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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Simple Survival Tips - Keeping Your Powder Dry

In an effort to save money, recycling is a great way to save a few bucks. You can recycle a very simple item that will help you keep your powder dry. One of the things that affect your ammunition you may have stored is moisture. It’s also pretty easy to combat its effects. Simply save those desiccant packs of silica gel and add them to your ammo storage.

A number of products come with those small packs of silica gel. If you save them instead of throwing them away, they can be used to help keep your ammo supplies from suffering the damaging effects of moisture. They work especially well if you buy the bulk packs of 22lr cartridges. Just throw a couple of the desiccant packs in the box of cartridges once they’ve been opened and you’re good to go or throw a number of them in your ammo box.

The packages are small enough that many times they can be added to an individual box of cartridges to help combat the effects of excess humidity, which we have plenty of here in Central Texas. For practice purposes and to save a little money, the bonus packs of 22lr cartridges are a regular purchase and the little silica gel packs work well to fend off the effects of excess humidity and moisture once they are opened.

Got dry powder?

Staying above the water line!


Out of Stock

"I foresaw that, in time, it would please God to supply me with bread. And yet here I was perplexed again, for I neither knew how to grind or make meal of my corn, or indeed how to clean it and part it; nor, if made into meal, how to make bread of it; and if how to make it, yet I knew not how to bake it. These things being added to my desire of having a good quantity for store, and to secure a constant supply, I resolved not to taste any of this crop but to preserve it all for seed against the next season; and in the meantime to employ all my study and hours of working to accomplish this great work of providing myself with corn and bread. It might be truly said, that now I worked for my bread. I believe few people have thought much upon the strange multitude of little things necessary in the providing, producing, curing, dressing, making, and finishing this one article of bread." - Daniel Defoe (1661–1731), Robinson Crusoe

There are many things we take for granted and rely upon and never dream could possibly fail us. For example, access to your money in the bank. Last month, one of Australia's largest banks, National Australia Bank, encountered a corrupted computer file that jammed its payment system, hitting customers from a range of banks who rely on the NAB to process payments including Citibank and HSBC. Anxious NAB customers discovered online that their November paycheck has been "rubbed out" and their account credited with nothing. "Property deals were being put on hold, car sales suspended, wages not transferred, and direct debit payments for mortgages and bills stopped"

Or consider the Robinson Crusoe quote at top. What if your regional grocery stores ran out of bread (and most everything else) for a week or more? The post, The Truth About Your Local Grocery Store, describes the Just in Time (JIT) inventory system and its impact during disasters. "Twenty or even ten years ago we stored tons of merchandise in the back room and restocked throughout the day." But now stores carry just enough stock to cover normal demands and rely on supply trucks
Most stores get 2 to 5 trucks a day of some type of food.  Thus the store you shop at each day/week really only has about 1-½ to 2 days worth of food on the shelf any given day during normal conditions.  If an emergency happens they will be cleaned out in a matter of hours.  Then the question becomes how they will restock.  Remember roads may be closed.  The warehouse workers who normally load the trucks may have situations where they don’t show up to work due to taking care of their own family.  The same would be true with the truck drivers who would bring it to the stores and the folks who stock and run the local store as well.
If an emergency affects only a very local area then stores may get back in stock within 2-3 days on basic supplies. However if a large region is impacted, such as half a state, then the regional warehouses run out fast and supplies must be trucked in from great distances. Roads between the store and the warehouses may be impassible or damaged. Connecting bridges may have to pass inspection and be cleared as safe before trucks are allowed to cross.

Bottom Line

Regional warehouses stock common items for normal usage levels. They do not have stockpiles of chainsaws, gas cans, and other speciality items that everyone will want after a disaster. Even common items like batteries or bottled water will see an explosion of demand over normal levels that warehouses can not meet. A store may look well stocked with 60 propane bottles for camp stoves on the self but consider, an ice store or blizzard is announced with power outages likely so customers rush in and want 2 bottles each. On average big box stores see 3,000 to 6,000 customers each day. So if just 10% of customers need propane, that means 300 to 600 people need 600 to 1200 bottles with just 60 in stock. Only the first 30 customers will be satisfied assuming there are no hoarders that buy up 10 bottles or the entire stock. Picture your worst experience shopping for Black Friday specials and now ramp that up since the items are now "essential" as opposed to nice-to-have.

Consider also, how will you pay for things if you can find them? The ATMs are down, credit cards won't work so it's cash or personal checks (if the store will accept checks). How much cash do you have on hand to buy things in an emergency? Keep small bills like ones, tens and twenties (not $100s).  When stores reopen they may not have access to change from a bank as they normally do and will be unable or unwilling to give change for $100s.

Government offers new advice on surviving a nuclear blast

nuclear disasterThe Obama administration is offering a new set of guidelines on how to protect yourself during a nuclear attack.
The Department of Homeland Security’s new guidelines offer the following advice:
Go deep inside: They are recommending that people stay put and not try to leave the area.
  • Find the nearest building, preferably built of brick or concrete, and go inside to avoid any radioactive material outside.
  • If better shelter, such as a multi-story building or basement can be reached within a few minutes, go there immediately.
  • If you are in a car, find a building for shelter immediately. Cars do not provide adequate protection from radiation from a nuclear detonation.
  • Go to the basement or the center of the middle floors of a multi-story building (for example the center of the 5th floor of a 10 story building or the 10th to 20th floors of a 30 story building).
The government says that even though theses instructions may go against your natural instinct to leave, the health risks from radiation exposure can be reduced by:
  • Putting building walls, brick, concrete, or soil between you and the radioactive material outside, and
  • Increasing the distance between you and the exterior walls, roofs and ground, where radioactive material is settling.
Stay inside: They are also recommending that you stay inside until you are instructed to come out by authorities or emergency responders. They are recommending it as the best way to prevent radiation-related illnesses
In the beginning when the radiation levels are at there highest levels it is safest to stay inside, protected away from the radioactive material outside.
If you were outside at the time of the nuclear explosion the guidelines offer the following recommendations for removing any radioactive materials that may be on your body.
  1. Pretend that you are going home covered in mud, you don’t want to track any of this mud into your home.
  2. Remove your clothing to keep radioactive material from spreading. Taking off your outer layer of clothing can remove up to 90% of radioactive material.
  3. If possible, place your clothing in a plastic bag and seal or tie the bag. Place the bag as far away from yourself and other people so that the radiation can not affect you.
  4. When possible, take a shower with lots of soap and water to help remove radioactive contamination. Do not scrub or scratch the skin, and do not use conditioner because it can bind the radioactive material to your hair and make it harder to rinse out.
  5. Gently blow your nose, wipe your eyelids and your ears.
  6. Put on new clean clothing
A couple other tips form the report
Food Safety
  • Rinse all counters, plates, pots and utensils before use to remove any radioactive materials.
  • Food in your refrigerator or freezer should be safe to eat.
  • Canned food should also be safe to eat.
  • Rinse the outside of all packaged food before opening it.
Water safety:
Bottled water is the only source that we are certain is free of contamination. Before opening the bottles use a clean towel to remove any residue from the outside of the bottle.