All posts for the month July, 2012


Discussion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all know how important our children’s safety is, so lets talk about things to discuss with your kids and some important things to do before an emergency.

Be sure to include your children in family discussions and planning for emergency safety. This is very important because they need to feel comfortable in knowing what to do in an emergency situation and it could save their life or even perhaps yours. We’ve all heard those stories on the evening news of a 3-year-old calling 911 and saving a relative from some sort of medical emergency, this is a very real scenario. Is you child ready to make that call? If the answer is no then the easiest way to do this is to role-play with children on what to say when calling Emergency 9-1-1 and what sorts of things would make them need to call and get help. Things such as fire, intruders in your home and medical emergencies if a parent or relative is suddenly sick, injured or non responsive.

Teach your children their basic personal information so they can identify themselves and get help if they become separated from a parent or guardian. Teach children to dial their home telephone number and Emergency 9-1-1. You can also prepare an emergency card with information for each child, including his/her full name, address, phone number, parent’s work number and out-of-state contact. This is ideal for putting in their school back pack so in the event of an emergency they have access to vital information they might not be able to remember due to the stressful situation.

Regularly update your child’s school with current emergency contact information and persons authorized to pick up your child from school an know the policies of the school or daycare center your children attend. Remember to tell your children never to go with someone they don’t know and you need discuss stranger danger with them and what to do.

Role-play with children to help them remain calm in emergencies and to practice basic emergency responses such as Drop, Cover & Hold, evacuation routes and the family’s alternate meeting sites if you are separated in a disaster and cannot return to your home.  Teach children what gas smells like and advise them to tell an adult if they smell gas after an emergency and warn children never to touch wires on poles or lying on the ground.

Include a family picture and a favorite toy, game or book for each child in his/her Bug-Out Bag and include a copy of your child’s emergency card and include information on reunification locations and out-of-area contacts, such as grandparents or other relatives.  Provide comfort food and treats for each child in your family disaster supplies kit, this helps them feel a bit more normal in a stressful situation. Keep a recent photo of your children in your Bug-Out Bag in case you get separated in an emergency situation. It’s a lot easier to show a picture rather than trying to describe what you child looks like and for most people it will be easier to remember your child by seeing the picture rather than your desperate description.

So take the time to sit down and make a short list of things you want to discuss with your children, this will help you with the actual discussion and give you a check list so you don’t forget what you want to talk about. Make it fun by having them make their own contact card, they can color or decorate it and they will also be learning their phone number , address and other vital contact info. So go ahead, what are you waiting for, the sooner you start the sooner you’ll feel much better knowing your children are just a bit safer than they were yesterday.

Author: The Survival Guy



So what do you need in a Bug-Out Bag / Survival Kit? There are lots of great resources out there but it comes down to just getting starterd, so do a bit of research to decide whats best for you. Lets start by getting you the basics and you can take it from there.

Items for your bug out bag / survival kit should be packed in a waterproof pack that can be easily accessed and found in the event of an emergency. There are many styles of quality survival kits on the market so you’re bound to find one that fits your needs that you can start with, and add to it so you have a totally functional kit. There is no right or wrong as long as it gets you through at least the first 72hrs, some people say just to keep it simple and some say you need all sorts of things. Basically it comes down to one thing and that is what ever makes you comfortable, if having a small pocket-size kit works for you then that’s great, or if you need to have a few creature comforts, then that’s fine too. Just be sure it fits in a pack that you can carry when the time comes to use it.

I suggest having several kits, one in your car, the office and one at home, this way you are prepared no matter where you are. You can build one from the ground up with supplies you already have or buy one that has all you need and add your personal touches to it. I like the combination of a pre-made kit and adding to it, but that’s my preference so you do what feels comfortable for you. Hopefully you can just ride the disaster out at home and not have to worry about taking it on the road but this isn’t always possible and even at home you’ll need certain things to get you through.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

-Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation. Water is heavy so this is not always possible to carry so have a filtering device packed in your kit so you can disinfect and filter on the go or at home.

-Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

-Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

Flashlight and extra batteries

First aid kit

-Whistle to signal for help

Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

-Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

-Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

-Manual can opener for food

-Local maps

-Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Once you have gathered the supplies for a basic emergency kit, you may want to consider adding the following items:

-Prescription medications and glasses

-Infant formula and diapers

-Pet food and extra water for your pet

-Cash or traveler’s checks and change

-Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.

-Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or free information from this website.

Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.

-Complete change of clothing including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.

-Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.

-Fire extinguisher

Matches in a waterproof container

-Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items

-Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils

-Paper and pencil

-Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

This list is a great starting point and it gives you an idea of the kinds of things that you would need to survive, it can have more or less as long as the basics are there; Water, Food, Fire and Shelter. So start digging through your camping gear and through the closet and get things together and most important, all in one spot, so your not running around like a chicken with you head cut off looking for it when its time you need it! So start today so you and your family will feel a bit more confident about any situation that you might have to deal with in the future, and as always, you’ll be glad you did.

Author: The Survival Guy


A stored-pressure fire extinguisher

A stored-pressure fire extinguisher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During a disaster, ordinary objects in your home can cause injury or damage to you or your loved ones and pets. However, there are simple steps you can take to make your home safer by taking a room to room inventory. Start by viewing each room with a “disaster eye” if you will and identify the potential hazards, bookshelves that could tip over in an earthquake and block exits, large TV’s or other heavy objects that could fall and cause injury. The last thing you want during a disaster when you are trying to evacuate your home is an obstacle course. Sure you can’t disaster proof everything but you can identify the major potential problems and do something about it. Here are some things to look at doing to start this process.

  • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home and change batteries every 6 months and test them regularly, not a problem at our house since someone always seems to burn something cooking at least once a month.
  • Move beds away from windows. Falling glass..duh.
  • Move mirrors and heavy pictures away from couches or places where people sit. This is one that I’m sure everyone can relate too.
  • Keep hallways and exits clear for easy evacuation.
  • Store heavy items on the lowest shelves.
  • Keep ABC type fire extinguishers on each level of your home and know how and when to use them. Be sure to show your kids how to use a fire extinguisher, it just might save your life.
  • Store flammable or highly reactive chemicals such as bleach, ammonia, and paint thinners securely and separate from each other. If they were to spill and mix you could end up with some very toxic fumes.
  • Secure pictures and wall hangings and use restraints to secure heavy items such as bookcases and file cabinets to the wall.
  • Know how and when to switch off your utilities.
  • Ensure that all windows with safety bars have emergency releases. You don’t want to get trapped inside and not be able to get out when needed.
  • Be sure your home number is visible from the street so emergency vehicles can find you.

There are lots of additional resources and information on structural and non-structural things you can do to make your home safer in an earthquake or other disasters so take the time to find these resources and implement them into your home safety plans.  So get out there and start your plan today, you’ll be glad you did.

Author: The Survival Guy


Start by talking with your family about the potential disasters you could face and why it’s necessary to prepare for them. This could be lots of different scenarios but take look at the most common ones for your demographic area, this could be Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Tornadoes or Flooding or maybe a combination of all of them. Be sure to involve each member of your family in the planning process, especially your kids. By showing them simple steps that can increase their safety, you can help reduce their anxiety about emergencies and how they will react when the real thing happens. Here are some topics and ideas to discuss and plans to make during your talk.

  • Make sure everyone knows where to find your Emergency Disaster Supply Kit and Bug- Out Bags.
  • Have a flashlight and a pair of shoes under everyone’s bed in case there is an earthquake during the night or any other disaster that might cause you to need to leave your home quickly. Use a plastic bag or backpack tied to the leg of the bed to keep these items handy and ready to go.
  • Plan where to meet after a disaster if your home becomes unsafe. Choose two places, one just outside your home and one outside your neighborhood in case you are told to evacuate the area. Be sure your gas tank is always at least half full because you won’t be able to fill up before you go.
  • Determine the best escape routes from your home. Try to identify two escape routes in case one is cut off so you can still get to a safe distance. Also prepare a route that you can use to hike out if needed.
  • Make sure each member knows who your family’s out-of-state contact is and instruct them to call this person and tell him/her where they are.
  • Locate the gas main and other utilities and make sure family members know when and how to turn them off. This is very important especially if you have gas as a primary energy source. Explain to them to watch out for fallen power lines when attempting to escape.
  • Practice your evacuation routes, Drop, Cover & Hold and Stop, Drop & Roll drills. Try to make this fun yet it is a very vital part when planning. This will get your kids ready for different emergency scenarios and if or when an actual disaster happens they will feel more comfortable because they’ve done it before.
  • Teach each member of your family how to use a fire extinguisher.
  • Create emergency response cards for each of your family members.
  • Take into account the special needs of children, seniors or people with disabilities, family members that don’t speak English and pets.

This list is not all conclusive but it gives you a great starting point, and let’s face it you have to start somewhere. So take an evening or afternoon with your family and get planning, you’ll be glad you did.

Author: The Survival Guy


English: Spices in Mapusa Market, Goa, India.

Every house has food in the pantry that has been there for weeks if not months, but according to food experts, you may want to think twice before throwing those items out. Many common food products last far longer than you might think. We throw out tons of food each year in this country because people don’t understand how long they can keep things.

Consumers generally assume that foods should not be eaten after the use-by date on the package, but in reality this is not true, this date simply indicates the period of time when the food tastes best, not the date when it will suddenly go bad and make you sick. It’s true that fresh foods like fruits and vegetables should not be consumed much after the use-by date has passed, as these products generally spoil quickly (unless frozen), but for countless packaged products, the consumption window can last for years if stored in the right conditions. For people who have a real taste for a certain food, it’s probably a good idea to use it by the date, but nothing bad will happen to you if you don’t. The general recipe for longevity, according to experts, is for the food to be low in liquids, sugar and oil, all of which have the potential to mold and spoil the food, or to have lots of preservatives, which keep the food fresh longer. The area you store food in makes a difference also so be sure to store in a cool dry place.

So if you’re looking for groceries to buy in bulk and store in your pantry, these products are your best bet.

-Canned Beans and vegetables-

Canned food, by definition, lasts longer than most products in the grocery store because it has been specially processed in air-tight cans. In general, canned items can stay good for 12-18 months but some last even longer if stored in a cool dry place. Canned products like beans and vegetables can actually last for as long as two to five years. The only exception is if the can is dented or rusty, as that indicates the can has been punctured at some point, which speeds up the spoilage process.


You may want to think twice before replacing the containers in your spice rack. In general, most common spices like salt, pepper and oregano don’t actually expire in the traditional sense; they just become less and less flavorful as they age. Salt occurs naturally in nature, it has no expiration date. There is no difference in 10-year-old salt as long as it hasn’t been exposed to moisture. The salt will clump together if this happens. Over time the potency and taste of spices begins to decline, which is why experts recommend using these spices within two to four years to be safe. At that point you’ll probably have to use more of each spice in order to compensate for the loss in flavor anyway.

-Cereal and Crackers-

You might as well start stocking up on crackers and cereal for the winter. According to experts, these products are essentially just edible cardboard that doesn’t have enough moisture to grow bacteria or mold, so they can last for a very long time. Cereals like Cheerios and Puff Wheat, which have little to no sugar, can last for 18-24 months if unopened, while crackers like saltines can generally last for about two years. The safety and nutrient quality of these products doesn’t change, but the taste and texture might deteriorate somewhat.  You will be fine eating these things after more than a year, but you may find them a bit too stale to make it worthwhile.

Dried Pasta and White Rice

Just as with cereal and crackers, dried pasta and white rice do not contain enough moisture to spoil, and can therefore last for at least two years unopened. Consumers should be mindful though of what kind of pasta and rice they intend to store, though. Brown rice and whole wheat pasta may seem the same, but in reality each of these products contains more oil than their traditional counterparts, and can therefore go rancid much quicker.


Unmade popcorn kernels can last for up to two years, once again because they lack the oils and moisture that would lead to spoilage.


All those condiments you have left over from July Fourth festivities may just barely survive until Independence Day weekend next year. Ketchup, mustard, horseradish and salad dressings generally contain no ingredients that can go bad, they will last for a solid 12 months unopened before they completely lose their taste.

Coca Cola

Old fashioned Coca-Cola is the ultimate bomb shelter beverage. If left unopened, a can of coke will take an extraordinarily long time to expire. Diet sodas, on the other hand, expire much more quickly because they contain artificial sweeteners that degrade with heat and time.


Honey can take years to expire, you can conservatively hold onto it for about a year before its consistency begins to change, hardening and losing its sweet taste. Experts  say that honey stays good for 12 months whether it’s opened or unopened, making it one of the only foods where that is the case.


Despite all the claims in pop culture to the contrary, Twinkies don’t actually last forever. In fact, you’d be lucky to have a Twinkie that is still edible after a few months. Sorry all you zombie hunters waiting for the zombie apocalypse, you’ll have to do it without your Twinkies.

Author: The Survival Guy


There are six conditions to be aware of when storing food for emergency preparedness food storage, or outdoor recreation.  The foods being referred to in this post are shelf-stable freeze-dried, dehydrated, dried or canned foods.

  • Temperature – This is the primary factor affecting the storage life of any foods.  The cooler the better, 40-50 degrees would be great. Room temperature (65 degrees-72 degrees) or below is generally fine.  Avoid above 90 degrees for extended periods of time. The longer food is exposed to very high temperatures the shorter the edible life and the faster the degeneration of nutritional value. There are some foods available for emergency preparedness that is known as “emergency food or ration bars.”  These products were originally designed for life rafts and can withstand high heat for extended periods of time.  They primarily consist of white sugar and white flour, but were not meant to be the sole source of nutrition for a long period of time.
  • Moisture – Moisture can deteriorate food rapidly and create conditions that promote the growth of harmful organisms, so the lower the better.  The moisture level contained in foods varies depending on the type of food it is.  Have foods in moisture barrier containers (metal, glass) in high humidity areas. Be careful where you store dry foods in cans.  Very cold flooring or any condition where there is a dramatic temperature differential may cause a buildup of condensation inside the container.
  • Oxygen – A high oxygen environment causes oxidation, which leads to discoloration, flavor loss, odors, rancidity and the breakdown of nutritional value in foods. It also allows insects to feed on dried food reserves. Without oxygen, insects cannot live, nor can oxygen dependent organisms. Whole grain and beans have natural oxygen barriers and can store for long periods of time in low humidity and if free from infestation. All other processed grains, vegetables, fruits, etc. must be in a very reduced (2% or less) oxygen environment for long-term storage.
  • Infestation – Examples include rodents, insects in all their stages of growth, mold, and microorganisms. The proper packaging and storage conditions are required to control infestation and not allow critters to both get into the food, or have the necessary environment for them to flourish if they are sealed into a container, such as in the form of eggs or spores.
  • Handling – Rough handling can not only damage the food itself, but it can also adversely affect and compromise the integrity of the container in which the food is stored.  Glass of course can break; any pouched item can develop pin holes, tears, or cracks.  The seams on buckets and cans can be tweaked, twisted, or damaged to allow oxygen to enter the container.
  • Light – Food should not be stored in direct sunlight because of the potential of high temperature, and its effect on food value.  Sunlight directly on stored foods can destroy nutritional value and hasten the degeneration of food quality, taste, and appearance.  Foods packed in light barrier containers do not pose a problem with the effects of light.

If you remember these six steps when packaging food for long term storage you’ll have better results and when it’s time to use your food storage in the event of an emergency you will be confident that it is still good.

Author: The Survival Guy

Source: TheSurvivalPlaceBlog

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It seems that with the state of the union these days people are doing more to be prepared for a wide range of things; from economic collapse to fire storms, heat waves and even the worst drought in half a century. But Prepping is nothing new; families have been doing it for years in some form or another. Whether it be growing their own food in a garden and canning the harvest or raising livestock for food, or just keeping the pantry filled with canned goods.

It’s only in the last 100 years that people have been more reliant on technology and government for their daily needs. Since the recession began families have started to figure out they need to have additional plans and resources to get through these hard times, thus we have ‘Preppers’ in the main stream. Preppers seem to come in all shapes and sizes but there goals are the same, to be able to take care of their families when SHTF.

Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling a supply kit that includes food, water and developing a family emergency plan, are the same for all types of hazards. However each emergency is unique and knowing the actions to take for each threat will impact the specific decisions and preparations you make. By learning about these specific threats, you are preparing yourself to react in an emergency.

Prepping for whatever may or may not happen today or tomorrow is going to be essential to your family’s survival. Even if nothing happens you can always feel confident and secure in any situation knowing you are prepared for what life throws at you.

Author: The Survival Guy