Your Family

More and more families are beginning to generate their own electricity, whether to fully meet their home's needs or supplement their regular on-grid consumption. Between the rising cost of electricity, concerns for the environment, and fear of power outages, there are plenty of factors that go into deciding to move to off-grid electricity generation. That said, there are a few tips homeowners should bear in mind when choosing the best electrical system for their needs.

Look at More Than a Home's Electrical Consumption

Electricity generating strategies that work for one home may not work for another. While a home's electricity consumption is often flexible, things like terrain, average local weather, and natural resource access aren't. Which is more abundant in the area—sunlight or wind? Will trees block solar arrays? Photovoltaic panels generate roughly 8-10 watts per square foot. How many square feet of outdoor space can be devoted to generating electricity?

Consider a Standby Generator

One of the biggest things keeping renewable energy sources from achieving wider use is the fact that electricity isn't easy to store or transport. For homes that require standby power for emergencies, a propane- or natural gas-powered automatic standby generator from places like Wade Sales and Service may be the best option. These rely on liquid fuel and only turn on when a home experiences a power outage, making them an excellent addition to a home's electricity generation system.

Know Your Electric Company's Net-Metering Policies

Who wouldn't love to pay for their home electric system by selling power back to their utility company? For net-metered homes, homeowners are only billed for their net power consumption-- their meters run backward while they are generating more power than they're using. Unfortunately, having a net-metered home isn't the case in every area and it pays to be familiar with the local utility company's policies beforehand.

Skip Major Electric Appliances

Electric heating systems, stoves, water heaters, and other large appliances will consume the majority of a home's electrical output. Consider outfitting homes with better insulation, double-glazed windows, wood stoves, and clotheslines to reduce your dependency on large electric appliances. It'll free up more power for lights, computers, and other needs.

Setting up a home for off-grid electricity generation goes deeper than picking between solar panels or wind turbines. By choosing the best strategy (or combination of strategies) for the local area, investing in a standby generator, understanding net-metering, and outfitting homes with low-electricity upgrades, it's possible to meet or exceed a home's electricity needs.

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.

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