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  • 3 Tips To Get the Most Out of Black Friday



    Black Friday is coming up fast, and you know what that means! Killer deals, long lines, and an overabundance of annoyed shoppers. But Black Friday doesn’t have to be that unpleasant-yet-necessary evil in order to get your Christmas shopping done. In fact, Black Friday can be the best shopping day of the year!

    Being prepared is the name of our game, and that includes being ready for Black Friday. We love a great bargain (or tons of them!) and we love even more being able to get them without any hassle. We figure you might feel the same way. You can get all of our Black Friday deals straight from our website, so you can stay in the comfort of your home, in your pajamas, avoiding the mobs of shoppers that make take away the enjoyment of Black Friday.

    So, in order to be prepared for this year’s Black Friday, follow these three simple steps:


    1. Like Us On FacebookLike

    We’ll post on our Facebook page when our deals go live. If you follow us, you’ll be able to get a head start on the game. As some products may have limited quantities, being the first in line (so to speak) can make all the difference!


    1. Make A Game Plan

    Just like any sporting event (yes, I went there), you need a plan of attack. Make a list of products you need, products you want, and products you’re interested in. Then, when the starting whistle blows and the deals go live, claim the products you need first. Then, once your online shopping cart is full of the essentials, move on to the things you want, but won’t be heartbroken if they’re all out. Then, take a look at things you’re interested in. Chances are you’ll find a great deal on them, so if you’ve always been curious about something, this is the time to try it out!


    1. Share the Love

    Before you finish, think about your shopping list for Christmas. Giving the gift of preparedness is one of the best gifts you can give! After all, gifts that will help your loved one be comfortable, safe, and all-around prepared for disasters and emergencies show that you really care. You Christmas shopping doesn’t have to go past Black Friday, and you can get some really awesome products at a fraction of the price! It just makes sense to double up.


    So there you have it, Black Friday in three simple steps. This Friday, visit beprepared.com from the comfort of your home and cash in on all the bargains without the emotional stress and inconveniences that Black Friday can bring.


    What’s your game plan for Black Friday?

  • Preparing Your Car for Winter Weather

    via Denver Post via Denver Post

    In many parts of the United States, the first snow has already fallen. In some places the storms were doozies: Parts of Reno, Nevada received 10 inches of snow on November 11 and Denver saw its first blizzard in five years on November 16.

    So, isn’t it time prepare your car for winter?

    First, make sure the car is running well, said Rolayne Fairclough, a spokesperson for AAA Utah.

    “Take it in and have a mechanic prepare it for the winter,” she said.

    Make sure the battery is fully charged, because it’s weaker in cold weather. Mechanics can test it or some car parts stores will test it for free, according to an article in Kiplinger.com, a financial planning site. If you know your battery’s powering down, you can replace it at your convenience and at a better price, the site said.

    Make sure hoses and belts aren’t cracked, Fairclough said. Winter can increase cracks and cause breaking. Also make sure the exhaust system is leak-free so carbon monoxide doesn’t fill your car.

    Whether you choose all-season or winter tires, make sure they’ve got enough tread, Kiplinger.com said. The web site for The Tire Rack, a tire vendor, demonstrates a coin-based way to check the tread.

    Its site points out that at 1/16 of an inch, the minimum tread required by law in most places, “resistance to hydroplaning in the rain at highway speeds has been significantly reduced, and traction in snow has been virtually eliminated.”

    Winter TireYou may have been told to under-inflate tires to give them more surface area. That only helps if the snow is deep and soft, said the Kiplinger.com story. On a normal drive, under-inflated tires act more like hydroplaning tires because they don’t grab the pavement as well as fully inflated tires. Also, remember tires lose a pound of pressure for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit temperature drop.

    Make sure your brakes are in good condition.

    Check windshield wipers and wiper fluid too. Windshield wiper blades have a lifespan of about a year, according to the Kiplinger.com story. In places that get especially cold, put an antifreeze solvent in windshield washer reservoirs, according to the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

    Putting windshield wiper fluid in a car. Don't forget the antifreeze!

    Make sure all the fluids are full and clean, especially antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid. If you live in a really cold area, make sure the antifreeze solution is good for temperatures 40 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, according to the North Dakota Department of Transportation site. Car parts stores carry an antifreeze tester that’s less than $10, according to Kiplinger.com.

    Check to make sure leaves and debris haven’t filled the opening below the hood and windshield: they can block water flow, according to Kiplinger.com. Also make sure nothing under the car is loose or hanging down so it doesn’t get torn out if you drive over deep snow. Finally, clean and wax headlights.

    The second step is to make sure you’ve got an emergency kit, Fairclough said.

    Keep cold weather gear like blankets or a sleeping bag, boots, a coat, and gloves in the car, she said. Aluminum “space blankets” can fit in a glove compartment.

    Bring a power source for cell phones, a radio, and a flashlight with extra batteries.

    Believe it or not, a candle can heat a whole car’s cabin, Fairclough said. Carry matches too, because extreme cold can freeze some lighters.

    Add water and a metal container for melting snow or drinking. Also bring high-energy food like candy, raisins, nuts, dehydrated fruit and jerky. Don’t forget toilet paper.

    Auto Kit Keep an auto emergency kit in your vehicle, just in case.

    Finally, take tools and equipment for the car: signaling equipment like bright cloth or flares, chains, booster cables, a nylon rope, and a shovel, and sand or kitty litter for traction.

    In a pinch, you can use the car’s floor mats for traction, Fairclough said.

    “A lot of people just don’t put a shovel in their cars,” she admitted.

    Third, take a few minutes to prepare before you go anywhere. Dress for the weather. Carry a cell phone and charger and make sure to tell someone your departure time, route and expected arrival time, suggests the North Dakota Department of Transportation. Check road conditions before you leave.

    Keep the gas tank more than half full, Fairclough said.

    “If you’re detoured, you have some flexibility and don’t have to worry about running out of gas,” she said.

    Finally, drive for the conditions. Although winter months see fewer fatal crashes, they see more small ones, Fairclough said. Typically they’re from people driving too fast and too close together.

    You can find detailed hints for what to do if you get stranded in winter at the North Dakota Department of Transportation’s web site.

    Have a safe winter!


    How is your car prepared for winter weather?



  • Staying Alive: Learning CPR Without Formal Training

    “Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive
    Ah, ha, ha, ha, Stayin' ali-i-i-ive”

    -- Stayin’ Alive, Bee Gees, 1977


    An earworm of a 1977 disco song could help save lives. The beat of the Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive” happens to be about 100 beats per minute, or the rate a rescuer should push on a patient’s chest while doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

    Learn Learning CPR could help save lives - via American Red Cross

    Using this song and a one-minute instructional video, the American Heart Association hopes to help more people learn basic, chest compression-only CPR. It can double or triple the chances for someone in cardiac arrest to survive, said Jennifer Merback, communications and marketing director for the American Heart Association of Utah and Nevada.

    According to the American Heart Association, 88 percent of cardiac arrests take place at home. Yet fewer than 8 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive. One main reason: only one in three cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander.

    “It’s that few seconds right before (emergency medical personnel) get there that are really important. It’s key to survival,” said Josh Schroeder, a firefighter-paramedic for the Lake City, Texas fire department.

    Schroeder described one incident in which a woman at home in the middle of the night called 911 to report a family member wasn’t breathing. When a person’s heart stops, oxygenated blood stops flowing to the brain, which can begin to cause brain damage in a few minutes. Death can take place within 8 to 10 minutes, according to the Mayo Clinic.

    Fortunately, she knew what to do. She began CPR while she was on the phone.

    “Because she called 911 immediately and because she jumped on chest compressions immediately, he survived,” Schroeder said.

    Most Americans – 70 percent, according to the American Heart Association – feel like they’d be helpless in a cardiac emergency because they don’t know CPR or have forgotten how to administer it.

    “Obviously we’d love for people to get CPR certified,” Merback said. But a lack of formal training shouldn’t stop someone from trying to help.


    So, here’s how someone without formal training can administer hands-only CPR to an older child or adult, without rescue breathing, according to the American Red Cross. Some studies suggest that hands-only CPR can work as well as regular CPR, Merback said.

    1. Make sure the scene is safe, “so you’re not performing CPR around downed power lines,” said Merback.
    2. Check if the older child or adult is conscious or unconscious. If conscious, get permission to call 911 for any life-threatening condition. If unconscious, tap or shake the person’s shoulder and ask, loudly, “Are you OK?” Quickly look for breathing by gently tilting the person’s head back, lifting the chin and putting your ear close to their mouth. Occasional gasps are not breathing. If the person is breathing, keep the head back to keep the airway open and call 911.
    3. If you don’t get a response, call 911.
    4. If the person is unresponsive and not breathing, begin chest compressions. If you can, put the 911 dispatcher on speaker phone and begin chest compressions while on the phone. When possible, use disposable gloves. The Red Cross sells a key chain for $4 with a face shield for rescue breaths and disposable gloves.


    Here’s how to do chest compressions.

    1. CPR ExamplePut the heel of one hand on the center of the chest.
    2. Place the heel of the other hand on top of the first hand and lace your fingers together.
    3. Keeping arms straight, position your shoulders directly over your hands.
    4. Push hard and fast, keeping elbows locked and letting the chest rise completely before pushing down again. Compress the chest at least two inches and 100-120 times per minute. That’s as fast as the song “Stayin’ Alive.” Try singing it in your head, since you won’t be able to get it out of your brain anyway.
    5. Don’t stop except in one of the following situations: The person begins breathing on their own. Another trained responder arrives to help. EMS personnel arrive and take over. You’re too exhausted. An AED is ready. Or, the scene becomes unsafe.

    People often don’t press fast or hard enough. Broken ribs are OK.
    “You’re trying to squish their heart between their sternum and their backbone,” said Jon Kerkmann, a respiratory therapist who works at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, Utah.

    Mostly, don’t be afraid. Good Samaritan laws in most states protect people who try to help, Merback said.

    “They’re already dead if you don’t do something. You’re not going to hurt them anymore,” said Kerkmann.

    And if possible, take a CPR class and get trained in using an AED. Classes are available through the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association.


    What are some other life-saving skills you have? Let us know in the comments!


    Disaster_Blog_Banner - CPR

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