I Don’t Want to Know

I noticed something strange today at the gym.  I was on my favorite treadmill when a woman came in and got on the treadmill on the row in front of me a little to the right.  Normally I don’t pay much attention to those who come and go while I’m working out but this woman did something I didn’t expect.  As she was starting, she took off her jacket and laid it over the display of the treadmill.  I first thought she didn’t know where else to put her jacket then I noticed her peeking under her jacket to adjust the incline and speed.

Then it dawned on me – this woman didn’t want to see her stats showing in bright red numbers on her display.  From what I could tell, she wanted to work out by just the way she felt, not by what the numbers on the display were telling her.

I don’t know if this is a good or bad approach, but I did think it was interesting but also potentially misleading.  I’m one of those who likes to know all the details and to be able to compare my performance with my last workout.  Some days I do better than I anticipated, other days not so much.  Nevertheless, I want to know.  For me, knowledge is power.  Knowing all the details of any specific event is something I crave.  I want to be one of the first to know and have as much time as possible to act on that knowledge.

I haven’t always felt that way.  I’m sure most of us have gone through a stage where ignorance was bliss.  I know as a newly-wed starving college student, there were times I didn’t want to balance my checkbook just because I didn’t want to know how bad it was.  I must admit, there were times when not knowing gave me a small measure of peace until the returned check notices started to appear in the mail.  It was then that I wished I’d been more pro-active and could have avoided the return check charges.

As I started to learn about the importance of preparedness, I became more and more interested in learning about all the potential events that could occur that would require prior preparation to avoid unnecessary suffering by my family.  I would war-game every possible scenario I could think of and try to prepare in a fashion that would mitigate most adverse consequences of said event.

This exercise gave me so much confidence and empowerment that I wanted to convert all my friends and extended family members to the same level of belief and subsequent preparedness.  Boy, was that ever a mistake!  I learned very quickly that most didn’t have the same belief level as I did and many though I had turned into a real fanatic or even a nut job.

Even some of my close friends and family members asked me to stop discussing the potential “doom and gloom” scenarios with them and that they really didn’t believe such things would happen.  I must admit, I felt I was so well prepared that I was almost routing for the disasters to happen so I could put my preps to use.  I didn’t look at the possible traumatic events as something to avoid, but embrace and I enjoyed talking about them.  This really turned off many friends and family members.

As I try and analyze the reason why individuals don’t like to talk about or even hear about such potential events, I get the sense that once again, ignorance is bliss.  It’s seems as if somehow if they ignore it, it’s not real.

I’ve learned over the years that if I want to continue with a good relationship with these friends and family members, I have to simply not discuss preparedness issues.  It really is an awful shame and something these good folks will surely regret but as the saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”.

So what should we do?  We can’t prepare for everyone and we shouldn’t feel as if we have to.  Each of us has to make the personal decision as to how to handle such a dilemma.  I can’t imagine what it would be like if loved ones who had not prepared came to my door in dire need of food and supplies and I wasn’t able to help.  So for me and my family, we have simply made the decision to never stop preparing.

Every week we continue to add to our preps even if it’s something as simple as a case of Ramen Noodles.  I’ve had the impression many times as I carry another bucket of wheat or case of pinto beans to the basement – I will never personally eat this but that it will someday save someone’s life – and that’s good enough for me.

When the time comes we need to rely on our food storage, none of us will ever say, “Dang it, we’ve just got too much food here!”  We will just be glad we put aside what we did because the moment it’s needed; it’s too late to get it.

More than 35 years experience in the Preparedness Industry

Are You at Risk of Being Homeless?

There was an interesting article in the Los Angeles Times recently entitled “L.A.’s homelessness surged 75% in six years”.  According to the article, “The number of those living in the streets and shelters of the city of L.A. and most of the county surged 75% — to roughly 55,000 from about 32,000 — in the last six years. (Including Glendale, Pasadena and Long Beach, which conduct their own homeless counts, the total is nearly 58,000.)”

Three out of four homeless people — 41,000 — live in cars, campers, tents and lean-tos, by far the biggest single group of unsheltered people in any U.S. city.  There are plans to utilize city owned parking lots as locations for tent cities for the homeless.  This should help with the congestion problems on the streets and in parks where groups of homeless individuals congregate together for companionship and security.

I had an interesting experience with a family I met with years ago to assist them with updating their food storage.  They related an experience with me of how their food storage helped them save their home from foreclosure.   I was intrigued on how that was possible and was very interested to hear their story.

There was a major steel plant near their city where this gentleman worked for many years.  It was a time when cheap Japanese steel was being dumped on the US market and US steel makers were screaming foul and insisting the US government impose strong tariffs against foreign steel imports in an attempt to keep the playing field level.

As the government often operates, there was a lot of feet dragging, political posturing and red tape that caused many US steel plants to take drastic measures to keep from going out of business.  As a result, there were many lay-offs and furloughs extended by steel plants that aided in maintaining solvency until the government finally stepped in to save the steel industry.

As a result, this gentleman lost his job with the expressed hope by his employer that he would be re-hired as soon as the cheap import issue was resolved.  During this waiting period, unemployment benefits were applied for and eventually granted which provided a meager survival income for the family.  Unfortunately, that income wasn’t sufficient to cover all the family needs as well as their mortgage payment.

This family was very well prepared with food storage – they had been setting food aside for years never really knowing what might cause a need to dip into their supplies.  Little did they know their food storage would provide that extra level of support they needed to keep their heads above water during this trying time.

They decided to rely solely on their food storage for groceries and only go to the store for necessary paper goods, cleaning supplies and hygiene needs.  As a result, the family saved over $800 per month in food costs which allowed them to put their unemployment compensation towards their mortgage, utilities and insurance.  By relying on their food storage, this family was never put in the terrible position of potentially losing their home due to unemployment.

This experience was a powerful reminder to me of how important it is to follow the example of our forefathers who understood the importance of putting food aside in the event of a rainy day.  They didn’t have access to unemployment compensation when things got tough, they had to rely on their own resources and their wisdom in preparing for the time when they may have to rely of what they had stored.

I think it’s very easy to take our current life-style for granted.  We have to admit, we have things pretty easy.  We don’t have to produce or kill our own food to survive, just make it to the grocery store.  We often put more emphasis and importance of the less essential items in life – a nicer or larger home, new cars, recreational vehicles, trips – you get the idea.  I think all of us have at least three basic priorities in common – a home, a car and food.  But, if push came to shove, which would you prefer to go without for 60 days?  A home?  A car?  Food?

As important as a home is, it’s not essential for survival.  Some type of shelter is important but that could come from something as basic as a tent.  It would be extremely challenging for a family to live in a tent, especially during the winter, but it could be done.

A car is really a luxury in many countries around the world.  Here in the U.S., most of us may believe it is essential – we couldn’t survive without that critical transportation.  But, once again, if circumstances dictated, we could indeed survive without a car.  Even if we had to walk everywhere we needed to go, life would go on and we might just get in better shape as a result.  If things were tough enough, the car could be used as a shelter.

Now let’s consider food for a minute.  It doesn’t take long to realize that going without food for 60 days simply is not an option.  It would be impossible – we would not survive.  If fact, food is the most valuable commodity we could own as it’s one of the only ones that provide lifesaving sustenance.

Well, if this really is true, food being the most important of the three, why don’t we spend our time, energy and resources in securing enough of it to provide for our families in time of need?

We do spend our hard-earned money on procuring life insurance in the event of an untimely death.  We purchase health insurance to cover the costs of extreme illness or injury.  We secure homeowners insurance to protect our homes against fire, flood, earthquakes or other potential damaging occurrences.  We acquire auto insurance to cover the costs of accidents and injury.  But strangely enough, far too many of us neglect the most important of all – food insurance in the event of a natural disaster, economic down-turns, unemployment, sickness of deaths, war or terrorist attacks, or a combination of all of the above.

I had a close relative pass away without any life insurance and it was tragic to witness the overwhelming grief of his family and see how it was compounded by the additional financial stress that was caused by not only the ongoing lack of accustomed income, but all of the associated expenses related to his death, funeral and burial.  I remember having an overpowering feeling – almost a strong urgency to increase my personal life insurance just to make sure my wife and kids never had to go through what my relatives experienced.

In a like manner, even though I’ve been in the preparedness industry for well over 30 years, I cannot stop adding to my supplies knowing the time will come I’ll be grateful I did.

Sources:  http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-homeless-how-we-got-here-20180201-story.html

More than 35 years experience in the Preparedness Industry

Don’t Singe Your Eyebrows!

Most kids have a real fascination with fire.​  There is something magical and alluring about an open flame.  As parents, we’re constantly warning our children not to play with matches stressing the consequences if they disobey.  Nevertheless, it’s an important part of their education to understand the proper use of and correct way to build and lite a fire.

Growing up as a boy scout, learning how to properly prepare and lite a campfire was an important rite of passage.  Understanding how to find and create the proper amount of tinder was crucial.  Then building the structure – a teepee, a log cabin, a pyramid or a lean-to was always a thing of pride.

In our scout troop, one had to qualify to be a good fire starter – it wasn’t something everyone could do well.  It took practice and experience as well as the knowledge that each of the three key components of starting and maintaining a fire cannot be neglected.  These three factors are:

1.  Ignition source
2.  Fuel
3.  Oxygen

Most failures in building a fire come from not properly securing and preparing the right kind of fuel.  Whether it be the lack of flammable tinder or using too large of pieces of wood or trying to ignite damp or wet wood – many boxes of matches have been wasted trying to ignite a poorly built fire.

As a scout leader, one of my goals was to make sure every scout knew how to properly build a fire that could be ignited with just one match. We would have an annual competition to prove each scout could start a fire under adverse weather conditions in simulated survival conditions.  Each scout was given 30 minutes to prepare his tinder by creating feather sticks.

Then the simulated adverse survival conditions – we would hold this competition during the winter, usually in December.  The temperatures were always below freezing and there was almost always snow on the ground.  The boys were required to strip down to just gym shorts and shoes – no shirts, jackets or hats.  They were given just one match and were expected to start their fire and use the heat to keep from freezing.  Just a side note, we did this in our backyard so we were always close to a warm house if needed.

On the count of three, the boys all ran outside, set up their fires and lit them with their sole match.  As soon as their fires got going, each would stand over the flame to benefit from the warmth of their small fires.  As leaders, we would always join the scouts in this competition.  Each year, every scout was successful because we had spent the time to teach the essentials and helped them understand the necessity of taking the time to properly prepare their tinder and build their fire correctly.

One must be patient.  The lack of patience in preparing your tinder and properly building your fire will in most cases result in no fire at all.

In the event you have a limited supply of dry fuel to keep you fire going, you can increase the temperature of your fire by adding more oxygen similarly to how blacksmiths do – by using a bellows.

I learned how beneficial extra oxygen can be in burning moist, difficult to burn wood.  I had a large tree in our yard that was blown over in a terrible wind storm.  I cut most of it up to use as firewood.  When it came to the stump and roots, I figured I’d just need to haul it off to the dump because there was so much dirt compacted within the intertwined roots, I knew it would never burn.

I decided to try an experiment; I was able to start part of the stump on fire and I brought a portable fan outside and placed it close to the burning stump.  When I powered up the fan, the flame immediately increased and I was very curious to see how far the stump would burn.  After a few hours, there was no longer a flame but just bright orange coals glowing as the fan blew on them.

I left the fan going all night and when I went out in my yard in the morning, I couldn’t believe what I saw.  All there was in front of the fan was a pile of dirt, the dirt that had been compacted around the roots.  Every bit of wood from the stump and all the roots had been completely burned – all due to the increase in oxygen.

When working with a campfire that is not burning well, the very inefficient and sometimes painful way we have all tried to add more oxygen is by blowing on the coals at the base of the fire.  For me, this has never been a pleasurable experience.  First, it’s hard to get close enough without getting burned and second, I would always get smoke and ashes in my eyes.

Then I discovered the solution; I learned how to make a portable bellows that solves the problems of smoke and ash in your face plus being much more efficient is getting the additional oxygen right where it’s needed.

You can easily make one these portable bellows for just a buck and it will collapse and easily fit in your pocket.  You’ll need to make a trip to your local dollar store and purchase a “Selfie Stick”.  Then with a hacksaw, cut off the very end that has the attachment to hold your phone.  Then peel back the rubber grip on the end of the handle and cut off the very end of the handle as well.  Voila – you now have a portable bellows.  Check out this video to learn how to make several different sizes:

This will be a fun project for the whole family.  Everyone should have their own portable bellows and become an expert in building and maintaining a fire.  Now is the time to learn and practice – not when you’re in an emergency situation.

More than 35 years experience in the Preparedness Industry

Really? That’s Your Plan?

When I was just 15 years old, a relative who lived in another state offered me an exciting opportunity – he said I could stay with them and work at his gas station over the summer.  I was super excited about it and my parents gave the nod so as soon as school was out for our summer break, I was on a plane headed for adventures unknown.

For my first couple of weeks, I shadowed my relative throughout the day trying to learn as much as I could about how to be a gas station attendant.  Keep in mind; this was in the day before self-service gas stations.  We wore a uniform and when a car would pull up, a bell would clang and we would quickly head out to the pump and ask the driver how we could help.  We’d usually hear, “fill er up” so we’d then go to work not only filling the gas tank, but checking the oil, washing the windshield and even checking tire pressure.

In addition to pumping gas, we did oil changes, tire repair, basic engine tune ups (replaced spark plugs), replaced fan belts, alternators and water pumps.  Even if I was in the middle of any of these repairs and the bell clanged, I’d have to drop everything to run out and pump gas.

It was busy work but the money made it all worth it – I was raking in $1.60 an hour (minimum wage back then) and loving every minute of it!  Then the shift work began.  My relative’s station was on the edge of town near the freeway and he kept the station open 24/7.  As a result, there were three shifts each day.  8 AM to 4 PM, 4 PM to midnight (swing) and midnight to 8 AM (graveyard).

Being the new kid on the block with zero seniority, guess who got more than his fair share of graves?  Yep, you guessed it and it was kinda fun for the first time or two then it got a little weird and scary.  I had scary looking guys steal gas and others who took advantage of a young teenager and made me wonder if I’d live through the night.  I would be so relieved when the sun would start coming up over the mountains cause we all know, scary bad guys hate the light.

Since I knew I would be totally on my own during those early morning hours, I decided to make a plan to defend myself in the event any of those scary guys tried to rob or hurt me.  I found an old metal vacuum cleaner attachment in the back room that I decided to make into a machete. It was about 20″ long and almost flat about half of that length.

I proceeded to make it totally flat except for the handle be smashing it in the workbench vice.  I then used a metal file to sharpen one edge of it to where I was pretty impressed with my creation.  Problem was, I couldn’t carry it with me all the time so I had to leave it on the workbench where it really wouldn’t have done me any good.  Of course, in retrospect, it was ridiculous to consider my actually using my homemade machete to defend myself.  Nevertheless, it provided a certain sense of security regardless of how ridiculous the actual application would have been.

Over the last 30 plus years, I have seen far too many examples of this same false sense of security when it comes to providing emergency food storage for one’s family.  There are four basic categories these examples fall into that I’d like to address.

First – The bulk grain solution to food storage.  Yes, wheat is indeed the staff of life and if it came right down to it, wheat would keep you from starving to death.  Unfortunately, there are those who believe if they simply store several hundred pounds of wheat, somehow magically all their future needs for food for their families will be taken care of.

What’s even harder to understand is that most of these folks make absolutely no attempt to become familiar with or experienced at how to actually use their wheat.  They have no practical way to grind the wheat, no additional ingredients to make or bake bread, yeast isn’t even a thought but regardless, this wheat provides them with this sense of security that if things really went south, they would survive – just like my home-made machete.

Second – The macho approach to food storage.  I’ve run into far too many of these guys as well.  These are the guys (predominantly men), who know it all and don’t need anyone else telling them how to provide for their families in times of need.  They consider themselves the rough and tumble type that assume just because they like the outdoors and have bagged a deer or two in their life, they are qualified as professional survivalists and will be able to do whatever it takes to feed their families.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard these macho guys claim that if their family needed food, they’d just go up into the hills and shoot a deer and all would be well.  Even if it really was that easy, I’m sure no one else would have that same idea, right?  I’m sure there would be no other hunters in the woods trying to provide for their families, some of which who might be desperate enough that if they saw someone else with a deer, they might do whatever it took to take it for themselves.  There’s no question, it would be an outright war in the hills for any available game.  But for these tough guys, this plan is their home-made machete.

Third – The moochers.  This is the group that is convinced others will provide for their needs.  The couple who’s food storage plan is to go home to mom and dad in time of need rather than implementing their own game plan and preparing.  There are those who feel secure relying on the possible assistance from their church.  They may have received assistance in the past and assume that if things get really bad, the church will always have sufficient for their family, not considering the church’s resources may be stretched to the limit with an increased demand from many other families.

Then there are those whose intent is to rely on their friends and neighbors.  I remember a Twlight Zone episode where a family was well prepared with food storage and a bomb shelter and how their neighbors tried to break in when there was an atomic bomb scare. Close friends and acquaintances became ugly marauders who, with no regard for their once friends, were doing everything in their power, including stealing from their friends to keep from going without.  I really don’t understand how this group can feel secure with this type of game plan, but they obviously do.

Fourth – Mobocracy.  This is the darkest and ugliest game plan of all.  This plan relies on violence, theft and control by fear to provide for their needs.  Taking one’s belongings and life if necessary are part of the anticipated method of operation of these thugs.  These groups or gangs find strength in numbers and are devoid of any conscience or concern for others.  They truly understand the most valuable commodity is food and will do whatever it takes to accumulate that wealth for both survival and power.  The arrogance and cavalier attitude of this group far exceeds the macho group and they should be considered armed and very dangerous and to be avoided at all costs.  Let’s hope and pray we are never in a situation where we are forced to confront such a gang.

There is nothing sweeter than the peace of mind and sense of security that comes from “knowing” you are truly prepared for most any difficult scenario.  The knowledge your family will be taken care of and not have to go without is indeed priceless.  On the other hand, having a sense of security that is based on false assumptions can be dangerous or even devastating when the time comes all this becomes real.

More than 35 years experience in the Preparedness Industry

The Government’s Role In Your Safety

CBS New’s headline today warned of more Ohio River flooding after extreme weather had already taken human lives in the Midwest. Areas in Houston, still recovering from flooding 6 months ago, are now watching their rivers as poorly developed neighborhoods recognize their increased risk of future floods. Vulnerable people are looking for aid wherever they can find it.

Government Aid
In a world where states are requesting money to accommodate their water needs, what are your personal responsibilities for your personal property and well-being? Are you willing to wait for government money and help to cover your needs? Of course not.  If we’ve learned anything in the past decade, we’ve learned that we can not and should not use the government as a safety net when it comes to covering our needs, especially our water/safety needs.

Avoiding Flooding
Federal money is going to cities with poorly planned housing in flood zones. The question is, where is the responsibility of the citizens? When making possibly the biggest financial decisions of their lives, did anyone look at maps? Did anyone consider proximities to rivers, canals, etc.?  What about positioning inside neighborhoods?  The higher you are, the less likely you’ll have to deal with devastating flooding.  While states may ask and beg for federal dollars, chances of individuals seeing any financial relief from damage to a poorly placed home are slim.

Take Control
So what does that mean? It means, you do what you need to do to be prepared. If you’re able to move to higher ground, of course, do so. If you’re not able to move, what are your options?  Are you doomed because your mortgage has tied you to a house that may betray you? Not necessarily. There are things you can do. While you are high and dry, it is time to prepare. It’s time to stock up on sandbags.  It’s time to build up landscaping to minimize flooding. Research diverting water, landscaping, and other options for flooding prevention.    In other words, it’s time to assume you’ll receive nothing from the government and take control of the situation you are in.

Part of taking control is understanding your vulnerability. Store your food and water. Store physically high and low, spread out your resources so you can use them in different types of emergencies.  But have enough resources for you and your family to ride out any storm that comes your way.  If you have to ride out a flood, make sure you have enough clean water and food to do so. Even better, get away before you become stranded. Grab your Bug-Out Bag and go. Go before traffic stalls and before you can’t get out of the city.

The takeaway?  Your preparation is your responsibility. It’s not the government’s responsibility. It’s not your community leaders’ responsibility.  If you’re reading this, you probably already understand this concept.

How Much Do You Need in Your Savings Account?

So you have a savings account, now what? How much money do you need to put in there? Financial experts talk about having an emergency fund, but what does that really mean?

An emergency fund is not your savings for a car, house, or other large purchases. Savings for a downpayment on a home should be in addition to your emergency fund. The emergency fund is there for a rainy day (car breaking down, expected medical expenses, etc.) and not for a weekend trip to Las Vegas.

During a disaster or a job loss, your emergency fund will allow you to keep living your life and more importantly paying your bills. So how much do you really need? The bare minimum should be six months of expenses. In other words, what does it take to keep a roof over your head for six months? Say your mortgage is $1,500 a month, plus $300 for utilities, $400 for groceries, $100 for the phone, $89 for life insurance, $400 for health insurance. You’ll need $16,734 in your emergency fund to live off of for six months. This does not include going out to dinner or to the movies or on that family cruise to Mexico.

Though in reality, most people don’t cut their expenses back when faces with finical disaster.  Err on the side of caution and save more than you think you’ll need. It is better to be safe than sorry. What are your household expenses? Not just the mortgage and groceries. How much do you eat out? How many movies do you see a month? A weekly date night of dinner and a movie would be around $50, that is $200 a month.

Take an honest look at your spending. It is easy to say I’ll cut out this or that, but it is harder than you think. How much are your really spending each month, add that up and times it by six to eight months. $2,789 for the mortgage, etc., plus $200 for weekly dates, $100 for ballet lessons, $100 for soccer practice. $25,512 will allow you to live with your current lifestyle for eight months. This is how much money you really need in your emergency fund.

On average it takes one to two years to find a new job after a job loss. The bare minimum of six months of essentials won’t last long. Plan to save eight months of your real expenses you will be much better prepared. Then if you cut back to the essentials your emergency fund will last much longer.

Are you spending more than you are making? If you have massive amounts of debt your emergency fund will quickly be eaten up. Look at your real expenses and compare them to your monthly income. Does it add up? Ideally, you should have some money left over to put into an emergency fund, if not it’s time to cut back. Saving six to eight months of income should allow you to meet your needs and have some left over. This will cushion your funds and make them last longer if necessary.

Photo Credit: http://www.fiscallysound.com/your-emergency-fund-why-you-need-one-and-how-to-start-one/

The Best Time to Prepare

Emergency preparedness sometimes takes a backseat to immediate needs and wants. Since preparedness items aren’t used regularly (or sometimes at all), they can be pushed to the back of the budget. Unfortunately, like many things, if you aren’t prepared before a disaster’s forecast, it’s going to be too late. Just like you don’t put your seatbelt on as a car is smashing into your car, you can’t stock up on necessities as the rain starts to fall.

Insurance and Preparedness
Insurance is a necessary part of life. Health insurance, life insurance, auto insurance, etc. are expenses that we incur because we know they are important.  The same can be said about preparedness items. They are essential when the need arises, you just hope you never have to use them.
Like most insurance policies, you don’t have to pay a huge lump sum to purchase preparedness items. If you plan correctly, you can spread out the purchase of the essentials you will need over months and years.

Supply and Demand
The hurricanes, mudslides, floods, fires, and earthquakes of 2017devastated populations close to home. During that time there was a huge spike in sales on emergency preparedness sites. Unfortunately, for so many people, those items were not readily available. Water containers were sold out in minutes, as were several food items. Items to fill 72-hour kits were stocked out for months.  Shipping times were increased because of washed out roads and backlogged needs. Even preparedness distributors had to wait extended times for inventory orders because suppliers couldn’t keep up with the new demand.  It took months before the suppliers were able to send complete inventory. Had there been one more disaster, some food items would have been back ordered for 6+  additional months.

Wisdom and Foolishness
During the spike of natural disasters, we received lots of phone calls. Those phone calls varied greatly. Some wise, experienced people called to place their monthly orders. When those orders took an extended time, they calmly accepted the situation and were grateful they had what they had.  Some of them even offered to send excess supplies to those who needed them. They were okay because they had the basics. They were prepared.

Unfortunately, there were many panicked callers needing water containers, 72-hour kits, and other food storage items immediately. When their orders were not fulfilled in time for the disasters, they canceled them. Their mindset was not focused on the long-term, but rather the here-and-now.  Not only were they not prepared for the current disaster, they didn’t consider the fact that natural disasters were not once in a lifetime events instead of yearly threats. How much better off would they be today had they kept those orders and waited for fulfillment?

Confidence in Your Preparedness
If you’re reading this, you’re probably pretty prepared. You know that the time to prepare was yesterday. You know that preparedness isn’t a single event, but a mindset of evaluating and reevaluating your needs constantly. You’re pretty wise in your planning.  We’re happy to help you stay up-to-date on the things you need.

If you aren’t prepared, that’s okay. Today is a great day to get started. May we suggest you begin with a 72-Hour Kit? You can also start your food storage as you go along.

If you want to know more about specific preparedness topics, items, trends, etc., let us know. We’re here to help you be as prepared as possible.

Where Do Emergency Situations in America Actually Occur?

As you know with the start of football season, we’re just about to reach the fall and winter months when hurricanes, blizzards, and other extreme weather conditions can occur. Last month, Kiplinger compiled a listing of the top ten states that are most at risk of natural disasters. It used property damage claims from the past eight years to determine which states have had it the worst.


In the end, New Jersey was number one on the list with $26.7 billion in property damage. This is mostly because of the damage the Garden State suffered from Hurricane Sandy. The rest of the top ten is as follows:


2. Texas

3. Tennessee

4. Missouri

5. Alabama

6. Oklahoma

7. Mississippi

8. Louisiana

9. Colorado

10. Arizona


As you can see from this list, there is not one concentrated area where natural disasters and other emergency scenarios occur. For this reason, individuals must be actively doing all they can to learn about possible threats in their area and ways to prepare for them. We’ve already seen some news that our customers should be aware of.


For example, did you know that more than a thousand children in ten states have been diagnosed with a rare form of Enterovirus in the past few weeks? According to the CDC, the respiratory illness could eventually become a nationwide problem. It acts similarly to the common cold and can put children with preexisting allergies or respiratory problems in the ICU.


Additionally, number 6 on the list, Oklahoma, was in the news recently for an emergency rule adopted by its governor that mandated all licensed insurance agents get an hour of continuing education on earthquakes. A 4.2 earthquake was recorded near Medford, OK in early September.


Big cities and small towns across the country are preparing for extreme weather occurrences by shoring up dams, updating sewage systems and setting up emergency water storage plans. What are you doing too sure up your household?


The prospect of a disaster is out there, no matter where you live. We encourage you to shop our inventory of emergency food products, water preparedness systems and first aid supplies, so you can be ready if a disaster were to strike your area. And remember, because it is National Preparedness Month, we are offering 30 specials for 30 days!



How Can Americans Prepare for an Ebola Virus Outbreak?


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised its response level to the Ebola outbreak in Africa to the highest level possible to address the growing concerns of further escalation and the virus spreading around the world. The Ebola virus has now spread to Nigeria with nine confirmed cases and one death so far. The CDC’S Level 1 Activation allows the agency to take personnel involved with other tasks and bring them into the fold in West Africa. The virus outbreak shows no evidence of slowing down, and it could take months before the situation becomes under control.  The CDC says that 50 disease-control experts could get to West Africa in the next 30 days.


Although this was to be expected as the virus spread, the Level 1 alert does show how seriously the CDC is taking it. The last time the CDC had a Level 1 alert was in 2009 during the H1N1 pandemic. The virus has killed more than 1200 people since the beginning of March, and there currently isn’t a FDA-approved vaccine. What scares health officials the most is the speed and fatality rate of the virus. The current outbreak has a fatality rate of nearly 60%. With numbers like these, it’s important to get prepared just in case the CDC’s worst fears are confirmed.


It’s imperative that you have the supplies in place to sustain a long-term pandemic. Although we often think of natural disasters when we think of emergency preparation, the threat of a pandemic should incite every household to have a preparedness plan in place that includes emergency food storage, water, and medical supplies for long-term use. For example, if the Ebola virus were to spread in the United States, a mandatory quarantine could take place. It would last at least 21 days as that is how long inoculation might take. As the virus outbreak continues to expand globally, households must get ready.

How Often Should I Update My Emergency Storage?

I learned the hard way that if you don’t check something often enough, you can end up with trouble. I am guilty of not changing the filter for my air conditioning and furnace unit. Even if I had known how often I should replace it, I’m not sure I would have actually done it. When the weather turned warm and I started using the air conditioning, I suddenly had a problem. Water started leaking out the bottom of the unit threatening to ruin my newly installed basement flooring. My failure to check and replace the filter had caused a potentially disastrous situation. Continue reading “How Often Should I Update My Emergency Storage?”