Tag Archives: Survival

  •  How Prepared is your car for an emergency?

    In light of the recent debacle in Georgia, when a dusting of snow locked up roadways across the state, one local insurance company set out to see how prepared their city’s citizens were.

    According to Delawareonline.com, the “junk in the trunk” campaign hosted by State Farm found that, while drivers tend to leave or store plenty of items in their car, relatively few of them count as “emergency supplies” (not real sure how those mason jars are going to come in handy…).

    So, if you can’t quite think of a good use for old fast food bags and crusty beach towels from last summer, what should you stash in your car? FEMA has a good checklist, as does ReadyWisconsin who might know a thing or two about snow days, to get you and your vehicle prepared with the right supplies.

    Or, if you’re a level 5 prepping fanatic—and drive something more substantial than, say, a Civic hatchback—you can use the Allstate Insurance comprehensive, ready-for-absolutely-any-kind-of-road-trip-emergency checklist.

    Start here to gather materials, and don’t forget to clear out all the stuff from your car that you’ll never use! Except the ketchup packets. You really never know when you’ll need one of those.

     

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Winter, preparedness, Survival, emergency preparedness, winter preparedness, emergency car preparedness, car

  • After 10 years of living in their home, the Zwick family cracked open the fallout shelter out back and found it fully stocked!

    After living in their home for 10 years, a Wisconsin family was surprised to find an 8' x 10' fallout shelter in their backyard—even more surprising is that it was fully stocked! Ken and Carol Zwick cracked open the shelter for the first time in 2010, revealing $1,200 worth of emergency supplies stored by the home’s previous owners who were prepping for the Cold War.

    Inside the Shelter

    The Zwick family donated the supplies to the Neenah Historical Society (NHS) in the spring of 2012. According to the NHS website, the purpose of this society is to “collect, preserve, and share the stories of [their] community.”

    We reached out to NHS Executive Director, Jane Lang, to learn a little more. We were curious about the types of preparedness supplies the people who stocked this fallout shelter considered to be important to their survival 50 years ago.

    Although 5 feet of water seeped into the shelter during its 50 years of life, the Zwick family found many of the supplies still intact. Foodstuffs and treats like Tang, Corn Flakes, and Butterscotch Bits were found among other supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels, candles, clothing, bedding, tools, flashlights, and batteries (most of which were surprisingly still in good condition).

    But the previous owner didn’t stop there. Other supplies like a radio, an alarm clock, an axe, a funnel, and a phone book filled the water-tight, metal military boxes the Zwicks discovered. These World War II army surplus cases no doubt helped preserve the condition of the family’s emergency supplies.

    Emergency preparedness items from the 1960 fallout shelter as displayed at the Neenah Historical Society

    Items in your emergency supplies can range from the basics of food and water to items such as an alarm clock to help an emergency seem less like a crisis and more like daily life. One great item the previous owners added to their shelter was the phone book. Having a list of emergency phone numbers/emergency contacts is a great idea (as long as you keep it updated).

    According to Lang, one of the neatest items found in the shelter was a Geiger counter in perfect condition (still inside its box with the manual) and a “Banshee” radiation detector with its receipt. “It was fascinating to look at the contents of the shelter and see what people in 1960 were told to put into their family fallout shelters,” Lang stated.

    The Exhibit

    The NHS exhibit, “Take Cover, Neenah: Backyard Family Fallout Shelters in Cold War America” replicated the shelter found in the Zwick’s backyard. “I wanted visitors to be able to feel like they were back in the ‘60s, sitting in their own living rooms, and then leaving to take cover in their backyard shelter…so that people could get a true sense of that confinement,” Lang said.

    Lang went on to explain that in the late ‘50s and ‘60s, emergency preparation was greatly encouraged. As many visitors have toured the replicated fallout shelter and its supplies (1,500 in May and early June 2013 alone), they've wondered aloud whether we are “more or less safe [today] than we were during the Cold War.”

    Although in certain areas many people aren't as concerned about war as natural disasters, unemployment, or other emergencies, emergency preparedness is still essential. After all, Lang put it perfectly: “Human beings have always been and will always be concerned with family safety and security.”

    Currently the exhibit is closed for the winter, but will re-open in late April. The exhibit will close for good in late July this year. If you are in the area, stop by to check it out.

    If You Go:

    Cost:                            Free

    Location:                  343 Smith Street, Neenah, WI 54956

    For more information about the exhibit and when you can visit, feel free to call the Neenah Historical Society at 920-729-0244

    Update:

    A few of you have requested more photos of the fallout shelter found in Wisconsin so we found some for you! Below are photographs we found on the Internet of the Zwick family uncovering the shelter.

    Carol Zwick uncovers a 1960s fallout shelter in her backyard

    Courtesy of Daily News

    The fallout shelter behind the Zwick family's home

    Courtesy of Daily News

    Descending into the fallout shelter found in 2010

    Courtesy of Huffington Post

    Inside the 1960s fallout shelter found in a Wisconsin backyard

    Courtesy of the Daily News

    Stored water found in a 50 year old fallout shelter

    Courtesy of Daily News

    Foodstuff supplies stocked in a fallout shelter 50 years ago.

    Courtesy of Huffington Post

    --Kim

    Sources:

    Interview with Ms. Jane Lang, Exec. Director of the Neenah Historical Society

    http://www.focol.org/neenahhistorical/index.html

    www.nydailynews.com/news/national/wisconsin-family-found-1960-nuclear-shelter-article-1.1333040

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/02/neenah-wisconsin-fallout-shelter-photos_n_3200757.html

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: preparedness, Emergency plan, Survival, emergency preparedness, fallout shelter, 1960, Cold War

  • Could you survive the Hunger Games?

    As I sat in a packed movie theater watching the premier of Catching Fire, the second installment in the Hunger Games series, I started to evaluate my own survival skills—could I be as resourceful (and resilient) as the main characters, Katniss and Peeta? Would I know how to survive off the land?

    The recent release of Catching Fire on DVD (March 7th, 2014) made me think about how the media portrays emergency preparation. While a lot of things in the Hunger Games are Hollywood-ized, the underlying principles of preparedness can help us fill the gaps in our own emergency plans.

    Survival: Resourcefulness at its Finest

    For those of you who are Hunger Games fans, I have a question: During tribute (contestant) training, which types of tributes does Katniss always seem to migrate towards, becoming their friends and allies in the arena?

    Katniss is drawn to people who have practical survival skills: plant identification, logical/mathematical skills, or cunning curiosity and cleverness. Her focus gives us something to think about in our own emergency preparations.

    While it’s important to know self-defense during an emergency, it’s equally (possibly more) important to know how to survive off the land and how to be resourceful with the minimal supplies you may have.

    Hunger-Games-Style Survival Skills Self-Evaluation

    Take a moment to evaluate your survival skills based off lessons learned in the Hunger Games. Let’s say you only have one tool to work with.

    • How would you get food for yourself or others?

    • Could you cure illnesses or treat wounds using natural remedies?

    • Do you know how to recognize and forage for edible plants?

    • Would you know the various uses for plants (treating illness, dressing wounds, eating)?

    • Would you know how and where to get clean water when there are no fresh sources available?

    • Would you know how and where to build a shelter for safety and warmth?

    • Would you know how to build items to help you survive, using just natural resources? (fire, splints, boats or rafts, tools, fish line and fishing hooks)

    Evaluate the Skills You Already Have

    You might have more survival skills under your belt than you think. For instance, I am really good at finding items around my home and using them to build and create new things. This skill could be transferred to a survival setting and help me create shelters, splints, or fishing hooks.

    Think about the skills you already have and how those skills could transfer to a survival situation. These skills, though small, may help you and your family survive. You may be surprised by what you already know; then take it one step further and learn new survival skills.

    You can start beefing up your survival skills by checking out our large selection of survival skills articles under the [“skills”] http://beprepared.com/blog/tag/skills-2/ category on our blog and [Insight Articles]

    May the odds be ever in your favor.

    --Angela

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Survival, emergency preparedness, survival skills

  • Your Drought-Year Garden

    If you’re like me, a sunny afternoon in March finds you tearing through your Territorial seed catalogue and poring over cryptic drawings of garden plots. It’s like I can hear my backyard’s biological clock ticking and I can’t wait another minute to get outside!

    As part of your preparations for your 2014 garden, you’re probably checking out seed calendars and companion planting charts. Here’s one more graphic you might want to consider from the U.S. Drought Monitor:

    How will your garden do in your area during this drought?

    Experts are calling the current western dry spell one of the “worst droughts in 500 years”, severely affecting the supply of drinking water, as well as that for crop irrigation. In fact, one of the most far-reaching effects of even a localized drought in an agricultural state like California is rising produce prices across the country (read about food storage and drought here).

    In that light, gardening may seem like a smart way to beat the heat. However, if you live in any of the highlighted areas on the map above, there are some serious considerations for the home gardener. Some Californians have already been required to restrict water use. Your neighborhood may not be in quite such dire straights, but there are ways all of us can garden a little more conservatively in a dry year.

    Check out these tips and tricks for gardening in lean times:

    Water conservation is a good idea any time, but this year seems to be providing us a compelling reason to conserve. Read about California’s challenges and some solutions you can implement at home and in the garden. Then get outside and get those peas in the ground!

    Sources:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/02/us/severe-drought-has-us-west-fearing-worst.html

    Photo Courtesy of U.S. Drought Monitor

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, preparedness, water, Emergency, Survival, water storage, garden, gardening, emergency preparedness, drought, produce

  • When Typhoon Haiyan first set down in the Philippines last November, Emergency Essentials worked with disaster relief organization CharityVision to provide relief to those affected by the severe natural disaster. We sent supplies donated through your purchases and by our generous vendors, and we were able to outfit a great team. CharityVision recently sent us an update on the progress of their relief efforts, along with a few photos that illustrate how your donations have helped those in need.

    Those affected by Typhoon Haiyan continue to face the aftermath of the destructive storm

    A volunteer and children from the Philippines using the Wavelength Emergency Radio

    CharityVision has quite a few projects underway to help the long-term recovery and reconstruction of the area. They’re working to build a larger reserve of medical supplies and to set up a modular hospital facility. They also plan to provide shelter and power to families, hold gardening classes to teach self-reliance, and offer additional services to help  those in need. Each of these projects is possible because of the generous donations CharityVision has received from communities and companies around the world.

    As CharityVision works to "Build Back Better", those affected by Typhoon Haiyan strive to get their lives back.

    Although injured, refugees from Typhoon Haiyan smile as they plan to restart their lives

    One of CharityVision’s major goals is creating projects that will better the living conditions in the affected areas for those who saw their lives turned upside down by the typhoon. All of these projects are to help restore jobs and offer employee growth to those working in those jobs. CharityVision seeks to “Build Back Better”.

     “We view the reconstruction as an opportunity to build back better,” CharityVision posted on their new Facebook page Action Humanitarian which focuses on their efforts in rebuilding the Philippines. “Our current plans include structures that will withstand future storms to avoid the repetitious cycle of rebuilding following destruction.” They go on to say that their building plans will provide added protective elements over previous building styles without adding extra cost or skilled labor.

    Amongst the chaos and ruin that Haiyan caused, an additional issue has appeared: how does the country keep certain areas of the country occupied when so much of it is desolate and destroyed? Despite the international relief efforts aimed at the Philippines, the quality of life is dwindling in areas where lack of power caused by the typhoon creates a lack of commerce leading to a lack of jobs. Talented workers and students are leaving certain areas and moving to other locations for work. Learn more about the quality of life in the Philippines from the New York Times article “Months After Typhoon, Philippine City Suffers From an Exodus of Jobs

    Refugees from Typhoon Haiyan still feel the affects of the destructive storm

    Princeton Tec headlamps prep victims of Typhoon Haiyan for night with white ultrabright light

    As you can see, natural disasters can still have effects long after the storm has passed through making it even more important to prepare yourself. In the Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan cased months of difficult—and it isn’t over yet. Get started today on your own preparedness plans so you can be as resilient as possible if a disaster strikes.

    Check out the following articles to help you develop a valuable skill set that will help you survive in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

    Preparing by Developing your Skills

    How to Build a Fire

    First Aid for Wounds

    Emergency Shelter

     

    Sources:

    https://www.facebook.com/ActionHumanitarian

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: preparedness, Survival, emergency preparedness, natural disaster, survival gear, philippines, Typhoon Haiyan

  • Prep yourself each day with a new survival skill during National Severe Weather Preparedness Week

    Throughout 2013, severe weather disasters touched down all across the country. Whether citizens faced tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, or other disasters, the importance of preparing became very apparent. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have teamed up for their third year to inform the public how to best prepare for severe weather. They have chosen March 2-8, 2014 as National Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

    This year’s campaign, “Be a Force of Nature: Take the Next Step,” encourages individuals to set an example for others in their communities through disaster preparation and responses. For example, when tornado warnings, hurricane alerts, or other alarms notify the public of oncoming weather conditions, be an example and take action first rather than ignore the warnings.

    Often many will choose not to seek shelter immediately after hearing the alert. Instead, they wait to hear a second warning. Sometimes a second warning never comes. But once in a while that second alarm will sound and those who didn’t act after the first alert are caught in the chaos of a severe weather storm. If you take action to prepare, others will follow and, ultimately, stay safe.

    Knowing how to prepare for different weather disasters—and responding immediately to warnings—can help save your life. And so FEMA and NOAA ask you to “Be a Force of Nature.”

    Throughout this week, “Be a Force of Nature: Take the Next Step” challenges the public to take a single preparedness action each day. Your action can be something simple such as preparing an emergency evacuation plan for your family, or as complex as building your food and water storage supply. No matter what action you choose to do, this week is meant to better prepare you and your community for severe weather.

    Check back this week for tips on what you can do to stay safe during severe storms.

    Sources:

    http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1392907694854-c8defc5a1deef616f4c2fefb760b65bd/Severe+Weather+Preparedness+WeekToolkit.pdf

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, preparedness, Survival, emergency preparedness, severe weather, National Severe Weather Preparedness Week

  • Attack on the Power Grid

    |5 COMMENT(S)

    If the power grid got knocked out, are you prepared?

    “Almost everything we do in modern society relies on electricity.” So would you be able to survive without it?

    Granger Morgan, quoted above, heads the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. After a 2013 attack on an electric grid near San Jose, CA nearly knocked out Silicon Valley’s power supply, Granger and other lawmakers and analysts were shocked that no one was doing more to prevent a repeat attack.

    Many wonder if we’d be prepared to live without power considering how much we rely on power.

    The Los Angeles Times reports that the 2013 attack, which Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (the facility’s owner) once downplayed as vandalism, is now being treated as a possible act of terrorism.

    It would actually be fairly easy for a criminal group to knock out the power grid, according to a report issued in 2007 by the National Research Council committee (which was chaired by Morgan). If the power grid was knocked out, large regions of the U.S. could be denied “access to bulk power systems for weeks or even months,” leading to “turmoil, widespread public fear and an image of helplessness that would play directly into the hands of terrorists.”

    Unfortunately, as the Los Angeles Times reports, not much has been done to protect the nation’s power system. Read their full article here.

    Considering this vulnerability, it’s important to be prepared on an individual level for a power outage. Think about the following:

    • What would you do to protect your perishable foods?
    • How would you stay warm?
    • How will you see in the dark each day?

    Addressing these questions will get you off to a good start. To learn more about staying safe and powered up in  an outage, check out our Insight Article, “Preparing for and responding to a power outage”.

    Also take a look at some gear you can add to your emergency supplies. Adding even a few basics will make your time during a power outage or blackout more comfortable, and it will feel a little less like an emergency. These product categories are a great place to get started:

    Check out some gear that can help you stay warm in a power outageCheck out gear that will help provide you with power in an emergency     Check out this gear that will help light your way in a power outage

     

    What do you think is the best thing you can do to prepare for a power outage?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: preparedness, Survival, power, emergency preparedness, power grid

  • Survival At Sea

    Jose Salvador Alvarenga survived at sea for over a year eating nothing but raw fish and birds' blood

    Did you hear about this? Earlier this month, a ragged figure washed up on the shore of one of the Marshall Islands and claimed he’d been lost at sea…for 13 months!

    José Salvador Alvarenga, a fisherman from southern Mexico, went missing at the end of 2012 when a storm blew him and his companion off course and set them adrift in the Pacific. The young companion apparently succumbed to starvation, but Alvarenga has told the press a shocking story of surviving on raw fish and birds’ blood for more than a year. You can read about his unbelievable adventure here.

    “Unbelievable” gets right to the heart of the matter. Some have expressed doubts about Alvarenga’s credibility, citing the impossibility of survival under those circumstances. But experts beg to differ. National Geographic, for one, has weighed in with a headline claiming “Surviving More Than a Year Adrift at Sea Is Possible, With a Little Luck”.

    …a little luck, we say, best supplemented with a lot of skill. I live in a coastal state where boat emergencies are a very real thing, but wherever you reside, there are important things to know about ocean safety. Here are one or two:

    Finding potable water at sea

    Fishing for survival

    Boat Safety

    Be prepared when spending time at sea. Whether boating, swimming, fishing, or having another water adventure out on the waves, take emergency supplies along … just in case. The following items have been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, meaning they have been sealed against water, moisture, and air, giving you a better chance of survival if you ever find yourself in a situation like the one Alvarenga experienced.

    Here are some other items we recommend taking with you:

    Your own castaway story might sound like a swashbuckling adventure, but we’ll opt for more preparation over raw fish and birds’ blood any day.

    --Stacey

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, preparedness, water, Survival, emergency preparedness, survival skills, survival at sea

  • What would you do if you ran across wild animal tracks?

    It seems I just wrote a post about a family who went for a short mountain outing and ended up stuck in the snow for days. The last one happened in Nevada. This newest one happened in Idaho, and adds a chilling new element to an already frightening, if familiar, winter scenario.

    Friends Will Murkle and John Julian loaded up an SUV with their kids for an afternoon ride in the snow. When Will’s wife still hadn’t heard from them by midnight, she panicked. Turns out the group had gotten stuck in the snow and decided to walk to the nearest town for help.

    Which is when things got really dicey.

    “‘The scariest thing was when we came across fresh wolf tracks,’ Will Murkle said. ‘And we could tell wolves had been in the area recently.’”

    Not many of us would think to include bear spray or pepper spray in a car emergency kit, and even fewer of us would know what to do if we were to encounter an aggressive animal while stranded. The Murkle-Julian party got lucky—the tracks were as much of the wolves as they saw. So as not to rely on luck, however, here are a couple of resources to help us all avoid being eaten (or—more likely—just attacked) in an emergency situation.

    • Alaska knows a thing or two about wolves. Read their Department of Fish and Game’s article, “Living With Wolves”, then check the links to the left of that article for how to deal with other potentially predatory wildlife.

    Just because you’re isolated doesn’t mean all is lost! Know how to protect yourself and your family when circumstances are worse than you thought.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, Winter, preparedness, Emergency plan, Survival, emergency preparedness, wildlife

  • The Ocean City Boom

    The Ocean City boom makes us ask if you really were caught in an earthquake, what would you do?

    When a loud boom, violent shaking, and tremors rattled Ocean City, MD in early Feb., the city’s residents were confused. Most suspected an earthquake, but within hours geologists confirmed that wasn't the case.

    The Baltimore Sun reported the event, and by Thursday evening, signs pointed towards supersonic jets flying from the Patuxent Naval Air Station. Two jets took off over the Atlantic coast at the time of the rumbling. It’s likely that weather conditions allowed the sonic booms to travel further than normal.

    Although geologists were satisfied when the Navy confessed to planning two supersonic flights Thursday, many citizens wondered “if there wasn't something more mysterious” at hand.

    “We've had sonic booms in town before,” said one firefighter, “but this seemed different. It was more sustained, and then there was a pause for about a minute and then it started again.”

    Others agreed, having experienced similar rumblings every three to six months, but this particular boom was the most intense so far.

    “We've never got one like today,” Bart Rader, a resident who felt the boom as it rattled a 50 lb. sculpture in his home, said.

    Read the Baltimore Sun article, "Boom, then rumble leaves Ocean City puzzled” to learn more about this mysterious boom that has everyone talking.>

    Those in Maryland were lucky it wasn't ruled as an earthquake, but if it was … would they have been ready to face it? Would you be?

    Natural disasters are often unexpected and destructive; many people find they are underprepared. As disasters occur around the country and throughout the world, we should each be asking ourselves the same question: are we really prepared?

    Check out some of our Insight articles to help you prep for an earthquake:

    Earthquakes

    Quake, Rattle, and Roll: Easy Steps to Take Before the Big One Hits

    Quake, Rattle, and Roll: What to do during an earthquake

    Quake, Rattle, and Roll: What to do after an earthquake

    Or browse the other Insight Article categories

    Sources:

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/travel/oc-blog/bal-earthquake-ocean-city-20140206,0,3754031.story

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: disaster, preparedness, Survival, emergency preparedness, Earthquake, MD, Maryland, Baltimore, Sonic Boom

  1. 1-10 of 51 items