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  • 10 Survival Apps You Need Now

    Many people are under the false impression that prepping and technology don't go well together. Don't get me wrong, it's quite easy to assume that survival is all about bushcraft (wilderness skills); but it's not! Survival means using all available resources to get through the toughest of times.

    Modern technology plays a crucial role in the development of various kinds of survival gear. Also, thanks to various survival apps, you can put your smartphone to some good use rather than ordering junk food and playing video games.

    Top 10 survival SmartPhone Apps

    1) Cures A-Z: This application has extensive information about natural/home remedies and can be very handy for treating minor ailments. Even a seemingly trivial illness such as a cold can cause death if it not treated in time. Hence, this is one app that you absolutely must have. It has been downloaded more than a million times and free to use. Moreover, it also has a useful “share” feature that allows you to pass on info to friends and family.(Download Links: I-Tunes App Store - Android App)

    2) Knots-3D: Knots have a multitude of uses – from creating makeshift tools to temporary shelters and even rudimentary rafts. This app teaches you how to tie more than 100 knots using a 3D guide. It also features information on which knots are good (and bad) for which particular situations. You can even adjust the animation speed and slow down the more complex knots. (Download Links: I-Tunes App Store - Android App)

    3) SAS-Survival: This is the most complete survival app in our opinion. It contains exhaustive content on all possible survival or disaster scenarios. It teaches you important survival skills such as making fires, building shelters, procuring and purifying water, dealing with extreme weather conditions, responding to natural calamities, self-defense, and a lot more. The best aspect of this app is that it works offline – this makes it very usable if the mobile networks are down. (Download Links: I-Tunes App Store - Android App)

    4) Your google drive: You need this to backup all your important data such as identity cards, driving license, passports, home ownership papers, insurance policies, bank accounts, car titles, etc. This way, you can still identify yourself and access crucial financial and personal information even if you don’t have the hard copies with you. (Download Links: I-Tunes App Store - Android App)

    5) Flashlight: This app can help you light up dark areas – it is not an alternative for a real flashlight, but it can get the job done. You should already have one built into your phone.

    6) Wild edibles: This application can help you to find edible plants in the wild. The few food cans in your bug out bag will be gone in a day or two and you’ll notice that hunting is a lot harder than it appears on TV (especially if you haven’t hunted before). This app can help you forage for plants – this is relatively low risk. Wild Edibles contains info on how to avoid poisonous plants, responsible foraging, as well as a number of innovative recipes. Even if you don’t need to use this app in a survival scenario, it can help you find free food near your home! Beats paying through the nose for organic foods and impress the heck out of your guests. (Download Links: I-Tunes App Store - Android App)

    7) The MotionX-GPS app: This is a widely acclaimed application. Some call it the best outdoor app as you can use it to download maps of any location on the globe even without internet connectivity. The app also has a tracking feature to prevent you from getting lost. Download this app and have fun with it – try to find the nearest water source or plan an escape route! (Download Links: I-Tunes App Store - Android Alternative)

    Red Cross8) First Aid App by The American Red Cross: This app contains detailed step by step instructions on dealing with a number of emergencies such as heart attacks, car accidents, drowning, fractures, bruises, cuts, snake-bites, diarrhea etc. The Red Cross is an authority in medical aid so all the info on this app is well researched and field tested. The app also has a built-in 911 feature that you can use to contact emergency services. First Aid is free to download and is devoid of ads and spam. All the content is accessible even when you have no internet connectivity. (Download Links: I-Tunes App Store - Android App)

    9) The award-winning Emergency Radio Application developed by Edgerif: This is a police scanner app, which makes it incredibly useful in times of natural calamities, terrorist attacks, civil war-like situations etc. You can use this app to listen to live frequencies broadcasted by the police, EMS, weather department, coast guard, air traffic control towers, etc. The app also has a feature that helps you locate the nearest source of frequencies and then guides you using GPS. Even if you don’t ever encounter a survival scenario, the Emergency Radio app can help you to track crime and other events in your locality. (Download Links: I-Tunes App Store - Android Alternative)

    10) Army Survival: This is a comprehensive survival guide based on army manuals. It holds effective and detailed information on dealing with extreme situations – from natural disasters to avoid being captured by enemies. You can become a master survivalist if you use this app seriously. (Download Links: I-Tunes App Store - Android Alternative)

    Special mention: The bug out bag checklist application is a good platform for beginners. It helps you create your bug-out-bag and tracks the expiry dates of your rations. (Download Links: I-Tunes App Store - Android Alternative)

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    About the Author: J.D. Phillips runs SurvivalCrackas.com and lives with his family in Southern California. You can follow him on Facebook and download his Guide How to Build the Ultimate Disaster Kit free of charge from his website, linked above!

     

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  • Give the Gift of Preparedness this Christmas

    Christmas RolloverHomer Robertson was driving south on Interstate 15 in Utah when he saw a minivan cross the median, hog his side of the freeway then roll over. He stopped to help and found three children and three adults, one of whom was pregnant and hemorrhaging.  Fortunately, Robertson knew emergency first aid. He got someone to call 911, then he, a nurse and a deputy who arrived on the scene treated the family for injuries and shock until paramedics took over.

    This time of year, many of us give gifts like emergency food and gear. We can give gifts of preparedness like these. And, as Mr. Robertson did, we can give gifts of our own preparation and knowledge.

    I asked several members of my extended family about gifts of preparedness they like to give and receive.

    “I like to give things you don’t normally think about, like stuff for the car,” said sister-in-law Savannah.

    She likes to give roadside emergency kits, blankets, flashlights, water, and snacks – which she said are especially useful when kids are in the car.

    Christmas

    I got jumper cables for my car while I was in college many years ago. I’ve used them at least yearly since then, through many years and many vehicles, to jump others’ car batteries. This year, they proved handy when my own vehicle’s battery died. They were a gift that continues to give.

    A first aid kit for a vehicle is another gift that can keep giving. It’s great for minor scrapes, bumps, and pain when you’re out and about, even if you never use it for a major incident.

    Robertson said when he was helping after the minivan’s accident, a deputy arrived with a huge first aid kit. The first thing the deputy did, before he approached the scene, was put on latex gloves. He asked Robertson to help treat a woman’s bleeding wrist. Robertson didn’t have gloves.

    “I look at my hands, and he says, ‘get some gloves’ [from the deputy’s first aid kit].”

    Since then, Robertson has carried latex gloves in his own first-aid kit.

    Robertson also likes preparedness gifts that stay home, like wheat grinders and grain.

    “I’d like to get into freeze-dried food, if they knock off about $550 off the equipment,” he joked.

    My sister-in-law, Stephanie, enjoys giving less-expensive preparedness gifts.

    “I think it’s fun to give [Mylar] space blankets. I don’t know if people like getting them, but they’re fun to give,” she said.

    Christmas

    I gave my son, a Boy Scout, hand and foot warmers for his winter campouts. (If you buy a bunch, hand warmers cost less at beprepared.com than at the dollar store.)

    My brother Mark gave hand-cranked flashlights to his young children. Not only are they useful in emergencies, they’re sturdy enough for the kids to play with, he joked.

    The gift of preparedness doesn’t have to be a physical item. Robertson was able to provide first aid after the minivan accident, and on several other occasions, because he took first aid classes. Consider taking a first aid course – or paying for one for someone else – through the American Red Cross or American Heart Association.

    Learn how to perform basic car repair, like how to change a tire. Learn how to sew on buttons or hem clothes, so you can help yours and others’ clothes last longer. The gift of preparedness provides endless opportunity for self-improvement – and can save you money.

    The gift of preparedness is powerful, because it allows you to serve others long after Christmas decorations are put away. Isn’t that Christmas at its best?

     

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  • Freeze-Dried Food as a Mainstream Meal Option

    Last week stank. One daughter had her tonsils removed Monday. All of the rest of my family – including me – were suffering through nasty colds. And my husband’s been out of town. I could barely leave the house.

    To feed my family, I relied on food storage, especially products like freeze-dried beef stew and freeze-dried vegetables that were fast and easy to cook.

    This TV news story, from a Houston ABC affiliate, said freeze-dried food isn’t just for natural disasters or astronauts anymore.  It’s also showing up in everyday cooking, as people discover that freeze-dried foods are convenient and save money.

    Preparing a freeze-dried meal takes less time than going out to a restaurant or ordering something in. It also costs less than a restaurant meal – even a fast-food one.

    beef-stroganoff Mainstream Beef Stroganoff

    It’s fast. Add boiling water to a freeze-dried meal pouch, stir a couple of times, and 10 minutes later, dinner’s ready. As more people have discovered freeze-dried foods, the variety of food available has increased too.

    "Basically, anything that you would normally cook can be freeze dried," Alissa Rumsey, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told ABC 13.

    Or, if you’re Misty Marsh from the ABC 13 news story, combine ingredients from separate cans of freeze-dried meat and vegetables to make a quick soup.

    Freeze-dried ingredients are already washed and cut, so you don’t have to do it yourself. I’ve tossed reconstituted freeze-dried hash browns into a recipe that called for potatoes. I’ve done the same for freeze-dried corn.

    Like other prepared foods, freeze-dried food is more expensive than canned or fresh food. However, it can still reduce your food budget, not just your dining-out budget.

    American families throw away about a quarter of the food and drinks they buy, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. That costs a family of four an estimated $1,365 to $2,275 annually.

    The NRDC attributes much of this loss to factors like poor planning, spoiling and waste from past sell-buy dates.

    Freeze-dried food can help with all these issues.

    chicken-teriyaki Mainstream Chicken Teriyaki

    You should be rotating food storage anyway. So, plan meals using food storage items, then replace them as they get used up. This will help reduce the hit to the wallet from food waste. It will also allow you to spread out food storage shopping throughout the year, so you can buy items when they’re on sale, instead of when you run out.

    Have you ever lost a zucchini or bunch of spinach in the refrigerator? And discovered it three weeks later, a soggy, mildewed blob?

    Freeze-dried vegetables and fruit last longer, so they’re less likely to spoil than fresh ones. If you’re keeping more of the food you buy, because it doesn’t spoil, you’re saving money.

    Freeze-dried food has a much longer shelf life than canned or frozen food – 25 years and more, if left unopened. I recently cleaned out my food storage and removed some really out-of-date cans. (2013, anyone?) What a waste of food and money. I could have bought freeze-dried food that would still be good.

    Freeze-dried foods take some practice. The first time I tried tossing reconstituted freeze-dried hash browns into a casserole, they came out soggy. I learned if I fry them just a bit before I toss them in, they hold together more like fresh potatoes. Also, different brands have slightly different flavors. So experiment. In the long run, you’ll save time and money.

     

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