The Doomsday Moose

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Getting lost is one of those problems that we all know could happen but we don’t really take it seriously. Our brains are so disoriented due to our modern and convenient way of life that they’ll put us in serious danger should we get lost, particularly in the woods.

Can you blame them? We lived most of our lives safe and secure, only travelled on marked roads, train tracks… We go to work every day on the same route by bus, bike or car and now we’ve got GPS! The road is so predictable that most of the time we’re not even aware of our surroundings… Our mind is elsewhere.

Soon, when SHTF, we’ll be way out of our comfort zone. And then what? If we don’t pay attention to what’s going out around us, we’ll get lost and put our lives in serious danger.

What Can You Do to Avoid Getting Lost?

Before we get to talk about compasses and leaving trails, we need to tackle the most important thing when it comes to orientation: our brain. Wherever you go, even if it just to your workplace and back, you need to make a habit of being aware of your surroundings. If you’re like me when I was unawaken, you probably get a feeling of “I don’t wanna” every time you have to go to a place you’ve never been before.

Here’s the thing, you’re not bad at finding places, you just spent too much in your comfort zone. Wake up that part of the brain that’s currently asleep and notice your surroundings. Maybe it’s a tall building or one that’s painted in a weird color. If you’re out in the wild, look for big or oddly shaped trees and rocks, telephone lines, rivers and so on. Whatever they are, make a habit of memorizing them and regularly look behind to see how your position changed in relation to them.

The next thing you can do is to find connections between these objects and yourself, and I’ve got a kick-ass way of doing that. Imagine yourself leaving your body up, up and away… as you raise higher and higher, you notice yourself and the landmarks becoming smaller and smaller, like little dots on a map.

Then, as you move on that map, see yourself from above, progressing, just like you see the dot moving on your GPS. This is a fun exercise that will activate that part of the brain responsible for orientation and will allow you, in time, to active that “inner GPS” faster and easier.

How do you avoid getting lost? The golden rule is to always follow the marked trails. You don’t want what happened to Mauro Prosperi, 39, who got lost for 10 days in the Sahara desert to happen to you. His big mistake was that he didn’t stay put when a sandstorm hit, but tried to find his way back even though the storm changed the landscape entirely around him. He had a compass, he had a map but absolutely no reference points so, needless to say, he got completely lost when he started to move in an unknown direction.

Now, you probably won’t see the desert anytime soon but you could get lost in the woods or in the mountains, whether you’re camping, mountain climbing or, of course, running for your life after the brown stuff hit the fan. Either way, you need to stay as close to your designated path as much as possible and do not try to explore unmarked territory on your own. You should compare what’s on your map with what you see around you and stop immediately if you’re not sure you know where you are.

Furthermore, don’t be a hero. If you have GPS, use it. You don’t have anything to prove to anyone by using only your compass or only your map. You getting safe to your destination is the most important thing.

Furthermore, don’t give into temptation. Just because you think there may a shortcut, do not deviate from your route and risk getting lost and be forced to build shelter in some part of the forest you don’t know.

You’re Lost, Now What?

Well, if it happens, it happens… and the last thing you should do is panic. Calm yourself down, otherwise you’re going to make the wrong decisions. What you should do is try and remember what the last place that looked familiar was. This works for urban as well as for wilderness situations. Take your time, sit down if you can and focus on what turns you made to get to where you are now.

The next thing you need to do is mark your position, by placing a bandana or a piece of duct tape on a tree. Depending on the situation, you’ll want to do it in a way that will let everyone know you’ve been there or, on the contrary, to make it so that only you know about it.

Either way, you’re gonna have to decide whether you’re going to stay and wait for help or go. If you can find a point in the distance that you recognize, you should probably head in that direction but if you don’t, retracing your steps might be your last resort (apart from staying put, of course).

If you decide to stay, you should have walkie-talkies or other communication methods with your peer group but, just in case you don’t, you can always build a fire so that someone hopefully sees the smoke and comes to the rescue.

If you’re not sure what to do, stick to these two pointers: #1 to stay put and #2 to make yourself as visible as possible until either someone finds you or you figure out what to do. Sometimes, by not rushing to be on the move, you come up with quality ideas that could make the difference between life and death.

Well… what can I say… the big takeaway is to always take precaution measures to avoid getting lost. For example, you can read this previous (and excellent post) about hiking safety tips that will give you further information on the topic.


Author Bio: 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.

Author: Shane White
Posted: April 25, 2015, 1:26 pm


A new report by the U.S. Geological survey has introduced a new earthquake forecast model that changes the forecasts for magnitude, location, and likelihood as compared to the 2007 forecast model. The most significant change is the likelihood of medium (6.7-8) quakes has decreased while the likelihood of large (8+) quakes has increased. Looking at the entirety of California, the chance of a medium earthquake has gone from one every 4.8 years to one every 6.3 years while the chance of large earthquakes has gone from one every 617 years to one every 494 years.

The evolution of the California earthquake forecast model has happened as we learn more and more about the complex fault system under our feet.

As we can see the number of faults has increased twenty fold in the last 17 years. In the 1988 forecast, only 16 faults were considered while in 2015 350 faults were considered to create the model. Much of these recent fault finding efforts (pun certainly intended) were driven by the fact that the 1994 Northridge earthquake occurred on a previously unknown fault. There are two other important things that contributed to this revised forecast, the use of space based geology and the observation that earthquakes jump from fault to fault instead of being constrained to the fault that spawned them. Instead of several major fault-lines, the picture that emerges is of a vast interconnected fault system.

While the implications for building codes depends largely on where exactly structures are located, there are some important general conclusions we can draw. Tall buildings and bridges are more at risk than previously thought whereas small single family houses are less likely to experience catastrophic damage. Also the popular assumption that small quakes release pressure and make large ones less likely has been revisited to take into account the connected multi-fault system.

How to Prepare

  • Identify safe and dangerous spots in each room. Get under sturdy desks and tables, stay away from windows, fireplaces, and hanging objects.
  • Conduct Practice drills.
  • Decide where and how to reunite with loved ones if separated during an earthquake.
  • Learn how to shut off the water, gas, and electricity.
  • Get a first aid kit and learn CPR and basic first aid.


During the Earthquake

  • If outdoors, find an open area away from walls, buildings, power lines, and trees.
  • If driving, pull over to the side of the road and stop, avoid areas around power lines and stay in the car until the shaking has stopped.
  • If in a crowded public place, do not rush for the doors. Remain calm and cover your head and neck with arms.


After the Earthquake

  • Do not attempt to use the phone unless there is an urgent life threatening emergency.
  • Check for gas and water leaks as well as damaged electrical wiring. Call utility companies if necessary. Do not attempt to re-light the gas pilot without a thorough inspection.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • Do not use your vehicle unless absolutely necessary.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Help others in need.



Alex Churchill works at Tashman Home Center in West Hollywood. You can follow his sad twitter here. 


Author: Shane White
Posted: April 20, 2015, 11:20 pm
Over Flight of Duluth Flood 120624-G-HE371-003


Hi there! For today, we are going to tackle one of the possible disasters we can possibly encounter out there. Try to imagine this, you and the group are exploring a canyon when all of a sudden you noticed something is wrong. There is silence around and it was immediately followed by a violent rumbling sound. You all wonder what it is and then you see from the distance that a raging flood is about to come your way… What are going to do to come out of this situation alive? If you want to better your chances of facing a possible disaster like this, then read this article on how to survive a flash flood situation and know the things you ought to do to survive.

Fact:

A flash flood is a type of disaster that often occurs after a typhoon, storm surge, hurricanes, and other underlying causes. It is characterized by a rapid flooding of water which is a result of a violent weather and can be accompanied with ice particles, fallen debris, and dam debris due to earthquakes and landslides. Flash flood is very common in tropical regions, but it can also take place low terrain areas like rivers, canyon, and other natural catch basins we can find outdoors.

How To Survive This Type Of Disaster:

Going back into our hypothetical situation, if you see a flood is fast approaching your way you need to act fast to stay alive! Every decision you make is crucial to your survival. Therefore, you need to let your head prevail over your emotions or you’ll just end up dead meat… Here’s what you need to do to survive a flash flood disaster:

  1. Do a quick survey

    Scan the area and find the place where you can go to avoid the flood from hitting your group. If in case you and your friends cannot escape the incoming waters, find some trees and climb up as fast as you can. Get a rope, tie it around your waist and tie it into a sturdy branch to provide support so you can withstand the force of the raging torrent.

  2. Rocks and hills are your friends

    Climb up hill if you can or look for large rocks and head there immediately. Expect the flood to rise up at any moment so it really helps to position yourself at a higher ground to keep your body from being submerged and stay alive.

  3. Control the ride

    If it comes up to a point where you end up with the flow, make it a point to keep your head afloat at all times. Point your feet downwards to steer clear of any rock, trees, and fallen debris you might come into contact with. Swim, deflect, and protect your body from these things to avoid getting any injuries. According to FEMA records, one of the main causes of death during flashfloods is when a person is caught up the flow and was hit by fallen debris and other stuff that is drift by the flood. Death by drowning only comes second.

  4. Get a grip

    Fighting the flow of current is useless. So ride it out as best as you can. Get hold of some floating trees and use it to help you keep afloat. Have presence of mind to avoid any obstruction in your path.

  5. Don’t wait to reach the end

    Think quick! Try to hold on to some trees, branches, and other stuff that can help you pull out of the water. Don’t wait until you reach the end of the flow because the tendency is most of the debris will be gathered there and in turn this will make your escape more impossible to do.

  6. Get out of the way

    Once you manage of get out of the water, try to run away as far as you can. Don’t wait for another surge of flash flood to come. Go through your backpack survival kit and find some things to help mend your injuries. You were able to survive the disaster once so don’t wait to get caught the second time around.

  7. Be rescued ASAP

    Try to find a way to contact your family or relatives and seek rescue to treat any injured members of your group. Try to find a way to be dry to prevent yourself from experiencing hypothermia.

Additional Tips:

  1. Always be mindful of the flood prone areas in the location you are heading into.

  2. Inform your family and friends at home about your present whereabouts so they will be able to contact you if any approaching threat is coming near your vicinity. Make it a point to constantly update your loved ones and inform there about your current whereabouts as well as the recent activities you have done.

  3. Make sure to bring your survival must haves and other important things every time you head out in the field. You don’t know what to face out there. So it’s better to be prepared than to leave everything to chance.

  4. Encourage your friends and group members to be aware of the possible disasters you are going to face once you go and proceed to this trip. Set up a meeting before the actual travel and tackle some guidelines to keep your trip save and secure while trying to enjoy your time together.

  5. Never lose your composure once you are facing a flash flood situation. It’s just normal to be afraid, but you should always make it a point to get your head straight immediately so you can make the right decisions to stay alive.

Conclusion:

When life’s at stake, the odds of staying alive depend on the choices you make. Learn from the things mentioned in above so you can better prepare for a possible flash flood whenever it comes your way.

Michael Martin is a former Navy Pilot who believes no matter the circumstance, one should always be prepared. Upon entering the civilian world, Michael spent his time traveling the globe and observing different cultures. Growing up in as the son of a serial entrepreneur it was only a matter of time before he took his love of the outdoors and passion for helping others to new heights by founding Bug Out Bag Pro. As a survivalist & entrepreneur, his vision is to help educate and prepare families everywhere with the information, skills and tools to survive any situation they may face!


Author: Shane White
Posted: April 16, 2015, 5:44 pm
by Shane White

It is always a pleasure to work with the Sunjack folks. I was excited when they asked me if I would like to review their Weatherproof LightStick. This is a LED flashlight in the form of a lightstick and can also be used as a battery as well. It is also waterproof and shock proof and is fairly compact size compared to other lightsticks I have seen around. Let me tell you about some of the key features of this product:

Light

The first feature I should mention is the light. This light stick has four modes. There are three brightness levels up to 350 lumens and a strobe setting. Sunjack claims that the light will last for over 40 hours on the lowest setting on a single charge. I left it on full power for quite some time and it took the battery level indicator a long time to even move. I did manage to get it to shut off after leaving it on its brightest setting overnight. It did drain the battery to one indicator light, but did not drain it completely. It seemed to have shut off when the battery got low.

Weatherproof

This product is IP68 rated. This means is that it is dust proof as well as immersion proof. This rating means that you can basically drop it into 1 meter (3 feet) of water or up to 3 meters depending on the manufacturer. Sunjack's website indicated it was good for six feet (2 meters). While running my own tests, I found it to not only be waterproof, but I also found that it floats which can be nice should you drop it in a lake or river. In other words, unless you plan on swimming under water with the light stick, you probably won't need to worry about it going even a few inches below the surface.

Charging

Having a backup battery is a very important thing to have. I don't know how many times I used up the battery in my smartphone and was stuck because I was off somewhere where it was not possible to charge. The 5200 mAh rechargable internal battery offers some serious battery life. This is around twice the battery life of a high end smartphone. With the 2 amp USB output, you have plenty of charging power for plugging your cables into the standard USB port. Recharging the lightstick battery is simple with a standard micro USB input. Both the USB output and the micro USB input are protected under a waterproof cap to keep the ports protected while outside or in storage. Sunjack also offers solar chargers that do an excellent job of keeping the lightstick charged so you can keep your it charged this way instead of plugging it into your wall or car chargers if you prefer. Also, with the lightstick battery you can easily charge larger devices or even batteries that allow for USB charging.

Other Features

  • LED Indicators
  • The LED indicators make it very easy to determine how much battery life you have left. I found the LED indicators to be bright enough to be used for a night light, but I couldn't figure out a way to keep them on for a length of time without it being charged or charging something. Anyways, it probably wouldn't make much sense anyway since they would go off one by one as your battery drains.
  • Shock Proof
  • If you are hard on your equipment, this lightstick can take a beating.
  • Lanyards
  • I like the two lanyards on the lightstick. This means you can easily hang it vertically or horizontally.


Overall, I think this is another excellent product by Sunjack. I plan on keeping this in my truck with my Sunjack solar charger so I should theoretically never have an excuse to be without power for my mobile devices. be sure to check them out.


Author: Shane White
Posted: April 14, 2015, 5:37 pm
Just about all bullion investors worry about counterfeits. Those concerns are magnified when someone is buying for the first time. Stories about fake coins from Asia and gold bars drilled and filled with Tungsten have been in the headlines recently. But the truth is, counterfeiting is just about as old as the concept of money itself.

Fortunately, making phony coins or bars isn’t easy. The equipment involved is significant – it takes far more than a color printer and the right paper. And making fakes good enough to pass a few simple tests is darn near impossible.

Some testing equipment, such as mass spectrometers and sonogram machines, are expensive and impractical for the typical person to use.

However, here are some lower budget ways you can determine whether or not the bullion you hold is genuine:

Size and Weight

Gold and silver are extraordinarily dense metals – much denser than just about any base metal (even lead and mercury in the case of gold). That means just about all fakes that weigh correctly will be too large in diameter and/or thickness. Or they will be underweight in order to achieve the right diameter and thickness. Simply comparing the diameter and thickness of the coin in question with others known to be genuine could be enough to put you at ease.

If not, an inexpensive set of calipers and a jeweler's scale are a good way of checking. Every coin or round is produced with close tolerances in terms of diameter, thickness, and weight. You can find these dimensions on the “Specifications” tab on our coin and round product pages.

Investors might also consider Fisch Testers. Genuine coins will be both small enough in diameter and thin enough to fit through a slot in the tool, while remaining heavy enough to tip the tool on its fulcrum. Simple and very effective.

Sound or “Ping” Testing

Authentic gold and silver coins chime when struck and the difference is notable versus base metals.

Base metal coins will sound duller and their ring will be shorter -- much like the difference between clinking crystal versus glass champagne flutes.

Try balancing the coin on your fingertip and strike it with another coin. This video provides a good demonstration.

Investors with an iPhone can also install the CoinTrust application and test a short list of the most popular gold and silver coins by gently spinning them on a hard surface with the phone’s microphone positioned nearby.

Android users can install the Bullion Test app. Choose the coin from a drop down list, press the microphone button, then balance the coin on your fingertip and strike it with a fingernail or another coin. Results are instant and accurate.

Magnetism

The above video on ping testing also references another simple technique for using a magnet to identify fakes. Gold and silver are non-magnetic. Placing a strong magnet on a coin and tipping it to watch whether the magnet slides off, as it should, or sticks, like it would to a counterfeit, requires only an inexpensive magnet and a few seconds. (Note that some base metals used in counterfeiting are also non-magnetic, so we suggest doing this in conjunction with some other techniques listed.)

Thermal Conductivity Testing for Silver

Silver is one of the best conductors of thermal energy found in nature. That makes it easy to test silver bullion using nothing more than an ice cube. Place an ice cube on top of a silver bar, coin, or round, and you should see it begin melting almost instantly as heat is quickly transferred. Holding a coin or round between fingers or in the palm of your hand makes the results even more noticeable as the silver rapidly cools to your touch.

Acid Testing

Investors can purchase inexpensive acid test kits for gold and silver. Watching the color change in a drop of acid can reveal whether or not a sample is genuine. However, acids should be handled carefully. Your items can be permanently discolored.

Since bullion coins, rounds, and bars are valued for their metal content, not their beauty, discoloration is unlikely to reduce the value of your bullion by more than a small amount. But it’s still wise to use acid testing sparingly and with caution.

A Word about Tungsten Fakes

Some of the hardest to detect counterfeit gold products involve tungsten. Tungsten’s density is close to that of gold, and it is relatively inexpensive. Here are some of the best ways to avoid problems:

Avoid large gold bars. 10-ounce and larger gold bars are among the easiest to tamper with as they can be drilled, filled with tungsten, and then plugged again with gold. This is more difficult with units 1 oz and smaller. Tungsten is extraordinarily hard whereas gold is soft. This means tungsten is very difficult to use in minting or fabricating small items. It is brittle, and stamping it with a design will result in coins with less detail unless it has been plated with a thick layer of gold.

Ring testing as outlined above should still offer defense against tungsten fakes.

If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is. Never buy gold bullion below its melt value unless you know and trust its origins.

Buy silver. No metal shares a similar density to silver, making it even more difficult to make good counterfeits than with gold. Plus, the financial incentive is lower.

Recently some of the more prominent mints and refiners have begun employing technology to mark products with seals that assure authenticity. For example, Sunshine Minting rounds and bars carry a seal that reads “VALID” when viewed using their proprietary lens and oriented correctly.

Investors can expect this sort of technology to be more widely used in the coming years. (Note: the lens carries a cost of around $20.00 and needs to be purchased separately from the metal itself.)

As mentioned above, the best defense against fake bullion is to buy from a reputable dealer. Money Metals Exchange sources products directly from well-regarded mints and refiners and employs good quality controls. That is why we can confidently stand behind every product we sell – guaranteeing authenticity, weight, and purity.


Clint Siegner is a Director at Money Metals Exchange, perhaps the nation's fastest-growing dealer of low-premium precious metals coins, rounds, and bars. Siegner, a graduate of Linfield College in Oregon, puts his experience in business management along with his passion for personal liberty, limited government, and honest money into the development of Money Metals' brand and reach. This includes writing extensively on the bullion markets and their intersection with policy and world affairs.

Author: Shane White
Posted: April 6, 2015, 5:40 pm
An emergency news advisory flashes on the television screen. Authorities strongly advise its citizens to stay indoors amidst an impending threat. Power gets cut off shortly and chaos erupts in the streets. Your family is forced to stay indoors, with no outside contact. Your family has to rely on your food storage for survival. You bring out all the necessities that you’ve amassed while prepping- spare batteries, flashlights, emergency survival kits. Weeks go by and it is still unsafe to leave the house. “It’s ok,” you say to yourself. Our food stock can still last for quite some time. Then, as you rummage through your food storage, you realize that you have made one fatal flaw. You have all the necessary survival food kits, you have read every preparedness guide and followed them to the letter but you forgot about one basic thing: proper food storage rotation.



Every good prepper keeps a well-stocked food storage for emergency situations. Keeping it well stocked however, is not enough. To keep an effective food storage system, a good prepper must practice proper food storage stock rotation.

Why the need for food storage stock rotation?

Every food item in your prepper shelf––be it dried fruits, cured and freeze-dried meats, canned goods, or dry grains- have their own shelf lives. Though they last longer than average food items like fresh goods, they will not keep from spoiling indefinitely. So if you don’t consume the food items in your prepper shelf before they expire, they might end up going to waste. Worse, in case of an actual emergency situation, you might find the food supplies you have stored useless because they have already expired. A good system of food storage stock rotation will prevent this from happening.



What is food storage stock rotation?

Food storage rotation is rotating the food supplies in your storage into your daily meals, and replacing it with newer items. Rotation means cycling out and using the products you've had on your shelves for quite some time and bring in newer products to replace what you've used. Simply put, you use food items and then replace them with newer items to 1) prevent food items from going to waste and 2) make sure that the food supplies in your storage have maximum shelf lives.

How to practice effective food storage stock rotation?

  1. Visibility

    The most import aspect in an effective food rotation system is the visibility of your food supplies and their expiration dates. Many families consider the basement or the back of their food pantries as the ideal places for their food storage. Because these storage places are usually dry, cool, and dark, they increase the lifespan of food. However, these out-of-the-way places, don't usually prompt us to use food storage on a regular basis. To remedy this, it is a good idea to make a habit of regularly checking your food storage and keeping a supply in a highly visible area in the kitchen, such as a kitchen cabinet. By keeping your food supplies visible, you will be able to check which items are about to expire and need to be replaced.
  2. Shelf-life awareness

    It is not enough to stock your food storage with supplies, you must also be aware of the shelf life of all your items. If a product is store bought, it usually has information about its expiration date, along with the conditions that it needs to be kept in. To make it easier for you to keep track of your food items’ expiration date, you can use markers to write the expiration dates on top of the cans. You can also write on durable sticky tapes which you can then paste on your food item. By doing this, you will be able to easily keep track of the expiration dates of your food items with one look.
  3. Proper Organizing

    Proper organizing is something that every grocery store does which you can also apply to your home. Items are placed on shelves according to their shelf lives. Items that have been on the shelves longer, meaning those that have shorter shelf lives are pushed to the front, while items that have just arrived and have longer expiration dates are placed behind them.
    You can apply this idea when stocking canned goods. Whenever you restock your supply, put the newly bought cans with longer shelf lives at the back and restock your kitchen with cans from the front. If you want to take it a step further, you can add a left to right way of consumption. You can do this by always placing older cans with shorter shelf lives at the left side. Whether you or a family member uses a can or two for consumption, always take the can at the left side.
    Applying this concept to your other food items ensures that your food storage stays safe, fresh and not in danger of expiration.
  4. Weekly diet incorporation

    Keeping a substantial amount of food in storage is ideal for emergency scenarios. But since you can never tell when this emergency scenario will happen, it is important that you consume and replace the food items in your food storage. You can easily do this by incorporating food items from your emergency food storage into your weekly diet. For example, try using your dried meats and canned goods in your cooking thrice a week. You can use your powdered milks and dried grains for baking and desserts every weekend. Doing this not only ensures proper rotation in your food storage but also familiarizes your family with the food items in your storage. In that case, when the real emergency comes, everyone in your family are already used to eating these food items.


There you have it, 4 simple steps in ensuring that you practice proper food rotation for your food storage. Remember that in order to be fully one hundred percent prepared, it is not enough that you stock on items. You must also be familiar with the ins and outs of how they work and what you need to do in order to keep them in good condition. So that when the real emergency comes, you and your family will be able to deal with it.


Aby League is a qualitative researcher and a passionate writer. She is an innovator and technology enthusiast. She has been writing about health, psychology, home improvement and technology. You can see more of her articles on Elite Daily. To know her more, follow her on Twitter.

Author: Shane White
Posted: April 1, 2015, 5:34 pm
Suffering a home invasion is one of the most traumatic things you can experience. As violating as it can feel, dealing with the trauma is a lot better than losing your life during a home invasion. Unfortunately, anyone can become the target of a home invasion at any time. It is important that you prepare yourself so that you are ready if it happens to you. To help keep you safe, here are six ways to survive a home invasion.

Get a Gun and Know How to Use It

A gun can protect our and your family’s live during a home invasion, but it could also make things worse if you are not trained how to handle it safely. If you have a firearm in your home, you need to regularly practice with it and drill with it so that you can handle it like a pro in case of an emergency.

Get an Alarm System

Protecting your home with an alarm system is one of the best ways to survive a home invasion. Make sure that you get a quality alarm installed by a company like Arpel Security Systems, and get a loud alarm that will scare away intruders.

Have a Panic Room

If you do become the target of a home invasion, having a panic room in your home is the best way to stay safe. Once the alarm goes off, even the most brazen thieves will not stick around long enough to get into your panic room.

Always Have a Cell Phone Within Reach

If you do not have an alarm system or if it malfunctions, having a cell phone near you can save your life. As soon as the invaders strike, call 911 immediately to get the police headed your way.

Don’t Fight the Invaders

If the home invaders catch you before you can get to a gun or into your safe room, do not resist them. If you cooperate, they will most likely leave without doing you any harm.

Use a Bullhorn

A great way to scare away intruders is to use a bullhorn. You can use it to tell them that you have a gun and are not afraid to use it. Even if the bullhorn does not scare away the intruders, it can be used to signal neighbors that you are under attack.

Using these six methods can help save your life in the event of a home invasion. The important thing to remember is to stay calm and not to panic. If you can follow just a few of these tips, you should come through the home invasion unharmed.


Karleia is a freelance blogger. Away from the office she enjoys scrapbooking and enjoying time with friends and family.

Author: Shane White
Posted: March 18, 2015, 5:10 pm
Often, we take note of minor household repairs that need to be done and place them in the back of our mind, never to be fixed. From a small leak to clogged gutters, these seemingly small issues can always wait another day or another week or another month, or so we believe. Yet in emergency situations such as flooding, severe freezing and power outages, minor repairs that we have consistently neglected can lead to major home disasters.

Leaks

A leak can serve to be nothing more than an irritant in our household. Whether you choose to ignore it or place a pot underneath it, leaks often seem to be a minor issue. Yet during intense rains such as seen during flooding conditions, that tiny leak may turn into a torrential downpour from the hole in your roof. The minute a leak is discovered, it is always better to have your roofing repaired immediately. Leaks in the home can also turn into a flooded basement and cause mold damage.

Clogged Gutters

Clogged gutters are another seemingly small home issue that can cause major damage during floods. As well as destroying your landscaping, clogged gutters can damage your foundation causing cracks to form underneath your home. Unclogging gutters should be a routine task to protect your foundation and landscaping.

Damaged or Worn Pipes

Another issue that people often wait to resolve is damaged or worn pipes in your home. If your area receives a deep freeze and the temperature suddenly plummets, you’ll find yourself with a burst pipe pouring water throughout your house and no way for a plumber to reach you. Have a professional take care of this problem before you encounter a major issue.

Pipes Needing Weather Proofing Repair

If you’ve failed to replace weather proofing on your exposed pipes within as well as outside of your home, you also run the risk of pipes freezing and then rupturing. Weather proofing is a necessity for harsh, cold winters. Anytime you note a damaged or worn pipe in your home, you should call a plumber for repairs.

Flickering Lights

Flickering lights are another minor home problem which indicates an electrical issue that we tend to write off. Yet during severe thunderstorms or even blackouts with their power surges, what was simply a nuisance can actually result in a house fire. Calling an electrician is the first step to fixing flickering lights as well as preventing fires caused by them.

While there are only so many hours in the day, most problems in the home need to be repaired while they are still minor issues. Even though we are prone to delay and procrastinate from time to time, we need to ensure that we do not put off these repairs until they become a major as well as costly issue within our home. Informational credit Imagine Plumbing & Appliance Ltd.


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.

Author: Shane White
Posted: March 16, 2015, 10:42 am
Zombie attacks may be a thing of horror movies but preparing for it is not. The premise for this proclamation is simple: if you are ready for a zombie apocalypse then you are ready for anything --- hurricanes, earthquakes, and drought, name it.

A survey by coupon site Tada.com showed that almost 6,000 adults considered a zombie outbreak as a disaster to worry about. It is no wonder that zombies have already become a popular theme in emergency planning. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control launched a zombie preparedness campaign and more than 65,000 signed up. In fact, there is also a mobile application for zombie survival preparedness.

It could be that people are watching too much The Walking Dead. Or it could be that people just feel the need to be more prepared now more than ever. After all, despite the threats of food shortage, extreme weather disturbances, and perils of war, people are still ill-prepared. The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that 61% of Americans admit to not having a family emergency plan and 48% do not have supplies set aside for a disaster. This is where the zombie analogy comes into play --- if you are prepared for zombies, you are sure as hell prepared for anything. Could there be anything worse?

Know the enemy

Paint a picture in your head of what a zombie apocalypse looks like or severe flooding or earthquake for that matter. This will push you further to be prepared. The idea here is: never underestimate the wrath of nature or even zombies. Research on zombies, what a 250kph wind from a hurricane means, how destructive a magnitude seven quake is. Acknowledging that things can go wrong any minute is the start of creating any survival preparedness guide.

Are the supplies ready?

This is among the simplest and least complicated ways of preparing. Making sure that you have an emergency supplies kit is like packing for a three-day trip. How hard can it be?

Think about the Walking Dead gang. What do they fight tooth and nail for? Food, water, medicine, gas, and well, ammunition. You may skip the latter but stock up on food that don’t perish easily, water, medication, formula if there is a baby, change of clothing for each family member, and tools like utility knife, can opener, battery-powered radio, cellphone, whistle, and rope for rescue. Don’t forget important documents too. The ideal emergency kit should be good for 72 hours but if you can manage more, better.

So, what’s the plan?

After preparing the survival kit, meet with your family and decide where the supplies should be kept. Put it in a place that everyone could reach. Talk to your children and stress the need (and that it is cool) to be prepared. Discuss the dangers in your area: are storms frequent, could bushfires be anywhere near, is your neighborhood a constant tornado target? Know where the nearest evacuation center is. Have a plan of action that everyone would stick to like an emergency meeting place near and far from home. For example, pick to meet near the mailbox and if someone is unable to return home, pick a place where to meet them. Make a list of emergency contacts and teach your young children how to ask for help.

Plan for escape

If you have been watching zombie movies, you should know that people are always on the run. It’s almost like trying finish first in a zombie race. When disasters (or zombies) strike, figure an escape route. Plan where to go, whether an evacuation site or a relative’s house out of town, and figure out how to get there the fastest possible way.

Shut them out

If we were to believe television and movies, zombies do not seem like the most genius of creatures. Their points of entry are still windows, doors, and sometimes the roof. Aside from making sure everything is sturdy and has secured locks, set up an alarm system that will buzz when something comes near your door or window. This will buy you the time you need.

Watch out!

You may also put up a surveillance camera to give you a view of the outside. Whether it is zombies or flood water levels getting higher, it helps if you know what is going on. A wireless surveillance system is ideal because you don’t have to worry about cords getting flooded or ripped. Mount your wireless surveillance system efficiently so that it captures everything.

Fight them and stay alive

There are more than 1,300 zombie-related events in the United States every month, according to an infographic by vulture.com. This only shows that Americans are taking this matter seriously. Most of these events teach preparedness and survival. Being skilled in fighting the undead can well be utilized in trying to stay alive in times of disasters. Learn how to swim, run over mud, use simple tools, train how to rescue, and learn creative and ingenious tricks like staying afloat by filling your pants with water and tying them on both ends to serve as floater.

First aid lessons

Attend lectures and training seminars on applying first aid. There is no point of packing medication in your emergency kit if you don’t know how to use them. If it is zombies that you are preparing for, at least learn how to treat rabies. Learn about wounds and how to treat them and what to treat them with. Know what to do when someone drowns, gets burned, gets a fracture, has a heart attack, or shortness of breath. Remember to take these lessons seriously because these can save your family’s lives.

P is for practice not panic

Don’t panic is probably the most common phrase you will hear in every preparedness training session. Chances are you are probably tired of it. The truth is when zombies attack or walls start crumbling down in an earthquake, how can you not panic? Well, just don’t. One way to keep you mentally sharp during disasters is by practicing your plan of action. Rehearse it with your family as often as necessary until it becomes a natural thing to do.

Fighting the undead may be the worst of your nightmares coming true. So are natural disasters, emerging diseases, and war. They are all deadly and devastating. The best defense is still being prepared and when you do prepare, prepare for the worst like an apocalypse or a zombie attack. Be prepared and you never have to be sorry.


Philip Masterson is the author of AlarmDefense blog. Circle him on Google+.

Author: Shane White
Posted: March 9, 2015, 5:34 pm
Trucks can be used for adventures because of the high ground clearance, and option for 4-wheel drive. The beds can be lined for hauling rough loads, and for making a relaxing spot to recline in the great outdoors. The truck should have a variety of these options for improving your time outdoors. Your next adventure can be a big success when you include these toys.

Compass, GPS and Thermometer

Drivers should be aware of their location in the wilderness. A compass and GPS device can provide information about which direction to travel to, and keep you oriented in difficult terrain. The GPS will help a driver who is stranded or lost and can be detached if the truck is compromised. A weather thermometer provides information about the outside temperature, which could be crucial if a driver is stranded in freezing temperatures. 

Winch and Hooks

  A winch can be used to pull a truck out of a snow pile, or off a muddy, soft shoulder along a road. Rain, snow, and ice are hazards can occur unexpectedly while traveling in bad weather so you should be prepared for anything. Some regions have more risks of flooding than other areas, and you should have a device to tell you where the worst of the storm will be and snow equipment from Toronto handy. Safe drivers should be prepared for problems, which will all you to continue your adventures. Tire chains can also be used to drive a truck away from a snowy or icy area. Hitch City also offers racks and hitches that can help you haul dangerous and heavy loads through icy conditions.

Locking Toolbox

  The truck bed should have a locking compartment like a locking toolbox. The toolbox will permit the driver to safely store fish and wildlife that have been caught during an excursion. Some items may be offensive if placed behind the truck seats. Therefore, the hazards will be reduced if the bed has a locking toolbox or locking bed cover, which can used in the same manner as a car trunk. Wild animals can carry diseases and parasites that would be more hazardous if stored inside the truck or out in the open on the bed.

Fender Well Covers

  Trucks may travel over rougher terrain than regular automobiles. Therefore, the fender wells should have covers to protect the paint from any flying rocks and other debris. The covers are also an additional layer of protection from collisions with wildlife. The protection can be enhanced by adding front and rear chrome bumper covers that have rails for attaching gear.

The essence of having an adventure is be safe while enjoying the fun. 


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.

Author: Shane White
Posted: March 7, 2015, 1:54 pm
At any moment and in any situation, disaster can strike. Life-threatening events happen to people every day, and nobody is immune to them. However, these emergencies don't have to spell imminent doom. Here are five life-threatening scenarios and how to survive them.
  1. Lost In The Wilderness

    More than 2,000 hikers get lost in the wilderness every year, a situation that can quickly turn deadly for those who aren't prepared. When you're stranded in the middle of nowhere without shelter, you're open to harm from animals and the elements. Any time you venture into the great outdoors, make sure you're well-stocked for unforeseen emergencies. Bring a map, compass, food and water, waterproof fire source, first aid kit, spare clothing, some basic tools and a survival blanket. Combined with basic knowledge of building a shelter and tending injuries, these essentials can keep you alive until help arrives.

  2. Dog Attack

    According to the CDC, one out of five individuals are bitten by dogs every year, resulting in roughly 368,000 emergency room visits. Although dog bites rarely cause fatalities, they can still cause disfigurement, disability, infection and nerve damage. If you're ever faced with an attacking dog, do whatever you can to keep its teeth away from your neck and head, such as curling into a ball and being still and quiet. If playing possum doesn't discourage the dog, try standing still and loudly commanding the dog to “stay” or “back away”. This may intimidate the dog to the point where it abandons the attack. If nothing else works, yell for help and prepare to fight the dog—running away when this happens will often encourage the dog to pursue and attack.

  3. Shark Attack

    Shark attacks only occur at a rate of about 75 per year worldwide, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared for one. When you're swimming at a beach where there are known to be dangerous sharks, follow the beach's guidelines to minimize your risk. This means staying inside of any perimeters and not entering the water with open wounds. In the unlikely event that you encounter a shark, watch it at all times. If it becomes aggressive, knowing its location is your best chance of defending yourself. Don't make any sudden motions as they may trigger the shark to attack. Instead, move slowly back toward shore. However, if it does attack, try to aim for its eyes and gills.

  4. House Fire

    More than 360,000 house fires occur in the US each year, causing approximately 2,500 deaths. The vast majority occur from cooking accidents. If making dinner ever turns into a nightmare scenario and you're stuck in the middle of it, the first thing you should do is remain calm, get on the ground to avoid smoke and call 911. If fire is standing between you and safety, grab the nearest towel, blanket or clothing and drench it in water. Cover head and body and run through the fire as fast as you can.

  5. Tire Blowouts

    Tire blowouts are responsible for over 78,000 accidents, 10,000 injuries and 400 deaths each year due to loss of vehicular control. Should you ever experience a tire blowout, your best bet is to follow these steps. Immediately get a firm grasp on the wheel and apply the brakes slowly to avoid spinning out. Once the vehicle is in control, pull over and turn on your emergency flashers.

Life-threatening situations can happen to anyone at any time, so it's important to be ready. Understanding what to do in these events can help you not only reduce your risk of serious injury but may ultimately save your life.


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.

Author: Shane White
Posted: March 3, 2015, 6:15 pm
Your home may be a place where you entertain friends and relax after a long day of work, but at the most basic level, a home is a shelter for you and your family. It protects you and your loved ones from the harsh elements year-round. The ability of your home to serve as a protective shelter, however, will be based in large part on how well you maintain your home over time. With a few steps, you can make sure that your home is able to withstand all weather extremes to keep you and your loved ones safe in even the worst conditions.

Service the HVAC Unit Regularly

The most common type of extreme weather conditions you may face relates to harsh temperatures. Both extreme heat and cold can result in injury or even death in some cases, and you need to be able to easily control the climate inside your home. Servicing your HVAC unit regularly will help you to minimize the risk of having your HVAC unit fail during extreme temperature conditions.

Invest in Storm Windows

High winds can wreak havoc on your home, and they can impact your safety and well-being. For example, high winds themselves can break fragile glass in some cases. In addition, when objects become moving projectiles due to high winds, these objects can shatter the glass and fly into the home. Storm windows are special windows that are designed to withstand extremely forceful wind gusts. You may consider investing in storm windows if your home does not already have them.

Repair or Replace Your Roof

Your roof covers a broad surface area on the top of your home, and it will take the brunt of the force in many extreme weather situations. Because of this, you need it in excellent condition at all times. You can request a roofing inspection periodically to learn more about its condition. By repairing or replacing it as needed, you will be able to help your roof do its job most effectively.

Invest in a Sump Pump

If your home has a basement, it may be prone to flooding during some weather events. A sump pump can be installed in your basement to remove water before it reaches a damaging level. You can invest in a new sump pump or take steps to repair or maintain an existing unit.

Making repairs or improvements to your home as needed will help you to keep it in great condition and will ensure that it can protect you and your family during inclement weather. Take time to follow these tips today so that you are prepared for all weather conditions. Informational credit to T. Simpson Roofing.


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.

Author: Shane White
Posted: February 13, 2015, 6:14 pm
Hurricanes, blizzards, terrorist attacks, power outages, epidemics, and so on — you will never know what natural and manmade disasters will take you by storm. Such stressful times necessitate every ounce of physical and emotional strength and it is crucial to have an emergency food supply for at least three days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This survival food storage guide will walk you through how to come up with a game plan. This includes advice for planning your food stock and food storage tips for your emergency survival food to last for as long as possible.

  1. Plan Smart According to You and Your Family’s Needs and Tastes.

    The average American male consumes just less than 2,500 calories a day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Practical Preppers consultant Scott Hunt urges preppers to ensure a supply that provides at least 2,200 calories per day and covers basic nutritional requirements. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends including vitamin, mineral, and protein supplements to ensure adequate nutrition.

    Pay attention to individuals with special diets. Babies need liquid formula, in case mothers are unable to nurse. Prepare powdered milk for toddlers and canned dietetic foods, juices, and soups for the ill or elderly. Also, take note of food allergies.

    Try to replicate the diet that you are used to eating. Familiar foods boost morale and give a feeling of security amidst uncertainty. Needless to say, pets should be considered. Store non-perishable food for them.

    Canned Milk
    Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Lupole via Flickr, Creative Commons

  2. Your Survival Food Kits Should Withstand Harsh Conditions.

    Catastrophes often require you to be mobile for safety. Calamity food buckets to help you in cases like natural disasters are highly recommended for being portable, handy, and durable enough make it through any calamity or even mishandling. Some food kits come in sturdy and ready buckets, making it convenient in that you no longer have to deal with packing and worrying about bulky and fragile food containers.

    Another important consideration is space. Choose food kits that take up the least space and are stackable to make things easier for when you need to evacuate.

    Wollaston Lake Evacuation
    Photo Courtesy of Jordon Cooper via Flickr, Creative Commons

  3. Mind Their Shelf Life.

    Know what to consume first the moment the electricity goes off. According to FEMA, use first perishable food items from the refrigerator, pantry, garden, and other parts of your house. After that, use the food items from the freezer. A well-filled and well-insulated freezer can have frozen food that is safe to eat for at least two days. Professors Judy Harrison, Ph.D. and Elizabeth Andress, Ph.D. of University of Georgia add that you should consume the foods only if they have ice crystals remaining or if the temperature of the freezer has remained at 40°F or below. You need to limit the number of times you open the freezer door to conserve the remaining cold of the appliance. Stick a list of contents on the freezer. Also, cover the freezer with blankets to hold in cold. Pin blankets back so that the air vent is not covered. Last to be consumed are the non-perishable foods and staples or those that have the longest shelf life.

    Apocalypse Chow Pantry
    Photo Courtesy of Earthworm via Flickr, Creative Commons

  4. Maintain Food Quality by Storing Them Correctly.

    CDC says that certain storage conditions can enhance the shelf life of canned or dried foods, the ideal location being a cool, dry, dark place. Keep food in temperatures between 40 and 60°F. Keep foods away from ranges or refrigerator exhausts as heat causes many foods to spoil more quickly.

    Some food products absorb strong smells so keep food away from petroleum products, such as gasoline, oil, paints, and solvents. Also, protect your supply from rodents and insects by storing them in boxes or in paper cartons. It will also help in preserving food longer if they are heavily wrapped or stored in airtight containers.

    Soup In Containers
    Photo Courtesy of Jody Richards via Flickr, Creative Commons

  5. Be Never Without Water

    One can survive more than three weeks with reduced food intake or even without food (think Mahatma Gandhi). However, it is different with water. Water comprises at least 60% of the adult body and plays a crucial role in every living cell. With this, according to Randall K. Packer, a professor of biology at George Washington University, the longest a person can go without water seems to be a week, which is, however, a generous estimate. The typical period would be three to four days.

    According to FEMA, a normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts (half gallon) of water each day, though people in hot environments, children, nursing mothers, and ill people will require even more. Prepare at least one gallon per person, per day, for drinking, food preparation, and hygiene purposes for at least two weeks.

    You can buy commercially bottled water, which should be kept untouched in its original container until you need to use it. You can also treat water yourself by boiling, chlorination, or distillation. It is best, though, to combine methods for safer water.

    Avoid salty and spicy food, as these will increase thirst. Instead, have salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals, and canned foods with high liquid content. If possible, reduce activity and stay cool to further minimize thirst. You can ration food, but never water. Drink what you need today, and find more for tomorrow.

    Bottled Water Macros December 02, 20106
    Photo Courtesy of Steven Depolo via Flickr, Creative Commons

  6. Always Practice First-In, First-Out.

    Make an inventory of your food items and the expiry dates. Put the best-before date on each item with markers. Work with the shelf life of your stock by rotating them. Store the older supply at the front while put the new ones at the back when replenishing emergency food.

    100116-F-3231D-064
    Photo Courtesy of isafmedia via Flickr, Creative Commons

  7. Cook Food Wisely

    According to FEMA, for cooking indoors, you can use a fireplace. On the other hand, use a charcoal grill or camp stove for cooking outdoors. Keep cooked food hot with candle warmers, chafing dishes, and fondue pots. To avoid further disasters, use only approved devices for cooking and warming food. Canned food can be eaten straight out of the can, but if you heat it in the can, open it and remove the label before heating.

    CDC adds that having the following items on hand will help you in food preparation despite loss of electricity, gas, and water: Cooking utensils; knives, forks, and spoons; paper plates, cups, and towels; a manual can and bottle-opener and heavy-duty aluminum foil. They also cautions to never burn charcoal indoors, as the fumes are deadly when concentrated in a confined place.

    IMG_6320
    Photo Courtesy of Ken Owen via Flickr, Creative Commons

Never famish despite whatever challenge life throws at you. Events beyond your control should not unnerve you as long as you prepare to the best of your ability. Nothing is certain in this world, but a practical, survivalist mindset will bring a sense of security and make you feel on top of things.


Philip Masterson is the author of AlarmDefense blog. Circle him on Google+.

Author: Shane White
Posted: February 12, 2015, 6:32 pm
Electricity is a lot like air in that you probably only think about it the moment when you don’t have any. And while the planet isn’t on the verge of having an unbreathable atmosphere in the foreseeable future, some reports suggest we may soon have to deal with blackouts with alarming regularity before too long. The steady rise in global population coupled with the fact that an increasing percentage of that population will be using modern electronics means there will be an unprecedented strain on the grid, resulting in lots of blackouts.

These blackouts, of course, don’t just mean you’ll have to settle for reading a book by candlelight rather than watching a movie on Netflix. No, the results will be far from a minor inconvenience. Blackouts happening as frequently as experts predict can throw systems as diverse as water purification and traffic management out of whack.

That being said, just by reading this article you’re already a little bit ahead of those people who will only start thinking about this problem when the lights start cutting out with some regularity. Now, when things are relatively stable, is the best time to prepare for the time when you won’t be able to rely on that wall outlet working every time you want it to. Here a few tips to get you ready.

Make Sure You Have Surge Protectors

Blackouts are one of the biggest causes of voltage spikes, which can seriously damage your electronics. It’s still smart to have surge protectors right now, but when blackouts are a common occurrence rather than a relatively rare thing resulting from storms or other natural disasters, they’ll be indispensable.

Keep Cash On Hand

Online banking has made everybody’s lives much more convenient, but if all of your money is tied up in an inaccessible bank account when you need to be able to buy key supplies, you’re going to be up the proverbial creek. Barring a total collapse of the U.S. government, cold hard cash is going to be especially valuable when a big percentage of people can’t get to their money.

Store Frozen Water in Your Freezer

You don’t want all your meat to spoil and all of your ice cream to melt every time you lose power. If you keep jugs of frozen water in the back of your freezer, the ice will keep everything in there cold for longer when the freezer is no longer working. Just remember to open and close the door as little as possible to keep the cold air in. If you have space for more than one, move one to the refrigerator the minute you lose power to create the same cooler effect there as well.

Consider Investing in a Generator

As soon as these blackouts become a part of daily life, you can bet generators are going to get a heck of a lot more popular and therefore a heck of a lot more expensive. This, of course, means the time to look into these potentially lifesaving machines is now. Here’s a good place to start if you’re only interested in knowing the ins and outs of renting a generator and aren’t ready to buy one yet. However, remember not to run a generator inside your home; the fumes can cause a buildup of CO2.


Alicia grew up in Alaska where she earned her hunter and wilderness safety license at age 13. She now works as a content coordinator for a tech company in Pennsylvania and blogs in her free time at Homey Improvements.

Author: Shane White
Posted: February 5, 2015, 6:25 pm
It can be easy to avoid preparing for an emergency when a disaster has not occurred for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, it can make it difficult to endure when the event actually strikes. To stock up on essentials that are needed when the power is out, there are a few items to have on hand that will make it easier to stay safe and secure in your home.

  1. Headlamps

    Headlamps are more convenient to use than flashlights and will allow you to perform hands-free tasks in the dark without struggling to hold the light for an extended period of time. This will make it easier to perform tasks in a quicker timeframe and will keep the light secure.


  2. Camping Stove or Propane Grill

    To stay full and cook warm meals each day, a camping stove or propane grill will be an essential item that you'll come to appreciate. You'll be able to boil water, cook raw meat, and heat vegetables with the item. Even with food storage, without a way to heat up your food, you may be in for an unpleasant reality that you don't have as much food as planned.


  3. Spare Rechargeable Batteries

    You'll need rechargeable batteries for both radios and lights that are needed during a power outage, which will allow you to listen to the news and illuminate your home for several hours. Having rechargeable batteries on hand will offer peace of mind, knowing that they won't die or need to be replaced after several days of use. This should come with a battery recharger that can charge multiple batteries. Check out batterysharks.com to get started on finding the replacement batteries you need.


  4. First Aid Kit

    It's important to have a first aid kit in the event of any disaster, including one that leaves you without power. Having medication and first aid items in one, easy-to-access location will help you find needed supplies quickly.


  5. Water Filtration System

    A water filtration system is essential to have clean drinking water and to cook with when the power is out and you're limited on your water supply. You can easily rely on tap water without worrying about harmful bacteria and protozoa when using the filter.


When a disaster occurs and the power is out for several days, it can be difficult to survive the harsh conditions with limited supplies. By having the essentials on hand, you'll be able to stay healthy and safe with the help of modern tools or products that should be available in each household.


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.

Author: Shane White
Posted: February 2, 2015, 6:20 pm


Our ever-changing world is becoming a more and more hostile climate for growing plants and feeding animals for food. Between natural disasters and food shortages, the possibilities for starvation or dehydration within the next 50-to-100 years are imminent, though one thing remains certain: food storage could save your life.

Natural Disaster

Hurricane Katrina and even Hurricane Sandy taught us the importance of having not only a few staples—but an arsenal of non-perishable emergency food and water saved up in our homes. Canned goods, water and boxed items saved the lives of people who trapped in their homes or apartments for up to a few weeks.

Though tornadoes tend to strike mostly in the Mid-West, they are popping up more and more in other regions of the country too. A stock of food and water will save lives in those minutes or hours waiting out a tornado.

The country has been rocked by some pretty crazy weather over the past few years, and blizzards have become a problem. People can be stuck for days or weeks at a time, without electricity or food and water, depending on their proximity to the nearest store. People in rural areas should stock non-perishables in their cellars and cool, dry places. Even in cities, people can go days without power, so residents should make sure they have enough food on hand to survive until the stores open again.

Doomsday Shelter

Astrological events, like solar flares, could keep citizens in their homes for up to days or weeks at a time. Nuclear wars would also force people to retreat to basements or sealed bunkers for weeks or months at a time. An electromagnetic pulse could bring down entire city electricity grids or set off nuclear weapons that would render areas unsafe to live in for weeks, months or years. Having enough food and clean drinking water would mean the difference between life or death for your family.

Disease Pandemic

The Ebola outbreak in Africa has worried not just Americans—doctors who were treating Ebola patients returned to home countries all over the world, only to find they had symptoms of the disease. Since the disease is spread by contact to bodily fluids, it can be caught in the blink of an eye. In the case of a major disease pandemic, having a stockpile of food in a shelter would save lives.

Civil Unrest

Possible economic collapse could drive up food prices and make even the most mundane items nearly impossible to purchase. Water, canned goods and non-perishables like crackers, trail mix and cookies will extend a person’s lifespan exponentially during a crisis like this.

Civil war is also another possibility to keep people from getting access to food. A civil uprising or riots could create a dangerous climate outside the home. Citizens with a shelter or other structure to keep out angry rioters or soldiers will need plenty of food to stay alive while waiting out the violence.

Food Shortage

With meat sources dwindling and genetically modified foods destroying our strains of plants, food storage is more important than ever. A food storage seems imminent within the next 50 years, and families who have a solid storage of food have a likelier chance of surviving a food shortage in the near future.

Keeping a stock of food to last for a few years will greatly enhance the possibility that you and your family members would survive a natural disaster, food shortage or civil war. Citizens should aggressively build up an arsenal of canned and boxed goods; clean, filtered water and enough vitamins to survive anything mother earth—or our fellow man—throws at us.


Karleia is a freelance blogger. Away from the office she enjoys scrapbooking and enjoying time with friends and family.

Author: Shane White
Posted: January 30, 2015, 6:16 pm
There are several benefits of having an active security system made by a well-known company in your home. If a homeowner is going to select and install a security device, then choosing one with additional features is a great option. Homeowners can choose from alarm systems that are powered by batteries, electrical wiring or both to ensure the devices continue to operate in bad weather.

Preventing Break-Ins

The most important reason to have a security system is to prevent break-ins by criminals looking for valuables such as jewelry, cash and electronics. Criminal activity in many neighborhoods is becoming more common with families suffering from severe losses of items that are irreplaceable. Insurance companies often offer customers a discount for having an active alarm system in their home.

Detecting Carbon Monoxide

Every home should have a carbon monoxide detector installed to prevent deaths from this lethal gas. Each year many people become ill from exposure to carbon monoxide that causes symptoms similar to influenza. Unless someone gets help quickly when there is carbon monoxide in a home, their symptoms will progress from lung and brain damage to death. Choosing an alarm system that has a carbon monoxide feature, like those offered by Astro Guard Alarms Ltd, is vital to prevent emergency health problems.

Home Automation Features

Selecting an alarm system with modern home automation features is a great way to make life simpler. Homeowners can have the alarm setup to turn on outside lighting at a particular time of night to make it safer when arriving home from work. Additional features include turning on surveillance cameras located near doors to determine who is entering a building. Many people also like having a way to adjust their home’s climate control equipment such as air-conditioning or furnaces at a particular time of day or night with a security system.

Smoke Detecting Mechanisms

The first indication of a fire is smoke that reduces the oxygen in a home to dangerous levels before flames spread. An effective security system can also detect wisps of smoke to alert building occupants to leave a building immediately through safe fire exits. Alternatively, if no one is at home, then an active security system is available to contact emergency services to arrive at a building to determine where a fire is before firefighters extinguish it.

Avoiding Criminal Attacks

There are dangerous criminals who want to enter homes to attack people rather than steal items. An active alarm system can alert a building’s occupants concerning an invasion when they are inside a home at any time of the day or night. The alarm’s devices can also alert someone about an illegal entry into a building when they are not at home to avoid surprising criminals in the process of committing a robbery.

Assistance for Medical Emergencies

Manufacturers are making state-of-the-art active alarm systems with more features to protect people from dangers in their own homes. As the elderly population is increasing, more customers are opting to order alarm devices that can contact emergency responders for medical problems such as insulin reactions or heart attacks. Security alarm companies are constantly making improvements and adding new features to systems to help customers protect their property and families from danger.


Meghan is a freelance writer from Oklahoma. She enjoys being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise as well as researching new topics to expand her horizons.

Author: Shane White
Posted: January 29, 2015, 6:21 pm
Burglaries happen every day, and few homes are immune to being observed by potential intruders. The good news is that you can take steps to lower your chances of becoming a burglary victim. One of your first steps should be to make your home’s exterior and landscape less welcoming to burglars.

Have a Security System—And Make It Known

Thieves usually do not want to risk being caught and prefer homes without an alarm system. If they see evidence that you have a residential security system, they will be less likely to even attempt breaking into your home. Post the yard signs you are given from the alarm company prominently around the home’s exterior. Often, you will also have access to adhesive notices you can apply to windows or doors.

Plant Thorny Plants beneath Windows

Thorny bushes or clusters of cacti, planted in just the right spots, deter someone from entering your home through a window. Make sure to plant them close enough together so that there is no space for anyone to navigate around the thorny plants.

Keep Shrubbery and Other Plants Trimmed Low

Burglars will take advantage of tall bushes or any other landscape feature that will hide their activities from the street or from your neighbors. Keep this in mind when designing your landscape and trim or remove plants that potentially provide safe harbor for criminals.

Use Exterior Lighting

A well-lit landscape helps prevent nighttime burglaries. To choose and place your lighting well, think like a potential intruder. Motion-detecting lights and solar powered lights are usually best for the landscape, and you need to make sure that side doors, an attached garage and any other potential point of entry will be illuminated upon approach.

Don’t Leave Evidence of Valuable Electronics in Plain Site

If you have just bought a big-ticket item, such as a large television, break down the box it came in and dispose of the box in the lidded trash. Do not place it anywhere in the open where a passerby might notice it. Likewise, if you order an expensive item for delivery, plan to be home when it arrives so it is not left out in the open. For a similar reason, do not leave your drapes open at night as doing so can give burglars a clear view of what might be in your home.

When people fail to follow security tips, it is usually because they feel a crime won’t happen to them. Unfortunately, burglars do not care what a good person you are or that you might have your own financial worries—they just want to steal from you. Securing your home outside and inside is one of the best ways to prevent this.

Informational Credit to Babb Security Systems


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.

Author: Shane White
Posted: January 27, 2015, 6:18 pm
Disasters and emergencies, like death, come like a thief in the night. No matter how sophisticated warning devices are or how you much psyched yourself for the worst, emergencies will still stop you cold. Ask yourself now: do you really think you can get out of your home alive when a huge fire eats it up? Do you know where to evacuate your family when floods ravage your town? Do you have emergency kits that will keep your family alive for days? You think love will keep you alive? No, that’s a great song but not really true in times of emergencies. A survival kit and a preparedness guide, not love, will keep you alive.

The Ad Council along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency found that 6 out of 10 American families do not have an emergency plan. The study further revealed that only 19% think they are “very prepared” for disasters. That is alarming considering various threats to life that become even more common everyday: natural disasters brought about by extreme weather conditions, drought, food insecurity and hunger, war and terror, and even home accidents. It should be a no-brainer then that the time to prepare is now.

We all want to be spared

Disasters know no social standing. Whoever you are, you are not safe. The best we can do is to prepare to at least get a chance at being spared. A study by the International Monetary Fund estimated that more than 450 million people were affected by natural disasters from 2010 to 2012. If you are not part of the statistics, lucky you. However, chances are becoming slimmer and having a preparedness guide might just make your chances better.

We want to keep our families safe

Weather seems unpredictable, today. Yes, heavy rainfall during summer is not impossible anymore. Keep your family safe by having a comprehensive guide to disaster preparedness and practicing them at home. Sit down with your family and complete your emergency checklist: from making sure everyone gets to eat and no one gets left behind.

Rescue teams will never be fast enough

For a family in danger, no rescue team is fast enough. You can’t waste a single minute. While waiting for rescue, make sure you have your survival kits ready and your family knows the emergency plan. In times of flood for example, rescuers will find it harder to go to your place so if you have life vests or even rubber boats at home, you are a step closer to safety.

Supermarkets will close down

Supermarkets and their workers are not spared by disasters. Yes, they won’t be there to serve you when you need them most. So make sure your emergency kit has food supplies enough to last for at least 72 hours.

Relief may not be enough

Food relief may not be what your family needs. If you have an infant, formula may not be readily available. If you have a diabetic member, nutritional needs will also vary so it is better if you have your own flood supplies.

Medicines are not a priority

Food, clothing, and shelter are the priorities in a relief operation. Medicine supplies come next. But maybe to a sick member of your family, it matters most. Check if you have enough medicine supplies because you could be saved from flooding but not from illnesses.

Hospitals get hit by disasters, too

Survival kits should not only be limited to food and clothing. Make sure they also contain a first aid kit. Minor injuries like cuts and fracture may be incurred during rescue and evacuation. Clinics and hospitals, if ever operational, may be hard to get to so it is still best to know first aid.

Power lines are down

Chances are power lines will be cut down so don’t even think about charging your cell phone. Make sure you have a fully-charged communication device on your survival kit so you can get assistance quicker and at the same time let your other relatives know that your family is okay.

Government action will take time

If you are waiting for your city mayor to make an announcement on TV or the radio calling everyone to evacuate, then you are wasting precious time, and probably precious lives. Local governments need to time to coordinate and consolidate. If your family has a preparedness guide, go ahead and get moving.

Disasters happen far from home

Disaster preparedness should go beyond the home. Every member of the family should practice it in all occasions. For example, an earthquake could hit while you are in the office. If one is trained with preparedness skills, there is no need to panic.

Disasters happen in schools

What if heavy rainfall happens while your kids are in school and it gets flooded even before you can fetch them? A 2014 study by Save The Children found that not all schools in the U.S. are prepared, with Georgia being the weakest in the department. The least that parents could do is to make sure their children are aware of the emergencies that could happen and how to address them.

Children are vulnerable

Children depend on their parents in times of disasters. They are the most vulnerable. Make them more confident by assuring them that following a preparedness guide works no matter where they are.

We don’t know what disease will emerge

Aside from natural disasters, there are also emerging and re-emerging diseases. Today, the ebola virus is driving everyone crazy. It is a shame that even a medically advanced countries like the U.S. is poor in public health preparedness. A report by the Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 35 states and even Washington D.C. are not prepared for health emergencies.

Prepare to reduce fear

Fear and anxiety cause panic --- and that is exactly what we want to avoid in times of emergencies. Knowing that your family knows what to do will reduce fear and all of you will have a better chance at survival.

Reduce the impact

Reduce losses by making necessary precautions like making sure your roof is sturdy, your windows have storm shutters and your house is not built on a danger zone.

No one wants to be sorry

The worst disaster knows that you did nothing to prepare for disaster. Having to say: “my child would still be alive had I prepared” could just be the most painful tragedy. You never have to torture yourself with the blame game if you prepared.

We know that the next emergency is coming. It is a matter of what and when. Waste no time and prepare for all sorts of disasters, natural or man-made. Knowledge and preparedness are keys to survival and our family’s safety depends on it.


Aby League is a qualitative researcher and a passionate writer. She is an innovator and technology enthusiast. She has been writing about health, psychology, home improvement and technology. You can see more of her articles on Elite Daily. To know her more, follow her on Twitter.

Author: Shane White
Posted: January 20, 2015, 6:28 pm
Life is uncertain, and the times we live in are uncertain. In this day and age where we aren't able to predict what can happen to us, or the loved ones in our life, or the people we work with, it is more important than ever to find ways to prepare for a variety of situations that could threaten our life. Granted, there is no such thing as a fool-proof way of dealing with such threats, but there are precautions you can take, in addition to having 911, or a service like 911 Industrial Response Inc, on standby. Let’s illustrate a few examples of how we can protect ourselves:
  1. Car Accidents

    Perhaps one of the most common forms of dangers is the threat of getting involved in an accident. There are a variety of types of accidents, notably those caused by an accident on our part, or an accident on someone else's part. We can certainly take a variety of precautions for ourselves, including ensuring we are insured, we are sober, we are of a focused mind, and we are well-rested. Of course, that doesn't safeguard against accidents from another. Thus, it's important to take heed when we are driving, what time of day, what our level of alertness is, and the obvious -- whether we are wearing our seat-belt or not.
  2. Home Electricity

    There are numerous dangers within our home based on the electrical appliances we use every day. Common devices such as a toaster kill dozens of people every year. This generally occurs by sticking a utensil in it to remove a jammed piece of bread. An electrical appliance accidentally dropped into a full bathtub can result in severe injury as well. Keeping yourself vigilant is key, and keeping protections and child locks is important. Best to unplug electrical devices when not in use as well.
  3. Violent Crime

    It is a great nightmare and violation to experience violent crime, both physically and psychologically. When walking on streets, consider the neighborhood, the time of day, and the location of street lights. If possible, carry your money and important items in different pockets, preferably in a security wallet you can tie around your neck inside your shirt or blouse. Consider even carrying pepper spray, and considering learning self-defense techniques, though keeping in mind the best defense is staying out of trouble and avoiding conflict in the first place.
  4. Terminal illness

    No matter how well we take care of our minds and bodies, we could eventually succumb to a life-threatening illness. The chances of acquiring such diseases are mitigated by a healthy lifestyle and regular visits to the doctor. However, more important than that is maintaining a healthy attitude and outlook. This not only can possibly lead to a recovery from the disease, but it also allows us to find the appropriate solutions to mitigate its effect on our overall well-being.
Taken as a whole, these preventative measures center on one principle: keeping a level head. When we are equanimous in our approach to threats, we are able to respond in the most effective manner possible. There are no guarantees in life, but there are solid approaches to handling life.


Karleia is a freelance blogger. Away from the office she enjoys scrapbooking and enjoying time with friends and family.

Author: Shane White
Posted: January 12, 2015, 6:10 pm
Aside from food and first aid supplies, one of the most popular items for preppers to keep in their homes is a firearm. It is important, however, for all preppers to keep any and all firearms safely stored, no matter what other precautions they’ve taken. Weapons should be kept in a secure location so they cannot be accessed by unauthorized people like strangers or children.

Legal Ownership

The first thing to do is research the weapon laws in your area. The right to bear arms is extended to many citizens, but there are laws that govern licensing and restrictions for those with criminal records. In some places, it's legal to openly carry a firearm without a specific licensing procedure as long as it doesn't cause a public disturbance. In other states, it's unlawful to carry a concealed weapon. Edmonton lawyer Rod Gregory, who works with illegal weapons possession cases, recommends that all firearm owners refer to their local gun laws to make sure they’re in compliance with all regulations.

Family Safety

A weapon is often kept with the intent of keeping a family safe. Unfortunately, there are many instances where a child has found a gun and caused deadly harm to themselves or another. Children don't always listen, even if you've taught them about the consequences and dangers of firearms. It's better to keep the gun out of little hands with the use of secured weapon storage.

Unsecured Locations

While you may want your weapon at the ready in case of an emergency, it will only take a few extra seconds to access a secured location. It might save the life of a child, too. Don't leave your weapons stashed in unsecured locations like the top of a closet on a shelf, hidden inside books or under a couch.

Secure, Well-Hidden

Keeping all your weapons in a gun safe is the best way to keep your family safe from accidental shootings but it's not convenient when there's an emergency. Weapons should be within easy reach when you need them to secure your home or your family's lives. Most large weapons should be kept in a gun safe, but for other secure, hidden guns, a microvault is the answer. This is a safe small enough to conceal in various locations throughout the home, but is safe from unauthorized users since it has a coded lock.

You want to keep your family safe from emergency situations, but you don't want your child or someone else's child to end up with a serious injury from a firearm. A small vault that can be bolted to the floor, under a couch or hidden under a desk is the perfect solution for keeping your family safe.


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.

Author: Shane White
Posted: December 18, 2014, 6:13 pm
The winter holidays are coming and you should know the do’s and don’ts to survive the hectic schedule and to truly enjoy what the celebration is all about while keeping safe. There will be a lot of traffic, stampede on shopping malls and a great hike on cholesterol levels when you cannot refrain from eating excessively during the parties you’ll attend. Above all, you need to be on red alert when guarding your house because this is also a busy season. Burglars take advantage on empty houses around these times.

Crimes during holidays hike up since many of the houses are left empty. There will be many expensive gifts prepared such as jewelry sets and even stashes of cash kept at home. Be alert and be prepared on anything that might happen along the way. Here are tips that will help you how to have a safe and sound holiday celebration.


When at home

Spending your holidays at home does not guarantee that you will be totally safe. There are many possibilities that might happen during these special occasions. Home safety precautions such as these should be practiced:
  • Access the outreach materials and educational programs of the US Fire Administration Center.
  • You can read these materials online to ensure that you know what to do when fire happens. According to the US fire administration, most of the causes of residential building fire are cooking, heating and electrical malfunction. Since during the holidays, a lot of cooking is involved as well as putting up of Christmas lights and electronics, it is necessary to know the precautions in the modules provided.
  • Install a lock up safety system in your home.
According to U.S. Department of Justice, 60.5 percent is forced entry in residential homes, 33.2 percent are unlawful entries which means they have entered without force and the remaining percentages are the failed forced entry attempts. This statistics show that there should be a lock up safety system followed and one should be alert at all times.


When leaving the house for a holiday vacation

It is very important that you keep your house or condominium safe while you're on extended holiday vacation. There are many cases that when the family leaves their home for vacation, burglars easily break in their house and clear out their valuables. From the FBI NCIC statistics 70 percent of the burglary happens while the tenants are away from their home.
  • Before leaving, secure locks and close all windows. Windows with grills are best to be installed in your home for added safety.
  • If you have glass doors, ensure a secondary blocking structure that will make your house closed even after glasses are broken.
  • Install a security system comprising of CCTVs and warning devices.

When shopping

Shopping during the holidays at the mall is like being in the middle of a battlefield. The area is congested; the people come and go as fast as they can. The common crimes involved would be kidnapping, bag slashing and pick pocketing. The congestion is a good factor for robbers because they can easily infiltrate the bag of a victim. Many robbers would also take advantage of using their strategies on ATM machines to steal money right from your ATM card.

  • Bring a safety pack where you can put all of your credit cards and ATM cards in one place and make sure you can access it all the time.
  • Avoid using your gadgets especially smart phones in congested areas.
  • Secure your bags and be alert.
  • Never trust anyone with your belongings.

When with children

Going to theme parks during the holidays is a trend for many families. However, surprisingly, studies show that in every 40 seconds, an innocent child is being abducted and 20 percent of these children unfortunately die. This is according to the FBI National Crime Information Center. This is just a sign that when you are with your kids during the holidays, make sure that you follow these holiday safety tips.
  • Always remind your children how dangerous it is to talk to strangers.
  • When in a crowded area, make sure that you hold your kid at all times.
  • Always survey the area if there are any suspicious individuals.
  • It is better to go to secure areas where children’s safety is prioritized.

When hosting a party

When you are hosting a party at home or at a venue, there is a huge risk involved because of food safety issues including crowd control. When you have invited over 30 people in your party, it is a known fact that you may lose control of the party you are hosting. Alcohol and drugs may come in and out of the party without you knowing and you will be at risk since you are held reliable as the host of the place. If hosting over 30 people, make sure you do the following:
  • When the setting is in your home, make sure that all of your valued items are in a safe locked up place.
  • During the party, check the food you serve several times to avoid food poisoning.
  • When alcohol is served in your party, make sure that you have trusted people to deal with the crowd with you to be in control all the time.
  • It is also good to serve healthy food in beautiful plating to avoid any health complications for all of your guests.

When strangers intrude you

When you will have a face-to-face scenario with a stranger that would intrude you, make sure that you know what to do. Always be alert and be aware of your surroundings. Being much more aware of your surroundings compared to the intruder is an advantage that you should utilize.
  • Know the nearest exits around the area.
  • Always have an emergency self-defense item with you. May it be a pepper spray or an electric taser, any of which would still be useful.
  • Always put the emergency numbers to call on your phone.
  • Be mentally and physically prepared.
These are only a few tips that you may follow to ensure you and your family’s safety on threats during holiday season.


Emily Harper is a writer and a full-time mother. She often writes about sustainability, parenting and issues concerning families and women. She runs the blog SecurityOcean.com

Author: Shane White
Posted: December 17, 2014, 1:36 am
A cold weather home is a home that is used only part of the year by people who would rather hang in the sun. During the winter months you might migrate to states with warmer weather, and usually during this time you’ll enjoy yourself at a luxurious vacation home. Many people own cold weather homes they allow to sit vacant during the winter months in this way.

But there are some problems with cold weather homes that need to be attended to before going on vacation for the winter. Included are some tips for the major things to check before leaving. 

Make The House Secure

One thing that is very important with any vacant home is making sure that the home is secure. Vacant homes are easy thief bait. Get ahead of the game and install a security system in your home which can be programmed to alarm when thieves try to break in. Many new security systems have monitors which allow you to view your home long distance by computer. 

Whether or not you choose to install a security system, you should notify a trusted friend or neighbor that you will be away. In many localities you can also notify the police, who will keep an eye on your home during the winter months. Don't forget to leave a forwarding address and phone number, in case a contact is needed. Having someone stop by intermittently to check on the house is a good idea.

Plan Ahead For Winter Weather

Cold weather homes take a battering in the winter, as all homes do, so prior planning is needed. Plan for harsh winds by removing anything from the outside that could blow away. Plan for snow and cold by making sure windows and doors are properly insulated with weather seal products. Check to make sure your heating system is working properly, and put in a fresh filter. Have a roofer come to your home and do a visual check of the roof for any vulnerable areas that could develop into leaks. 

Turn Down Or Shut Off Utilities 

Heat should remain on at a temperature that will keep all live systems operating properly, somewhere between 50 and 60 degrees. Shut off unnecessary lights and electricity, but retain some lighting with an electrical timer for security purposes.  It is very important to shut off the water at the main shutoff valve during the winter months, since below zero temperatures can cause pipes to freeze. A Plugged Piper Drain Service recommends purchasing RV antifreeze to pour into toilets, which will keep the water in the bowl from freezing. 

Make sure your plumbing system is in top condition before you leave. Have a plumber or drain cleaning company visit for an annual inspection to check for possible leaks and make repairs as necessary. A plumber can also set your boiler on a vacation setting, which will slow down the action of the boiler in the winter months when it is not being actively used. Just remember to have him come again when you get back from vacation to change the setting. 

Vacationing over the winter is only enjoyable if it is worry-free. Remove worries by making sure to prepare your cold weather home for the winter before you leave.


Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She writes for many online publications and blogs about home improvements, family, and health. She is an avid hiker, biker and runner. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Author: Shane White
Posted: December 13, 2014, 3:32 am
If you’re sitting at home, and suddenly the power goes out, your car stops working and you can’t get any stations on your radio, then you can be fairly certain that one of three possible scenarios has just occurred:

  • Your region was just hit by an unusually massive X-class solar flare.
  • The U.S. was just hit by a high-altitude EMP device.
  • The U.S. has just been engaged in nuclear warfare.
All three scenarios listed, require three different courses of action and therein lies the problem. If suddenly this type of catastrophic event occurs, then you’ll be happy that you had a way to monitor radiation levels because option 3 would certainly be the most severe of them all.

So, how do you keep track of another highly likely crisis occurrence of the biological nature? How do you ascertain whether or not it was an attack or just an extremely contagious disease? What warning systems can you trust? Because we’ve seen time and time again …

Trusting the public is often like following a company of brainless beings off a cliff.

Why Public Perception Can Deceive You

It’s not the average Joe that we need to be worried about. If anything, the one quality that word-of-mouth has going for it ... is the fact that it’s a decentralized source of information, and that can’t logistically support a single propagandized agenda.

However what your neighbor’s cousin’s ex-wife told you by word-of-mouth, might be completely and totally inaccurate and listening to it would be tantamount to betting your life on a rumor, which is a major gamble. Though you don’t necessarily have to gamble on word-of-mouth with this crisis.

One of the biggest differences between a pandemic and just about any other crisis, is the fact that society’s infrastructure is still left intact. That means you’ll still be able to flip on the radio or TV and receive news about what’s going on.

But there’s two fundamental problems with trusting in major news networks during a biological catastrophe.

Your Preparedness Depends on Information

Let’s think about what we would be able to assume if we began to hear news about a fast-spreading pandemic, which could have been the result of a biological attack …
  • First, we’d at least have an idea that we could be under attack, but we wouldn’t know from whom it had originated (considering that the news media itself could be compromising with the enemy to coerce the population).
  • Second, we wouldn’t know if the government is pushing a nefarious agenda in hopes of driving public fear. Although it wouldn’t be the first time a government has engaged in that type of behavior.
  • Third, if local and internet news sources are telling people to run to the hills, whereas the major news networks are telling people that everything is fine ... then you can be fairly certain that either CNN hasn’t the foggiest as to what is happening … or the government is cutting its losses, because it has depleted its resources on combating the spreading disease.
  • Fourth, the news is giving accurate, helpful information, and assisting the government in keeping as many individuals out of harm’s way as possible. Though, after Hurricane Katrina, Waco, 9/11, and just about every other disaster that the U.S. government has attempted to handle … I think I’d rather trust my gut.
Either way, your preparedness depends on good information; if your information source hasn’t proven itself to be exactly credible over the years, then perhaps you need to count on a different source.

Your Information Depends on Good Sources

I’ve generally stopped trusting in the public’s ability to look after my family and me. That’s why I lean toward using a private sector, a third party service or I rely on my own knowledge and technical capabilities when I’m trying to access good information.

For instance, companies like DataTech911 would be a fantastic choice for two main reasons:
  • They’re centralized enough to provide consistent, accurate information.
  • Yet they aren’t a government agency which could have an agenda, or a tendency to be infested with complete and total incompetence.
Another great option would be to have an insider source within emergency medical services, a crisis-management arm of the government or even local police. If you were able to maintain contact with someone, or several people, who have eyes on the developing situation, then this would be a huge advantage.

Of course, there’s always the option of purchasing a police scanner but listening to reports about gas station robberies all day could get old quickly.


Alicia grew up in Alaska where she earned her hunter and wilderness safety license at age 13. She now works as a content coordinator for a tech company in Pennsylvania and blogs in her free time at Homey Improvements.
Author: Shane White
Posted: December 7, 2014, 4:22 pm
Although many households are prepared for a natural disaster, fires are often a second thought when it comes to getting the right equipment. To keep your family safe and know what steps to take with the event, there are a few ways to prepare ahead of time. By having a plan established and using the right fire safety equipment, it can work to save the lives of residents in the home and reduce the amount of damage that occurs.

Keep Fire Extinguishers on Hand

Fire extinguishers should be used in a fire, and located in key areas of the home that are easy to access. Although the extinguisher may not put the entire fire out, it can still be used when trying to exit the home, and keep the fire at bay. Keep an extinguisher in each room of the home and review how to use it at least once a year.

Create an Escape Route

An escape plan should be established and practiced in the event of a fire. Residents in the home should review the escape route every six months and practice crawling low while moving towards different exits to escape the house. For residents who are on second or third levels of the home, emergency escape ladders should be available to reach the ground level outdoors. Residents should practice deploying the product and practice using it to become familiar with the item if a fire occurs.

Delegate Different Tasks

Different residents in the home should be responsible for caring for pets or elders who are unable to care for themselves in the event of a fire. A first aid supplier in Kam Loops, Nutech Safety Ltd, suggests assigning different members of the home to each person who will need assistance to ensure everyone escapes the home safely and is not left behind.

Choose an Outside Place to Meet

To get a head count of who makes it out of the home if a fire occurs, it's important to choose a place to meet for each resident. This will make it easy to know who is safe, and who may still be left in the building.

With over 14,000 people injured in a home fire each year, it's important to prepare for the disaster, and review what steps to take every six months. It will work to equip each resident in the home both mentally and physically to ensure they increase their chances of escaping the property safely.


Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She writes for many online publications and blogs about home improvements, family, and health. She is an avid hiker, biker and runner. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Author: Shane White
Posted: December 3, 2014, 6:10 pm




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