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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Emergency Preparedness Kits

Original Article

Emergency Preparedness Kits

Emergency Preparedness Kits:

You may have to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having in sufficient quantity, your own food, water and other supplies because you don’t know if you will get help in hours, days, weeks, or longer. The disaster will define the emergency response time; meaning the type and severity will impact the resources and ability to get help to you.
A typical Prepper will have prepared in some way for disaster scenarios that could lead to being on your own for a relatively long period of time. Even if you do not consider yourself a Prepper and are not so concerned about major collapse scenarios, you can still be readily prepared for the most common and likely emergency situations by simply building an emergency preparedness kit that will keep you in reasonable condition until help or recovery.

Emergency Preparedness Kits:

When choosing what to include, consider how you would manage without the basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephone for a period of days, or even a week or longer. It’s as simple as that.
It may not be so simple to get along without those basic services, but it is simple to analyze and choose what it is that will help you through it.
Go through the process one at a time. What is it that you do each day that depends upon… electricity (fill in the blank), and then try to come up with solutions for your basic needs.
Building emergency preparedness kits can be fun. It is a personal set of choices that determine what goes inside. In fact, you could build a kit today, and then build another one in a few months to discover that you have included some different items.
While I won’t burden this with long lists of items (which can be found in plenty here on this site and others), it is helpful to look at the lists of others, many of which will give you great ideas. Start simple. Something is better than nothing.
Consider the seasons. Add or subtract based on typical weather conditions and changing needs.
Change your water storage every six months as a general rule of thumb. Rotate your food too, especially for car kits.

Emergency Preparedness Kits:

These kits do not necessarily have to be contained in a pack, case, bin or other constraint. You could easily keep the items you would need in your home in locations wherever it makes sense for you. On the other hand you should seriously consider building a kit that fits in a pack or bin for the trunk of your vehicle. This could be an additional emergency preparedness kit that is solely for you car, while you also keep items at home.
Having a car kit will cover you for while you are at work (assuming you drive to work), which when you think about it is a significant part of your day… meaning that you are nearly as likely to encounter a disaster while at work as when you are at home. This is a serious thing to think about and may impact what you decide to keep in your car kit.
If you commute to work with someone else or take public transportation, you should tailor an emergency preparedness kit that you keep at work, and one that fits on your person or inside a shoulder bag or briefcase that you typically carry around with you. This will require special thought with regards to items of practicality versus bulk, weight, and carry-ability.
I personally like the idea of the ordinary backpack / shoulder pack for simple emergency preparedness kits because it’s easy to grab and go, and it is easy to carry if you have to walk out. Even if you are building a serious kit for home which involves lots of items, bulk and weight, it remains a good idea to keep a bug out bag at the ready (although having one in your car may negate this necessity).

So what are you waiting for? Start building yours today!

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Prep Tip #8: 25 Questions About the Outside of Your Home

Question mark

Original Article

One of your first lines of defense is the exterior of your home.  Here are 25 questions to answer about the exterior of your home to judge what kind of message your home is sending to potential burglars/et al:

  1. Do you have your name on your mailbox? If so, take it off so that strangers who come up to your door won't be able to address you by name as part of a ruse.
  2. Do you have a locked mailbox and/or only send mail via a secured mail box?  Mail theft is still one of the easiest ways to steal an identity.  By securing your mail as much as possible you can deter this type of theft.
  3. Is your house number clearly visible from the street?  On the other hand, you do want to be able to call for emergency aid and have them respond to your house as quickly as possible; a clear address will assist with this.
  4. Do you have favorable landscaping in front of lower level windows?  Rose bushes, cacti, and other spiky plants will deter burglars from breaking in through lower level windows in your house.
  5. Is all overgrowth and debris removed from the areas surrounding your home?  This will not only help block wildfires but will also discourage people from stealing your unsecured property and/or providing concealment for lurkers.
  6. Do you dispose of packaging from various high end items (TVs, computers, etc) somewhere other than at the curb for your weekly garbage pick up?  Leaving this type of packaging laying around outside your home lets potential burglars know what kind of items you keep inside your home.
  7. Do you have adequate lighting all around your home?  With the flip of a switch you should be able to illuminate all of the areas around your home.
  8. Are exterior stairs and walkways secure and free of debris?  This is more for your benefit as it will provide a safe place for you to walk and avoid falls.
  9. Are all upstairs windows inaccessible from the outside?  This means no trellis or trees that would allow someone to crawl up and into your home.
  10. Do you keep all outside property secured?  This means no keys left in the truck or the tractor, all motorcycle and bicycles locked up when not in use, etc.
  11. Do you have a garden hose and fire extinguisher easily accessible from outside?  These items are useful for fighting unexpected fires.
  12. Does the outside of your home look well maintained?  Sloppy landscaping and a generally unkempt look can make you home look unoccupied and be an invitation to burglars.
  13. Do you have an exterior security system complete with remote access cameras?  This type of system can be very useful for both discouraging thieves AND for identifying them after the fact.
  14. Do you regularly inspect large trees in your yard and remove them if they are in poor condition?  Better to take down sick and dying trees on your timetable rather than to wait for a storm to do it for you.
  15. Are your outbuilding secured?  Outbuildings often contain tools, spare gasoline, and other valuable items that thieves are looking for.
  16. Is your property fenced?  This is a small deterrent but a deterrent nonetheless, to keep out unwanted people.
  17. Do you walk your property regularly to check for problems that need to be fixed?  By walking your property regularly you will notice when fences need to be repaired, when shrubbery begins to look over grown, etc.
  18. Do you have warning signs posted?  No trespassing and beware of dog signs let people know you are serious about protecting your property.
  19. Does your home look "lived in" both during the day and at night?  By having a car parked in the driveway it makes people think someone is home during the day.  By having interior lights go on and off at various times during the evening, it makes your home look like it is occupied whether it is or not.
  20. Do you always close and lock doors when you enter or leave the house (including the garage door)?  Leaving doors and windows unlocked or leaving the garage door wide open all day is an invitation to have your home burgled.
  21. Do you hide a spare key outside just in case someone in your family forgets theirs?  Burglars know where all of the hiding spots are so this is yet another open invitation to have your home burglarized.
  22. Do you keep your drapes or blinds set so that it will make it difficult for people to see into your home from the outside?  No use leaving all of the valuable items in your home on open display for anyone who walks by.
  23. Do you make arrangement for package pick up/drop off?  A note on the door telling the delivery person that you work from 8am to 5pm does nothing for your packages or your home security.
  24. When you go on vacation do you have someone to pick up you mail/the newspaper as well as ensure your home remains secure and the yard is mowed?  If you are gone for an extended period, it is a good idea to have an actual person coming around regularly to check on your home.
  25. Do all family members abide by the rule to not talk about the items your family owns (guns, gold, etc) as well as not talk about vacation plans or other times that your home will be unoccupied?  Blabbing about valuables in a home can make you a victim of either burglary or home invasion.
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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Need a new read?

 *Edit: There is now a paperback version of this great book available.

I just became aware of a new book, Getting Home, that is currently on sale in Kindle form for .99

I've lately been reading many fiction books along the same concept & will be giving this non-fiction one a read.

Get it before it goes back up to full price.

What will you do when disaster strikes?
How will you get home to your family?
What should you have with you to survive?

Getting Home addresses these, and many more questions.

Written in a clear and concise manner, with the reader that has beginning or intermediate knowledge of survival and disaster preparedness in mind, Getting Home explores the following topics:

1. Creating a robust Every Day Carry (EDC) kit
2. Supplementing your EDC with a Daypack (DP)
3. What to store in your office (or other facility while you are away from home)
4. Selecting and outfitting your vehicle
5. Selecting and outfitting a Get Home Bag (GHB)
6. Creating Caches
7. Getting Home: Tips and Tactics for Survival

 Getting Home