Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Preparedness - Food - Prep Tip 1

Tip 1 for having food on hand when you need to bug out...remember it has to be simple, not require enormous amounts of water or fuel to process or reconstitute and not be so heavy you can't carry it or stow it. That narrows it down some....forget the notion that you are going to actually live on a few grubs, worms and polluted water - unless you definitely have those skills and are caught in that situation. Othewise read on...

USCG/CCG and Department of Defense SOLAS Survival Rations come in a variety of flavors and sizes....made especially for temperature extremes and nutritional content as well as high "shelf life". No preparation is required. Boaters may recognize these from their on board survival kits.
Brands to buy are Mainstay, Datrex and Mayday and they come in 1200, 2400 and 3600 calorie sizes - SIMPLE. You can store these in your car all year and you can have 3 days worth on hand in a day pack with you when you travel. $4-$7 each.... a no brainer if you can afford them. High carb candy bars are a bad option...they will make you too thirsty - and fast.

Find these items discussed at length and for sale at CampingSurvival.com http://www.campingsurvival.com/emfoba.html
You are now going to ask about MRE's of course....if you've never had them and don't know how to use them....yes you need to familiarize yourself ahead of time.....experiments have shown folks with advanced degrees could not figure out how to use them....and if you can't function well...this may be a difficult task....they decay quicker in high heat so 5 years for SOLAS rations and 1-3 years for MRE's. When the military dropped pallets of them in Afghanistan no one knew what to do with them - but the boxes were so nice and sturdy they were used to build homes - out of food!

Hey, MRE's are great to have on hand in the car on trips and day hikes and if you can carry them on your hasty departure, all the better...just remember the mindset tenants below. Oh and also remember that some brands DO NOT come with heater packs (buy separately) so your food will be cold (safe to eat) unless you find a way to heat them up.....

Don't buy these surplus as they most likely were stored in high heat or are too old...actual military versions are not sold to the public...but you can get the almost identical thing from the same companies....also learn more about and purchase if you like at CampingSurvival.com http://www.campingsurvival.com/mreskits.html
Keep these dry and cool under 70 degrees and you can keep them for up to 10 years! We might talk about other less desirable bug out food options another time. Shelter in place food storage is a whole other animal....plenty of options and plenty of opinions......another time.

Mindset - Emergency Management - Tip 1

Being prepared for emergencies in the Corporate World is called Emergency Management and Business Continuity Planning - it is big business in itself right now.....so how about having the same attention for you and your family? Sure thing.

Here are some bullet points to keep in mind while you formulate your plan(s) for being prepared... as you get your "gear" in place and integrate more situational awareness into your busy lifestyle you will develop more options - and options are what you want. As mentioned before, being on a roof waving for help is not your best option.
Let's refresh some things you likely already know but need to think about again as you plan....
  • During and emergency, whether it be natural or man made, you and your family may suffer injuries that could be life threatening or at least hamper your ability to help yourself.
  • You may temporarily suffer from emotional or psychological shock that can and will disorient or confuse you to the point you may not be able to think or act appropriately.
  • Complex tasks may become nearly impossible to accomplish for some period of time.
  • The weather may be extremely hot or cold, rainy or windy or dry.
  • Power, water, communication, security, mobility, shelter may all be unavailable.
  • You may be (far) away from your home and emergency supplies or cut off by a natural disaster or massive influx or exit of other people relocating.
  • You need to decide whether to "shelter in place" or "bug out" (common parlance nowadays) and you should have criteria in place for making that decision when/if the time comes.
  • Your plans to meet other members of your family may become impractical due to a variety of reasons...but pre-planning helps you to better understand what needs to be done in situations and what others can and will do if the designated plan can not be enacted. They call this innovation or Plan "B" or "C"....
  • Crowds and lawlessness in large disasters happen, being alone without help may require some drastic measures.
  • Help from the government agencies as portrayed on TV are not realistic and you need to realize this right now - your friends and family as well.
  • People in some parts of the country that don't suffer many disasters may think you are crazy for taking the time for being prepared (these are also the first to show up at your door for help as well). This may include members of your own family so be prepared for that.
  • You can accomplish some level of preparedness no matter where you live and where you are and you can improve the odds or your coming out okay as well. You need to put yourself in the proper mindset.....more to follow.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Prep Tips 1 - Water

Water - the body can't work without it...at least not for very long.
Studies say 3 days...whether it is hot or cold the body respires and you exhale water vapor....one gallon per day per person is the current usage standard. Couple this with the YOYO72 theory (see below) and you will need to have 3 gallons on hand - minimum. This is a can do and MUST DO item. No water - you expire - simple. You will need something to store and transport the water.
At this point you shouldn't be surprised that many people don't even have 1 gallon on hand....bad idea. So if you haven't paid attention to this detail yet, here are some tips....
The very best portable containers from a quality standpoint are the Scepter Brand (Canadian) Water and Fuel Containers. You can find the consumer versions ($10-15) in 5 gallon sizes from auto and marine supply stores or online. They are blue and lighter gauge plastic. They are functional and easily transportable. 7 gallon plastic recreational containers can be too heavy(60#) when full so you may decide to avoid them.
Scepter military cans stack and consumer versions have pouring spouts.
Larger 15-30-55 gallon plastic food grade barrels are long term stay-in-place storage options and a topic for yet another day.

Pictured above are the military version Jerry cans transported on a SUV rack. These are heavier duty construction and can even be used as an emergency support for repairing vehicles. If you drop a full military container, it won't break.
They come in 10L ($19) or 20L ($25) sizes and are the best choice for anyone who plans on "bugging out" with any quantity of water. The 10L cans can be left in your vehicle 24/7 and won't split open if frozen. They also can slide under a bed if you live in an apartment.

You can find them at Brigade Quartermaster Online at (http://www.brigadeqm.com/) and sometimes cheaper from a military surplus dealer.
Coffee break is over. More on water to come.....

Preparedness Tips - A Feature on the ICE Blog

Lots of info out there now on how to be prepared and quite a few lists on what to have on hand and sometimes even where to buy.
ICE4SAFETY.COM will be providing a more micro view of some of the more essential macro topics - starting with many of the most important. Labels will begin with Prep Tips and then the Subject for easy searching.
Many people cannot stomach the task of even discussing being prepared much less read long reports on what to have on hand and what to do. This will take some time, but it is simply just one additional way to get it done for those who just can't stand the thought of being prepared (the reasons why are a personal issue)
Another option is to join in conversations with certain survival-oriented blog sites but many people prefer not to go that route - and sometimes the discussions can go off track.
FEMA has improved their website resources but if you want to do it yourself (DIY) and be ahead of the curve maybe this will help. We will get info from a variety of sources and personal experiences. So, if the suggestion to have food, clothing and shelter on hand just doesn't cut it for you then stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remember 9-11-01

Remember to fly your flag on this day to pay tribute to those who lost their lives on 9-11-01 at the hands of terrorists that attacked our country.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Wilderness Travel and ICE

So, you find yourself out in the early morning mist on a remote lake paddling around with a friend .....or maybe you are solo with your kayak...remember the YOYO concept below? If not, "you are on your own" means it is best to be prepared in case you need someone to help you if you get hurt....average time before anyone is contacted is 5 hours 51 minutes.....might this be longer in a situation like this? Let's not find out. If in the Adirondack Mountains, you can stop at Eastern Mountain Sports or the Mountaineer Store and locate some essentials to have on hand and of course.....use ICE. This picture is not too remote...it is Mirror Lake in the early morning mist in Lake Placid, NY.....

ICE Makes the New York State Fair 2007

SUNY Upstate Hospital in Syracuse, NY had a booth at the NYS Fair and was promoting the use of ICE as a means of improving your chances of coming out ahead if you find yourself a victim of an accident or illness and hospital staff need to contact someone in the know who can help you.

Yet another hospital/health provider finds ICE.....

That makes what, 7 State Fairs this season for ICE....cool.