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  • Get the Basics This Black Friday

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow! I hope your day is full of food and family (and perhaps even some football). Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful, that's for certain, and there is so much to be grateful for! Your health, family, job, and yes, your personal preparedness. Be grateful for that! You deserve to feel happy and confident in your plans for the future.

    We want you to be as prepared as possible for whatever might come. This Black Friday (tomorrow!), we have loads of amazing deals that will help you be even more prepared for disasters, job loss, and any other unexpected emergency that might come your way.

    Head on over to beprepared.com starting at midnight tonight (Thanksgiving) to take advantage of all our amazing door busters and other killer deals. This is a fantastic way to continue preparing for the future. With prices so low, it’s much easier to stock up on gear and add to your emergency food storage without breaking the bank. And that right there is definitely something to be thankful for.

    Not sure what you need? Let’s start with the basics:



    Water is one of the most important aspects of survival. Your body can only survive three days without water. After that, all bets are off. If you’re not sure where to begin, I suggest taking a look at our emergency water options.



    Food is also important. Not only is it crucial to life, but it’s tasty and an enjoyable part of every day. Our freeze-dried food can be stored for up to 25 years, making it ideal for emergencies. But don’t stop there! It’s one of the easiest, most delicious options for your camping, hunting, and other outdoor trips. So if you’re looking for meal options for the next couple of decades, look no further.



    Happy Thanksgiving!Your outdoor gear is useful while camping, hiking, and otherwise being away from technology. But did you know that your outdoor gear can double as emergency gear? So even if you’re not into camping and getting lost in the woods for fun, having some extra gear on hand could prove quite useful should you be effected by a disaster. Even power outages and other minor emergencies can be made much easier by having alternative power sources, extra lights, and other essential gear.


    Of course, there’s a lot more to choose from than what’s listed here. But it’s Black Friday! You don’t have time to read lengthy reports about all our products on sale! Head on over to beprepared.com and take a look for yourself. I guarantee you’ll find something that catches your eye, and the price attached to it will make it that much better.


    Happy Thanksgiving! What are you most looking forward to this Black Friday?


    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • El Niño Winter: Is California Hosed?

    California is in deep with their drought. Fortunately, El Niño is on the way with a wet winter! Unfortunately, that’s going to cause more flooding than any real drought relief.

    That’s what happens when the ground is insanely parched. Rain water won’t seep in. Instead, it puddles up over the ground like it’s concrete. This, as you might imagine, can cause some pretty bad flooding.

    Man in Rain - Mirror - El Niño Winter via Mirror

    Think about it. California is like a really, really thirsty person who would like nothing more than to stick his head underneath the faucet for a drink (he’d use a cup, but he’s fresh out). Instead of getting a drip or even a constant flow, he gets blasted by a firehouse, unleashing all its water at him at once. That makes it rather difficult to drink when it’s coming at you that fast. The same goes with drought stricken ground. Light rain would be great. A torrent of water, however, is just going to wash everything away.

    San Diego may not be known for its mega-storms, but, according to a report by San Diego 6, El Niño has wreaked havoc in the past, creating winds of 60 miles per hour. That’s some serious tree toppling weather! Add rain to that mix and you’ve got yourself a flash flood problem.

    El Niño Winter Map - AccuWeather This map shows the stormy winter predicted to hit California - via AccuWeather

    AccuWeather expects Californians will have to deal with flooding and even landslides. Areas especially under threat are those over recent burn scar areas where forest fires raged earlier this and previous years. So, if you don’t have flood insurance yet, I highly recommend getting some before El Niño sets in. Remember, flood insurance takes 30 days to become active from the day you purchase, so make sure you get some now, before the floods come.

    But with all this rain, you must be thinking it can’t all be bad, right? Well, you’d be correct in that assumption. Where there’s rain near sea level, there is snow up in the mountains, and California desperately needs more snow.

    The snow pack in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains is at its lowest in 500 years. This snow pack is ideally supposed to help provide fresh water for California. But, with the snow up there constantly melting, that backup water supply is virtually non-existent. So while El Niño may bring redundant flooding down below, it will also bring that all-important white stuff to the mountains. California needs more snow, so this, at least, is a good thing.

    Ready or not, however, the rains will be coming to California, and floods are going to make things messy. The time to prepare – as always – is now. Don’t risk going into this El Niño season without flood insurance. The people in Noah’s time were warned about a great flood, but they didn’t prepare themselves, and, well, the rest is history.

    Other ways to prepare include having a storage of emergency food and water. If your home does flood, your food could get ruined, but by having well-sealed containers and stores of food on high shelves, you’ll be just fine. Clean drinking water may also be a problem during floods. Flood water can contaminate local drinking water, rendering it useless. Unless you do some serious filtering and purifying, you really shouldn’t drink the water. So make sure you have water jugs and barrels filled with clean drinking water, filters and purifiers, or all of the above. And, since California is situated along the coast, having a desalinator might not be a bad idea, either, if that’s within your budget. Desalinators convert salty ocean water to potable drinking water. With the vast, briny ocean right at your doorstep, it’s definitely something to think about.


    How are you preparing for the El Niño winter?



  • Does Cyber Security Give Us a False Sense of Security?

    Cyber SecurityImagine if hackers, in the guise of copper thieves, broke into power company facilities and deposited malware on their computers. Through those computers, hackers get into others, including those from other companies. Over a three-day period, these computers – key to keeping the power flowing – send suspect commands, forcing shutdowns, causing overloads and endangering the flow of electricity from hundreds of entities spread over thousands of miles. Power companies can’t communicate effectively because the malware might have infected e-mail and teleconferencing software. Power is restored, but only at a limited capacity, days to weeks later.

    Actually, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation imagined this in a 2011 exercise, and continues to practice similar scenarios.

    Journalist Ted Koppel, the anchor of Nightline for 25 years, also imagined this in his non-fiction book “Lights Out: A Cyberattack, a Nation Unprepared.” The book discusses the possibility of a cyber attack that leaves millions without power for weeks or months. His scenario includes cities running out of resources in days, the possibility of mass evacuations and the prospect of widespread civil disorder.

    In an interview with the University of Utah, he said a cyber attack on the power grid is very likely.
    “When I posed that question to former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, she put the likelihood at 80 or 90 percent,” he said.

    cyber security

    About once every four days, part of one of the nation’s power grids is hit with a physical or cyber attack, according to a USA Today story published March 24. The story described an attack on Pacific Gas & Electric’s Metcalf substation in northern California. Attackers cut underground fiber-optic lines and fired more than 100 rounds of ammunition at the substation’s transformers. Though no one lost power, damage was more than $15 million.

    Utilities aren’t the only sector facing cyber and physical attack.

    Fiber-optic cables, the backbone of high-speed Internet access, run for hundreds of miles under sometimes-sparse landscape. Fourteen times in the last year, someone has attacked cables in northern California. The latest attack, on September 15, affected Internet access to Livermore, home to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

    “Everything from phone calls to computer transactions, emails, and even the security cameras feeds watching the cables themselves travel down the plastic or glass fibers as pulses of light,” according to the story.

    Sixty-six percent of Americans bank online, according to a September survey from the National Cyber Security Alliance and ESET, an IT security company. Sixty-one percent shop online. Seventy-four percent do social networking, and 28 percent use the Internet to work from home.

    Although the Internet is designed to route around damaged areas, slowdowns and stoppages can happen.

    During and after the September 11, 2001 attacks, disruption to Internet service in lower Manhattan “cascaded to degradation of service in the Greater New York City area,” according to a 2009 U.S. Department of Homeland Security report. Fortunately, national Internet access remained intact.

    On the bright side, people can do some things to mitigate damage.

    First, have a small cash reserve. Ann House, coordinator of the Personal Money Management Center at the University of Utah recommended keeping several hundred dollars in small bills with an emergency kit.

    cyber security Stock up on food and water before a disaster hits.

    Second, have a food and water storage. Koppel’s book described a nightmare scenario in which “Supermarket and pharmacy shelves are empty in a matter of hours. It is a shock to discover how quickly a city can exhaust its food supplies. Stores do not readily adapt to panic buying, and many city dwellers, accustomed to ordering out, have only scant supplies at home. There is no immediate resupply, and people become desperate.”

    Third, keep electronic devices charged and have a way to provide a small amount of power for personal needs. Check out our small generators and other power supplies here! Or, keep a full gas tank and charge devices in the car – being aware that in a major power outage, most gas station pumps won’t work, according to Koppel.

    Fourth, keep copies of important information readily accessible and not just stored on the computer.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends storing important documents on a cloud-based service or an external hard drive or thumb drive in a fireproof, waterproof box.

    Important documents include government-issued ID papers, prescriptions or warranties for medical equipment, insurance paperwork, rental or mortgage agreements and photos or movies of each room in the house. FEMA provides an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit to help identify records to keep safe at home.


    Disaster_Blog_Banner - Cyber Security

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