Tuesday, May 30, 2017

How to Make Your Home an Impregnable Fortress for a Safe Family

When it comes to the safety and security of your family, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Even in a relatively safe area, criminals are constantly on the lookout for insecure homes and vulnerable families. Here are a few steps you can take to make your property more secure than ever.

Update the Door Locks

Experts believe that around 34 percent of burglars enter through the front door. Those who have recently purchased a home should immediately change the locks on all of their doors. An ANSI Grade 1 deadbolt lock is generally seen as the most secure option for residential entryways.

Upgrade the Windows

Older windows are not only easier to break, but they can also be opened with nothing more than a screwdriver or knife. If your windows are more than 10 years old, then you might want to think about upgrading to lockable aftermarket windows. You should also invest in a handful of affordable glass break detectors that will go off if the glass is cracked or rattled.

Eradicate Blind Spots

Criminals are often drawn to homes where they can hide in tall bushes and dark corners of the yard. All of the trees and plants throughout your property should be trimmed so that an adult can’t hide behind larger branches. You should also consider installing lights throughout your property so that every single corner is well-lit. Many motion-sensor floodlights can be attached to solar panels, and that means they will draw little or no electricity from your home.

Add a Safe Room

Those who want to make their home as secure as possible should consider having a safe room installed. A typical safe room is made from concrete, steel, and other materials that can withstand a tremendous amount of abuse. Some companies, like Southern Screen Scene, know how important it is to keep your family safe. In addition to keeping you safe from criminals, these rooms are also an excellent form of protection against dangerous storms such as hurricanes and tornadoes.

Meet the Neighbors

Very few people realize just how beneficial it is to become friends with their neighbors. Whenever you are at work or away on vacation, your neighbors could be your first line of defense against a home invasion. Once they get to know you and your family a little bit better, they will begin to recognize when unusual people are on your property.

As an added bonus, many of these security upgrades can have a major impact on your insurance premiums. Whenever you add a new security feature to your property, you should contact your insurance provider to see if they will bring your monthly premiums down.


About the Author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Six Steps to Take for Summer Hiking Preparedness

When hiking, it is important you prepare properly to have a fun and safe trip. We’ve all been on the hellish hikes where you wore the wrong shoes or didn’t pack enough sunscreen. Don’t fall victim to these amateur mistakes. If you take all the right steps you can be prepared for anything that may come your way.

Step 1: Bring Plenty of Water
It seems obvious, but water is very important when going on a hike. Dehydration is very real when being active, regardless of the temperature. Bring enough water to drink plus a little extra, since you may need to clean a wound. Some people enjoy a snack or even an entire meal when on a hiking trip, depending on the length of your trek. Since so much energy is being used by your body, having fruit or a granola bar handy wouldn't hurt.

Step 2: Protection from the Sun
While journeying through a beautiful environment, it’s nice to enjoy the outdoors and get exposed to a little more vitamin D. Just remember, the sun can be damaging as well as warm. Bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and some people even wear long sleeve shirts and pants for additional protection.

Step 3: Pack a Backpack
You are preparing for a fun day and you have many needs. If all your supplies won't fit in your pocket, it’s good to have a small backpack for water, food, and maps. Prepare to pack light. Do your best to bring all the important things, but also remember you will be carrying this backpack the whole time.

Step 4: Bring a Friend or Headphones
Hiking with friends is always a great pastime. You can engage in conversation and take in the sights together. It is a great way to come together and bond on a more personal level. If you can't find a friend to take the trip, you still want to skip the phone, music can be great when you stop for breaks. You want to be aware of your surroundings during your hike, but when eating a snack, lunch, or taking a breather, you can indulge in some sounds to match your views. Be sure you always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back.

Step 5: Have First Aid Supplies
While hiking is a fun and healthy activity, remember anything can happen while out on the trail. There is the threat of dehydration, sunburn, bug bites, animal attacks, and other unknowns. Just be mindful and stay prepared. It's best to try to avoid most issues by having the correct supplies on hand. In the end, you won't have control over nature, so keep some band-aids and first aid supplies with you. You may also want to have your doctor’s number on hand just in case you run into a wild animal or unleashed dog.

Step 6: Have Fun!
Being outdoors is enjoyable regardless of the risks, and should be a good experience. Make sure it is by following the above tips and being prepared.


About the Author:
Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

4 Ways to Set Up a Backup Electrical System in Case of Disaster

Your house goes quiet and dark when the power goes out. The background hum of the refrigerator or the sound of a furnace or air conditioner stops. It gets quite dim in some rooms indoors even at noon. If the power stays out for a few days, your refrigerated and frozen foods spoil, and your HVAC system shuts down. There is no power to charge cell phones or lights. Here are four ways to establish backup power in case of a disaster.

Whole-House Generator

This backup power plan is not cheap, but it is very effective. You can even have one big enough to power every circuit in your house to make it like the power grid was never interrupted. Smaller units can be wired to power a limited number of circuits such as some lights and outlets along with refrigeration, heating and cooling.

Whole-house power generators can be purchased that run on liquid or gas fuels. Natural gas supplies often remain intact in hurricane, tornado and flooding disasters. If you already use propane, this can be a fuel of choice. If you live on a farm and store diesel in tanks, it would be a good fuel option.

Portable Power Generators

Portable does not necessarily mean underpowered. There are small generators on wheels you can roll outside and hook a few extension cords to them. Then there are large units that are lifted by forklifts onto trucks or flown in by helicopter. However, for household purposes, they are usually mounted to a frame that has inflated rubber tires about the size you would find on the front of a riding lawn mower.

The standard ones sold in stores are usually gasoline powered, but you can buy diesel, natural gas and propane models. They are used to run some lights, power your refrigerator and freezer and maybe power the blower on a forced-air natural gas furnace. They do not usually have enough power to run air conditioning.

Fixed Solar Panels

This can give you a complete off-grid power system for your home if your house gets enough sun year round. Solar panels installed on the roof absorb energy from the sun to create electricity that is immediately used with the surplus being stored in batteries to keep things running at night.

Power inverters are used to step up the battery power to run your lights and connected household appliances. This is another system that is fixed in place like the whole-house generator. They can be great if you can shelter in place during a disaster but are useless if you have to become mobile.

Portable Solar Power Generation

These are the same as portable power generators, but they use the sun for fuel instead of gasoline, diesel, natural gas or propane. The Lycan Powerbox by Renogy is one example. These systems are look like a wheeled suitcase and have an inverter, battery and solar panel. There are receptacles to plug devices into that run on household current, and you can get a system with a spare battery for an instant power reload.

Typical portable solar power generators can also be charged by plugging them into a wall receptacle at home. This lets you keep a full charge on your batteries before a disaster hits, and you have the solar panel to maintain a charge while the grid is down. Plus, you can take it with you if you have to become mobile, and they can be used for camping and other outdoor recreation and adventures where electricity is desired.

Failure of the power grid due to a disaster doesn't have to leave you in the dark. Planning ahead can keep your life powered and running no matter how long the power stays out for everyone else.


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.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

5 Solo Car Camping Tips for the Wilderness Wanderer

Now that the days are warming up nicely and the nights are only slightly cool, you may want to consider enjoying nature a bit more. Solo car camping trips are often the way to go if you need some time by yourself to relax, unwind and get away from the stressors of work. However, because solo camping is not for the faint of heart, consider these tips before your first time roughing it.

Get Familiar with Camping

If you have never been camping before, solo car camping is most likely not for you. You need to be familiar with the basics of roughing it, such as laying a fire, keeping away from wild animals and hiking. You should also know the basics of first aid and wilderness survival to ensure that you will not make a newbie mistake on your first solo camping trip.

Pack Lightly

Since you will need to be transporting everything yourself, you should pack lightly, particularly if you plan on parking your car and hiking to a nearby location to sleep. Water and food are some of the biggest items you should carry, but make a few adjustments to lighten your load. For example, instead of carrying an entire water purifier, use space-saving purification tablets, and instead of using firewood for cooking, carry a small gas or alcohol-burning stove.

Pick the Right Car

Your car is probably your best bet for safety because you will count on it to get you back home and to keep you and your belongings safe from wildlife and weather. Visit a dealership and choose a small SUV that is good for rugged terrain, such as the GMC Acadia or the Jeep Grand Cherokee. A Subaru Forester is a great compact SUV that has plenty of space for cargo.

Stay Slightly on the Grid

Make sure that someone knows where you are going to be before you leave. While camping is not a time that you want to stay connected to your phone, you may want to have access to a phone charger while you are gone in case of emergency. Additionally, make sure that your contact person knows your license number and make and model of vehicle.

Travel with Emergency Devices

You may not have cell phone capabilities everywhere you camp. Definitely invest in a battery-powered weather radio and a whistle. You may also want to purchase or rent a personal locator beacon to help rescuers find you should you need help.

While your first solo car camping trip may be filled with worry over whether something bad will happen, if you will run out of food or if you will encounter a dangerous wild animal, you will quickly begin learning the ropes and realizing that if you practice basic safety techniques you can have a pleasurable and safe trip by yourself. Soon you will begin connecting with yourself and discovering more about what makes you who you are. Also, remember that if you are camping in state or national parks, you can reach out to park rangers who will have helpful information about the lay of the land.


About the Author:
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

How to Prepare an Electricity-free Kitchen

There are a number of situations in which you may find yourself without electricity and you want to be prepared all of them. Depending on the number of people in your family or group, your setup needs may vary. Here are some options to explore for making sure that you can still prepare wholesome homemade meals in the event you find yourself without power.

Small but Powerful

For something small and compact that can travel easily, consider getting a Pocket Rocket by MSR. They are a longstanding staple of backpackers all over the world and can literally be assembled with one hand and weigh mere ounces. They pack enough heat to boil a couple cups of water in a few minutes. However, their gas canisters typically do not hold more than 6 hours of burning fuel and have to be replaced frequently. If you are looking for a small but portable way to boil water in less than two minutes for your dehydrated meal, a JetBoil may be your best bet in that arena. The size of a large coffee cup, they screw into the top of a gas canister for added stability and windproofing. JetBoils also come with attachments to turn them into a French press, a frying pan and a cooking pot.

Feast or Famine

For larger groups, you are going to want a stove and cooking area that has multiple burners and a larger surface. Stoves that collapse and are easily transportable, like the classic Coleman double burner, are a great option for a family of four or small group of people. What these kinds of stoves do not offer is a cooking platform or a food preparation area. If you are going to be stationary for a while, consider getting a table with legs and a side food preparation table. Stoves, like the Camp Chef Pro Series Deluxe Three, are equipped with propane tanks that hold a large amount of gas and are refillable and the dual platforms on either side are useful for setting utensils, condiments and cutting boards.

Accessories

For the sake of longevity, invest in metal, rather than plastic, utensils. Melting or breaking a plastic spatula will render it useless. Metal utensils hold up for a long time — same goes for your plates and cups. Put together a kitchen box with long lasting supplies such as reusable towels (as opposed to one time use paper towels), waterproof matches and fire starter. It is wise to stock up on gas canisters or propane to ensure that you have enough cooking fuel in the event that you lose power and have to fire up one of your cook stove substitutes. If you don't want to worry about fuel, consider getting a large griddle to turn any camp fire or heat source into a cookable surface as long as the area is flat.



Author Bio: W.M. Chandler is a Colorado native and works best with her head in the clouds. She is an avid researcher and enjoys writing about unfamiliar subjects. She writes passionately about nature and the outdoors, human connections and relationships, nutrition and politics. Twitter: @wmchandler1212

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

8 Reasons Why You Need Food Preparedness in Your Life

As the political climate, acts of terrorism, and natural disasters threaten the peace and security of people worldwide, it’s not uncommon to feel uneasy and anxious about the future. While you don’t have control over much of what happens in life, making sure you’re adequately prepared in case of an emergency can help you regain some peace of mind. Here are the 8 reasons you need to establish food storage in your home today.
  1. Peace of Mind During a Disaster


    As mentioned above, perhaps the best reasons to have food storage in your home is for the peace of mind this preventative measure will give you during a disaster. Rather than having to worry about how and where to get food, you can rest easy that a major basic need is already taken care of.

  2. Food to Sustain During Financial Crisis


    In the event of a cut in pay or the loss of a job, you know you have a way to provide food for your family while you get back on your feet. Unemployment is a real problem these days, but you can shore up against financial windfall, providing you and your family some wiggle room in the event of a crisis.

  3. Comfort that Your Family Will Be Provided For


    A lot can be said about peace of mind and the comfort that comes with knowing you’re prepared for even the direst situation. Your family is your most important asset, and knowing they’ll always have food to sustain them is a great comfort.

  4. Ability to Help Others


    There are always people in need, whether due to homelessness, financial problems, or natural disaster. With the help of food storage, you can share what you have with others who are less fortunate. Share food with a neighbor, donate to a charity or a food pantry. There is a multitude of options, but you can’t use any of them unless you’re prepared first.

  5. Help During a Pandemic


    In the event of a pandemic, you could potentially be housebound for months. With long-term food storage built up, you can survive this time without the risk of being contaminated trying to get food or water.

  6. Peace in Social Chaos


    There is continued civil unrest around the globe, and as this social chaos inevitably increases, there may come a time your city is affected. In the event you won’t have access to food, whether from fear of leaving your home or due to the destruction of riots and looting, having food storage might be a lifesaver.

  7. Sustenance During War


    In times of war, food is more scarce; prices drive up, and rationing often limits what’s available. With food storage present in your home, neither of these scenarios need to be a worry for your family.

  8. Severe Weather or Natural Disaster


    During a flood, earthquake, tornado, fire, or any other natural disaster, you may be left trapped in your home for days or weeks on end. If you have food storage in your home, you care rest assured that your family will survive these troubled times until help and relief can reach you.

Peace in Preparedness


During times of turmoil, preparation equals confidence, and making sure you have adequate food storage is an excellent way to prepare. Stock up on canned goods, fill containers with water, and consider using mylar bags and vacuum sealers to help keep food fresh longer. Being prepared in the face of disaster gives you one less thing to worry about.


About the Author:
Rachel Libby is a content crafter. She has a passion for writing and providing people with mountains of knowledge. In addition, Rachel also works at Big Leap and enjoys all things marketing and helping businesses grow. Speaking of mountains, you can find her exploring the wild terrain of Utah in her quest for adventure and cool Instagram photo opportunities.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Life-Saving Items You Need To Carry When Hunting

As you prepare yourself for the hunting season, it is important that you emphasize on your safety by giving it the priority it deserves. Taking into consideration what survival items you need to carry whether you plan on using them or not is paramount regardless of your hunting prowess. You never know what might happen when you are out and about in the wild. There are items that you should never forget when going out on a game hunt.

This article strives to give you the most essential must have survival items you need not miss on your hunting spree.



  1. First aid kit


    A hunter’s first aid kit is very different from the ordinary kit that just contains pain relievers and a Band-Aid. An excellent hunter's first aid kit should be built from scratch taking into consideration all tools that you may require in case of a major accident. Some of the things that need to be in your first aid kit include; Special medication for those who suffer from a special need that requires them to frequently medicate, heavy-duty bandages and gauze, water purification tablets, tourniquets among other things.

  2. Map and compass


    Since time immemorial, a compass has been used by hunters as their primary navigation tool. Regardless of the change in technology where you can easily use a wrist GPS, it is important that you tag along with your compass just in case. A compass combined with a map is the only fail proof navigation gadget you can get.

  3. Food/water


    Whether you are going hunting for days or just for a hike, easy to eat food and water is a must have for all hunters. Stainless steel utensils are also highly recommended since you can use them for cooking purposes as well.

  4. Knife


    Just like a pen is to writing so is a knife to hunting. The importance of this tool can never be over emphasized. Before leaving for hunting, ensure that your knife is sharp. A knife is a Multi-functional tool that you can use as a weapon, for cutting rope, skinning game, opening packages, or even creating a fire starter. A knife should be kept on your person as opposed to keeping it in your backpack. Also, when cutting, ensure that you do not cut towards yourself as this may cause an accident.

  5. Communication tool


    A fully charged cell phone, its power bank and a two-way radio are a must have for hunters. These tools provide a way for hunters to communicate with other people incase an emergency arises. Unfortunately, due to poor network coverage or damage to this items, they may not be in a condition to help you convey messages. In this case, a whistle or a glass mirror will come in handy. Blowing a whistle or using a glass mirror to reflect rays of light are other ways you can communicate with the outside world as well as ward off animals.

  6. Fire Starters and flashlights


    Although easy to forget, flashlights are highly essential when going out to hunt for days. A heavy duty AA flashlight is not only bright, but it can last a long time. A flashlight may help you find your way through the night or on that dark morning. A flashlight may also help you to get your bearing at night and scare off animals.

    When you are out hunting for days, a means of making fire fast is also essential. Disposable lighters will aid you in quickly lighting up a fire to cook, for warmth, to melt snow and also to find your way through the darkness in case your flashlight runs out of battery. Ensure that you carry matches as backup lighters in a waterproof container.

  7. Cordage


    Although making a rope out of plant material is possible, bringing along a strong 50-feet cord is highly essential for hunters. You can use it to build shelter, secure loads to your backpack or to navigate through steep paths and inclines. A paracord is highly recommended because it does not add too much weight.

Once you have all these items in place, ensure that you pack them in a sturdy and durable backpack. Make a checklist where you can cross out all things you put in your bag to prevent yourself from forgetting an important item. In addition, before going out on that hunting expedition, ensure that you are geared up in appropriate clothing. Depending on the season, you may opt for some light or mid weight clothing. However, hunting boots are a must wear regardless of the season.

Remember that in order to survive adverse situations, you need to be prepared at all times. Bear in mind that preparedness is an ongoing thing that involves acquiring new survival tactics and adapting to new situations.


Author Bio:

Kevin Steffey is an avid hunter and freelance writer. He loves spending time in the field with his rifle more than almost anything else, and occupies his off-time discussing deer and their habits online. He is a founder at www.deerhuntingfield.com

Thursday, May 04, 2017

How True Preppers Ready Themselves for a Natural Disaster

Natural disasters can strike anywhere and at any time. As a prepper, it is important to know which types of natural disasters are most likely to happen in your location. Once you know the potential hazards, you can take action to prepare for them. Keep in mind these four ways of readying yourself for a natural disaster.

Becoming a Storm Spotter

Becoming a storm spotter is an important step for preppers to take. Spotters are trained to identify different types of cloud formations and other indicators that are suggestive of severe weather. As a storm spotter, you could recognize a funnel cloud, report it to local authorities and the weather service and then take cover in your shelter.

Getting Certified in First Aid

As a prepper, it is also important to know how to administer first aid to yourself or another person. Taking a class through the American Red Cross allows you to gain certification in first aid. There are classes for first aid for children and for adults. You will learn essential skills such as performing CPR, doing the Heimlich maneuver, and dressing a wound. You may also learn how to remove debris from a wound, stitch a wound closed and remove a stinger.

Transporting Supplies with Utility Trailers

Utility trailers are key to transporting supplies to your shelter. A utility trailer, like those available from Hillsboro Industries, can be connected to your vehicle to haul lumber, sheeting, and heavy bags of concrete to your property. You can also use them to haul large kegs of water and bulk containers of food to your storage.

Learning How to Use Essential Tools and Equipment

Having tools and equipment won't help if you don't know how to use them. Practice using food dehydrators, hand tools and portable radios before a natural disaster happens. Test your skills at hunting, fishing, rope tying and other key parts of prepping. Know how to quickly assemble and disassemble your tent. Understand how to use the water filter and build a campfire under rainy conditions.

The aftermath of a natural disaster could last for days, weeks, months or even longer. Taking the time now to prepare your shelter, practice using your equipment and test your skills will help you to be ready for any emergency situation. Be sure to keep all of your equipment in good condition and to rotate your supplies so that they do not expire before you are able to put them to use.


About the Author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

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