Tag Archives: shelter

  • The Life Cube is a completely stocked inflatable shelter

    “In tough circumstances, sometimes all you need is hope.

    “…but other times you need a blow-up survival shelter featuring a bed, a couch, freeze-dried food, a 50-gallon water bladder, a first-aid kit, a radio and a cookstove.”

    According to wired.com, the latter may be a consumer option in the near future. A company called Inflatable World is in the process of raising capital to produce what they’re calling the Life Cube—a 4”x 4” box containing a well-stocked, heavy-duty, inflatable shelter. The projected pricing is steep, and for now the company (whose link from the article doesn’t work) appears to be limiting its market to first responders and aid organizations, though we could see it for sale generally sometime soon.

    The Life Cube highlights a gap in our preparedness efforts. Most of us consider the need for shelter in our emergency prep and include items like tents and sleeping bags in our stash. (Read our article on shelter and warmth to learn why a product like this could be crucial.) But when a disaster necessitates long-term accommodations, FEMA has reported overcrowding and insufficient facilities in the motels and temporary shelters they typically use. The Life Cube stands somewhere between the tent and the high school auditorium, as a temporary dwelling comfortable (and private!) enough to stay in for weeks or months at a time. Think luxury camping during the apocalypse.

    So, what do you think? Would this be a useful addition to your prep gear? Does it sound preferable to a FEMA trailer? And would you be willing to pay five figures for it? We’re intrigued.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: shelter, preparedness, Survival, emergency preparedness, Life Cube

  • Six Survival Structures to Help you in a Disaster

    Having a practical survival structure option is crucial in an emergency. This is why the Dutch non-profit organization INDEX recently held a structural design contest (structural design refers to the creation of buildings, homes, furniture, etc.) that asked contestants to create structures that could meet the growing global challenges that we face daily—one of these challenges being natural disasters.

    INDEX’s mission is to find the best designers who can create structures to improve the quality of life and to make daily tasks easier for all people. Each year, INDEX holds one of the largest design contests in the world.

    The CNN article, “In the Middle of a Natural Disaster? These Designs will Help You” highlights six survival structure from INDEX’s 2013 contest—designs that pay particular attention to helping people alleviate the impact of natural disasters in their lives.

    According to CNN, these projects “include a broad range of devices designed to save lives by helping rescue workers or giving people caught up in the aftermath of a natural disaster a way to help themselves.”

    The most interesting survival structure to me was the “Eliodomestico”. Its  structure is similar to a water well system, but it has a “futuristic” twist. The “Eliodomestico” gathers and distills sea water using the power of the sun to make it clean and safe to drink.

    Check out how the Eliodomestico works by watching this video.

    The other designs range from thin skyscrapers used as housing for victims of natural disasters to inflatable rafts that can be used as furniture. Take a look at the other five designs that CNN highlights by checking out their article, “In the Middle of a Natural Disaster? These Designs will Help You”.

    How useful/functional do you think these structures would be in a flood, tornado, or tsunami? Let us know in the comments.


    Image Source: http://www.nominateforindexaward.com/Presentation/read/id=MTc0MQ==

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: warmth, skills, shelter, preparedness, Survival, emergency preparedness

  • Make your own emergency kit

    Emergency kits come in all shapes and sizes, filled with all types of food, water supplies, shelters, and tools. But what is the right type of emergency kit for you? Building your own emergency kit is as simple as one, two, and three. For $10 or less apiece, you can arm yourself with the right products to help you meet your most basic needs in an emergency.

    1. Food & Water

    • Survival food packages like the Mainstay 3600 calorie bars work well because they are lightweight, compact, and delicious—they taste like cookie dough. Unlike traditional energy bars, these are formulated to withstand extreme temperatures and still last for 5 years. Keep them in your car, boat, RV, or inside your emergency kit at home. For only $7.50, these bars give one person enough calories for 3 days, or three people for a single day. 

    • Purified water in compact sizes can also be a good fit for adding to a backpack. Bottled water is a popular option, bottled water packages are prone to leaking and require frequent rotation. The 8 oz. Aqua Blox comes in sturdy packaging that is designed to keep your water safe for 5 years with the convenience of a juice-box-style package and straw. The water also comes purified, not just filtered, so it is contaminant free. Six of these blox would be sufficient drinking water for one person over 3 days for about $5. 

    • Filter Straws can treat natural water sources that you come across to allow you to find and treat water rather than carrying it. Simply suck water through the filter straw to remove common germs. If the source is frequented by humans or livestock, however, this filter would likely not provide the required protection. Cost is about $10.

    2. Shelter

    • Emergency ponchos pack up tight and are lightweight, yet provide substantial coverage to keep more of your body dry. Staying dry dramatically increases our comfort, making the emergency poncho an affordable and practical (about $1) addition to any kit. 

    • Portable Tents are another way to provide shelter—or even just to mark an area as your own. Unlike traditional tents, a tube tent is inexpensive, lightweight, and packs incredibly small to fit inside of your kit without forcing you to leave other items out. It is so light because of its simplicity – no poles, no stakes, just a tent wall. The tube tent is an 8 ft. long tube that shelters two people for about $4.

    3. Warmth

    There are two simple ways to stay warm in cold weather: 1) keep more of your own body heat, and 2) generate heat around you (campfires or heaters).

    •  Many of us use blankets and sleeping bags to retain more of our body heat.  Emergency sleeping bags are made of a high-efficiency reflective material that retains up to 90% of your body heat. They can be stored in very small spaces and only cost about $4. I’ve experienced a night in one of these bags and was very grateful I had it. 

    •  Having portable heat sources can keep your body from shutting down from loss of warmth. Disposable body warmers (larger versions of commonly-known hand warmers) provide heat for up to 20 hours and take up very little space. Their small size (and price – about $1 each) allows you to add several to your supplies. 

    •  Even if you aren’t a boy scout, you can start a fire with Emergency Essential’s various offerings of matches and strikers. One of my favorite options is Stormproof matches. Unlike conventional matches, these stay lit much longer to help you start a fire. Even if the matches get wet or the weather is windy, Stormproof matches will get the job done. You can buy a box by itself (about $4), or with a weather proof case for about $6. Check out the video on the link to see how amazing they are.

    See? Easy as 1-2-3. We have even set out to help you get started with the Basics Emergency Kit. This pre-made set includes many of these basic items and costs just about $20. This kit includes food, water, a poncho, 3 body/hand warmers, an emergency sleeping bag, a whistle, a lightstick, and an 18-piece first aid kit.

    With these basics, your emergency kit is off to a great start and can help protect you in a crisis. As your kit continues to grow, you can add more durable items to your supply, expanding it to prepare you for whatever the future may hold.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: warmth, shelter, preparedness, emergency kit, water, Survival, emergency preparedness, food, Emergency Essentials, survival gear

  • Resolve To Sleep Well

    It’s the new year and we're all making resolutions. We've come up with a unique take on four common resolutions and have some recommendations we think will help. Check back each Tuesday in January to join the discussion on each resolution. 

    Resolve to Sleep Well During an Emergency
    Sleeping well during an emergency can get tricky. Sleeping is one of the body’s ways of rejuvenating, and good sleep is crucial to your well-being—especially in a crisis. 

    In order to sleep well you need to be comfortable, dry, and maintain a certain temperature, all of which can get tricky in an emergency. When you’re stuck outdoors it may be too cold or too hot for you to sleep comfortably – not to mention that you might be on a cot or the floor. To help you sleep better, add these solutions to your emergency kit.

    Let’s start with the Sportsman Hooded Blanket/Poncho. This versatile item has a lot of features. One is that the blanket/poncho retains up to 90 percent of your body heat. In a situation where you’re outdoors in the cold, the Sportsman Hooded Blanket/Poncho will make a big difference in helping you stay warm.

    Another feature of the Sportsman Hooded Blanket/Poncho is that it’s lightweight and unfolds to 72” by 72” so it’ll give you a lot of coverage. If you’re caught in the rain you can hang up the blanket/poncho as a shelter and keep yourself dry. Or let’s say that you’ve lost power and your home is  overheated. Try hanging the blanket in front of a window, with the reflective side facing out. This will provide much needed shade and give you the chance to rest a little easier.

    The Sportsman Hooded Blanket/Poncho has four layers—one of which is ASTROLAR® reinforcing fabric. This makes the blanket/poncho tear and

    puncture-resistant so you can rough it up and still be confident that it will see you through the night. Plus it’s on sale this month for $12.99.

    Keeping a reliable sleeping bag on hand is a good idea—even for those whose idea of camping is a hotel. All of our sleeping bags work well for camping, so consider their other uses. A sleeping bag might make all the difference on a cold winter night if the utilities go out.

    The Slumberjack line offers sleeping bags for a range of temperatures (rated for -20°, 0°, and 20° F). With draft tubes, collars, and hoods, these bags have what it takes to keep you warm in an emergency at home or in the outdoors.

    Even when you don’t need the sleeping bag for warmth, it can come in handy as an extra layer of padding between you and the ground. 

    If you do have to sleep on the ground, you’ll want a sleeping pad. We have a handful of self-inflatable Therm-a-rest sleeping pads that are small, lightweight, and affordable. Therm-a-rest mattresses are designed with outdoorsmen in mind, so they’re durable and reliable. This portable mattress will also give you another layer of insulation from the cold. In any sort of situation where you’re forced to evacuate, you’ll be glad to have a Therm-a-rest in your emergency equipment.

    It’s unlikely that in an emergency situation you’ll sleep as well as you would at home, but with the Sportsman Hooded Blanket/Poncho, the Slumberjack sleeping bags, or Therm-a-rest mattresses, we can help make that night a little more restful. 



    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: warmth, shelter, sleeping bags, sleeping pads