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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Protect Yourself From Lightening Strikes

I was struck by lightning in 1981, while standing a bus stop, waiting in the rain for the bus to take me to class at the University of Louisville. My hair stood on end, the umbrella melted, and I smelled smoke for days. I was one of the lucky ones.

Lightning kills nearly 100 people in the United States each year, and injures another 300. Most lightening injuries and deaths can be prevented. Take a few minutes to review the following so that you can protect yourself, your family, and your home. Don’t become a victim:
  • Get indoors and stay there. Be inside with windows and doors closed.

  • Don’t use the phone during a storm. Electrical surges can enter through your phone line and electrical wiring. It can cause your entire system to melt.

  • Stay away from metal pipes. Metal conducts electricity, which is lightening.

  • Avoid water: showers, washing hands/dishes, pools, or any other source of water. Water and electricity/lightening do NOT mix!

  • Turn off electrical appliances and equipment, then unplug them. This includes power tools, power strips, computers, etc.

  • Did you know that you don’t have to be in the middle of a storm to be in harm’s way? A bolt of lightening doesn’t travel straight, and is five-times hotter than the surface of the sun. It can strike as far away as 10 miles from the center of a storm.

  • Hook your electrical equipment up to surge protectors – including your computer, air conditioner, etc. In the event that you’re not home to unplug items, the surge protector will automatically shut the electricity down. This will help prevent fires and other damage.

  • Get lightening suppressors, which help diminish the damage caused by a bolt of lightening. Use them on your TV, cable antennas, phone system, etc. Protect your entire house.

  • Don’t underestimate lightening. One bolt is strong enough to power a 100-watt lightbulb for about three months.

  • Check your weather forecast before planning any outdoor activities, especially swimming in a pool.

  • Stay inside during a storm, if possible. If not, wait in a vehicle with a hard top.

  • If you are outside and unable to get into a car or building during a storm, stay away from trees, anything metal like light poles, bleachers, goal posts, etc. The lightening’s charge will go through the metal and could get you if you are close or touching the item.

  • Never lay on the ground. Instead, drop to your knees with your hands on them and bend forward. This will minimize the area of your body that is in contact with the ground.

  • Take a first aid course. It should teach you how to work with someone that has been struck by lightening.

  • If your hair stands on end, you are probably about to be struck by lightening. Watch out!

Be careful!

Original: http://colorado-preppers.blogspot.com/2009/04/protect-yourself-from-lightening.html

Cookware when Bugging Out

By Joseph Parish

When the time arrives to bug out to a safe location we all have some idea as to what we should take with us. In some cases these essential items are contained in out Bug out Vehicle well ahead of their actual need.

Suppose you have to evacuate an area immediately. You feel confident that you have all the equipment that you could require. You have sufficient cash, credit cards, canned food, first aid supplies, spare items of clothing which are suitable for the weather at hand and maps to guide you. You and your family quickly leap into you Bug out vehicle and start to head out of town. As the hours roll on you decide it is time to stop and make something to eat. The wife glances at the cans of food that was brought and decides on a lunch course for the family.

“Oh no”, she gasps, “We didn’t bring any cookware at all.

Don’t feel bad as most survivalist at one time or another forget to include things like pots and pans and associated cookware in their Bug out bags.

As with any sort of bug out items you want to get the best items for your money. You cookware may have to last you for a considerable length of time so you want it to be durable, versatile and strong. Chances are you may end up roughing it for some time so you want to purchase cookware which won't disappoint you when you require its service. A broken pot or pan can be critical and could result in not eating. A cracked pan will fair no better in situations such as these. In either case it isn’t appealing in the least.

Many survivalists will maintain a completely different set of pots and pans then the ones which they use in their home kitchen to cook their daily meals. This stands to reason as first off you will not want to run around the kitchen at the last moment gathering up various pots and pans prior to getting on the road. Secondly why risk damaging your home cookware when you can easily have a separate set for your BOV.

I would like to provide you with a few additional hints regarding your BOV cookware.

Your cookware should have tight fitting lids to allow your food to heat up quicker thus saving you valuable fuel used for cooking.

Bug out vehicle cookware should not have the nonstick coatings due to the fact that should you burn it one time you can trash the pot or the pan. It will be useless to you.

Simplicity is the key when it comes down to cookware for bugging out. You should try to locate cookware which you can easily store in your BOB’s where space is a premium. A careful search can reveal a set of pots and pans which easily fit together in a set saving considerable space. Try to locate cookware which has rounded edges in place of square as they will not damage your storage container as easily. This is particularly important if you are using something similar to a duffle bag as your BOB.

Make sure that you include several pot holders in your kit as the handles may possibly get very hot.

Although you only require a few essential pieces of cookware should you be really cramped for space a single unit can fill the bill. This is all according to the number of people for which the cookware will have to provide meals for. Naturally, the more individuals you have with you the more equipment you will require.

Copyright @2008 Joseph Parish

Original: http://survival-training.blogspot.com/2009/04/cookware-when-bugging-out.html

Simple Survival Tips - Financial Safety

Many people use safety deposit boxes to store valuables and important personal information. Many people though are unaware of the fact that during a disaster banks can not be held liable for the loss of the contents in a safety deposit box. There is also the fact to consider that given the state of the economy and with numerous bank failures occurring, you may need to take additional precautions for the storage of your important papers and valuables. There are some simple steps you can take to protect valuables and information in a safety deposit box.

Steps to Protect Safety Deposit Box Contents

1. Keep a written record of all serial and identification numbers for any items kept in a safety deposit box.

2. Keep a photographic record of all items stored in your safety deposit box if at all possible.

3. Keep a written list of all the contents in an alternate place for easy reference in the event of a loss of the contents during a disaster.

4. Consider having the items stored in a safety deposit box listed on your homeowner’s insurance policy as additional proof of the contents.

5. Consider taking out separate or additional insurance on the contents of your safety deposit box.

Having a safety deposit box can be a good thing. Taking the steps to make sure the contents are properly protected is an even better thing.

Staying above the water line!


Original: http://stealthsurvival.blogspot.com/2009/04/simple-survival-tips-financial-safety.html

Community Preparedness

"True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island..to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing.” - Baltasar Gracian
Preparedness works on many levels. There is personal preparedness; family preparedness; workplace preparedness, neighborhood preparedness, and local/state/federal preparedness. This posting will look at neighborhood preparedness.

Do you belong to a neighborhood organization such as a homeowners association or crime watch group? If not can you join one or start one?

Has your organization thought about the way it would respond to a disaster? Has it trained the members and held drills? Here are some topics to consider:
  • Host a preparedness fair
  • Help neighbors to prepare Family Disaster Plans and keep them up to date
  • Encourage or help residents to create Disaster Supplies Kits and keep them up to date
  • Create a plan for working together until help arrives. Consider ways to cooperate with each other during recovery.
  • Invite your local fire department or emergency management office to hold training classes
  • Create a neighborhood map with names and home and cell phone numbers next to each address so neighbors can contact each other in an emergency
  • Find out your neighbors' special skills (for example, medical, technical) and consider how they could help in a disaster situation
  • Identify elderly and disabled people in the neighborhood, single parents with young children, or others who might need extra help
  • Make plans with neighbors for child care in case parents cannot get home in an emergency situation.
There is an old adage: many hands make light work. Consider for example trying to lift fallen debris off a family member - you'll very likely need extra hands. Moving an injured person is something you should NOT do by yourself except under extreme conditions.

Bottom Line

Work with your neighbors but don't become dependent on them like the grasshopper in Aesop's fable - doing nothing to prepare yourself and begging from others when winter arrives. Be a generous ant instead with extra supplies so you can assist your neighbor who is a grasshopper.

Original: http://perpetualpreparedness.blogspot.com/2009/04/community-preparedness.html

72 Hour Kit Food Packs: Putting Them Together

On Saturday, our family put together our 72 Hour Kit food packs. It was a fun activity and went quickly. This would be a great family night activity. Here is how we did it. First I laid out all the food items on a table, and we opened all the plastic and boxes.

Next my 4 year-old had a good time putting the "replace by October 2009" labels on gallon-sized Ziploc bags; three per person. I like using these bags for several reasons.

1) three bags divides the food into 3 days
2) since you wouldn't eat everything all at once it’s a nice holding device
3) it prevents items from water damage
4) these same bags can also store trash
5) they make it easy for the kids to fill their bags each season

Then I told the kids how many of each item to put in their 3 bags. The older kids did their own filling. My husband was the camera man, so I filled our bags last realizing as I did that I was short on a few items. So I will have to go back to the store.

I helped our 4 year-old by holding her bags, and telling her what to grab from the table. Very fun for her. When we got to the bottled water, the kids took out their old water bottles from their backpacks and replaced them with new water. Hopefully after 4 years the old bottles will taste okay. We will replace the water once a year, instead of every 6 months like the food items. Hopefully I can stay on top of this. I put a task reminder in my Outlook calendar.

Some finished bags.

Our son goofing off with the cheap and not wise face masks.
We replaced these with new N95 medical masks. More on that in another post.

Our daughter trying out her bag. A bit heavy, but manageable.

More 72 Hour kit ideas are on the left sidebar of my blog.

For a PDF file or Excel spreadsheet of the items we put in our food packs go to my post March 24th.

Original: http://preparedldsfamily.blogspot.com/2009/04/72-hour-kit-food-packs-putting-them.html