Tag Archives: emergency preparedness supplies

  • Why Ice Fishing Could Save Your Life

    Compared to hundreds of years ago, ice fishing in the 21st century is more of a competitive sport, pastime, or hobby than a means of survival. Today, anglers come to the ice riding ATVs equipped with electric augers (a tool to drill holes in the ice) and sonar systems to identify approaching fish.

    So is ice fishing a practical survival skill to learn if you don’t have all the gadgets? Is it even worth it?

    According to Survivalist magazine, winter survival diets thrive on protein and meat to give you the energy and strength to survive in the cold. If you don’t feel confident hunting, and if edible plants are hard to come by, fish may become a crucial source of protein.

    But how do you ice fish? What do you need? What should you know?

    First: Gather your Supplies

    Let’s say you have to evacuate your home in winter and all you have is your emergency kit. These items in your kit could help you ice fish:

    • An Axe—to cut a hole in the ice
    • A Shovel—to skim slush and ice chunks out of the hole (some recommend even using a rice skimmer or ladle to do this)
    • Emergency Rope—to create a set-line or to tie around yourself and have others hold the end while you check the thickness of the ice (safety precaution)
    • Paracord—for fishing line
    • Pliers and Cutting Tools
    • SOL Origin Survival Pack—includes a mini fishing kit
    • Tape measure—to measure thickness of ice
    • Bait—you can find worms and other bugs in hollow logs. You can also use small pieces of meat, if you can spare it, or smaller fish. You could even make a jig (a decorated weight that looks like a fish that you move around in the water)
    • Fishing Hooks—Sense of Survival suggests to use different sized hooks that you can make from sticks, bones, and other naturally growing fibers.
    • Powerbait—a neon colored play-doh-like bait.

    The list above gives you some last minute options to use if you decide you need to ice fish for survival and don’t have the tools. But if you’re planning on ice fishing as a method of survival and want to have your emergency kit packed, consider purchasing more specialized equipment. The following supplies will help you to ice fish using basic supplies that you can carry with you in an emergency.

    • Auger—there are both hand powered and electric augers to drill holes in the ice
    • Ice Chisel/Pick—used to clear out slush from hole
    • Fishing Pole

    -          Tip-UP Pole- can be made with wood or plastic. It has a long stick with a reel and trigger device. A flag is placed at the top of the stick using a spring. When a fish bites, the flag will bounce up and down (kind of like a bobber).

    -          Jigging Rod— a two foot pole that looks like your smaller, traditional fishing pole. You bounce the jigging rod up and down every few seconds to get the fish attention. Can be used with a jig.

    • Bucket or Chair—so you can sit comfortably on the ice

    Second: Test the Ice

    • Four inches is a safe ice thickness for ice fishing (five inches is safe for an ATV or snowmobile, 8-12 inches is safe for a car or small truck)
    • Survey the ice before stepping out on to it. Are there cracks or breaks? Flowing water near the edges of the ice? Has water thawed and refrozen? Is there white ice? These are signs the ice is weak.
    • Test the ice thickness by using your ice chisel, axe, or other sharp object to break the ice and make a small hole. Then measure the ice thickness with a tape measure.
    • Just because your ice is four inches in one spot on the lake, doesn’t mean that the whole ice surface is four inches or safe to go out on. Ice may be two inches thick and unsafe only 150 feet away from you.

    CAUTION: Be careful on the ice. Slipping and breaking a bone during a survival situation is far from ideal. And be careful of exposure—the reflection of the sun on ice or snow could cause sunburns, and [hypothermia] is always a risk in winter weather. Make sure to dress in layers that you can take off if you get too hot.

    Third: Make a Hole

    When making your hole, make sure it is 6 to 8 inches in diameter (this is where your tape measurer comes in) and no more than 12 inches across. If the hole is larger than this, you may put yourself or someone else at risk of falling in.

    Use your axe or ice chisel to chip away at the ice to make a hole. Make sure you make sure you have a strap or something to tie the axe handle or ice chisel to your wrist so you don’t lose it in the water when cutting the hole.

    Fourth: Fish!

    According to Survivalist, the goal of survival ice fishing is to collect more energy in the food you catch than you expend to get it. In a survival situation, you’ll need energy to help yourself or your family to survive.

    The best way to increase your chances and to save your energy is to have a number of hooks in the water at once. You can use set-lines (lines with multiple hooks on them) that you can leave unattended and come back to later. Having multiple hooks out in the water can increase your chances of catching a fish.

    To learn how to make a set-line, check out the iceshanty.com article, [“Scientific set-lining for more Pike”]

    If the set line’s not working for you, you can construct a rod and reel system and use jigging or bait or try your hand at spear fishing (but you need really good aim . . .) for survival situations.

    Have you ever gone ice fishing without technology? Do you think it would be worth it to ice fish in a survival situation?

     

    Sources

    http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/thickness.html

    http://www.worldfishingnetwork.com/tips/post/ice-fishing

    Survivalist, Issue 14: Jan/Feb 2014

    http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor-activities/snow-sports/ice-fishing2.htm

    http://www.wikihow.com/Know-When-Ice-is-Safe

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, emergency kit, emergency preparedness, emergency preparedness supplies

  •  Smoke Detectors and Fire Alarms: What's the Difference?

    Surprisingly, the terms “Smoke Detector” and “Fire Alarm” aren’t interchangeable. Smoke Detectors and Fire Alarms actually have different functions and may be better suited for one environment over another. For example, a smoke detector may be better for a home while a fire alarm may be better for a business or school.

    According to the National Fire Protection Agency, almost two-thirds of home fire related deaths were caused because families did not have a “fire alert system” in their home or if they did, they were not in working order. So it’s important to select a “fire alert system” that will fulfill your individual needs and  help keep you safe in an emergency.

    Let’s talk about the differences between smoke detectors and fire alarms and how you can select and maintain each system in your home.

    Smoke Detectors (aka Smoke Alarms)

    A smoke detector is a smoke sensing device that sounds an alarm when an abundance of smoke particles are in the air. Some smoke alarms even come with flashing lights for those with hearing impairments. Smoke detectors can work as either an independent unit or a connected system throughout a home or building.

    If you’re wired independently, one smoke detector will sound in a given area of your home. But as a connected system, if one smoke alarm sounds in, say, your bedroom, the rest of the smoke detectors in your home will sound as well. It’s recommended to place a smoke detector on every level of your house—preferably near sleeping areas.

    There are three types of smoke detectors you can choose from. Howstuffworks.com gives an excellent explanation of how each of these detectors work:

    • Photoelectric: Uses a light beam and sensor to detect smoke. As smoke travels into a compartment on the detector, that smoke covers the light beam, causing the detector to sound. Better for smoky fires (ex. a mattress or cloth fire).
    • Ionization: Uses a chamber to detect an abundance of smoke particles in the air and the accelerated movement of smoke particles signaling an increase of smoke in a room.  According to howstuffworks, “This type of smoke detector is more common because it is inexpensive and better at detecting the smaller amounts of smoke produced by flaming fires.”
    • Dual Sensor: Contains both Photoelectric and Ionization smoke sensors

    Smoke detectors are considered the cheapest option to keep your family safe in case of a fire in your home and range from $6 to $50.

    Fire Alarms

    A fire alarm system can sense heat as well as do everything a smoke detector can. Depending on the type of fire alarm you get and the money you’re willing to pay, a fire alarm can do much more than just signal that there’s a fire in the house.

    There are several options to choose from that can help you cater to your household. Some optional features  of a fire alarm include:

    • Fire Alarm Control Panel – connects the central monitoring station and all other parts of the system together—like the motherboard of a computer.
    • Sprinkler System—automatically activates when smoke particles reach high levels, protects you and property from excessive fire damage (but may cause some water damage as well).
    • Warning Systems—alarms, plus visual elements like strobe lights or flashing lights for those who are hearing impaired.
    • Fire Alarm Box-a pull down mechanism placed in a glass box that sends out a fire alert to local authorities. Similar to what you see in schools or office buildings.
    • Transmitter Devices—optional for elderly, can be worn around neck or as a wristband to signal for help.

    Note: Not all fire alarm systems offer all features

    Installing a fire alarm in your home is more difficult than putting in a smoke detector. Often, service professionals or fire alarm technicians install them. Some systems can be installed without professional help, but you’ll need to be somewhat familiar with electrical engineering to some extent.

    The benefit of a fire alarm over a smoke detector is the extra layer of protection you receive. Since fire alarms connect to local authorities, you can have a fast response if a fire starts in your home. They also have a longer lifespan than smoke detectors if regularly maintained.

    Maintenance

    Smoke Detectors

    • Test the detector monthly.
    • Replace batteries once a year (if you have a detector that uses a lithium battery do not replace the battery, but replace the whole detector according to the manufacturer’s instructions).
    • Replace the detector every 8-10 years.
    • If your detector is hardwired to your electrical system, you should have a back-up battery in it as well. Replace the back-up battery once a year.

    Fire Alarms

    According to the Electrical Construction and Maintenance website, maintenance of a fire alarm is largely determined by the age of the system. Systems five years old and under do not have a lot of problems, but systems ranging from 10-20 years may. Depending  on the quality and frequency of the maintenance. . You’ll want to do yearly inspections to make sure your system is functioning properly, even in the first five years.

    Fire alarm maintenance is best performed by a trained technician who has knowledge of how fire alarm systems work. Generally, fire alarm maintenance requires testing each component.. Technicians generally test:

    • The audible components—horn, siren, bell
    • The visual components—flashing lights
    • The sensors—smoke and fire sensors, sprinkler system
    • The signaling system—ability to signal the fire department and local authorities of fire
    • The battery—checking  for corrosion

    For an in depth look at the maintenance service technicians perform on fire alarm systems, check out the article, “Fire Alarm System Testing, Inspection, and Maintenance” from the Electrical Construction and Maintenance website

     

    So which system would you prefer in your home? Fire Alarms or Smoke Detectors?

     

    Sources

    http://ecmweb.com/content/fire-alarm-system-testing-inspection-and-maintenance

    http://www.dorsetelectricalandfirealarms.co.uk/Installations.html

    http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-safety/fire/smoke.htm

    http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/fire-and-safety-equipment/smoke-alarms

    http://www.usfa.fema.gov/campaigns/smokealarms/alarms/

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: emergency preparedness, emergency preparedness supplies, fire, burn week

  • Group Specials for November

    We’re offering four great products for group specials this month. Alert your group members to get their orders in early since these items will go fast, and you simply can’t afford to pass them by!

    What luxury to have delicious, real butter stored without refrigeration on your shelves, ready at any time to open and enjoy! Red Feather™ Canned Butter is guaranteed to last for at least two years in cool and constant temperatures. This limited supply was manufactured between November of 2012 and February of 2013, so each can has a guaranteed shelf life of at least 12 to 15 months. Determine how much butter your family would use during that period, and order accordingly. Each 12-ounce can is selling for only $5.00, a saving of 35% over the regular price of $7.50 per can. Your group must order at least 24 cans in order to get this price.

    Red Feather Butter

     

    We’re continuing our sale on Provident Pantry® Freeze Dried Green Peas. These peas are crunchy and fun to snack on right from the can. They’re also an excellent side dish or addition to soups, casseroles, salads, or stir-fry. If you’re looking to add more vitamins and nutrients to your diet, these peas are a good source of Vitamins A and C, protein, fiber, and iron. This month, they’re on sale for $12.00 each, 35% off the regular price of $18.50 per can. An order of only 12 cans per group gets you this terrific bargain, so if you missed them last month or want more, here’s your chance!

    Provident Pantry Freeze Dried Green Peas

     

    Another popular holdover from October is our brand-new product, the Small (gallon-size) Metalized Bags. These bags are perfect for preserving freeze dried or dehydrated foods once the can has been opened. The convenient zip-lock top means no re-sealing is necessary. A package of 10 bags is only $5.00 each, 41% off the regular price of $8.50 per package of 10 bags. It’s a great time to stock up on these! At least ten packs must be ordered per group to get this excellent discount.

    Small Metallized bags

     

    Back by popular demand, and in limited quantities, our lightweight breakfast packets of Granola with Milk and Bananas LRP or Granola with Milk and Blueberries LRP are on sale fro $1.25 each (a huge saving of 57% from the original price of $2.97 per pack)! “LRP” stands for “Long Range Patrol.” Like MREs, LRPs are developed for military use. This means they are lightweight and easy to pack for camping, hiking, or backpacking trips. They also are a great addition to your grab-and-go bag, car emergency kit, or home storage. Simply add water and enjoy. A total of 30 pouches must be purchased per group to get this whopping discount. Feel free to mix and match flavors to meet the 30-pouch quota.

     Granola and Banana LRP

    Don’t delay! Group orders should be placed by November 21. Since some of these items have limited quantities, the earlier you place your order, the better!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: monthly sales, group program, group specials, sale, Food Storage Tips, freeze dried food, emergency preparedness supplies