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Monday, December 31, 2012

Tent Heater, Propane

Original Article

A tent heater is a very useful camping goody but not much for raising the temperature inside a tent which is almost impossible because it’s not insulated. However what a tent heater can do is dry the damp night air inside the tent. For me there’s nothing worse than trying to stay warm and comfortable when the sleeping bag, pillow or blankets are damp from the condensing humidity. The propane tent heater will burn off most of that excessive moisture in the air and keep your sleeping gear reasonably dry and comfy.

I’m just beginning to set-up my truck as a hunting/fishing and possibly Bug Out Vehicle. Even though I live in North Florida it does freeze up here for a few days during the winter. So on my overnight shore fishing outings and occasional hunts outings having a propane heater inside the cap of my truck is mighty nice.

A couple things I wanted from the heater was a long run time using just the 1 lb. propane cylinders, compact in the overall size and very easy to light. Coleman makes a catalytic heater that fits the need.

The Coleman Spec’s has some of the features I was looking for:
  • Electronic ignition for quick and easy matchless lighting.
  • 1,500 BTU output operates up to 14 hours from one 16.4 oz propane cylinder.
  • Portable integrated handle makes heater easy to carry.
  • Stable, detachable base provides a strong stand for the heater.

The on/off valve and start button.

Here’s the fold-out feet extended for additional stability.

The test run:
I set up the heater in the back of my truck (inside the cap) where I would normally be sleeping. The lowest outside air temp that test night was 45 degrees. To check the temperature I used a remote digital temperature reader to monitor the temps inside and outside. The temperature differential was between 10-15 degrees above the outside air temp. Naturally the colder it became the narrower the temperature differential was. Bottom line it was 55-60 degrees inside the trucks cap overnight. Just about perfect for Florida!

The actual test runtime was just a few minutes over 13 hours on one 16.4 oz propane cylinder. I’m happy with that because I can start the heater 3-4 hours before bed time to pre-heat the bedding and cap, then sleep all night without the heat going off before it’s time to get up.

For lighting the heater, if the built-in lighter fails then matches or a Bic lighter can be used.

Bottom line, I happy with it!

Happy New Year 2013!

A big thank to all my readers who have stuck with me for the past year 
and continue with me into the new.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

5 Ways Your Body Loses Heat and How to Avoid Them

Original Article

Staying warm
The air is crisp, crystalizing around you with each breath. A twig snaps under the pressure of your foot, echoing off the surrounding trees. It’s a brisk, beautiful late autumn morning. It’s great to be in God’s creation.
But for the ill-equipped traveler thrust into survival mode due to mechanical issues with his vehicle, the same picturesque morning can be cold, hard, unforgiving, and even life-threatening.
The right gear makes a world of difference. So what’s the right gear? In previous article, I’ve written about the best way to dress for cold weather. In this post, I’ll share the 5 ways your body looses heat. Understanding these methods can help you to reduce your heat loss and stay warm longer.

Heat Loss Through Radiation

As warm blooded beings, people produce their own heat. By just being alive, we create a normal body temperature of 98.6F. Most the time that’s warmer than our surrounding environment, so the two try to equalize. Our body gives off heat through radiation. That’s when the warmer of the two areas gives off heat to the cooler area.
To control heat loss through radiation, we need to insulate the ourselves from the surrounding environment. We can do this through warm clothing.
A down jacket, for instance, uses our body heat to warm the pockets of air trapped in the down. That helps keep the heat inside the jacket and thus keep us warm.
Your head is a major source of heat loss. Keeping your head covered, and the area around your neck can help preserve your heat.

Heat Loss Through Conduction

Another way our bodies loose heat is by coming into direct contact with another surface that is at a lower temperature. It’s similar to radiation except rather than loosing heat to the environment, the heat is transferred to another object or surface.
Solid objects such as a metal pole or the ground can steal heat from your body much more effectively than air. In fact, you loose heat about 30 times faster when submerged in water than standing in air. 75F in air feels comfortable; 75F in water is feels cold and can cause hypothermia.
Conduction is why it’s important to insulate yourself from the ground when sleeping. Body heat will seep into the cold ground, leaving you cold and miserable. Sleeping on evergreen boughs will help lift you off the ground and preserve your body temperature.

Heat Loss Through Convection

As with radiation, convection is when your body looses heat to the surrounding environment. However, with convection, the heat loss is through the stirring of the air.
Consider a fan. When you are sitting in your home and you’re a little warm, you may turn on a fan to help circulate the air. The moving air brushes by your skin. When it does, it takes a little bit of your heat with it. Then, having moved along, more air brushes by, taking more of your heat. The more air, or wind, the more heat loss.
This is sometimes called “wind chill” and it can be devastating for the survivor in colder climates.
When dressing during cold weather, it’s important to keep in mind that your outer layer of clothing should protect you from the wind.

Heat Loss Through Evaporation

Our bodies have a built in system to help regulate excess heat. When we exert ourselves and our core body temperature rises, we begin to sweat. On a hot summer day, sweating is a good thing. In fact when you stop sweating, you should be worried about overheating.
However in the winter, sweating is bad. In fact it can be deadly. As renowned survivalist Les Stroud has said, “In cold weather if you sweat, you die.” But the threat is not limited to sweating. In cold weather survival situations, you must stay dry. Rain, mist, snow, and other forms of liquid will have the same effect is sweating.
When water, including sweat, evaporates it cools the adjacent surface. When that surface is your skin, it removes much needed heat from your body and makes it harder to stay warm.
In cold weather, you must stay dry. Having the proper clothing is important. Avoid overexertion. Regulate your body temperature to avoid sweating by removing layers of clothing when you do strenuous activities. Stay dry.

Heat Loss Through Respiration

When you breathe, you were bringing in cold air from the outside into your lungs. As oxygen is transferred to your bloodstream and carbon dioxide is transferred out, your body warms the air. When you exhale, you’re releasing the warmed air into the surrounding environment. That is heat loss through respiration.
Compared to the first four sources, heat loss through respiration is relatively minor. But still you should be aware of it. A light covering over your face will help pre-warm some of the air before bringing it into your lungs.


As fall is giving way to winter, it’s important to understand how our bodies can lose heat and how to avoid it. Hopefully if you’re thrust into a survival situation, you’ll have the proper clothing and gear. But being prepared is as much about knowledge and skills as it is about gear.

Related Posts

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Over The Counter Meds For Survival

Original Article

Once you get beyond the basics of survival, it helps to think of actually being able to tolerate a disaster. The over the counter medication recommendations are pretty self-explanatory, as most people can read directions and also have some knowledge of these meds already in their occasional use during their everyday lives.
The following medications should be stored separately from your regular stock. Meaning… you should buy extra specifically for storage, as you do for your long term food storage. Medications, like food, need to be stored in a cool, dry, and preferably dark environment to maximize shelf life.
Note: Regarding the use of any of the following medications, consult with your doctor.

TYLENOL (Acetaminophen)

Helps aches, pains, fevers, and mild headaches. It is better for stomachs compared to other NSAIDS. It can be taken with other NSAIDS for more severe pain and makes both medications more likely to control pain. Arguably, 2 Tylenol and 2 of either: Motrin or Advil, taken together are as effective as a narcotic (consult a physician).

ADVIL / MOTRIN (ibuprofen)

An NSAID (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug). NSAIDs are usually indicated for the treatment of acute or chronic conditions where pain and inflammation are present. Choose the one that you actually use now and stick with it.


Somewhat magical… and inexpensive. Anyone you think may be having a heart attack should get Aspirin as soon as possible, as it could actually help them live. A substitute for blood thinner.

BENADRYL (Diphenhydramine)

An antihistamine that works for allergic conditions and reactions, and can also substitute for a sedative in the right environment.


Used to prevent immune problems and scurvy long-term.


The longer regular fresh foods are missing from your diet, the more you need to have a weekly multivitamin.


Tooth gel, Antibiotic ointment, etc.

GOLD BOND (medicated powder)

A general relief for chaffing rashes that are common with sweat and work that one may not be used to. It also dries up and treats some of the uncomfortable foot rashes that can come from long and wet hiking.

Sure, there are plenty more over the counter medications… particularly once you really start thinking about it. Hopefully though, this has started you thinking, and you will take action and go out and purchase extra meds for your long term storage.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

The Anatomy of a Breakdown

Original Article

If we can all agree on one thing, it’s that the government and disaster organizations alike grossly underestimate how dependent the majority of the population is on them during and after a disastrous event takes place. We need not look any further than the last major disasters that have occurred to find our answers: the Haitian earthquake that occurred in 2010, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the 2011 super tornado of Joplin, MO, and even as recently as Hurricane Sandy.
As preppers are well aware, when the needs of the population cannot be met in an allotted time frame, a phenomena occurs and the mindset shifts in people. They begin to act without thinking and respond to changes in their environment in an emotionally-based manner, thus leading to chaos, instability and a breakdown in our social paradigm.
When you take the time to understand how a breakdown behaves and how it progresses, only then can you truly prepare for it.

The Anatomy of a Breakdown

This glimpse into a systemic breakdown is based on an isolated, limited disaster or event where emergency responders have been deployed. I must emphasize that all bets are off if the event is wide spread, affecting multiple tens of millions of people simultaneously.
Phase 1: The Warning
Although disasters such as earthquakes and tornadoes can come on so quickly that timely warnings are not always given, for the most part, governments typically provide adequate time to get a population ready in advance. Local governments even go as far as to err on the side of caution and sternly warn the citizens to evacuate.
For one reason or another, there will be a select group that stays behind. Some of these citizens are prepared and ready for what may come and may feel the need to stay to defend what is rightfully theirs but the majority of the population will not be ready for what they are about to endure. Those that are in this unprepared majority who choose to ride out the disaster do so because they are either unaware of how to fully prepare for disasters, have become complacent or numb to the heeds of warning from the local government and news media, or are overly confident.
This is the point in this cycle where herds of people go to the grocery stores frantically grabbing supplies. Most grocery stores will not be able to meet the demand of the people’s need for supplies, and many could go home empty handed.
Bracing for the disaster, the prepared and unprepared will be hoping for the best outcome. What many do not realize is the hardest part of this event is soon to be upon them. Within days, the descent into the breakdown will begin.
Phase 2: Shock and Awe (1-2 Days)
After the initial shock wears off  of the disaster, many will have difficulty in coping and adapting to what has just occurred. As they are  trying to wrap their thoughts around the severity of the disaster, their losses and what their future holds, local government leaders are scrambling for answers and trying to assess the situation.
At this point, the unprepared survivors will be expecting organizations and local government to step in to meet their immediate needs at any moment. The reality of the situation becomes more bleak when they realize that due to downed power lines or debris blocking roadways and access points, emergency organizations, emergency response and distribution trucks supplying food, water, fuel and other pertinent resources will be unable to get to the area. Once the realization hits that resources are scarce and the government leaders are incapable of helping them in a timely fashion, desperate citizens will take action into their own hands.
The breakdown has begun.
Phase 3: The Breakdown (3-7 Days)
Have you ever heard the saying, “We’re three days away from anarchy?” In the wake of a disaster, that’s all you have is three days to turn the crazy train around before crime, looting and chaos ensue. In reports during the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, residents from Staten Island were pleading for help from elected officials, begging for gasoline, food and clothing.
“We’re going to die! We’re going to freeze! We got 90-year-old people!” Donna Solli told visiting officials. “You don’t understand. You gotta get your trucks down here on the corner now. It’s been three days!”
Similar stories of looting occurred during the tornado in Joplin, MO of 2011. This time, the looting occurred from national guard soldiers patrolling the area.
“The night of the tornado, as emergency responders rushed from one shattered home to the next, Steve Dixon sat outside his father’s destroyed house with a baseball bat. They wouldn’t see me sitting here in my chair, I was in the dark,” he told NPR. “I’d turn my bright spotlight on them and tell them they needed to move on. Then when the police came by, I’d tell them which way they went.”
Multiple factors contribute to societal breakdowns including failure of adequate government response, population density, citizens taking advantage of the grid being down and overwhelmed emergency response teams.
For whatever reason, 3-5 days following a disaster is the bewitching hour. During this short amount of time, the population slowly becomes a powder keg full of angry, desperate citizens. A good example is the chaos that ensued in New Orleans following the absence of action from the local government or a timely effective federal response in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In such troubled times, people were forced to fend for themselves and their families, by any means necessary. This timeline of Hurricane Katrina effectively illustrates “the breakdown,” and within three days, the citizens of New Orleans descended into anarchy, looting and murder (Source).
If this scenario isn’t bad enough, at the end of this time frame, there will be an increase in illnesses due to cramped living quarters from emergency shelters, sanitation-related illness, compromised water sources and exposure to natural elements. In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, sanitation- related epidemics became a large concern for the disaster victims. In fact, the outbreak erupted into the world’s largest cholera epidemic despite a huge international mobilization still dealing with the effects of the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake (Source).
Victims from Hurricane Sandy are also beginning to see their share of illnesses. Due to the horrible weather plaguing the area, many of the evacuation shelters in Brooklyn were closed last week for sterilizing due to a vicious viral outbreak that struck.
Phase 4: Recovery (8-30+ Days)
Despite what we want to believe, most recoveries are slow and difficult in progression and require long-term planning. On average it takes a city around 1-2 weeks after the event took place to start this phase of the cycle. Every disaster is different and the length of recovery efforts vary greatly on the nature of the incident.
7 years after Hurricane Katrina leveled parts of Louisiana, the state is still in the recovery phase.. ”We are in a process of long-term rebuilding,” said Christina Stephens, Spokeswoman for the Louisiana Recovery Authority. “There is at least another 10 years of recovery.” (Source)
Within this recovery phase, essential goods and resources could will still be hard to come by, thus forcing local officials to implement the rationing of resources to ensure there is enough for the population. We are seeing this right now with the gasoline rationing in New York.
It could be months before the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy is cleaned up. Damaged communities are coming to terms with the devastation that delivered an unprecedented punch to the region’s economy, causing more than an estimated $50 billion in losses and forcing hundreds of thousands to rebuild their lives. (Source)

Don’t Be Another Statistic

Now that you understand what we’re dealing with, there are ways you can use this information to prepare for the next event so that you will be a part of the population that is ready for what may come.
Trust yourself. Learn to be self-sufficient and rely on yourself. When it is all said and done, you are the only one who can care for yourself and your family the best. You will be the one who has your family’s best intentions at heart. Having a stock of your family’s favorite canned or dry goods, a supply of water and a simple medical kit can maintain your basic needs for a short-lived disaster. This simple preparedness supply could set you apart from the unprepared.
If you live in a highly populated area, understand that resources will diminish quickly, so preparing beforehand can circumvent this. You can always start out with the basic 10 preparedness items you will need to skirt through a disaster:
  1. Food and alternative ways to cook food
  2. Water
  3. Fuel for generators, cooking stoves and mantels, charcoal for outdoor grills
  4. Batteries
  5. Generator
  6. Emergency lighting
  7. Ice
  8. Medical supply
  9. Baby formula
  10. Sanitation supplies
Or, if you want a more comprehensive supply, take a look at the 52-Weeks to Preparedness series.
Educate yourself. Learn from the disasters, folks! Each time there is a disaster, the same pattern occurs: the warning, shock and awe, the breakdown and recovery. Study the effects of disasters that effect your area and what items you will need to get through the event. Further, find the weak points in your preparedness supply and correct them. Supply inventories twice a year can do wonders in this area.
Get into the mindset. Learning what to do in the face of a disaster or how to care for your family during extended grid-down emergencies can put you well ahead of the race. The more prepared you are, the faster you are at adapting to the situation. You can learn anything as long as you research, gather and apply the information. For example, while many on the East coast were still in shock from Hurricane Sandy and were sitting in their homes panicking and watching their perishable food items go bad, those that had learned how to survive in off-grid, cold environments were well prepared for this type of disaster, and had already begun packing their perishable items in the snow to preserve them. It’s that simple!
Practice makes perfect. Practice using your skills, your preps and prepare emergency menus based around your stored foods. The more you practice surviving an off-grid disaster, the more efficient you will be when and if that event occurs. Moreover, these skills will keep you alive! For a list of pertinent skills to know during times of disaster, click here.
Further, to make your family or group more cohesive, cross-train members so they can compensate for the other during a disaster.
In summation, only until we see the cycle for what it is and the effects it has on society will we be able to learn from it. There is always a breakdown in some form or fashion after a disaster. If you can prepare for this, you will be able to adapt more quickly to what is going on around you.
The cycle is there and we can’t look past it. Prepare accordingly and do not overlook ensuring you have your basic preps accounted for.

Related Reading:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

How to Stay Warm When the Power Goes Out

Original Article

It's been a long, cold two weeks for some folks on Long Island.  Besides living in a disaster zone, they haven't had power for two weeks and while it isn't such a big problem when you decide to go without heat for an extended period of time for say, a hunting trip or an extended backpacking trip, when you are forced by circumstance to endure such a hardship, there aren't enough negative adjectives to describe the misery people can feel when it is as cold inside their house as it is outside.  Here's some ways to keep warm when the power goes out:

  • Obviously having a wood stove (best) or fireplace (distant second) in your home is your best option.  A wood stove can keep at least one room of your home toasty warm and you can usually cook and heat water on top of it as well.  Having a good supply of firewood is also advisable.
  • I keep a kerosene heater with extra kerosene on hand as one of my alternative heat sources.  You will want to make sure the room you use this heater in is ventilated to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.  
  • If you can heat water (on top of your wood stove, outside on your camp stove, or if you have a gas hot water tank) a hot bath or shower will warm you up in a jiffy.
  • Layers of clothing can help to keep you warm.  Yes, you may feel like the Michelin Man but having multiple layers of clothing (instead of one thick layer) will help you retain body heat.
  • Add all of the other goodies you would as if you were going skiing: hat, neck warmer, ear muffs, gloves, heavy socks, insulated boots, etc.  Note that sleeping with thick socks and a hat on can keep you warm and toasty at night.
  • A generator can be a good option if you have the fuel for it.  I am guessing that fuel became an issue a few days into the event since 1) most people don't think a power outage will last very long, and 2) most people also don't usually store enough fuel to keep their generator running for weeks on end.
  • Sometimes one side of the street will have power and the other won't.  In this case a good relationship with your neighbor who has power plus a long extension cord plus a space heater can do wonders.
  • Bring on the blankets.  Probably the oldest idea in heating without external assistance is to wrap up in a blanket...or two...or three.  This is an excellent reason to invest in a 0 degree down sleeping bag.
  • Sleep together.  Body heat generated by three or four bodies is better than body heat generated by one body.  There's a reason you see five or six people cuddled up together to sleep on the TV show 'Survivor'--it's warmer that way.
  • Consider a hot water bottle or hot bricks.  This was common before modern heating was invented.  Heat water and put it in a hot water bottle or heat bricks/stones and wrap them in burlap then hold these items next to you under your blankets (I put them on my feet) and you will become instantly warm.  Note in a survival situation, peeing in a bottle then holding the bottle next to you is a tried and true survival trick--98.6 degrees can be cuddly warm when you are freezing.
  • Chemical hand warmers are also nice.  Expensive, but nice.  These little packets generate instant heat but like hot water bottles and hot bricks, you will want to wrap the warmer in cloth and not stick it right next to your skin.
  • Go somewhere that there is heat.  One reason the mall and the library and community cold weather shelters fill up on freezing days is that the homeless tend to go where it is warm.  If you live close enough to go to a place that has power and central heating (mall, library, coffee shop, etc) then do so. Even being warm all day can make freezing nights bearable.
  • If you have the option (read: money) and the will to leave the area and stay at a hotel until the power comes back on (or even just sending the family while you stay to guard the house) that may be a best option (especially if you have small children or the elderly living in your home).   
  • Make one small room of your home the "warm room".  Seal off the doors and windows of this room and live in only this room until the power comes back on.  With everyone in one room covered in warm clothes and blankets the temperature in the room will rise.
  • Use candles to light up your warm room as these will also give off heat (be careful--candles are a big fire hazard).
  • Work with the sun to heat your home.  Open window blinds in the morning to let the sun in and close the blinds (preferably heavy drapes) when the sun goes down to keep the cold air out.
  • Break out the camp stove and keep the family in warm beverages--this can help warm your body from the inside out.
  • Eat and drink more than usual since your body will burn more calories when it is cold than when it is at ambient temperatures.  Also, fatty foods are a good thing in this situation.
  • Exercise.  Do some jumping jacks or other exercises to generate more body heat. 
And a couple of warnings:  know the symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite.  If someone is suffering from these symptoms, get them medical attention ASAP.  Also, beware the danger of death by carbon monoxide poisoning.  Using combustive appliances indoors (basically anything that generates fire like a camp stove, barbecue grill, etc) can cause carbon monoxide to build up and you will probably pass out and die before you know what hit you as CO is odorless and colorless so use these appliances in a well ventilated area.

Dutch Apple Pie Recipe using Dehydrated Apples From your Food Storage

Original Article

I was very happy to discover just how easy it is to use dehydrated apples in apple pies. In fact, not only are they easy…they are DELICIOUS! I can honestly say I have NEVER gone back to peeling, coring, and slicing apples for a delicious apple pie. Making an apple pie from dehydrated apples saves time (takes only 5 minutes to get the apples ready and most of that time is just the apples sitting in boiling water), makes a smaller mess, and is just as delicious. HOORAY!! Once again food storage makes life easier (and just as delicious)! So give it a try at your Thanksgiving Feast…no one will know you did anything different.


One pre-made pie crust (you can make your own or I like those pilsbury ones that aren’t in a pie crust)

2 cups dried apples firmly packed
2 cups boiling water.
Pour over apples and let set for at least 5 minutes.
Mix together:
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. Flour
½ tsp. Cinnamon
Add to the apple mix and continue cooking until thick.
Stir constantly to prevent scorching.
Pour mixture into pie shell and dot with 1 tbsp. Butter

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup butter
Cut in till crumbly. Sprinkle over the apple mixture and place in 350ºF oven for 55 minutes.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What To Do If Someone Is Following You In A Car

Original Article

It’s a scary proposition to realize that someone might be following you. There are precautions you need to take to make sure that you stay safe. Here are a few ideas of what you might do if you think that someone is following you in a car.
It doesn’t take much effort to make sure that you’re not being followed. Since most criminals are amateurs, simply drive around the block if you think you’re ever being followed.  Drive a complicated route, or take a few corners to make sure you’re not just imagining that someone is following you.
Don’t panic and don’t drive reckless.
Calm yourself so that you can think clearly. Get your mind on looking around you to see if there is someplace safe you can go.
NEVER stop and get out of your car.
NEVER go straight home. You do not want the ‘nut job’ to know where you live.
Be sure that all of your doors are locked. Someone can gain access to a car that’s stopped at a red light or stop sign in a few seconds.
Be sure that your windows are rolled up.
Stay on well traveled roads, if at all possible. People looking to hurt people in their cars are looking for people who are the most vulnerable.
NEVER stop to let a car that’s following you pass. Pull over to another lane to let someone pass, but don’t come to a stop. If there’s only one lane of traffic, don’t pull over at all. If the person wants to pass and there’s no traffic, they can go around you if they want to pass that badly.
If you are convinced you’re being followed, dial 911. They will direct you to the nearest police station. It helps to have a charged up cell phone with you…
Drive to a police station. The guy behind you is not likely to stop there. If he or she does, don’t get out of your car until there are policemen outside your door to escort you. Another choice is to go to a fire station, hospital, or an all night superstore. Don’t go anywhere where there are not a lot of people. Keep driving until you come to something well lit and populated. Never get out of your car unless you know that you are safe.
Don’t assume things are safe because they look that way. Don’t assume someone is safe because they’re well dressed, female, young or old or because there’s a child in the car. Criminals often go way out of their way to appear as ordinary and trustworthy as possible. Many, many crime victims thought someone was safe because of the way they looked or because someone was with them. Crooks even use young kids to do their dirty work. (Home invaders are famous for this one – using a child to knock on a door selling something so they can get you to open up and then rush you. Don’t assume anything. If someone is following you assume that it’s dangerous and err on the side of caution.
If you carry a handgun, you MUST stay completely calm. NEVER get steamed up. It is the responsibility of the Gun-Owner to DE-Escalate the situation. In most states, you cannot “flash” your handgun unless you are in peril of bodily harm… else spend time in the slammer. People that carry, are expected to be above ‘acting out’ on the road. They know that it is a privilege and that it can be revoked for the slightest infraction.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Using Layers to Build Your Preparedness Supply

Original Article

Have you ever shipped a packaged containing something extremely fragile? One year, we mailed a fragile, blown glass ballerina. We wrapped the little dancer first in a few layers of tissue paper, carefully winding it around her outstretched arm and leg. Then we nestled her into a small box filled with Styrofoam “popcorn”. We closed that box, wrapped it in tissue and then bubble wrap before sliding it inside of a bigger box. We stuffed all the openings in the bigger box with more tissue, sealed it up and sent the package on its way. When the little ballerina arrived at her destination and was carefully unwrapped, she was still in one lovely sparkling piece.
When you are well prepared, you are cushioned by layers, somewhat like that delicate little ballerina. If the outer layer of tissue and bubble wrap doesn’t protect you successfully, the danger still has to get through the second box, the Styrofoam popcorn and more tissue paper. Every layer of preparedness that you add shields you and your family, placing them just a bit further out of the reach of danger.

Build a Foundation

I have found that when starting your preparedness measures, it is best to start at the beginning in order to ensure you have everything you need to build up your foundation. Start your preparations with a 72-hour kit and then create a vehicle 72-hour kit. Once that is complete, you can begin ensuring your basic needs are met for longer periods or begin targeting other layers of preparedness. The 52-Weeks to Preparedness series offers a complete list of getting your home and family ready for unexpected disasters.
Having multiple emergency plans is another example of layering up. Not only do you always need a Plan B, you need Plan C, Plan D and on through the alphabet for every situation. Keep the following tips in mind when beginning your preparedness foundation:
  • Keep family members and any medical or special needs in mind when planning
  • Don’t forget your pets
  • Continually adding onto your layers will makes for a more economical approach to preparing
  • Many preps have multiple uses and can be used for multiple disasters
Let’s look at some other examples of how you might layer your preparedness.
Your initial line of defense would be the two week supply of bottled water that is recommended in Week 1 of the  52 Weeks to Preparedness series. If the danger lasts longer than two weeks, you could fall back on your water treatment preparations, mentioned in Week 17, such as water filtration systems, distillation, or the addition of bleach or water treatment capsules for water that is not potable as is. If the issue continues as a long-term problem, water will have to be collected and purified on an ongoing basis, requiring the steps you took in Week 24 to be put into action.
Most preppers have some short-term food stored to be used for things like a power outage, being snowed in for a week, and those things that are more “inconveniences” than actual disasters. Many of those foods require little-to-no cooking and can be eaten at room temperature.
But what if the outage lasts longer than expected? Then it is time to dig into the long-term food storage as well as looking at alternative methods of cooking it.
If it turns into a true TEOTWAWKI event, then at some point you are going to have to begin producing your own food supply through raising livestock and gardening.
As another example, you need a plan in place for what you would do once your stored food is gone – so, you would prepare to learn to hunt, to raise livestock and to grow food.
Most people strive to make their homes safe and secure. We install motion lights, fence the yard and make windows difficult to open. We have good quality locks on the doors and sometimes burglar alarms as well.
In a disaster situation, this may not be enough. We need only to look at the situation on Staten Island in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy to see that looters are out in full force, taking advantage of the people who have already lost so much. As we’ve said here before, “If you can’t protect it, you don’t own it!”   Most preppers have guns and ammunition with which they will defend their homes and families.
In an even longer-term situation, more plans for defense would need to be made, with perimeters, night watches and an organized plan.
Build Layers
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are our preparations. It takes time to research and plan what your family needs to be disaster ready. When you invest in your preparedness foundation, you are slowly adding preparedness layers that your loved ones to rely on. Each time you add to your preps, always think ahead to the day when the item you just bought runs out and begin planning now to solve the problem before it happens. In every situation, increase your protection layer by layer, just like preparing that spun glass ballerina for her journey through the mail.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

100 Barter-able Skills and Services

Original Article

In our everyday lives, if we need something done we usually break out the wallet or credit card and take care of the problem.  It's coming to the point for many people, however, that they need other options besides cash or credit, to obtain the things they want and need.  Enter the concept of bartering.
Bartering has been used for centuries and only went away from common use within the last century or so.  These days many people feel uncomfortable with the concept of bartering (not ALL people as many communities have thriving underground bartering networks).  Among the issues: they think they lack anything to trade, they are uncomfortable with the whole process, they don't know how to approach people about a trade, etc.
While much of the bartering process simply requires a bit of nerve and people skills, you will also need something (or many somethings) to trade.  Note that trading things--like a rifle or a car or something smaller--is perfectly fine for bartering but once the item is gone, it's gone.  With skills and services you can barter these things repeatedly.  Here are 100 barterable skills and services that many people are happy to trade for:

  1. Car repair
  2. Sewing
  3. Computer repair
  4. Computer setup and networking
  5. Construction
  6. Plumbing
  7. Electrical work
  8. Finish carpentry
  9. Tree trimming/cutting
  10. Butchering
  11. Food production (meat, vegetables, fruit, etc)
  12. Cooking/baking
  13. Babysitting
  14. Elderly sitting
  15. Dog walking
  16. Website design
  17. Doctor
  18. Nurse
  19. Home health aid
  20. Home improvement (build deck, clean gutters, etc)
  21. Yard maintenance
  22. Fire wood
  23. Legal services
  24. Dentistry
  25. Logging/lumber
  26. Hair cutting
  27. Party/wedding planning
  28. Tutoring
  29. Teaching (dance, music, English, etc)
  30. Furniture making
  31. Reloading ammo
  32. Artist (painting, sculpting, etc)
  33. Animal husbandry/animal breeding
  34. Well drilling
  35. Heavy equipment operator
  36. Foraging/dumpster diving
  37. Wine making/beer brewing
  38. Defensive skills training (karate, tactical shooting, etc)
  39. Welding
  40. Gunsmithing
  41. Veterinarian services
  42. Food procurement (hunting, fishing)
  43. Small appliance repair
  44. Electronics repair
  45. Watch repair
  46. Soap making
  47. Candle making
  48. Photographer
  49. Musician
  50. Writer
  51. Video making/editing
  52. Midwifery
  53. Herbalist
  54. Educator (how-to on any of these listed topics)
  55. Land surveyor
  56. Tax preparation
  57. Accounting
  58. Architect
  59. Sports coaching
  60. Fitness trainer
  61. Software/app developer
  62. Aircraft mechanic
  63. Heavy equipment mechanic
  64. Dental hygienist
  65. HVAC repair
  66. Interpreting
  67. Locksmith
  68. Parts machinist
  69. Blacksmith
  70. Residential/commercial painting
  71. Sheet metal working
  72. Iron working
  73. Transportation (driver, boat captain, etc)
  74. Auto painting/body work
  75. Mining
  76. Masseuse
  77. Nail tech (manicure/pedicure)
  78. Private detective
  79. Security guard/body guard
  80. Houskeeper/maid
  81. Bicycle repair
  82. Ministering (conduct weddings, funerals, etc)
  83. Graphic arts
  84. Flooring installer/cabinet installer/appliance installer
  85. Glazier services
  86. Masonry 
  87. Tool and die maker
  88. Pet grooming/boarding
  89. Screen printing
  90. Hauling/moving
  91. Reselling
  92. Bee keeping
  93. Cheesemaking
  94. Septic system design/installation
  95. Security system design/installation
  96. Spinning/textiles/making cloth/quilting/kniting
  97. Canning/smoking/other food preservation
  98. Producing electricity from solar/water/wind
  99. Bee keeping
  100. Skilled clean up (crime scenes, mold, after a disaster, chemical spill, etc)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

5 Quick Tips to Beat the Flu Season

Vitamin Packaging

Original Article

We all know that when the weather begins to turn cold, it’s time to get ready for the cold and flu viruses to start emerging. Approximately 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the seasonal flu during the late fall until the early spring.

Bear in mind that some groups of the population are more prone to contracting illnesses than others. Groups such as those 65 years and older, children younger than five years old, pregnant women, those with certain compromised immune systems, as well as health care workers. If you live with or work around people in one of these groups, take some proactive steps to get your immune system ready for the flu season.

Take your vitamins.  A good multivitamin will do the trick in keeping your immune system thriving, however,specifically taking Vitamins A , B, C, D, and E has been shown to promote a health immune system.
Speaking of Vitamin D, many are unaware that during the winter months, their body becomes deficient in Vitamin D.  A deficiency of vitamin D triggers infections, autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease), cardiovascular disease, and cancer.  Further, Vitamin D has been shown to be more effective in preventing the flu than a flu vaccine.  The best source of vitamin D is sunshine!  It’s important to get out and enjoy at least 10-15 minutes of sun per day (without sunscreen).  As winter approaches, and it becomes harder to get natural sunlight, it may be necessary to take a daily vitamin D supplement.
Eat Healthy Foods. Everyone knows it’s important to eat healthy, but I think that most people underestimate the power that food has on the immune system.  If you’re eating healthy and are exposed to certain illnesses, you have a greater chance of not catching it. Some foods that will provide you with optimum health are:
  • Organic fruits & vegetables
  • Fermented foods such as kombucha, yogurt, etc.
  • Organic, pastured meats & eggs (including 100% grass-fed beef)
  • Healthy fats, such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts.
  • Avoid sugar, especially refined sugars. Sugar weakens the immune system.  If you need sweeteners, use raw honey, maple syrup, & stevia.
  • Drinking teas high in antioxidants such as green tea can stimulate production of immune cells.
  • Raw honey has antibacterial, antifungal, & antiviral properties (LOCAL raw honey is best, especially for allergies).
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar per day.
  • Eating nuts such as almonds have an immune-strengthening antioxidant.
Drink lots of water. Simply put, water helps to filter the impurities out of your body. Over time, this keeps your body functioning and in optimum health.
Get plenty of sleep: You workaholics out there need to pay attention to this. If you body does not get the needed amount of sleep each night, your health depreciates. Get a minimum of 7-8 hours per night. Further, if you feel your body coming down with an illness, stop pushing yourself and give your body what it needs: rest.
Exercise: Staying active 3-5 days a week for 20-30 minutes has been shown to not only help you stay healthy, but also increases your resistance to illness and helps you reduce stress all at the same time. How’s that for making the most of your time?
Keeping your body in balance and following the five listed tips can assist you in keeping your immune system strong during the months it is under attack.

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Quote of the Day

It is not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters. ~ Paul “Bear” Bryant

Friday, December 21, 2012

EMP Electromagnetic Pulse: Circuit Effect

Original Article

There are two types of EMP bombs, nuclear and non-nuclear.
Nuclear EMP: The nuclear explosion generates ‘ionizing radiation’. Ionizing radiation is radiation with enough energy so that during an interaction with an atom, it can remove tightly bound electrons from the orbit of an atom. It is the instantaneous explosive pulse of these spinning dislodged electrons which creates the Electromagnetic energy that causes the damage from the EMP effect.
Non-nuclear EMP: The result is a a huge electrical current that is ‘made’ in a very short tick of time. This huge current will pulse through a coil, which in turn creates a massive pulse of Electromagnetic energy that causes the EMP damage.
The pulse of Electromagnetic energy (regardless of what produced it) induces currents in circuits (just think of circuits as anything with ‘electronics’ inside). Depending on the amount of Electromagnetic radiation, the current that is induced in these circuits can be huge or small. If the current is large enough, it will burn out a circuit due to internal resistive heating.
Circuits are everywhere, and they are in most every ‘thing’ that we use today. Anything that has a connected loop of wire is a circuit (including the power grid power lines and grid transformers).
EMP does not affect living organisms because we (and other living organisms) are not conductive in a way that will cause damage… we do not have a connected loop of wire in us. However if a person depends on a circuit to live (pace-maker, life support) then that would obviously be a bad thing.
It is important to remember that a circuit can be protected by building a Faraday cage around it. A Faraday cage is a conductive casing that prevents the Electromagnetic radiation from reaching the circuit. This type of protection is likely nullified if there is anything connecting the inside of the cage to the outside of the cage (power cords, circuit touching cage, etc.).
An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) in effect destroys the junctions of the transistors in electronic circuits. It is a high voltage, high frequency, high energy pulse. It has little or no effect on living tissue, due to its extremely short duration. Having said that, it WILL have a potentially terrible effect on humans and human civilization due to the dependencies that most of us have on electronic infrastructure to keep us fed and alive.
There has apparently been considerable and renewed interest in EMP Weapons today, by many nations. Unfortunately, indirect consequences of using such weapons will be just as, or more devastating than other weapons of mass destruction given the reliance that developed nations have on electronic infrastructure.
EMP: It Can Happen

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Five Habits that will Help You Prepare for Emergencies

Filling Gas Tank

Original Article

Many people are still reeling from the after effects of Hurricane Sandy.  As I write this post, thousands are still without electricity and many areas are still so flooded that supplies cannot be brought in.   Food and water have become scarce in many areas.  People may take a fresh interest in getting prepared for emergencies.  But it can quickly get overwhelming for someone who is new to preparedness.   I know, because I felt a lot of confusion when I first got started.

I also started buying up supplies and gear at a rapid pace and ended up regretting some of my rushed purchases.  In hindsight, I would have gone a lot slower and more methodical. Before going out and spending money on emergency supplies, consider developing a few easy to adapt habits that not only will help you prepare for emergencies but will help you in everyday living.

1.  Keep your gas tank at least at half full.  I used to let my gas tank run all the way down close to empty.  Then the nerves would start getting frayed as I searched for a gas station wondering if my car would stall.  Not anymore.  Since I started preparing, I never let my gas tank run below a quarter, I prefer at least half a tank.  This way if there is ever an emergency, I know I can get in the car and at least get out of the city.  And if the gas lines were too long, I don’t have to worry about having to fill up right away.

2.  Two is one and one is none.  It’s an old saying about stuff you use all the time- don’t let yourself run out.  If your family eats something all the time, let’s say peanut butter, then  pick up two when you go to the store.  Same thing with toilet paper.  Never wait until you are down to the last one before going out to buy more.  Ever since I adopted this habit, I never have to make last minute trips to the store..  And if we ever have a hurricane warning, I know I have at least a couple of week’s worth of items that we use all the time.

3.  Keep some cash at home.   Many people no longer carry cash but use their debit cards for all purchase.  A bank glitch or any other disaster with a resulting a power outage will cause ATM machines and card readers to go down, leaving you without access to funds.  Set aside a few dollars that can help tide you over in case you can’t use debit or credit.  The emergency cash stash does not need to be huge, just enough to get you food and other necessities.

4.  Store what you eat, eat what store.  If you buy extra food for emergencies, keep track of expiration dates and use them up before they get old.  Resist the urge to buy things just because they are on sale.  Buy only what your family eats-there is no point in stocking up on sardines or raisins even if they are on sale if your family does not eat them.  A friend of mine found out the hard way – don’t let this happen to you.

5.  Have a paper backup of all your important documents including your address book.  I once had my cell phone charge completely run out in the middle of a conversation.  I wanted to call the person back on a landline when I realized her phone number was contained in the cell phone that now won’t turn.  Dumb!  Luckily I had written her number down on a piece of paper earlier and I was able to find it and call her back.  Lesson learned.
The habits described above won’t cost you anything but can save you a whole lot of headaches.  At the same time, these habits are helping you get started preparing for emergencies with ease.  This list is not all inclusive- what habits are you glad you acquired?  Please share in the comments.
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How to Protect Your Food Supply During Power Disruptions

Original Article

We all have perishable food sitting in our refrigerators or freezers. When an emergency comes and disrupts our power sources, that investment of perishable food is threatened.

Food safety is vital at all times

We want to ensure that our food is safe for consumption. That said, if our food becomes contaminated in some way due to temperature fluctuations, cross-contamination or improper handling, food-borne illnesses can occur and symptoms have the possibility of becoming severe. Moreover, due to the delayed response from overwhelmed emergency medical teams, food poisoning could actually become fatal.
As the power begins to come back on and the clean-up begins in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many of us will be attempting to salvage items from our food supplies.  More important than saving money is ensuring that the food is safe to eat. The USDA and the CDC have provided some guidelines to food safety after a disaster.
In this specific incident, the risk is not only from the power outage, but in many areas people also face the risk of contamination from flood waters.
  • After a flood, throw away food that may have come into direct contact with flood water, without exception.
  • Food containers with screw-caps, snap-lids, crimped caps (soda pop bottles), twist caps, flip tops, snap-open, and home canned foods should be discarded if they have come into contact with floodwater because they cannot be disinfected.
  • If store-bought cans have come in contact with floodwater or storm water, remove the labels, wash the cans, and dip them in a solution of 1 cup (8 oz/250 mL) of bleach in 5 gallons of water. Re-label the cans with a marker. Include the expiration date.
  • CDC recommends discarding wooden cutting boards, baby bottle nipples, and pacifiers. These items cannot be properly sanitized if they have come into contact with flood waters.
  • Thoroughly wash metal pans, ceramic dishes, and utensils (including can openers) with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse and then sanitize them by boiling in clean water or immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available).
  • Thoroughly wash counter tops with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse and then sanitize them by applying a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available). Allow to air-dry.
  • Others are dealing with extended power outages.  If your refrigerator and freezer were loaded with food, you may be wondering if any of it is still safe to eat.
So how long will your food last when the electricity goes out? Refrigerated food will stay cold for 4-6 hours assuming the door is left closed as much as possible.  After that time, many of the items in your refrigerator should be discarded.  This chart from the USDA offers guidelines. In a fully stocked freezer, frozen foods will remain safely frozen for approximately two day.

FOOD Held above 40 °F for over 2 hours
Raw or leftover cooked meat, poultry, fish, or seafood; soy meat substitutes
Thawing meat or poultry Discard
Meat, tuna, shrimp,chicken, or egg salad Discard
Gravy, stuffing, broth Discard
Lunchmeats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, dried beef Discard
Pizza – with any topping Discard
Canned hams labeled “Keep Refrigerated” Discard
Canned meats and fish, opened Discard
Soft Cheeses: blue/bleu, Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, cottage, cream, Edam, Monterey Jack, ricotta, mozzarella, Muenster, Neufchatel, queso blanco, queso fresco
Hard Cheeses: Cheddar, Colby, Swiss, Parmesan, provolone, Romano Safe
Processed Cheeses Safe
Shredded Cheeses Discard
Low-fat Cheeses Discard
Grated Parmesan, Romano, or combination (in can or jar) Safe
Milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, yogurt, eggnog, soy milk
Butter, margarine Safe
Baby formula, opened Discard
Fresh eggs, hard-cooked in shell, egg dishes, egg products
Custards and puddings Discard
Fresh fruits, cut
Fruit juices, opened Safe
Canned fruits, opened Safe
Fresh fruits, coconut, raisins, dried fruits, candied fruits, dates Safe
Opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradish
Discard if above 50 °F for over 8 hrs.
Peanut butter Safe
Jelly, relish, taco sauce, mustard, catsup, olives, pickles Safe
Worcestershire, soy, barbecue, Hoisin sauces Safe
Fish sauces (oyster sauce) Discard
Opened vinegar-based dressings Safe
Opened creamy-based dressings Discard
Spaghetti sauce, opened jar Discard
Bread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads, tortillas
Refrigerator biscuits,rolls, cookie dough Discard
Cooked pasta, rice, potatoes Discard
Pasta salads with mayonnaise or vinaigrette Discard
Fresh pasta Discard
Cheesecake Discard
Breakfast foods –waffles, pancakes, bagels Safe
Pastries, cream filled
Pies – custard,cheese filled, or chiffon; quiche Discard
Pies, fruit Safe
Fresh mushrooms, herbs, spices
Greens, pre-cut, pre-washed, packaged Discard
Vegetables, raw Safe
Vegetables, cooked; tofu Discard
Vegetable juice, opened Discard
Baked potatoes Discard
Commercial garlic in oil Discard
Potato Salad Discard

Frozen Food
When to Save and When To Throw It Out
FOOD Still contains ice crystals and feels as cold as if refrigerated Thawed.
Held above 40 °F for over 2 hours
Beef, veal, lamb, pork, and ground meats
Refreeze Discard
Poultry and ground poultry Refreeze Discard
Variety meats (liver, kidney, heart, chitterlings) Refreeze Discard
Casseroles, stews, soups Refreeze Discard
Fish, shellfish, breaded seafood products Refreeze. However, there will be some texture and flavor loss. Discard
Refreeze. May lose some texture. Discard
Eggs (out of shell) and egg products Refreeze Discard
Ice cream, frozen yogurt Discard Discard
Cheese (soft and semi-soft) Refreeze. May lose some texture. Discard
Hard cheeses Refreeze Refreeze
Shredded cheeses Refreeze Discard
Casseroles containing milk, cream, eggs, soft cheeses Refreeze Discard
Cheesecake Refreeze Discard
Refreeze Refreeze. Discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops.
Home or commercially packaged Refreeze. Will change texture and flavor. Refreeze. Discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops.
Refreeze Discard after held above 40 °F for 6 hours.
Home or commercially packaged or blanched Refreeze. May suffer texture and flavor loss. Discard after held above 40 °F for 6 hours.
Breads, rolls, muffins, cakes (without custard fillings)
Refreeze Refreeze
Cakes, pies, pastries with custard or cheese filling Refreeze Discard
Pie crusts, commercial and homemade bread dough Refreeze. Some quality loss may occur. Refreeze. Quality loss is considerable.
Casseroles – pasta, rice based
Refreeze Discard
Flour, cornmeal, nuts Refreeze Refreeze
Breakfast items –waffles, pancakes, bagels Refreeze Refreeze
Frozen meal, entree, specialty items (pizza, sausage and biscuit, meat pie,convenience foods) Refreeze Discard
Some other helpful hints for protecting your food investment are:
  • Items from the freezer that thaw can be cooked and then refrozen safely or canned.
  • Covering the fridge or freezer with blankets can help keep the temperature colder for longer.
  • Food containers with screw-caps, snap-lids, crimped caps (soda pop bottles), twist caps, flip tops, snap-open, and home canned foods should be discarded if they have come into contact with floodwater because they cannot be disinfected.
  • If cans have come in contact with floodwater or storm water, remove the labels, wash the cans, and dip them in a solution of 1 cup (8 oz./250 mL) of bleach in 5 gallons of water. Re-label the cans with a marker. Include the expiration date.
  • Never use contaminated water to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, wash your hands, make ice, or make baby formula.
  • If you have any doubt as to whether a food is safe or spoiled, throw it out – it’s not worth the risk.

Sanitation during Disasters Can Be a Nightmare

Another challenge during a disaster is basic sanitation. You will need to have clean hands, clean cookware, clean food prep areas and clean dishes and utensils. By planning ahead you can have many things in place that will allow you to do this more simply and efficiently. In a short-term disaster, disposable items are incredibly useful, partly because you don’t have to use valuable clean water for washing them.
  • Paper plates
  • Disposable cups
  • Plastic utensils
  • Paper towels
  • Baby wipes
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Aluminum foil to cover cookware and cooking surfaces
  • Garbage bags
Following many natural disasters, local water supplies and garbage pickup services tend to be delayed. Adding a simple sanitation kit to your emergency supplies can make a huge difference in terms of keeping your family safe. Additionally, learning how to properly dispose of waste not only promotes good hygiene, but also minimizes sanitation-related illnesses.
Even if you don’t have running water, clean your hands carefully with baby wipes and/or antibacterial hand sanitizer after using the restroom, changing diapers or dealing with garbage.
Take care not to cause cross-contamination when preparing food. Surfaces that have been in contact with raw meat must be immediately cleaned and sanitized before other food is prepared there.  After touching raw meat, be sure to wash your hands to avoid contaminating other surfaces.
In a longer-term emergency, cleaning supplies may begin to run low. Many cleaning supplies can be made with everyday household items.  Be certain to stock a big supply of basics like white vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.
Citrus Cleaner
  • Peel from any citrus fruit
  • 1 quart of white vinegar
Add the peel to vinegar and place in a closed container for two weeks.  Mix half and half with water in a spray bottle and use for cleaning floors, tiles, fixtures, kitchen surfaces and bathroom surfaces.
Soft Scrubbing Cleanser
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 4 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp. liquid dish detergent
  • ½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
  1. Combine all ingredients and make into a paste.
  2. Store in a small container.
Glass Cleaner
  •  1 c. rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 tbsp. of non-sudsing ammonia (clear ammonia)
Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well and apply to glass surfaces, then wipe dry.
 Homemade Spray Cleaner
  • 1 c. white vinegar
  • 1 c. water
Shake well and apply.  Use on kitchen counter tops, toilets, bathrooms, bathtubs.
Produce Wash
To remove toxic pesticides from produce, use the following method:
  • 2 cups of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • Big squirt of all natural dish soap
Add the above ingredients to the sink and then fill it with hot water.
  1. Allow your produce to soak in the solution for about 20 minutes.  You may see a white film rise to the top – this is pesticide being lifted from the produce.  (Note: if your produce is something that will wilt, like lettuce, use cold water for this process.)
  2. Drain the sink and rinse your produce well under running water, if possible.
  3. Take a clean cloth and scrub the outside of the fruit of vegetables.  If you can still see a film on them, clean out your sink with vinegar and repeat the process.
To conclude, when emergencies occur, they can disrupt the power supply long enough to threaten our perishable food investment and cause illness. Although a non-refrigerated food supply for emergency purposes is strongly advocated, we will want to find ways to save our perishable goods. Using the suggestions and tips provided will help you preserve and protect your perishable food sources and maintain sanitation during times of power disruptions.

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